Monday, January 21, 2013

An Oath to God and Country, Sworn on a Stack of Bibles

Three key excerpts from Barack Obama's second inaugural speech:
"The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed."
That simultaneously denies the right to rule not only to the 1% elite but also to the Occupy Wall Street mobs. Does using the word Republic instead of Democracy means that Barack Obama is really at heart a Republican and not a Democrat?
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
That came out a little wrong, at least to my ear. That phrase "to hear a king proclaim" was not spoken with a capital letter. The President meant Martin Luther King, Jr. but he sounded for a moment like he was talking about some foreign king.
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
Barack Obama has now taken the Presidential oath of office four times: Once at his first inauguration. Again the next day due to Chief Justice John Roberts botching the administration of the first oath. This Sunday, the day before his second inauguration ceremony which was delayed until Monday in deference to Sunday being a day of rest. And again Monday, because they didn't dare hold the public ceremony without it.

Only FDR has taken the oath as many times, and he was elected President four times. That's a whole lot of swearing for Barack Obama, and a stack of Bibles:
The Robinson Family Bible owned by Obama’s paternal grandparents
The Lincoln Bible used to swear in President Abraham Lincoln in 1861
The King Bible which belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Article II section 1 paragraph 7 of the U.S. Constitution prescribes:
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."
That word "he" is going to become a problem for sticklers should we ever elect a woman President of the United States of America.


dahmer said...

It's also worth mentioning that the oath is NOT an oath to God at all, despite all the Bible stacking.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

When they throw in "so help me God" at the end, that essentially means "may God condemn me to hell if I don't keep my promise."