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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. Piers M.

    And with 4 more years of Incompetent Obama at the helm the American people ended his speech saying –

    "So, HELP US GOD!!!!"

    January 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  2. Reality

    BO, BO, BO,

    You promised you would include the following in your speech. What happened?

    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 12:18 am |
    • Piers M.

      Nobody reads rants longer than two paragraphs...

      January 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Reality

      For the reading challenged – from a PowerPoint slide:

      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.

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  3. Darwin

    Obama is doing great! Soon all of us will be on welfare and food stamps!

    January 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Observer

      The stock market is up 85% since Obama took over after Bush left it plummeting. It's the 3rd greatest gain ever for a first-term president.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow, Observer. I hadn't heard that statistic, but I'm not surprised. My 401 K is looking MUCH better these days. I guess Darwin doesn't keep up with the markets much....

      January 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Reality

      Our $16 trillion debt will continue to eat away all those market gains as taxes will have to rise very soon to prevent another financial crises.

      January 22, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • End Religion

      I just heard today total existing home sales for 2012 is highest in 5 years. Home prices up 11%.
      http://www.realtor.org/topics/existing-home-sales

      January 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Piers M.

      So you guys know not no one who has lost their job and can't find another? Tons of people in this situation. Also Darwin is right, there are MILLIONS more on food stamps since Glorious Leader took over. Google it!

      January 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Reality

      Prayers are useless, ideas are priceless!!!

      Some ideas for creating new jobs: (What are your ideas?)

      1. Inst-itute an “old-house/condo/apartment” replacement program akin to the successful “automobile gas-guzzler” removal program. Today, there are simply too many houses, condos and apartments in the USA. It is significantly stupid to continue building new ones on new lots. Tear down existing dwellings and rebuild on the same lot thereby keeping the number of housing units stable and providing many jobs in the demolition, building material suppliers and construction industries.

      2. Are big cities needed anymore? Most exist for the service industry and these days most services can be provided from the home via PCs. Time to consider big city downsizing with conversion of these outdated areas to parks and entertainment centers. Again, more jobs are created to accomplish this. (planners, architects, landscapers, construction workers and building material suppliers).

      3. Fresh water diversions/capture: It is insane to allow all of our fresh water to flow back into the oceans. Areas like Southwest and Western states have droughts almost every year. Time to build huge canals from rivers like the Mississippi and Missouri to irrigate these parched lands. And it is time to dramatically increase the number of reservoirs in states like Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico. Again more jobs created for planners, civil engineers, construction workers, building suppliers, farmers and ranchers.

      4. R&E jobs- a. computer-driven cars, busses, trucks, planes and ships b. Robotic police, fire and protective aids c. More efficient birth control methods d. A pill to temporarily eliminate the s-ex drive.

      5. A female “Viagra”

      6. Continued search for cheap fusion energy.

      7. Space jobs-a Moon/Mars stations/mining run by robots. b. Highly functional, well-equipped, super-fast interstellar probes

      January 22, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
  4. Darwin

    Why would he swear on Bibles to protect the Consti tution? He doesn't believe in either one...

    January 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      Still having a hissy fit, Darwin?

      January 22, 2013 at 7:01 am |
  5. Peculiar

    I am a theist, and a moderate but even I find it a bit strange that we swear on Bibles for oaths. If you are some other religion you should swear on that book, or if an atheist you should swear on a copy of Hitchhiker's guide..or maybe sports Illustrated.

    I dunno.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  6. John Stefanyszyn

    President Obama is asking the god of freedom of self rights , of freedom of all religions to bless America.
    BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND ONLY ONE TRUE WAY THROUGH CHRIST.
    WE ARE TO SERVE THE WILL OF THE CREATOR AND NOT THAT OF OUR OWN WILL OF SELF-RIGHTS.

    January 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  7. Guliver Perevin

    I just got paid $6784 working on my laptop using these simple steps leaked on this web page. Make up to $85 per hour doing simple tasks that are so easy to do that you won't forgive yourself if you don't check it out! Payments are paid every Friday! Here is what I've been doing Rich45.ℂOM

    January 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  8. wwajdblogger

    American Jesus would be so proud!

    January 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  9. Reasonably

    Be nice to have a pres end their oath with "F*king A right I do!"

    January 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  10. Origin of Life

    NEWS FLASH (see date)

    Mars May Have Supported Life: Martian Underground Could Contain Clues to Life's Origins

    Jan. 20, 2013 — Minerals found in the subsurface of Mars, a zone of more than three miles below ground, make for the strongest evidence yet that the red planet may have supported life, according to research "Groundwater activity on Mars and implications for a deep biosphere," published in Nature Geoscience on January 20, 2013.

    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
    Education

    January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Science

      Scientist seeks 'adventurous woman' to have Neanderthal baby
      here’s Fred Flintstone when you need him?

