There may be majesty in a good law or a good man, but there is none whatever in bad laws or bad men. It is, I say, nothing but fetish-worship — the same spirit which induced the Egyptians to sacrifice virgins to the rising Nile
, and forced Jephthah to slay his daughter Jephthah had taken an oath, just as the pro-slavery Northern judges and sheriffs had taken oaths; but it was an oath better honored in the breach than in the observance, and there are crimes worse than perjury of this kind.
But there was really no dilemma for the honest man. He could at any moment resign his office.
And oaths of office are medieval institutions which have unfortunately survived a great deal of similar rubbish.
No bank president or railway director has to swear upon the Bible
Why should our political people be obliged to?
The oath has no effect upon a bad man, while it can do nothing but worry a good one.
We have got rid of the comparatively harmless folly of the coronation ceremony, and our judges and senators do not sit in solemn conclave to determine who shall carry the king's saltspoon or warming-pan in procession, but we have kept the most dangerous feature of all, the coronation oath — the oath of office.
It was this oath taken by George III which cost his country dearly.
We upset the tyranny of George III, but the tyranny