To: Paul Murray Jan-25-94 08:26:44 Subject: Re: Laws and R

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From: James Williams To: Paul Murray Jan-25-94 08:26:44 Subject: Re: Laws and Religion Re: Re: Laws and Religion >jw> California Law on swearing oaths specifically identifies a >jw> "Christian" oath as the State's "ordinary" oath [CCP 2094, c.f. >jw> CCP 2096] and in 1990 a local Humanist, Frank Mortyn, endured >jw> seven successive jailings on contempt before they finally quit. >jw> The judge involved is a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of >jw> Latter Day Saints (Mormons). >FR> Where was the ACLU (not to mention constitutional law) when this man's >FR> constitutional rights were being violated seven times? If they were >FR> present or not, how does the man's legal advisor(s) plan to address >FR> the violations of his rights due to religious zealotry? The ACLU considered the case and decided that they could intervene only if the incarceration reached a total of six months, when Federal Law would cut in, the Civil Rights Act I think. Mr Mortyn's constitutional rights were not being violated, because he was violating California Law, which REQUIRES the oath. And he understood that. Most judges have the common sense to downplay this silly law. This one judge is a Mormon with the imagination of a snail and chose to play tough. Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington considered the case, with the possibility of taking it all the way to the Supreme Court, but predicted that in the conservative state of the Reagan court it would likely lose and set the cause back. The best way to restrain such excesses of religious bigotry at present are these: 1. Tell your local Mormon Church about this case and let it be known that the bigotry of their Bishop Timothy W. Tower, Tenth Ward, San Diego, is a disgrace to their Church. When word gets back to Salt Lake City the mother church may try to straighten him out when they know he embarrassess them. 2. Write to him directly. A postcard from afar may help educate him to see that he has brought discredit on his Church. Write to: Bishop Timothy W. Tower Judge of the Municipal Court 4838 Jellett Street, San Diego CA 92117 USA 3 Inquire in your own community who the Bishops of the Latter Day Saints Church are, and find out whether they are in inappropriate positions of responsibility such as judges, and inform your citizens of the facts. Mormon clergy are all-volunteer, unpaid, therefore generally hold jobs. They should be in jobs compatible with their religious commitment. And people should be aware of the Mormon tradition of quietly infiltrating themselves into positions of responsibility where they further the interests of their own people and their church. ==================================================================== From: James Williams To: David Wright Jan-27-94 08:18:04 Subject: Courtroom Oaths Re: Re: Atheism > because they didn't yet have an alternative oath from the "so help me > God" one. The lawyers and the judge got all freaked out about my > coming up to the bench. After I explained myself, they said, no > problem, and promptly dropped it. First, NEVER approach the bench unless you first ask for permission. That ALWAYS freaks them. They fear assassination. In California, the Code of Civil Procedure specifically implies that the "Christian" oath is the "normal" oath. That's the bad news. But few judges tack on the "so help me God" bit. And for some years, CCP 2015.5 has provided that a declaration under penalty of perjury can be accepted as the equivalent of sworn testimony. This addition to the Code is so new that most judges are unaware it's there. ================================================================== From: James Williams To: Fredric Rice Jan-27-94 08:18:04 Subject: Oath and Affirmation Re: Laws and Religion > The oath usually include a magical invocation to deities yet an > affirmation usually does not. If you are saying that the California > criminal code in thi clown's district specifically requires a set > affirmation which also includes invocation to deities, then the > State is dead wrong in doing so. The quasi-religious nature of an oath is not dependent on the use of the words "So help me God." In the USA Constitution those words are NOT included in the form for the president's oath of office; nor is the placing of a hand on the Bible---yet most presidents, including Bill Clinton, add on those religious features. America has become religion-infested in 200 years. In California courts, the clerk authorized to "hear oaths" says "raise your right hand please." Soon as you do that, you are symbolically calling on the supernatural authorities on high. You are sworn. Calling it an affirmation makes ZIP difference. In 1877, *Clinton v the State of Ohio*, 33 Ohio 27 [1877], the Ohio Supreme Court Commission ruled that a witness must have a belief in a supreme being in order to AFFIRM just as much as if to swear an OATH. No different. In California, CCP 2015.5 provides an honorable way to avoid oaths and affirmations. Problem is, it's so new that most judges graduated from law school before the law was passed, and don't know it's there. What's needed now is for free individuals to speak up and insist on using it.

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