Somehow I missed this when it came out, but Rod Heggy posted a thought-provoking review of this blog on his blog, which included an extended discussion on the issue of oaths.
I went ahead and drafted a comment on his blog post, but thought I would share my thoughts on it here as well (this next part will make more sense if you read his blog post first)
Just wanted to say a quick thank you for the review of my blog. We obviously disagree on many points, but I am very impressed with your williness to hear me out and to respond thoughtfully to what I had to say.
As to the issue of the importance of oaths, I have a bit of a different perspective on it because I’m a Mennonite and we historically do not swear oaths. For the attorney’s oath, I will affirm it (I hope to get my license in September) but not swear it. The reason for this is first that Jesus said not to swear oaths, but secondly because the oath of the attorney, while a serious and significant commitment (one in which the state puts their trust in me as an officer of the court), is not my highest law. In other words, I will seek to obey that oath but if the oath conflicts with my conscience (or to say it another way, the still place where God speaks to us), then I would have to resign my oath and do what is right.
I see the oath of soldier in the same light. Certainly a soldier should honor his or her commitment, but if that honoring that commitment would violate the soldier’s conscience, then I think it is better to obey one’s conscience, than to violate it out of a sense of loyalty to the oath.
Anyway that’s my take on it. Thanks again for giving me the chance to discuss this with you.