      A professor of genetics at Harvard’s Medical School believes he’s capable of bringing the long-extinct Neanderthal back to life - all he’s lacking is the right mother.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/01/21/scientist-seeks-adventurous-woman-to-have-neanderthal-baby/?intcmp=features#ixzz2IdrhQbpJ

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/01/21/scientist-seeks-adventurous-woman-to-have-neanderthal-baby/?intcmp=features#ixzz2IdqMigjT

      January 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      According to research by NASA, Mars may have been like earth, circulating in eastern direction, same as earth, but may be its circulation direction changed with a hit from a asteroid towards west. cause of loss of water and every thing else.
      according to Islamic teachings, earth was barren and water rained for forty years , day and nights. It may have come from Mars. End of humanity is predicted in same manor, direction of earth circulation will be reversed, and it will be no different than Mars.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • wejie Sr

      100% guaranteed post by fake muslim scientist.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  11. truth be told

    All so called atheists have a common denominator – they all lie all the time. Understanding atheism as one large lie helps put their stupid and vicious comments on these blogs in proper perspective.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Atheism is self center ism, denial of truth absolute, essence of existence. No different than a hindu filthy dog in a jungle, or a hindu atheist , filthy self centered criminal in a jail for not following truth absolute GOD, but following hindu filthy Lucifer, secular to commit hinduism, criminality.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Pete

      "All so called atheists have a common denominator – they all lie all the time"

      more lies from the xtians – 122!

      January 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      They speak of tehir soul, desire as a hindu sanatan, filthy goon pretending to be truth absolute them self. hindu's ignorant s of hindu dark ages, followers of hinduism, illegality as way of their life.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • wejie Jr

      100% guaranteed fake posing as Muslim.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      hinduism absurdity of a hindu lair from hindered gutter of hinduism, atheism, secular ism called india.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Al

      idiot

      January 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • wejie

      100% guaranteed ISLAM is a cryptic christian.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • End Religion

      Stephen Feinstein, is that you?

      January 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  12. Awwwwww, too bad . . .

    Lotta sour grapes from the right wingnuts today.

    Four more years. Enjoy!

    January 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  13. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Living by hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism and asking truth absolute GOD to help, way of hindus crooks, follower of hindu denial of truth absolute Atheism, self center ism, secular ism to hind fool humanity, may be he meant his hindu filthy god Lucifer, secular.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • wejie

      100% money back guarantee fake posing as Muslim.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  14. John

    Guys the greatest sin AMERICANS will ever do as a nation is to blesphem GOD.Obamas' failure to deliver good governance is independent on God.So lets control temper as we coment on "so help me God"phrase lest God may bring the entire economy to footstool of all nations.Americans better repent for such uttered words.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Nonsense.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      John: Your god is a petty pr1ck.

      January 22, 2013 at 7:02 am |
  15. Mohammad A Dar

    great speech by Obama.

    January 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • wejie

      100% guaranteed fake posing as Muslim.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  16. Hoorah!

    The President officially put his support for gay rights in his speech. It's about time a President supported equal civil rights!

    January 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • David

      Yes that was awesome!

      "It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

      January 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Akira

      It was a fantastic speech!

      January 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • It is Called

      Correct civil rights not gods laws/RCC.or any other religion.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Answer

      yeas LA, NY streets will be flooded with them and there's is going to be a big gay celebration and bang bang parties tonite

      January 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • It is Called

      Shold be god(s)

      January 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Terri

      "Correct civil rights not gods laws/RCC.or any other religion.

      Wrong our church welcomes equal civil rights and gay marriage.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Doug

      " and bang bang parties tonite"

      I thought that was last night when millions were watching football.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • shawn

      Yes, I suspect Bob & Douglas will celebrate – privately of course.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Akira

      @shawn: lol.
      The ones that protest the most...

      January 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      well in that case we should officially call MLK day as Gay Rights Day and people should be given a day off !! what do you think Hoorah?!

      January 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Right means limit of truth absolute, hindu filthy gay ism, hind love ism is not limit of human but hindu filthy animals, Shame on any one to act like hindu filthy animals, but claiming to be human.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • wejie

      100% guaranteed fake posing as Muslim or your money is back.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • wejie Jr

      but daddy his hate towards Hindus, Jews, Christians, Gays is real. Money back guaranteed.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  17. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Obama ends oath with 'So help me God'"

    I look forward to the day when a President does not feel compelled, either by custom or personal beliefs, to do this, but it remains his personal perogative.

    I wonder if it will influence any of those who still think he is a secret Muslim.

    January 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  18. sandy

    Did Obama place his hand on the Bible? Or did he place his hand on the Quaran? I saw Biden place his hand on the Biible but it looked as though the Obama-nation place his hand on several books. What were they?

    January 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @sandy,

      perhaps you will find this helpful:
      Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/10/

      or even this:
      Obama chooses Bible steeped in history
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/20/obama-chooses-bible-steeped-in-history/

      January 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • hypatia

      clueless and mannerless

      January 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  19. John P. Tarver

    Only God can help obama's failed Presidency now. God help us all.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • drew

      Troll. Caught lying so many times it's ridiculous. Runs when asked to support his mutterings.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      Awwww.....Johnnie....how is that temper tantrum going? Obama beat the best that the Repubs could come up with. It if grates on you, good. Choke on it.

      January 22, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  20. John P. Tarver

    Only 1% of species exist from the last mass extinction, yet some fools still hold to Darwin's racism as science.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you often act this stupid, John? Or are you making a special effort to troll today?

      January 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Akira

      He's just repeating his comments from yesterday..."The Best Of" Tarver style.

      January 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Zingo

      Tarvey only has a couple of opinions, the ones he was told to have. That's why he has to keep cutting and pasting the same ones from the short list of opinions they gave him at church.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      "The Best Of" Tarver style... lol

      January 22, 2013 at 5:54 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.