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January 21st, 2013
06:09 AM ET

Obama ends oath with 'So help me God'

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's second inauguration this weekend on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Then, on Monday, follow our real-time Inauguration Day live blog at cnn.com/conversation. Need other reasons to watch inauguration coverage on CNN's platforms? Click here for our list.

Washington (CNN) - At his request, President Barack Obama is ending his inaugural oath with: "So help me God."

Those four words are not legally or constitutionally required, unlike other federal oaths that invoke them as standard procedure.

Historians have wrangled over whether George Washington established precedent by adding the phrase on his own during his first Inaugural acceptance, but the Library of Congress website states he did.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: God • Obama • Politics

soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. joshmo

    May it please God to help this president, and may it please God to help America.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • It is Called

      NEWS FLASH:

      Principles are facts.
      Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

      Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

      00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
      02:16 – Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
      09:08 – Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
      17:36 – Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
      29:37 – Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
      42:19 – Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
      46:38 – Chapter 7. Conclusion

      Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
      Education works best !
      Principles work best too!

      January 21, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • joshmo

      God authors life. Life, in turn, evidences God. Everything inbetween is amusing fluff.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • It is Called

      Peace

      January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Evolution is hinduism ignorance of hindus, ignorant, talking about process of prorogation without having knowledge of initiation or the end. Way of hindus, ignorant s to claim hinduism absurdity of evolution as fact.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  2. Reality

    Dear BO,

    You still have time to include the following in your speech:

    The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    January 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Reality

      Dear BO,

      You still have time to include the following in your speech:

      The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      January 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • hharri

        lol

        August 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Reality

      Dear BO,

      You still have time to include the following in your speech:

      The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request. )

      January 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • hharri

        she is serious

        August 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Reality

      Dear BO,

      You still have time to include the following in your speech:

      The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References us ed are available upon request.)

      January 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • hharri

        sure

        August 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Dear BO,

      You still have time to include the following in your speech:

      The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (Refer ences used are available upon request.)

      January 22, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • hharri

        not one ounce of evidence

        August 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  3. Rational Libertarian

    Obamer strikes again.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  4. RG86

    I don't pay attention to current politics but I wasn't aware Obama was a Christian or believes in God. Guess he's trying to meet in the middle?

    January 21, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  5. THE ROOT OF THE TRUTH

    Our country was founded by Christians to keep government out of everyone's religious beliefs. All but three of our founding fathers were devout Christians, and even they knew the importance of freedom of our rights. Being a Christian is now a bad word. Our country is facing the worst economy in history. The last country to experience this was Germany and we all know what Hitler did.
    I AM NOT SAYING OBAMA IS THE NEXT HITLER. What I am saying is that our country is kicking GOD out of our country and because the majority of the people have decided that it is okay to behave how ever we want to and we disregard GOD, that we will fail.
    One day, we will look back and wonder why our government is now forcing us to bend to their rule. You will not be allowed to worship how you believe, to say what you believe or live as such.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Ex-Christian

      "You have absolute freewill to do whatever you would like to with your life... But if you do anything with that freewill that does not involve worshipping me I will surely destroy you, your family, and every single person in your country." – God

      January 21, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • RG86

      Founded by Deists, not Christians, and certainly not founded as a Christian nation. Keep in mind the Founders were products of the enlightenment period, an historical period in which reason was replacing religion as a means for discovering God. Read John Adam's Treaty of Tripoli where he explicitly states that the United States is not a Christian nation.
      The Founders went to church as a social obligation, but many of them disliked organized religion, such as Jefferson.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  6. It is Called

    Hope his speech will have no god(s) in it today .

    January 21, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Science

      He mentioned only one .

      January 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  7. truth be told

    God is an ever present help in times of need. There is no greater affirmation of America as a Christian nation that the honest rhetoric of our President. Another great President once said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be a citizen of the USA, we are one nation under God. God bless you President Obama !

    January 21, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • ?@!#??

      Glad your brother, mother. dad. or any relitives died in war got ya.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • just wondering

      what is a relitive ? Is that a crac.ker speak for relative?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • ?@!#??

      Thumb did not work sorry someone tbt related too.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  8. Spot the Almighty

    As I read the right wing non-sense here, I am even more convinced of the fact that their ultimate aim is to return the US to a confederacy.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  9. Atheist

    ' so help me this useless worm food body'

    January 21, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • just wondering

      you swear by yourself?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  10. Mohammad A Dar

    "So help me God." in doing what? I guess he, inside his mind, pictured himself kicking hard on asses of do-nothing congress, NRA goons, Billy Graham, and ALL Republicans, when he said that "So help me God". Did I miss anyone?

