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No Bible for second oath

Justin Webb | 15:05 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Sorry to go on about religiosity - and I read with interest those who disagreed with me, and each other, on this - but surely the fact that President Obama swore his second oath without using a Bible tells us something hugely important? Something that will cheer those (including plenty of religious folk) who think the church-state balance has become skewed in recent years.

Obama and Roberts knew perfectly well that you don't need a Bible to become president - there have been oaths taken without one in the past - but in the Bush White House you can bet they would have found one for the second swearing in. Even if they had had to send out to CVS (Boots!).

In the Obama White House it was no big deal. Religious beliefs for him are essentially private.

If the second oath was legally the one that counts then one can say he was sworn into office without using a holy book.


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