Chief Justice John G. Roberts,Jr. administers the oath of office to President Barack H. Obama, the 44th president of the United States during the 56th presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington, DC on Jan. 20, 2009. RNS photo by Noah K. Murray/The Star-Ledger
(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.