    January 21, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  11. It is Called

    It is Called Mom yea by the way Mom it is on the money which god do we trust???

    January 21, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Science

      Our response has been in science we trust, it is the truth, believe it or not.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  12. George

    Obama is a Christian that's why he said it. He removed DADT from the military, he supports gay marriage, he supports abortion, now hes gitten rid of guns. He is a good Christian!

    January 21, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Akira

      He removed something that promoted hate and bigotry within the military, he is promoting equal" rights for all citizens, and he is pro-choice for women;
      I agree, he IS a good Christian!
      Just one thing, there, Rush: he's not trying to repeal the 2nd amendment, no matter what fabulous little hysterical banner headlines Fox is promoting these days.

      January 21, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  13. It is Called

    Who is lying now ? THE Pres or Mom ? Big Picture who is right ?

    January 21, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • It is Called

      Oops forgot science above
      .Mom science siad the earth is 4.5 billion years old ? Mom/Dad whoi this so help me god thing the Pres. is talking about ?

      January 21, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • It is Called

      should be who is not whoi

      January 21, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • It is Called

      Dang thumbs should be said

      January 21, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  14. Reality

    All the gods in the universe will not help find the money to pay off our debts. The irony is that the following will:

    In order to pay down our $16 trillion debt, we need to redirect our money currently used to support religions especially the christian and islamic cons to the federal, state and local coffers.

    To wit:

    Redirecting our monetary support and saving a lot of "souls" in the process:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses as best as one can determine never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

    January 21, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • George

      Yous kick puppies too doesn't you?

      January 21, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/GOD MESSENGER CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  15. Darwin

    So far he has increased the divide between black and white Americans threatening decades of advancement. Increased our national debt. Failed to help the jobless, causing massive increases in those on food stamps. Supported gay marriage and abortion. And has already vowed to remove one of our consti'tutional rights. Can't wait to see what he does next!

    Well, he is black, so we weren't expecting as much in a president right? So he gets a pass I guess...

    January 21, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • Russells Teapot

      What a tool ^^^^

      January 21, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Akira

      Bullsh!t, bullsh!t, and, wait a minute....a dash of bigoted bullsh!t also.
      Well done.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  16. Science

    Science

    Creates a hornets nest if you think about it. Mom why does the Pres. say so help me god, what or who is that MOM ???

    It is NOT about the adults.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Science

      So help me science, that is the truth if we want to believe it or not !!!

      Not about the adults.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:30 am |
  17. Darwin

    And the majority of Non-African Americans end his Inauguration speech with "So help us God!!!!".

    January 21, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  18. Santi Clause

    Great! Now he can blame God for not helping him if he failed.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:00 am |
  19. nope

    Shocker – politician goes along to get along.

    January 21, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Science

      Creates a hornets nest if you think about it. Mom why does the Pres. say so help me god, what or who is that MOM !!!

      It is NOT about the adults.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • It is Called

      Who is lying now ? THE Pres or Mom ? Big Picture who is right ?

      January 21, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      @It is called, is it necessary that someone be "lying"? Can't they simply be believing different things? Do you think that any time two people disagree, one is lying?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • It is Called

      Then Yale is ok. Principles work best.
      Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

      Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

      00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
      02:16 – Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
      09:08 – Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
      17:36 – Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
      29:37 – Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
      42:19 – Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
      46:38 – Chapter 7. Conclusion

      Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

      January 21, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • It is Called

      Principles are not theory. Makes to much sense got it.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Origin Of Life

      @Saraswati someone is.
      Origin of Life:
      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says – CNN ...
      religion.blogs.cnn.com/.../heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-ha...
      May 17, 2011 – By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any ... Stephen Hawking at the World
      Science.....
      Peace

      January 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  20. It is Called

    The four words that do not mean a thing , if the belief of being honest means anything anymore....

    Life science = self

    January 21, 2013 at 6:29 am |
    • Mirosal

      Well, Obama IS a politician.. do you really want to take his word at face value? lol He's just saying those 4 useless words to score points with the citizenry, that's all.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • Science

      Not ! So help me science find the facts, facts work best for children! OK.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actually, Obama should put his hand on a copy of the US Costi'tution. After all, isn't that the docu'ment he is swearing to preserve, protect, and defend in the first place?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • It is Called

      Politics = no ethics I would rather have him stand on ethics than hot air! I understand the public view.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • Science

      . Hard to find any in politics today. (ethics) Science as least tries harder (peer review) to keep ethics in check.

      January 21, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • Science

      Darn thumb should be at not as.

      January 21, 2013 at 7:41 am |
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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.