Don't mention God when swearing oaths - Atheists petitions Chief Justice
According to the atheists, making people to swear an oath by saying “so help me God” is discriminatory against those who do not believe in God.
Aside the discrimination, the atheist association said mentioning the name of God does not guarantee that people who appear before courts will necessarily tell the truth. Neither does it guarantee that people who assume public offices will handle the offices in truthful and honest manner.
President of the Atheists in Kenya (AIK), Harrison Mumia is quoted as saying: "We note that oaths taken by witnesses and defendants in Kenyan courts invoke the name of God. Our concern is with the phrase "so help me God". Not only does it discriminate against atheists, but it also doesn't guarantee that citizens who take an oath in the name of God will tell the truth."
He added: While we understand that this practice is deeply rooted in religious customs, and has become an accepted practice in Kenyan courts, it is our view that time has come for us to amend oaths taken in Kenyan Courts."
The atheist community has therefore proposed another oath to the Chief Justice which it claims would be fair to every citizen.
The proposed oath reads: "I promise very sincerely to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and I understand that if I fail to do so I will be committing an offense for which I will be punished and may be sent to prison.”
However, there are fears that David Maraga who is a known staunch Christian may treat the petition with contempt.
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