Thursday, January 04, 2007

Swear Words

A couple of readers raised some good points regarding oaths of office (See previous post). First, the actually swearing-in ceremony does not involve placing one's hand on any sort of holy book. It's just a simple recitation of the oath of office. However, some members of Congress opt to 'repeat' the ceremony as part of a photo op. That's what Ellison was doing with the Koran.

Also, there's no law that says one has to use a Bible when taking the oath of office. That's really just a tradition that was started by the famous American insurgent leader George Washington. Many Presidents, in fact, have used the exact same Bible to take their oaths of office.

Three Presidents, however, did not use a Bible at all when taking office: John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover (Adams used a legal book).

And their souls are probably burning in eternal damnation because of it, but that's besides the point.

Adams' approach was probably the best. As a secular nation founded on human laws, some sort of legal document would seem to make the most sense. Indeed, why not use a copy of the Constitution? After all, that is really what all office holders in this country are supposedly swearing to uphold.

0 thoughtful ramblings: