When I got home tonight I heard on BBC that Obama had retaken the oath of office, again administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. Since Roberts had flubbed it during the inaugguration ceremony. Obama's advisors wanted him to retake the oath just so there could not be complaints that his presidency was illegal. They wanted Obama to say the oath exactly as it is required by the Constitution.

Obama did not use a Bible this time, but did he say "So help me God?" There were only Whitehouse officials and four reporters present. I have not found an online report that answers that. Of course his inclination would be to include it, but since the purpose of the exercise was to get the words just as they are in the Constitution, it's just possible that they did it right.

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I find it strange that it is considered legal to swear a Presidential oath with words which are additional to the original, especially when the spirit of those words is not in line with the spirit of the original Constitution which seeks to separate politics from a particular religion. Wouldn't it be interesting if it could be found that the Presidential terms of those who were sworn into office using the god-additions are all illegal?
Newdow v. Roberts is continuing forward. If it is successful, no future president will be able to add "so help me god" unless the constitution is ammended.
I listened to an audio tape this morning on the Today show. Aaaaaaaaaaaaargggggghhhhh! They said it! But of course we knew they would.
Personally I don't care if a president wants to say "So help me God" or not. He already said the oath as it is in the constitution so it is done. Plus, that line doesn't specify what god. Obama was definitely referring to the Christian god, but anyone could say that and it could mean any number of gods or it could just mean a creator not associated with any religion.

Another thing, Obama was president before he even stood up to take the oath. He became president at exactly 12:00 pm on Tuesday and the oath was not administered until several minutes later. It didn't make a difference that it was flubbed and then corrected or that he added "So help me God". He was already the president.
If a president or two were to add "so help me god," it might be considered irrelevant to the preceding 35 words. Or maybe if someone stuck it in front of the oath, OK, it is just a personal statement.

But it has been going on for the last 76 years, four words acknowledging a supernatural deity, said in exactly the same way, in exactly the same place, has made it a part of the oath. This is a direct violation of the constitution, and a specific assault on the principle of separation of church and state. There can be no doubt about this intent when the even was held to correct other deviations from the constitutionally required text.

As to all the rest, it is completely irrelevant to the insult to church state separation.
Legally, I doubt that tacking on "so help me God" at the end of the oath makes any difference. The Constitution says:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

but it doesn't say that the president will say only those words. It doesn't specify that the president will state his or her name, but they always do that too.

That said, yes, I would like to see "so help me God" gone. Ours is a secular government, and its official business should be secular. This is not a Christian nation, and every official prayer and invocation of God just obscures that fact.
Well, its for the court to decide. Judge Reggie B. Walton denied the request for a temporary restraining order that would have prohibited adding the phrase, but has permitted Newdow v. Roberts to proceed to trial.

One good thing is that if the decision in the District Court is appealed, Chief Justice Roberts will have to recuse himself.
I agree it should be removed from the oath of office. I was disappointed that Obama repeated it in his oath, but he did include us in his inaugural address. That was a first step. I also think that we need to change our monetary coins & bills. In my opinion, "In god we trust", does not belong on any government issued material. I hope that a lot of things change in this country over the next few years, removing religion from government needs to be one of them.

I was happy to read that the President has already given the go-ahead for stem-cell research and closing Guantanimo Bay. Although, reading that the Bush family, and all of the former president's "advisors", flew back to Texas on our tax dollars leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We should have given them all bus tickets!
Why is Obama getting so much credit for merely mentioning nonbelievers? Is it any more supportive of atheists than George W. Bush was?


I'm mindful in a free society that people can worship if they want to or not. You're equally an American if you choose to worship an almighty and if you choose not to.
-- George W Bush, from the final presidential discussion at the University of Arizona October 13th, 2004), in response to a question by moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News, quoted from Democracy Now! (October 20th, 2004)

My job is to make sure that, as President, people understand that in this country you can worship any way you choose. And I'll take that a step further. You can be a patriot if you don't believe in the Almighty. You can honor your country and be as patriotic as your neighbor.
-- George W Bush, responding to the question, "How you do balance not promoting a particular religion, while still being influenced by your personal faith?" in Sheryl Henderson Blunt, "Bush Calls for 'Culture Change'" (Christianity Today: May 28, 2004)

We know that men and women can be good without faith. We know that.
-- George W Bush, gets it right again, in his speech to the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast (May 16, 2002) (thanks to Patrick Bens)

Americans practice different faiths in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. And many good people practice no faith at all.
-- George W Bush, finally gets it right in his Easter Address of 2002.

Also, removing "so help me god" from the oath miscasts the issue, since it is not in the oath. He is intentionally violating the constitution in order to disrespect atheists.
If Bush was so supportive of our right to not believe in a god, why did he force the "Religious Right" down our throats? I think he used religious ideals to further his own agenda, and to discourage dissent of his questionable decisions. I seem to remember being called unpatriotic when I disagreed with the Iraq war too.

This is a man who said that "god talked to him". That's seriously delusional, in my book. Most people who think god talks to them are considered to be schizophrenic . . . and aren't put in charge of our country.
I don’t think that Bush was at all good. My point is that it is wrong to think that in Obama we have a supporter in the White House. Obama has done no more to support the Establishment Clause than the worst president ever.

No Republican or Democratic president is going to be supportive of our Establishment Clause rights. That will not change as long as organized atheists are in the pocket of the Democratic Party. Both parties want to draw in religious voters, but they are not going to waste any political capital on atheists.

There is a lot that Obama could do today. He could end the faith based initiative with his signature alone. Instead he has promised to expand it and increase its funding. He could order the Mt. Soledad Cross torn down, now that it is on federal property. He could end the National Prayer breakfasts. He could refuse to sign a National Day of Prayer Proclamation.

You know perfectly well that he will do none of those things. He is not “our man.”
"We" don't know any such thing. Let's give the man a chance before deciding that he won't do what we think he should. Obama has a huge pile of problems to deal with right now, some more important than others. I think we should give him more than a few days in office before deciding that he's not "our man", don't you? Everyone deserves a chance at least, and there's no way any president can please everyone. No matter what he chooses to do, with regard to religion, he will make some people angry. I would not want his job for all of the money in the world.




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