Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Officials Who Violate Their Oath of Office Are Guilty of a Crime

By John Haskins

Under the Massachusetts Constitution, any public official who swears the oath of office and then willingly violates that oath it is subject to the criminal penalties of perjury -- a felony. That includes Governor Mitt Romney, much of the legislature, at least four judges on the Supreme Judicial Court, as well as Attorney General Tom Reilly, who has a duty to file criminal perjury charges against those now violating the Massachusetts oath of office. In an era of bolder citizenship and stronger, more serious Christianity, they would be subjected to citizen's arrest by a great troop of armed Massachusetts citizens, and they would be convicted and imprisoned for what they are now doing.

Obviously, the Massachusetts Constitution is not discriminating in the below article against Quakers by holding them to a higher legal standard or subjecting them to more severe criminal punishment for the same act. Therefore the meaning is plain and inescapable: Failure to "bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" and to "support the constitution thereof" is a crime.

Article VI. Instead of the oath of allegiance prescribed by the constitution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military under the government of this commonwealth, before he shall enter on the duties of his office, to wit:

"I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts , and will support the constitution thereof. So help me God."
Provided, That when any person shall be of the denomination called Quakers, and shall decline taking said oath, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, omitting the word "swear" and inserting instead thereof the word "affirm;" and omitting the words "So help me God," and subjoining, instead thereof, the words "This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury." [see Constitution,
chapter VI, Art. I].

Article VII. No oath, declaration or subscription, excepting the oath prescribed in the preceding article and the oath of office shall be required of the governor, lieutenant governor, councilors, senators or representatives, to qualify them to perform the duties of their respective offices.