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Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles
President Obama takes the oath of office in 2009.
January 10th, 2013
02:58 PM ET

Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles

By Conor Finnegan, CNN

(CNN)-– What do the 16th president, a civil rights leader, and Michelle Obama's grandmother have in common? Their Bibles will be used in the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) made the announcement on Thursday that Obama will take the oath of office on the Robinson family Bible on Sunday and on the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Bibles on Monday.

The 20th Amendment designated January 20 as Inauguration Day. But traditionally, when inauguration falls on a Sunday, the president takes the oath privately on January 20 and in a public ceremony on January 21.

"President Obama is honored to use these Bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies," said Steve Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we've made as a nation."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bible • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Sam Yaza

    as a constant victim of Christian persecution, it sickens me to know that the president would endorse such a thing he is taking his oath under that god and not the people. what if that god wants citizens dead? it makes m lose hope in my government when the take the sides of those bigots

    January 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Blue Sox

      I'm sorry about those that caused you harm.

      I've actually benefited from Christian charity. When practiced with humble motives, it is very beautiful.

      January 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  2. lamb of dog

    How about a bowl of spaghetti instead.

    January 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  3. Reality

    The Jefferson bible would have been a better choice as TJ removed all of the supernatural mumbo jumbo from his bible to include the insane Book of Revelation.

    Other "better" choices, Hammurabi's Code, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and/or the New Torah for Modern Minds, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482...

    January 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'm still not sure why people feel compelled to swear on anything.

      OK traditions are nice and all, but why bother?

      January 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Reality

      Not a GOPer,

      Good point.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  4. It is Called

    Seperation of Church and State
    The courts have also ruled can't teach ID/creationism in public shools in US
    26 stattes created new science standards (stem) for 2013
    Lets not forget facts

    January 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  5. Age of Reason

    ..."Jesus Christ " and christianity are copies of the ancient Egyptian religions! JESUS never existed!
    Thomas Paine from the book " Age of Reason"

    "The day will come when the belief in a savior coming out of the womb of a virgin is a credible as the moons coming out of the head of Jupiter!" .....& "As far as I can gather, the Book of Revelation are the rantings of a lunatic!" Thomas Jefferson

    January 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Christianity savior ism is just translation of Mithra ism, savior ism, hinduism, innovation of hindu santan's, filthy goons to elevate Kings and their hindu criminal Prophets, fortune tellers to be share holders of god hood, and to preserve their right to be god's through hinduism, incest in hindu pagan Egypt. a hindu criminal concept, not a thing of holly nature preached as a religion to keep humanity under shackles of hinduism, racism, cast system in Opposition to truth absolute God, foundation of human quality.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  6. Jared

    Lets just take a second to reflect on the innate absurdity of this. Without debating the validity of the Bible, Obama is a president whose views and decisions have clearly gone against it. He supports gay marriage and abortion and he believes that every member of every religion will ultimately go to heaven.

    This all clearly contradicts all the Bible stands for. It would be like swearing in as a pastor on a copy of the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

    January 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • sam

      LOL

      January 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Bob

      The bible contradicts itself.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • pam

      What would you like the Bible to stand for, Jared? I'm sure it can be arranged . . . . . . . . . . . .for a price, of course.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Bob...prove it.

      January 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  7. Bob

    Will his bibles be sandwiching his Koran?

    January 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Mmmmm.... sandwich

      .

      January 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Akira

      As soon as I read this, I wondered how long it would be before some ass hole brought this up.
      Congratulations.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      well if he needed a quran for some reason he could always borrow Thomas Jefferson's copy of it.

      January 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  8. Really??

    How about on a stack of pancakes. At least there is a valid use for pancakes.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  9. truth be told

    When it is recognized that all so called atheists are liars all the foul crap they spread on these blogs is seen for what it is.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tbt,

      the good news is, that for each time you post this refuse, you become known to more and more people as the sad little troll that you really are.

      Go back under your bridge.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • == o ==

      Now see, with crap like that, they had no choice but to let you go from the Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co.."

      January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • truth be told

      I'd like to thank the responses to my statement for proving proof of the veracity of the same comment.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Christians are the best recruiters for atheism

      Thanks for recruiting more for us, truthy! Keep up the good work.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Really??

      TBD is a lying troll.Ignore him.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Akira

      When it is recognized that all so called tbt'ers are liars all the foul crap they spread on these blogs is seen for what it is.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Whammo!

    Is the swearing-in bible really so toxic that the bearer has to wear heavy green gloves to avoid contamination?

