For God’s Sake, Use The Affirmation

| Johannesburg, South Africa | Working | March 22, 2017

(I am in court, watching a witness be sworn in.)

Clerk: “Do you have an objection to taking the oath?”

Witness: “Yes.”

Clerk: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and if so raise your right hand and say ‘so help me God’?”

Witness: *looks uncomfortable*

Judge: “No, she wanted to take the affirmation and not the oath. Try again.”

Clerk: “Oh, okay. Do you solemnly affirm that what you are about to say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

Witness: “Yes.”

Clerk: “Please raise your right hand.”

Witness: *raises hand* “Okay…”

Clerk: “Say ‘so help me God.'”

Judge: “No, no. Do you solemnly affirm that what you are about to say is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

Witness: “Yes.”

Judge: “Please raise your right hand and say ‘so help me God?'”

Witness: *uncomfortably raises her hand* “So help me God?”

Judge: *realising he’s also confused the oath and affirmation* “I’m sorry. Let’s just carry on.”

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