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NJ Firefighters sworn in using iPad Bible app

updated 10:12 pm EST, Fri February 8, 2013

Unusual use of tablet allowed ceremony to go forward

In one of the more novel uses of an iPad, city officials in Atlantic City have used the popular tablet as a substitute Bible in order to swear in a set of Fire Captains and Battalion Chiefs when no printed Bible was readily accessible. The local NBC station had video of the event, which showed eight officers placing their hands on the device while swearing their oaths of office. The iPad was running an app version of the Bible at the time, and is considered equally valid for the purpose.

The swearing-in ceremony took place in the City Council chambers in front of friends, family and supporters of the Atlantic City Fire Department. While it is unlikely to be the first time an iPad has stood in for the Bible for ceremonial purposes, the novelty of the idea made the local news.

It is likely that such usage will increase as e-books continue to gain dominance over physical books, though ceremonial Bibles or other historic religious texts will likely be preferred for a long time to come, as the physical object reinforces the tradition and history of the occasion. Although a Bible in not legally required for such events, it is nevertheless considered essential in most US civic ceremonies.


NBC40.net



By Electronista Staff
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  1. qoqo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-09-13

    Hopefully not mandatory

    Hopefully it's not required that firefighters, or anyone else, would have to swear in over a Bible, or Koran, or any other cult's literature, regardless of whether it's in electronic form or otherwise.

  1. qoqo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-09-13

    re: Hopefully not mandatory

    Opps, it's sort of obvious that I didn't read the last line of the article :-)

    I'm both embarrassed and relieved...

    qo

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    I find swearing in with your hand on a Bible to be a good thing as it holds people accountable to a higher standard (e.g. God). Believe in religion or not, this has an impact on the way people act.

  1. stefdnk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-07-03

    The mighty Apple

    I find swearing in with your hand on an iPad to be a good thing as it holds people accountable to a higher
    standard (Apple)
    😛

    Who is checking what apps are running in te background?

  1. davidlfoster

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-06-05

    Bible-based oaths anachronistic at best

    A simple affirmation should be all that's required. A right to give an affirmation has existed in English law since 1695, and the original 1787 text of the Constitution of the United States makes three references to an "oath or affirmation".

  1. DeltaMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-14-06

    comment title

    My thought is: if you are sworn in with an app, and the app is updated, does your "swearing in" also need to be updated? :D

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by DeltaMacView Post

    My thought is: if you are sworn in with an app, and the app is updated, does your "swearing in" also need to be updated? :D



    No.

  1. qoqo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-09-13

    comment title

    @ cgc

    1. Do you find swearing in on the Bhagavad Gita or Rig-Veda to be equivalent to swearing in on Christian literature? Or does one ensure better behavior than the other in your view? If so, why?

    2. Since virtually ALL politicians swear in on it, or they'd not be reelected, do you think that the Bible has appreciably improved the behavior of most modern-day politicians?

    Personally, I'd rather see our leaders affirm logic, reason, empathy, and other human virtues, as opposed to faith (which is not a virtue, IMHO, since it leads to conviction without evidence).

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    @qoqo:

    1. I'm not familiar with those books but America is generally regarded as a Christian country which is why a lot of our traditions are Christian-based. The works you site seem Indian/Hindu so it would be appropriate to there. I'd say a country should use what is accepted and believed by that country.

    2. I don't think swearing in "improves" behavior, but for some it can make people think twice. Unfortunately, religion in America is dying so it hold less value (e.g. swearing in) than it used to. I still believe it can hold some to act better but how long after their swearing in do they forget the reasons and the manner by which they gave their oath?

    There are quite a few things we take to be as truths but cannot directly prove. Religion may or may not be provable but I'd argue the effect of following a life based on a work of religion (e.g. Christian, Islam, Hindu, etc.) is measurably improved in some way...maybe in patience, love, helpfulness, humility, wisdom, etc.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by cgcView Post

    @qoqo:

    1. I'm not familiar with those books but America is generally regarded as a Christian country which is why a lot of our traditions are Christian-based. The works you site seem Indian/Hindu so it would be appropriate to there. I'd say a country should use what is accepted and believed by that country.



    I think you are suffering from a profound misunderstanding of what your country is founded upon, whom it was founded by, and why indeed it even exists.

    The works used, if any, should be appropriate to whatever the person believes in. Because THAT is the freedom your country was founded to ensure.

    Being forced to comply with the beliefs of the majority is why the pilgrims left Europe in the first place.

    There are a lot of Christians in America who will tell you that America is a Christian nation, but their misappropriation of the freedoms guaranteed to them by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution does not make them right.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    I think you are suffering from a profound misunderstanding of what your country is founded upon, whom it was founded by, and why indeed it even exists.

    The works used, if any, should be appropriate to whatever the person believes in. Because THAT is the freedom your country was founded to ensure.

    Being forced to comply with the beliefs of the majority is why the pilgrims left Europe in the first place.

    There are a lot of Christians in America who will tell you that America is a Christian nation, but their misappropriation of the freedoms guaranteed to them by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution does not make them right.



    I never said anything about the founding of our nation but it is a fact our nation is generally regarded and classified as Christian. If swearing on a Bible makes people feel more committed to adhering to the efforts they swore to uphold/do/perform then that's a good thing.

    I find it annoying that non believers always feel the need to attack Christians but that's your right and I respect that, likewise it is my right to speak of religion as I have just done. Nobody is "being forced to comply with the beliefs of the majority" as you put it, by having the OPTION of swearing an oath with their hand on a Bible. I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America numerous times and they always have some variations in the wording to allow people who believe or don't believe to say it the way that makes them comfortable. You can "swear" or "affirm" either "so help you God" or not. It's all very accommodating to all.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I'm not a non-believer.

    I'm sure you really believe that swearing on the bible has some binding authority to the countless Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists etc. living in your country; have fun.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    I'm not a non-believer.

    I'm sure you really believe that swearing on the bible has some binding authority to the countless Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists etc. living in your country; have fun.



    Non-believers are not required to swear on the Bible.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    well well well...

    This thread is bound to upset all kinds of people. Where's the peace??

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Silly tradition

    "Believe in religion or not, this has an impact on the way people act."

    That's the most ridiculous thing I've read today. And the Internet is full of comments on the Pope quitting.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by hayeskView Post

    "Believe in religion or not, this has an impact on the way people act."

    That's the most ridiculous thing I've read today. And the Internet is full of comments on the Pope quitting.



    If people believe something can help their lives, whether or not it actually can, that will help their lives. Ever hear of the placebo effect? The Pope is retiring because of old age and doctor's orders (not to travel) but I am a Protestant and don't follow the Pope. He may be fed up with the child abuse cases too.

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