    January 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • just wondering

      You don't notice it is a woman holding the Holy Bible and that it is cold in Washington in January.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill Deacon,

      I find it delightfully ironic that you would choose to quote from the works of that great supporter of liberal causes – Norman Lear.

      Doubly so that your v-ague quote gives you the appearance of self-identifying with Archie Bunker – the ultimate parody of an ignorant bigot.

      Thank you for the amusement. I wish you a nice Thursday.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – hit the wrong reply button!

      January 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  11. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Well we have Washington to thank for this unnecessary abrogation of "no religious test".

    As we well know, "So help me God" is not in the oath of office:

    Const!tution of the United States
    Article II, Section I
    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 Const!tution of the United States.

    I wonder how many Americans think that it is.

    Roosevelt did not use "So help me God" in 1933.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      "FDR – The original creeping socialist" Archie Bunker 1979

      January 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill Deacon, (reposted)

      I find it delightfully ironic that you would choose to quote from the works of that great supporter of liberal causes – Norman Lear.

      Doubly so that your v-ague quote gives you the appearance of self-identifying with Archie Bunker – the ultimate parody of an ignorant bigot.

      Thank you for the amusement. I wish you a nice Thursday.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  12. Colin

    One day, they'll be sworn in on something like "The History of the United States" or "The Origin of Species" or some other book that is a little more than simple Christian mythology stapled to the back of Jewish mythology.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Supposedly John Quincy Adams used law books because he did not want to sully the sacred with what he saw as the profane* act of swearing to a secular oath.

      * Not meaning vulgar, just not sacred.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      They need to swore in only to truth absolute God, essence of existence and foundation of American consti tution, none others., as it is rock of existence of United States of America.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • fred

      Matthew: Oaths

      33“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      which is why the Const!tution has the option to "affirm" instead of "swear".

      January 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • fred

      Goper
      Yep, the founders knew their Bible well.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      doubless some of them did.

      The point is that "no religious test" shall be applied. They wanted to make sure that no qualified candidate for office felt that they had to recuse themselves from taking the oath of office on religious grounds.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  13. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    hinduism violation of American consti tution, American consti tution does not recognize any hinduism, denial of truth absolute religions, but truth absolute as foundation of American consti tution , it is twice hinduism illegality to take oath of office of President of USA on book of hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism,called Christianity to hind fool humanity, source of legitimacy of hindu criminal King's and their hindu criminal sanatan's, goons as god's o humanity.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      seriously, again with the hindu stuff. Did a hindu beat you for class president or something?

      January 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  14. Odin

    Fool – he should be sworn in holding a stein and drinking to my good name!

    January 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  15. Reasonably

    Because the more bibles you have the more true your religion.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      More hinduism, absurdity called bible, more hindu racist you are.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  16. Topher

    Now if only he'd crack one open and read it.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Ted

      Read critically and logically, the bible is a great way to convince a person to become an atheist.

      January 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Topher

      Perhaps he'll learn about the Truth .. gain knowledge of the things he claims to believe.

      January 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Christians are the best recruiters for atheism

      The Bible is indeed the greatest argument against its own legitimacy.

      January 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Topher

      Which is?

      January 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Truth

      There is no evidence anywhere in the universe of any deity or supernatural occurance, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the expanses of the cosmos.

      The scriptures of all religions contain evidence that they are untrue. Jesus was wrong twice on major issues, including that prayer works absolutely, as asked, including having a mountain throw itself into the sea, and how the kingdom of god and a great many other supernatural event would happen in the lifetime of some of his audience, but radically untrue. There's more, of course.

      The truth is, there is no evidence, and scriptures prove themselves incorrect. The truth is that Christianity is false.

      January 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Topher

      Ridiculous. Creation proves there's a Creator.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Toby

      "Creation proves there's a Creator."

      Doesn't mean it's a God. Let's go round and round...so what created your creator?

      January 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Colin

      "Creation proves there's a Creator."

      1. Who says it is a "creation."
      2. If so, who created your god?

      January 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Topher

      God is infinite — exists outside of space and time.

      So if there is a Creator, and it isn't God, what was it?

      January 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Truth

      You have to prove that the universe is created to be able to call it creation, and only then could you make the claim you just made. If you cannot prove it was created, and you cannot, then you are copping out to sleazy circular reasoning. Which you are.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Topher

      Truth

      Kind of like how you'll quote to me some science you believe did it that has been proven wrong again and again and will be again. It's continuosly proving itself wrong. It's kinda circular in itself. So I guess we can't trust your beliefs, either.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Truth

      You keep changing the subject. I prove your argument circular, and you invent some strange science straw man. Can't you support your ideas without fallacies and evasions?

