Technically, yes, if you are under oath, but what of other lies, the small and great ones we tell every day? At stake is a Constitutional issue worth exploring.
going to the gym?); avoiding recriminations (Really, it only cost $20); and voiding hurting the feelings of others (It’s not you, it’s me.) His last reason—and a sweet one it is—was
protecting innocence (The tooth fairy will come tonight.)
not subject to a blanket exemption from constitutional protection.” According to the Washington Post, “as recently as last year… the court’s list of ‘well-defined’ unprotected speech included only ‘obscenity, defamation, fraud, incitement, and speech integral to criminal conduct.” Dissenting judges disagree, claiming that false statements of fact are not
protected by the First Amendment.
Here’s what I think is interesting. Laws, quite often, are enacted precisely to exonerate the
truth-teller and punish the liar. As a matter of fact, aren’t most legal issues matters of he-said/she-said? Granted, it’s not often that simple and the line dividing truth from false can be a very faint one. But think of most serious crimes—murder, assault, robbery, rape. Isn’t it the word of one against that of another?
I could go either way. I recall reading a while back about a turn-of-the-century situation where a man became in intimate with a woman after promising marriage. After the act, though, he reneged. He was found guilty of breach of promise and, if I remember correctly, forced to wed the lady, perhaps not the best outcome for either party.