The oath of office by all elected members of the Legislature and the governor and lieutenant governor principally included the last phrase “So help me God.” In the affirmation statements included references to the laws of the CNMI, and the laws of the United States applicable to the CNMI, the constitutions of the CNMI and United States. Hence, the “so help me God” ending phrase must have been an important factor of the oath of office affirmation. So, what does this mean? What is meant that you are mindful of Jesus Christ? Each inaugurated elected persons said this, placed their right hand on the Bible that is written on behalf of God, and then each honored person signed their name over it. So, by this alone, it signified how important and power of God over whatever works done while in office.
We could ask each honored elected person for his or take of what “so help me God” means as an elected official and authority in the CNMI Government? “Man hula yu gi menan Yuus” yan y man aya taotaohu na omitdi yu para esti na puesto… The most significant and important part of the oath of office affirmation abruptly ended and makes it appear as such affirmation to God is not that important after all. Does this mean that all authority and governing are subordinated to God’s commandments and its laws applicable to every person in the CNMI? We can complete the “so help me God” in so many ways and intentions. In my mind, the following could be what is meant with the affirmation—So help me God.
After the first part of the oath of office affirmation following could be the completing structure of the affirmation of office declaration. So, other suggestions could be just as powerful and bring out for our own satisfaction. Here I propose the completing part of the affirmation of office:
“Our grateful loving Lord God, not the god of the elitist, the wise, the hypocrite, the politician, the lawyer, the liar, the one who thinks he is greater than thee, but the God of the Prophets, apostles, the descendants of Abraham to David, and for the good and father of your son Jesus Christ, may I proclaim thee the pure and un-blamed. This I swear (man hula yu) before the almighty as the only way, so bless me my God. I put my right hand on top of your Bible in testament of my will and faith to thee, and without failing I your servant ready to serve if you wished to lead me, and placed you in all works entrusted to me in which you I will hold as my only trusted counselor.”
So help me God. I think this affirmation is reasonable and applicable. We all resort to the love of God that is manifested by the doings of our elected honorable officials. What omission and commission they do or in what they fail to do, in their words and actions are all subjects of the “Help Me God” proclaimed by the laws of God which we find joy and happiness as gifts from his will and commandments. So let the commandment serve as the lamp, and the laws of as the light, there we derived from his desired gifts the primal power source to all elected officials in the NMI.
Thank you for the privilege of offering a suggestion of what “So Help Me God” left incomplete in the affirmation of the official oath of office declaration means. The church should also continue to effect the presence of God in the works of our elected officials. When contradicting intentions part their own ways, we can dispatch the Bible upon which these elected leaders also find refuge for the good and victory over vice and darkness. We all stand against the rupture of our basic life endeavors in the “So help me God” personal promise.
Francisco R. Agulto