The oath of the President of the United States could as well be taken by a pagan.....

FredVonFlash

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"The oath of the President of the United States could as well be taken by a pagan or a Mohammedan as by the Chief Magistrate of a Christian people: it excludes the name of the Supreme Being. Indeed, it is negatively atheistical, for no God is appealed to at all. In framing many of our public formularies, greater care seems to have been taken to adapt them to the prejudices of the infidel…"

--"The Oath," by the Rev. D. X. Junkin, D. D., published in 1845
 

wiggles

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inauguration_Day

At exactly noon, the President takes the oath of office, traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, using the form mandated in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:

“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." ”

According to tradition, in the first inaugural, President Washington added the words, "So help me God" when reciting the oath, although there is no contemporary evidence of this. The words have been repeated by some Presidents thereafter, including all since Franklin D Roosevelt.[2] Theodore Roosevelt, for example, chose to conclude his oath with the phrase "And thus do I swear." Only presidents Franklin Pierce and Herbert Hoover have chosen to affirm rather than swear.
 
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FredVonFlash

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According to tradition, in the first inaugural, President Washington added the words, "So help me God" when reciting the oath, although there is no contemporary evidence of this.
According to the credible historical evidence, it never happened. Below is the account of President Washington's first swearing in ceremony from the Senate Journal.

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1793
THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 1789.

The Senate assembled: present as yesterday.

The report of the Committee on the mode of communications between the Senate and House of Representatives, was taken up, and, after debate, postponed.

Mr. Lee, in behalf of the committee appointed to take order far conducting the ceremonial of the formal reception, &c. of the President of the United States, having informed the Senate that the same was adjusted; the House of Representatives were notified that the Senate were ready to receive them in the Senate Chamber, to attend the President of the United States while taking the oath required by the Constitution. Whereupon, the House of Representatives, preceded by their Speaker, came into the Senate Chamber, and look the seats assigned them; and the joint committee, preceded by their chairman, agreeably to order, introduced the President of the United States to the Senate Chamber, where he was received by the Vice President, who conducted him to the Chair; when the Vice President informed him, that "the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States were ready to attend him to take the oath required by the Constitution, and that it would be administered by the Chancellor of the state of New York." To which the President replied, he was ready to proceed: and being attended to the gallery in front of the Senate Chamber, by the Vice President and Senators, the Speaker and Representatives, and the other public characters present, the oath was administered. After which the Chancellor proclaimed, "Long live George Washington President of the United States."

The President having returned to his seat, after a short pause arose, and addressed the Senate and House of Representatives as follows:

Fellow Citizens of the Senate, and
of the House of Representatives:

Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat. which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years: a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health, to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver, is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be effected, All I dare hope, is, that if, in executing this task, I have Been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendant proof of the confidence of my fellow citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me; my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country, with some share of the partiality in which they originated.

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe--who presides in the councils of nations--and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking, that there are none, under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.

By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the duty of the President "to recommend to your consideration, such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I now meet you, will acquit me from entering into that subject, farther than to refer to the great constitutional charter, under which you are assembled; and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute, in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism, which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable qualifications, I behold the surest pledges, that, as on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views, nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests: so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire: since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity: since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide, how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the fifth article of the constitution, is rendered expedient at the present juncture, by the nature of objections which have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good: for, I assure myself, that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficientlyinfluence your deliberations on the question, how far the former can be more impregnably fortified, or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.

To the preceding observations I have one to add, which will be most properly addressed to the House of Representatives. It concerns myself, and will, therefore, be as brief as possible. When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty, required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed. And being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline, as inapplicable to myself; any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department; and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed, may, during my continuance in it, be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.

Having thus imparted to you my sentiments, as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the human race, in humble supplication that, since he has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity, on a form of government for the security of their union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures, on which the success of this government must depend.

April 30.

G. WASHINGTON.

The President, the Vice President, the Senate, and House of Representatives, &c. then proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel, where divine service was performed by the Chaplain of Congress, after which the President was reconducted to his house by the committee appointed for that purpose.

The Vice President and Senate returned to the Senate Chamber; and,

Upon motion, unanimously agreed, That a committee of three should be appointed to prepare an answer to the President's speech:

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Paterson, and Mr. Carroll, were elected.

Adjourned to 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(sj00132))
 

Annie

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Hmmm, also government site:

http://inaugural.senate.gov/history/chronology/gwashington1789.htm

...Precedents, "firsts" or other interesting information: The Constitution only prescribes the oath that a President must take; it does not set forth the style or manner of the Inauguration. The nation's first inauguration established many precedents: Washington added the words, "So help me God" at the end of his oath; he kissed the Bible; and and he delivered an Inaugural address, all of which have been followed by future Presidents.
 

wiggles

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Washington added the words, "So help me God" at the end of his oath; he kissed the Bible; and and he delivered an Inaugural address, all of which have been followed by future Presidents.
I find that very difficult to believe, and I don't remember ever seeing a President kiss the Bible on his Inauguration.
 

Annie

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I find that very difficult to believe, and I don't remember ever seeing a President kiss the Bible on his Inauguration.
Ok, so you say the Senate records are lies?
 

wiggles

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Ok, so you say the Senate records are lies?
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
You think he really chopped down that cherry tree?
Or that Christopher Columbus discovered that the earth was round?
 

Annie

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"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
You think he really chopped down that cherry tree?
Or that Christopher Columbus discovered that the earth was round?
Right. Good grief, speaking of alternative reality. Chirp.
 

wiggles

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So you do think Christopher Columbus discovered that the earth was round?
 
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FredVonFlash

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The nation's first inauguration established many precedents: Washington added the words, "So help me God" at the end of his oath; he kissed the Bible.
Have you actually researched the matter in depth and throughly examined the historical evidence, or are you relying on the work of others?
 

Annie

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Have you actually researched the matter in depth and throughly examined the historical evidence, or are you relying on the work of others?
I went to government search. Senate site.
 
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FredVonFlash

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Ok, so you say the Senate records are lies?
The account of President Washington's first swearing-in ceremony in the Senate Journal contains no mention of "so help me God" or a Bible.
 

Annie

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Well the National Archives has this:

http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2000/winter/abrupt-transition-1.html

Only Thirty-five Words

Article II, sec. 1, par. 8, of the Constitution sets out the words that every President has repeated: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Only Franklin Pierce in 1853 affirmed (rather than swore) to faithfully execute the office of the presidency. The practice of adding the words: "So help me God" at the conclusion of the oath was introduced by George Washington at the end of his 1789 open-air ceremony.
 

Annie

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I invite you to post what you believe is the best item of historical evidence that President Washington added "so help me God."
I've looked at Memory. I see the diaries. Both the National archives and Senate archives contain the addition by Washington. Considering that the archives are considered primary source, what is it you want us all to know?
 
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FredVonFlash

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I've looked at Memory. I see the diaries. Both the National archives and Senate archives contain the addition by Washington. Considering that the archives are considered primary source, what is it you want us all to know?
Once again, I invite you to post what you believe is the best item of historical evidence that President Washington added "so help me God."
 

Annie

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Once again, I invite you to post what you believe is the best item of historical evidence that President Washington added "so help me God."
Once again, I ask you what it is you are looking for. Official archives are considered unbiased primary source document, whereas personal journals while also primary source, carry less reliability, as the diarist writes what is important to him/her, (such as his excellency, George Washington visiting him).
 

red states rule

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Have you actually researched the matter in depth and throughly examined the historical evidence, or are you relying on the work of others?
Truman (a Dem) kissed the Bible after being sworn in. The once pround party of Harry Truman has become a bad joke
 

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