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If You Were Elected President, Which Book Or Document Would You Take Your Oath?

According to the Constitution, you have to pinky swear as President of the United States of America that you will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. How are you to be trusted?

According to the open source online encyclopedia, Wikipedia:

"John Quincy Adams swore on a book of law.  Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in on a Roman Catholic missal on Air Force One. Washington kissed the Bible afterwards, and subsequent presidents followed suit, up to and including Harry Truman, but Dwight D. Eisenhower broke that tradition by saying his own prayer instead of kissing the Bible."

In general, I think it is all quite silly, but we are a ritualistic people, and it still exists in the Constitution, so I guess these rituals matter.

Regardless, Nixon swearing on the Christian Bible did not stop him from ruining himself and the trust of the country with the Watergate Scandal, and I'm sure we could make a list a mile long of Presidents who have abandoned their oaths at one time or another.  

Even the great Abraham Lincoln abandoned his oath when he suspended parts of the Constitution during the Civil War.  However, on Lincoln's behalf, the oath doesn't say to unconditionally uphold the Constitution, it only says that he or she will try to "the best of their ability."  

Specifically, it says in Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight, "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."

But, every President since Taft has sworn in on a Christian Bible, (if you count Johnson's Roman Catholic Missal in the absence of an available Bible on Air Force One after Kennedy's assassination).  

Our most recent President, Barack Obama, was sworn in using Abe Lincoln's personal Christian Bible.  It would be interesting to see if Romney swears in on the Christian Bible or the Book of Mormon if he were to be elected.  As a matter of fact, I think that would be an interesting debate question for a moderator to ask.

I think if I were given the chance (not getting my hopes up) I would follow in John Quincy Adams footsteps and swear on a Book of Law or the Constitution itself.  After all, your primary job as President of the United States is to uphold the Constitution and its principals.

If given the chance, as the newly elected President of The United States of America, which book or document would you place your hand to swear or affirm your oath?

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Ron Sheppard September 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Karl, Take a look at what Thomas Jefferson was trying to do. He was a follower of Jesus Christ and like any smart person, when he reads things he looks for the Truth. Thomas Jefferson belived in Jesus and God, but he definitley wanted to protect people to feel the way they wanted. You and other people if you actually read the Thomas Jefferson bible, you will see that he definitely believed that God exists. Jefferson was a brilliant man and was reading the bible. Maybe this might help if you read the real bible and then read TJ's bible. Thomas Jefferson also didnt like big organized religion, like me, i see the demon in some ways from big organizations, and it doesnt matter whether they are religious or not religious. That is why he wanted to separation of church from state. It is funny years ago, the democratic party was against Abortion and Homosexuality, now it is the opposite. The Democrats have sold their soul for votes.
Karl Frank Jr. September 06, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I believe that a historical man named Jesus probably existed. I don't believe he was the son of God. "Deism and the founding fathers - http://goo.gl/U7mn6 Deism was a religious philosophy in common currency in colonial times, and some Founding Fathers (most notably Thomas Paine, who was an explicit proponent of it, and Benjamin Franklin, who spoke of it in his Autobiography) are identified more or less with this system. No president identified himself as a deist, but George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Tyler are often identified as having some degree of deistic beliefs.[7] Washington in particular maintained a lifelong pattern of church membership and attendance, and there is conflicting testimony from those who knew him." Madison was at most not religious and was likely an atheist or agnostic...He is also called the "Father of the Consitution." - http://goo.gl/zeWVz Regardless, John Adams signed into law the Treaty of Tripoli, which states: "As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. … The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."
Karl Frank Jr. September 06, 2012 at 09:13 PM
And Jefferson: "...those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame." - Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley, Washington, March 21, 1801[1] http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/christianity-most-perverted-system-ever-shone-man-quotation
Karl Frank Jr. September 06, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Thomas Jefferson was always reluctant to reveal his religious beliefs to the public, but at times he would speak to and reflect upon the public dimension of religion. He was raised as an Anglican, but was influenced by English deists such as Bolingbroke and Shaftesbury. Thus in the spirit of the Enlightenment, he made the following recommendation to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787: "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."[1] http://goo.gl/LfcL9
Karl Frank Jr. September 06, 2012 at 09:23 PM
And one more just for fun: Jefferson believed in the existence of a Supreme Being who was the creator and sustainer of the universe and the ultimate ground of being, but this was not the triune deity of orthodox Christianity. He also rejected the idea of the divinity of Christ, but as he writes to William Short on October 31, 1819, he was convinced that the fragmentary teachings of Jesus constituted the "outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man." In correspondence, he sometimes expressed confidence that the whole country would be Unitarian[3], but he recognized the novelty of his own religious beliefs. On June 25, 1819, he wrote to Ezra Stiles Ely, "I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know." - Rebecca Bowman, Monticello Research Report, August 1997 Again: http://goo.gl/LfcL9

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