A clerk for a township near Detroit, Michigan recently altered the suburb's oath of office to include the option of saying "so help me, God."
Stanley Grot, clerk for the Shelby Township, recently received permission for the change by the township's Board of Trustees. The clerk says he decided to add "so help me, God" at the end of the oath of office after the recent Supreme Court ruling that found Christian prayer was legal at government meetings.
Grot, who is running for state representative in District 36, has told local media outlets that invoking the Lord at the end of an oath is completely optional. Grot leads an oath when swearing in elections workers and board members, among other local government workers.
The Shelby Township clerk told the Advisor & Source Newspaper that he believes "so help me, God" was removed from the oath due to political correctness.
"We are a nation built on Judeo-Christian values and political correctness should not play a role in invoking the Lord's name. We should honor the nation's traditions and never compromise on our principles. America is, after all, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Grot added to the Detroit News that he finds "Invoking [God's] name [to be] helpful, in my opinion."
The new oath reads: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, and I will faithfully perform the duties of the office of (name of position) in and for the Township of Shelby, County of Macomb and State of Michigan, according to the best of my ability."
Whomever saying the oath may then conclude: "So help me, God."
The Detroit News reports that when Grot swore in part-time clerk typist Laura White this week, he made it clear to her that saying "So help me, God" at the end of the oath was completely optional. White told the media outlet that she did not feel uncomfortable saying "So help me, God."
"My faith in Jesus Christ and God is very important to me. And as a public servant, I have no problem adding that on to my oath," she said. "It is an option, and it is an option I chose."