House Democrat calls it 'unconstitutional' to cite God in hearing oaths

Rep. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Overnight Energy: Biden campaign says he would revoke Keystone XL permit | EPA emails reveal talks between Trump officials, chemical group before 2017 settlement | Tensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings Tensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings MORE (D-Calif.) said this week that requiring witnesses testifying before Congress to affirm an oath to God is “unconstitutional.”

“It’s unconstitutional to require a witness in congressional testimony to affirm an oath to a deity they may not even believe in or to affirm an oath to a singular deity when you might be a polytheistic Hindu for example,” Huffman said during an interview on The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” program.

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“It’s just preposterous."

Huffman also said that congressional committees have a “sporadic standard” for including God in their oaths.

The California Democrat, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, said dropping the oath or allowing those who testify before the panel to voluntarily say it was proposed, for example. 

Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHillicon Valley: House FISA bill in jeopardy | Democrats drop controversial surveillance measure | GOP working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump ramps up attacks against Twitter The Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up MORE just went ballistic," Huffman said, referring to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the House Republican Conference chairwoman.

"She smelled blood in the water, went on Fox News and started ranting about how Democrats were dropping God from the Congress," he added.

A spokesperson for Cheney told Fox News that she "will always defend God. Period. If that bothers Rep. Huffman, we’ll be praying for him."

Fox noted that Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonRep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman FBI director stuck in the middle with 'Obamagate' Put entrepreneurs, workers and flexibility in next stimulus package MORE (R-La.) has criticized Democrats this year for excluding the “so help me God” phrase from oaths, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Democrats call on DOJ to investigate recent killings of unarmed black people  Gun control group rolls out House endorsements The House impeachment inquiry loses another round — and yes, that's still going on MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Frontier drops planned fees for social distancing on flights after criticism More resources for the Legal Services Corporation are needed as the pandemic continues MORE (Tenn.), the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.