The Whole Truth…

Court was delayed that morning because a lawyer was searching frantically for an eagle feather !

Here, in Newfoundland, anyone giving testimony in a Court of Law can swear an oath on a sacred eagle feather. For indigenous peoples, the eagle feather is a sacred object. It is from a highly esteemed bird that flies closest to the creator.

People can choose to swear an oath on a Bible, or an eagle feather, or they may simply “affirm” to tell the truth.

Do Christians need to swear an oath on a Bible ?

Jesus says ‘no’. (Matthew 5:34-37). As Christians, we are people of truth, and we do not break the ninth Commandment, which commands us not to bear false witness against a neighbour. Jesus says ‘Let your yes be yes, and your no, be no.’

There is another benefit to being habitually honest. It gives us a clear conscience, and thus life becomes more peaceful.

The pictured feather is not a sacred eagle feather.

Instead, it is a ‘gift’ from our Seagull buddy Scott, who visits us everyday for treats, usually bits of cod, hotdog wieners, or the occasional small donut.

We believe that he occasionally drops a feather for us as his way of saying ‘thank-you’.

30 thoughts on “The Whole Truth…

    1. Yes, definitely, I agree. Humans live through their senses.
      One time I was giving testimony in court, and the Bible offered to me for the oath was ragged, and held together with scotch tape !
      I wrote to the Minister of Justice about this, who very quickly made sure that there was a Bible in good repair in every courtroom in Newfoundland. I was really thankful to him for doing this. πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is an interesting post Sally. As children we used to swear by spitting either on the ground or in our hands to shake them, don’t think that would be fine in these Covid days! I have always been uneasy by the swearing by the Bible in court, after all it is God’s Word. Thank you for this reflection Sally, God bless you sister.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I remember hearing about a Christian woman in a non-Christian country who was being taken to court. It was her word against her adversary’s. The judge ruled in her favor, saying simply, “This woman is a Christian, and Christians don’t lie.” How I wish the Church could have that reputation here…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks Sally. That’s really interesting about the eagle feather (and kind of cool). Honesty is not only the best policy, it is necessary for justice. Courts of law are arranged to discover the truth which includes the possible discovery of any purposeful dishonesty. It is thus a sad state of affairs when the principals of the court may be dishonest. It’s happened a few times…

    Thus, the reason for swearing on the Bible regards acknowledging the highest authority and His absolute and pure honesty for the sake of proper justice. Here we have a perfect illustration of God’s authority exceeding secular authority. (I wonder, though, how much this is exactly practiced these days.)

    Blessings to you!

    (I wonder what Scott would bring you if you gave him an entire hot dog or small fish. Maybe two feathers? Or something else?)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your very astute comment. I appreciate it.
      We bear in mind too, that our whole lives are spent in God’s court, where he is ‘the judge’. And, while Mercy is God’s greatest attribute, he is also a God of justice.
      Scott has been a delight for us since he has spent summers with us since 2017.
      God’s beloved creature has brought us much joy. 😁🌻

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Derrick, I have worked and lived in indigenous communities and I understand the significance of the sacred eagle in this culture.
      Thanks for commenting. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Blessings Sally and Commenters! Interesting post; I had no idea of the sacred eagle’s feather in court, in Newfoundland. I love hearing the traditions of other cultures. Thanks for sharing. I remember telling a lie to a friend when I was probably four or five years old. It was an innocent lie regarding pizza for dinner so my friend would stay longer and play with me. We weren’t having pizza for dinner. My friend’s mother knocked on our door and inquired. My father was not pleased with me and I will never forget that moment. In thinking on this incident which happened many, many years ago, I Googled “honesty” and came up with Proverbs 10:9 (ESV) which sits with me well: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” And isn’t that the truth…

    Liked by 5 people

  5. An eagle feather, fascinating! I love learning about other cultures. But you are spot on, Sally, living with so much honesty that those around us know that our yes really means yes and our no really means no is such a liberating way to live!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This is definitely a good reminder Sally….many years ago I would swear by God every now and then….I made a conscious effort to stop years ago….but then the people who were used to it never believed I was telling the truth because I refused to swear by God….πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚πŸ™ƒπŸ˜œ
    That was difficult….but i don’t really swear by anyone anymore….πŸ™ˆπŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  7. An eagles feather has meaning. The eagle uses it feathers well. If we stand on truth, then we fly like the eagle. nevertheless, I was being philosophic, but with spiritual truth. it is fascinating to learn of other cultures, which helps us be sensitive that we might not offend. this is a really good share. Thanks for the insightfulness and educational post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the information.

      I worked and did research in a native community years ago. The people were always telling me about the eagle, and it’s special spiritual significance.

      I did not see an eagle the whole time I was there, but when I left, to drive home, alone, through miles of Canadian wilderness, I looked up to my left, and there was an eagle ! It was headed East, as I was. πŸ€—βš˜

      Liked by 1 person

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