A CARDINAL EVIL:
GOD MY WEAPON, MY AGENT OF VIOLENCE,
MY INSTRUMENT OF FEAR AND TERROR
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
Swearing an oath is as commonplace among Christians as killing the enemy in war. However, in Christian minds it is nowhere near as significant as going to war. In fact in Christian minds and Churches swearing an oath is so taken-for-granted that Church Canon law as well as state civil and criminal law utilize it with Christians ceaselessly without any spiritual or moral qualms or misgivings. The following essay is meant to address this perilous, yes, perilous, problem in the Christian Churches and in Christian consciousness. It is perilous because for the Christian, regardless of his or her status in the Church, oaths, whether secular or religious, rely for their efficacy on explicitly defying Jesus and implicitly giving false witness on behalf of a false God.