      Prove the universe was created, instead of simply being natural forces at work.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • fred

      Colin
      Naturalism itself is founded on creation and created things. One thing comes from another or is const-ituted from another. Those who extend biologic evolution into a world view further couple purpose of existence with the creation and created things.
      Just how did Moses get it right 3,400 years ago when in Genesis 1 God spoke baryonic matter into existence then in Genesis 2 God formed man from the dust of the earth? Creation vs. created things.
      As to who made God Moses again sets it straight. “In the beginning God” is the first line of Genesis. Whom shall I say sent me “tell them I AM” sent you. Hawking and Krauss cannot define or describe the unknown behind spontaneous creation and neither could the Prophets yet it is self evident……………it is, it was and will be.
      Moses caught a glimpse of the unknowable and came back to camp radiant. Jesus was the radiance or glory of God. God is not of matter known to man which is why those who claimed visions of God could only use words such as “in the likeness of”, ”had the appearance of the likeness of”. “like a burning fire” etc.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Truth

      And Topher ran away yet again. What a surprise.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • sam

      He fainted from the extreme strain of trying to believe anything he posts.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • fred

      Truth
      "Prove the universe was created, instead of simply being natural forces at work"
      =>The universe was created by definition regardless of cause or causation. I suspect you are actually asking proof of intelligent design or a creator. Even Lawrence Krause finally admits that there is something behind the nothing of quantum fluctuation. “ Something behind the nothing” that cannot be seen? Sounds a lot like Hebrews 11 “3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

      Krause, Hawking and Moses do not offer proof and Jesus refused to give it. Krause and Hawking are working on it while the evidence Moses had has been ground up in the sand of time. If you believe what Jesus and his followers said you have your proof. If you do not believe them then you are left with the testimony that comes from the preaching of the Gospel today. Look careful when you see the Gospel of Jesus preached and suddenly someone is pierced by the Spirit. That person immediately is transformed and can see that which was not made out of what was visible. Jesus said that is how it would happen today and it is exactly how it happens today time and time again.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh fred's trying to give something on science. This will be entertaining.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I prefer Hebrews 11:3 version explaining why believers see the reality of a creator over Krauss or Hawking any day. Krauss after basing his entire argument of spontaneous creation on quantum fluctuation said ““Some of this bothers people. But who cares? Quantum mechanics is illogical—just get over it.”

      January 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Now I will cite your favorite word. "Give the full context. What was the context?"

      January 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I know that you will next ask for the source so in the effort of time here is the source and full context:

      http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-05-30/

      January 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      "In short, although there isn’t yet a fully worked out model of quantum gravity, Krauss’ point is that if you apply quantum mechanics to gravity, not only can a universe spontaneously appear from nothing, it must do so. After explaining this, he returned to a recurring theme: “Some of this bothers people. But who cares? Quantum mechanics is illogical—just get over it.”"

      I'm wondering, what did you hope to accomplish by quoting this?

      January 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      The aim was to show that alternatives to “God did it” have just about as much credible evidence

      January 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shove it, Gopher. He quite certainly has a better grasp of the bible and any other written material than you ever will, you nitwit.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Unfortunately, that doesn't show that. Are you really even trying to make sense anymore?

      January 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  17. frank

    You know a really old bible works well if you happen to be out of TP. The book of Psalms is the most like Charmin, by the way.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  18. Rational Libertarian

    Obamer strikes again.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  19. Banjo Ferret

    What is this nonsense? Obama needs to whip out that smartphone and swear on the Tweet According to Tim if he has any chance of securing his purple energy bubble ride. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent!

    http://www.banjoferret.com

    January 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Sniffy Bob, Squirrel of Bodacious Bootocks

      Our late great Squirrel God Bippy could kick Tim's ferrety littl furry butt any day of the week! Except Thursday. And Saturday. Except any day after Monday. And before. Okay, Bippy sucked at butt-kicking, and that is why he is the late great Bippy. And he wasn't all that great, truth be told.

      January 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Banjo Ferret

      Alas Bippy, for Tim knew him well. He showed respect for all Bipplonians and mourned Bippy's death. May Tim touch you with his flaming furry fist of doom.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  20. Southern Humanist

    So much for my hope that the President gets sworn in on a box of noodles. R'amen.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Zippy

      I was hoping he might swear in on a copy of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Heck, even Cat In The Hat would be an improvement.

      January 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Ted

      On the other hand, maybe it's appropriate that politicians get sworn in on a book of fiction such as the bible is.

      (although for the most part I support Obama, just wish he could get more done).

      January 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      R'amen to you too Southern Humanist!

      January 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.