Oath Keepers

Oath KeepersAmerica has always been able to count on our military to defend the homeland from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Oath Keepers intend to keep it that way. Formed just 89 days after President Obama’s inauguration (and 1,331 days after President George W. Bush’s declaration of emergency for Hurricane Katrina), they swear an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. They say of themselves:

Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters who will fulfill the oath we swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.

The oath they speak of here is not exactly the US Military oath, which is:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Oath Keepers instead swear:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, pledging my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. So help me, God.

There are minor, but important, differences in the two oaths which keep them from being interchangeable. First, the actual military oath lets you ‘affirm’, which is weak. The Oath Keepers oath takes that out and actually makes its members ‘swear’. Which, as we all know, makes you cool. Second, apparently you can swear the military oath with “mental reservation or purpose of evasion“, which the Oath Keepers don’t allow. And third, the Oath Keepers don’t swear to obey orders from their superior officers or the President of the United States. That’s important, because you never know what sorts of unconstitutional things your superiors might order you to do. No, better to decide on an order by order basis whether that order sufficiently follows the strictures of the Constitution. Did we learn nothing from Nuremberg?

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