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

Rep. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' COVID-19 complicates California's record-setting wildfire season  Congress should investigate OAS actions in Bolivia 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 CheneyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups | Kudlow: 'No sector worse hurt than energy' during pandemic | Trump pledges 'no politics' in Pebble Mine review Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups  Press: The big no-show at the RNC 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 JohnsonLWCF modernization: Restoring the promise Mike Johnson to run for vice chairman of House GOP conference Republicans call for Judiciary hearing into unrest in cities run by Democrats 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 passes bill to protect pregnant workers House Democrats postpone vote on marijuana decriminalization bill Attacks against the police are organized and violent MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenTennessee Rep. Steve Cohen wins Democratic primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE (Tenn.), the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.