The new Democratic Socialists of America-endorsed city council member in Knoxville recently took the oath of office — but she chose to disregard the part of the oath that mentions God.
This, according to KnoxNews.com, which mentioned newly-elected council member Amelia Parker.
“New Councilwoman Amelia Parker reaffirmed her campaign commitment to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment principle of separating church and state by taking the oath of office without including the customary ‘so help me God’ phrase,” according to the website. (emphasis added)
“Her oath, like the other five oaths sworn by officeholders, included commitments to uphold the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions and the city charter and ordinances,” the KnoxNews.com article added.
Though the phrase “so help me God” is often included in oaths taken by state and local elected officials, the Tennessee Constitution does not require its inclusion in oaths of office, according to the website of the Tennessee Secretary of State.
Sources tell The Tennessee Star that failure to include the phrase in the oath of office by a newly elected member of the City Council may, however, be in violation of a Knoxville City Ordinance.
As The Star reported in November, members of the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed three candidates for the Knoxville City Council. They did this, apparently, as part of a movement to get candidates elected in states that support U.S. Republican President Donald Trump.
Parker was the only one of the three candidates to win his or her respective election. David Hayes and Charles Al-Bawi fell short.
Parker defeated opponent Amy Midis by a margin of 51 percent to 49 percent.
Members of the Knoxville DSA, meanwhile, congratulated Parker on their Facebook page and said they “are beyond thrilled.”
According to Yahoo Finance, “America’s socialists reckon they’re on a roll” and are running locally in Trump-friendly states.
“But now it’s spreading across the Rust Belt, Midwest and South. At least 60 branches of the Democratic Socialists of America, the most prominent among a bunch of reinvigorated leftist groups — have sprung up in the past year, mostly in conservative areas where President Donald Trump did well with voters.”
According to RouteFifty.com, these DSA-endorsed candidates win elections by “running on platforms that reject capitalism and promote working class interests.”
University of Houston law professor Kellen Zale said DSA-endorsed councilmembers are in a better position to accomplish their policy objectives than people elected at the national level.
Parker is not the first left-of-center politician to embrace doing away with God.
As The Star reported in May, people who testify before the U.S. House of Representatives no longer must say “so help me God” under oath, and this reportedly delighted Tennessee Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-09).
House Democrats altered the oath after they assumed a majority over Republicans in January.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Amelia Parker” by Amelia Parker. Background Photo “Knoxville City County Building” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY 3.0.