Imagine the hurdles that Kuyperians in Indiana who practice law are facing. In fact, look at the vow this allegedly wholesome mid-western state, known for Booth Tarkington and high school basketball â€“ if only theyâ€™d invented hot dogs and motherhood â€“ requires of attorneys.
Rule 22. Oath of Attorneys
Upon being admitted to practice law in the state of Indiana, each applicant shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation:
â€œI do solemnly swear or affirm that: I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Indiana; I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers; I will not counsel or maintain any action, proceeding, or defense which shall appear to me to be unjust, but this obligation shall not prevent me from defending a person charged with crime in any case; I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me, such means only as are consistent with truth, and never seek to mislead the court or jury by any artifice or false statement of fact or law; I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my client at every peril to myself; I will abstain from offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged; I will not encourage either the commencement or the continuance of any action or proceeding from any motive of passion or interest; I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless, the oppressed or those who cannot afford adequate legal assistance; so help me God.” (From Indiana Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys)
The nerve of the Hoosiers. No acknowledgment of God as the creator and sustainer of all things, of Christ as redeemer of his church, no sense that notions of truth and falsehood, justice or crime come from the holy standard of Godâ€™s revealed will. Even worse, no mention of a Reformed world and life view, though I suppose the mention of God helps this go down better and lifts Indiana out of the vicious depths of Gotham.
But you do have to wonder how someone committed to the Lordship of Christ in every square inch could take such a vow. Isnâ€™t Indiana guilty of proposing a common realm in which Christian and non-Christian lawyers must serve? And wouldnâ€™t a Christian lawyer who took such a vow be acknowledging the existence of such a common realm. (Of course, itâ€™s not neutral either; Indiana attorneys must always root for IU to beat Michigan.)
The answer could be the difference between theory and practice. Ideally, every square inch should be ruled by Christ, but of course it doesnâ€™t work out in practice. If this were the explanation, then why mock those who try to find a theological rationale for such a common realm (which is what two-kingdom theology attempts)? After all, a two-kingdom attorney would have no problem taking such a vow. His conscience is clear because he knows the older Protestant teaching on the civil magistrate was afflicted with Constantinianism and that expectations for a Christian state died with the passing of Israel.
But the attorney who regularly chastises two-kingdom proponents for selling out the Reformed faith and then turns around and lives with rules of Indianaâ€™s common realm of rules for attorneys, well, that seems remarkably inconsistent if not a tad perverse. Itâ€™s as if heâ€™s a Kuyperian in only parts of his life, like the holy times when dropping the kids off at the Christian day school and attending the school board meeting, and then in the common realm living the rest of his day under the rule of Indianaâ€™s legal institutions. How dualistic!