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  • Writer's pictureTodd McKinley

The Devil Doesn’t Swear an Oath, Hippocratic or Otherwise

Updated: Feb 29

Title: The Devil Doesn’t Swear an Oath, Hippocratic or Otherwise

The Hippocratic Oath was named for Hippocrates of Kos, a.k.a. Hippocrates II.  As well as being known as the “Father of Medicine,” he was also known as “The Great Hippocrates,” according to Aristotle. 

Hippocrates was a Greek Physician of the classical era and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in medical history, he made many lasting contributions to the medical field.

A few of his contributions are as follows:

  • Prognosis

  • Clinical Observation

  • Systematic Categorization of Diseases

  • Humoral Theory

The Hippocratic School of Medicine made medicine a discipline distinct from other fields with which it had traditionally been associated, such as philosophy, essentially establishing medicine as a profession.

Before I get to the reason, I’m writing this, I want you to think of all the things we are still learning regarding the medical profession more than 2,400 years after his death. Without the want and need to educate ourselves, just think of where we’d be right now.

Now, on to the point of why I’m writing this blog update. You’ll note the title of this update, “The Devil Doesn’t Swear an Oath, Hippocratic or Otherwise.”

The Hippocratic Oath is rather long, so I’ll not linger on the whole thing. Instead, I will boil it down to two sentences, that explain how I believe it ties it to any oath taken when one is sworn into public office, especially a school board position.

The two sentences in question appear back to back in separate paragraphs but go together. The first sentence states, “I will do no harm or injustice to them.” The second one states, “Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.

That said, I was recently approached regarding a situation that has arisen in the news surrounding an after-school Satanic club.  (, and I was asked if I would support something like this, and my response was a resounding NO.

Just Say NO to Evil!

As a member of the Sullivan County School Board, it should go without saying that I will also "do no harm or injustice," to anyone, nor will I allow any poison to be administered to our public schools, which a club glorifying Satan would surely do.

I will not support or remotely ask anyone to sponsor, support, or join a club that celebrates or promotes the worship of Satan, or any other evil deity for that matter. I get that the 1st Amendment to the Constitution may technically or arguably allow for this type of after-school club, but as an elected official, I believe it would be my job to work towards bettering society, and standing strong against that which would only serve to destroy our society. If it were to come to pass that a court ordered something to the contrary, my response would be simple, you have your court order, now try to enforce it. I would hope that no legitimate law enforcement official in Sullivan County would enforce such a thing, but we would have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

That said, I'm not saying I'm going to violate anyone's 1st Amendment rights, as it would also run contrary to the 1st Amendment. However, there's nothing that states that I have to support this type of club, and I certainly wouldn't nor would I ask others to do so either, as I stated.

The role of our schools should be to mold young and impressionable minds positively, not warp and destroy them. So, to me, when the evil busybodies come around to try and inflict their vile and evil agenda onto the youth of our county, I’ll stand as a bulwark, with my feet firmly planted like a responsible person should, not unlike the Pillars of Hercules against such evil.

The term “not on my watch” will mean something!


Todd A. McKinley, BA, MSL


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