It is only a few hours after Obama took the oath of office to become the President of the United States. And part of that was that he placed his hand on a Bible used by Lincoln, something which as been pointed out quite a bit in the news with the historic nature of the book has been talked about. Now perhaps it should be that no Bible at all should be used at all, but I was also thinking about it and wondering if instead of just saying drop the Bible something that might be attempted is to come up with something as a meaningful and symbolic replacement.

So I was thinking about creating a new book. Take the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, important treaties, influential speeches and so forth that speak to the nature and secular values of the US and transcribe them and bring them together in new book. I was thinking that this could be made a broad endeavor by having different people put down different documents. Raise money for materials and then appropriate paper (or other material) might be sent out to different people that want to help and then each person could use their creativity to ink the words on the paper. These could then be collected and bound into a nice leather book, which could be presented to the White House to be used in formal situations like the one today.

But perhaps this is silly, making too much of it, or creating such a book is a pointless exercise. Perhaps it just would not work to even get the book made. So I thought I would post this idea here and see what others might think of it. I guess part of this goes to a theme I have sometimes felt that the non-religious community sometimes comes across always wanting to stop things or take things away and here I see a possible opportunity to instead give something, something special.

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Comment by Fox Anderson on January 20, 2009 at 7:48pm
I just know that if I was elected (yeah right) I would want to swear on the constitution.
Comment by Jack Slattery on January 20, 2009 at 7:08pm
It's the personal preference of the president-elect. We have no right to change it. Period.
Comment by John "Direwolf" Pollock on January 20, 2009 at 4:29pm
In case anyone is interested a bit more about the Lincoln Inaugural Bible, I found a nice blog post about it at the Library of Congress.
Comment by Creature on January 20, 2009 at 4:01pm
I really like your idea.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 20, 2009 at 3:34pm
This might prove to be a lot more difficult than you imagine. Consider the following information I found on the web. How many US citizens are aware of this story and its implications?

The pledge of allegiance, originally a non-religious oath that was theocized in 1954, became an issue when it was ruled unconstitutional by a California judge in 2002. Though thrown out on technical grounds by the Supreme Court, the ruling was instantly fastened onto by hardline conservative Christians intent on exploiting the issue for political capital, and sure enough it has reared its ugly head in the swirl of election-year politics. The result was last week's passing by the House of Representatives of a bill forbidding the Supreme Court to even consider future challenges to the pledge. It was a dark day for American democracy, as the bill (approved by a large, overwhelmingly Republican, majority) was the most blatantly illegal piece of legislation sanctioned by the House in living memory. Since the bill violates the separation of powers, it will undoubtedly fail to stand as law. But the damage is already done--religion, rather than elevating the governmental process, has palpably degraded it. The irony is that religion in American politics is inherently divisive and polarizing, automatically ensuring that anger, ill-will, and disappointment will result, to say nothing of the devolution of civilized discourse or community cohesion.



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