When it comes to finding the truth it is vital that we use every tool at our disposal. If DNA evidence can be used to prove people innocent we must do it, if security cameras can become eyewitnesses we should see them, and if using a bible to entourage people to tell the truth positively effects the testimony of just one out of every twenty witnesses in a court case then we should continue to use it.
Though it may sometimes not seem like it from the news this is a demographically Christan nation. When questioned in poles 82 percent of Americans claimed to have a Christan belief and though many of them may think little of their religion swearing to tell the truth with their hand on the bible may just sway them.
Even beyond the attempt to convince people that they must be honest because of their religious beliefs it is vital that we keep the ceremonies of the courtroom. Many places holding onto the past is simple nostalgia, but not in the courtroom. With it so often being turned into a circus and a laughing stock by frivolous lawsuits, and the familiarity many Americans feel they have thanks to fictional lawyer series and Court TV, the pomp and circumstance of the courtroom is a good reminder to them that this is more than a form of entertainment. People’s lives are being changed every day in the courtroom and one of the ways humans find meaning is through ceremony.
Moreover there is no reason to change this ceremony. Members of other religions and atheists by their very definition should not be bothered in any way by putting their hand on the bible to swear in. If the bible is wrong it has no meaning, and if God doesn’t exist then it has less than no meaning. The only reason that someone who really doesn’t believe in God would want to attack the idea of using the bible in a swearing in ceremony is in an attempt to control other people, and that flies directly in the face of what America is. People in America have the right to any religion or lack of religion they want. This is true even if atheists don’t like it.
If I were in a Islamic nation and was expected to testify in court I would happily put my hand on the Koran to swear my oath, if I were in a Buddhist nation I would be fine with Buddhist texts and if I were in an atheist nation I would be fine with simply giving my word. Not only that, but I have no problem with a member of another religion using his only holy book for a swearing in ceremony if it has more meaning to him. It is the meaning to the person swearing to tell the truth that is important not the choice of what book, the book itself is there only in hopes that it may encourage people to follow through on that oath.