Mr. President, leave your Bibles at home

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Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. administers the oath of office to President Barack H. Obama, with his hand on the Lincoln bible, during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington, DC on Jan. 20, 2009. RNS photo by Noah K. Murray/The Star-Ledger

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(RNS) It's the constitutionally mandated oath of office, not the pair of historic Bibles, that is both necessary and sufficient for President Obama to begin his second term. Linking that oath to any religious text does not add to its efficacy. By A. James Rudin.

  • Dilberth

    This is the reason that I don’t take politicians seriously. Putting their hand on a book that is full of lies and falsehoods denigrates the oath of office. It affirms that they too will occasionally tell lies and be hypocrites.

  • Matthew

    You’re thinking is flawed on this matter. Instead of saying we shouldn’t allow a Bible or Koran or nothing to be used in a swearing in…it is very appropriate for a elected official to use the religious or non-religious book of their choice.
    It’s not a matter of separation of church and state, it’s a matter of their personal conviction.
    Remember America is “out of many one”. In America we can all be American’s and respect each others religious convictions while holding to our own without infringing on others.