Maryland Council Member Won't Use Bible When Sworn In

| by Michael Allen

Jessica Fitzwater is a newly-elected council member in Frederick County, Md.

However, unlike her fellow county council members, Fitzwater will not place her hand on the Bible when she is sworn into office on Dec. 1.

"I think it's more appropriate to swear my oath on something I will be upholding. I'm not upholding the teachings of the Bible. I'm upholding the charter or the Constitution," Fitzwater told the Frederick News-Post.

Fitzwater, who supports the separation of church and state, is considering taking her oath on the Frederick County charter or another government document.

The swearing-in ceremony will include a priest and Fitzwater's rabbi.

"If there is a religious aspect to the event, I would rather there be more denominations included," added Fitzwater.

The Friendly Atheist notes that Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims said in 2013, “As a reminder, Mr. Speaker, I do believe this has been forgotten entirely by many of my colleagues today: Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.“

Sources: Frederick News-Post, The Friendly Atheist / Image Credit: tm