Opinion

‘Religiously Unaffiliated’ Arizona Senator Takes Oath on State and US Constitutions that Mention God and Jesus

The following is from CBS News:

Kyrsten Sinema chose not to hold the traditional Bible when she was sworn in Thursday as a U.S. senator from Arizona. Instead, she held a copy of the Constitution.

A spokesperson for the first-term Democrat said she chose to use a book from the Library of Congress that contains the texts of the Arizona and U.S. Constitutions, reports azcentral.com.

“Kyrsten always gets sworn in on a Constitution simply because of her love for the Constitution,” Sinema spokesman John LaBombard told the local news outlet.

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He didn’t comment on the senator’s religious beliefs. Sinema is the only person in Congress to state that she is “religiously unaffiliated,” according to the Pew Research Center for Religion & Public life.

Does Kyrsten Sinema know how the Arizona constitution begins and how the United States Constitution ends?

The Preamble to the Arizona constitution states the following:

We the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.

All 50 state constitutions mention God using various designations such as “Supreme Ruler of the Universe,” “Creator,” “God,” “Divine Goodness,” “Divine Guidance,” “Supreme Being,” “Lord,” “Sovereign Ruler of the Universe,” “Legislator of the Universe,” with “Almighty God” as the most common biblical phrase (Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; etc.).

The United States Constitution ends with the following:

“Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.”

Atheists and the “religiously unaffiliated” are living off borrowed moral capital. It was Christianity that gave us the system of government we have today. Neither the Arizona Constitution nor the United States Constitution stands alone. Both documents assume a prior moral worldview. “[N]atural man does have knowledge, but it is borrowed knowledge, stolen from the Christian-theistic pasture or range, yet natural man has no knowledge, because in terms of his principle the ultimacy of his thinking, he can have none, and the knowledge he possesses is not truly his own. . . . The natural man has valid knowledge only as a thief possesses goods.”1

Robert Robert Bork made a similar point:

Some few years ago friends whose judgment I greatly respect argued that religion constitutes the only reliable basis for morality and that when religion loses its hold on a society, standards of morality will gradually crumble. I objected that there were many moral people who are not at all religious; my friends replied that such people are living on the moral capital left by generations that believed there is a God and that He makes demands on us. The prospect, they said, was that the remaining capital would dwindle and our society become less moral. The course of society and culture has been as they predicted, which certainly does not prove their point but does provide evidence for it.”2

As Cornelius Van Til argued, the unbeliever lives on borrowed capital, that is, he knows the truth deep down and even secretly assumes it, but he has no right to believe it on his own presuppositions — he must borrow from the Christian worldview. What will happen when the borrowed capital is depleted or someone decides it needs to be burned up?

  1. Rousas J. Rushdoony, By What Standard?: An Analysis of the Philosophy of Cornelius Van Til (Tyler, TX: Thoburn Press, [1958] 1983), 24. []
  2. Robert H. Bork, “Preface,” Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: Christian Faith and Its Confrontation with American Society (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, [1983] 1993), xviii. []
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