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Does it Matter If it is the Quran, or Mad Magazine?

December 4, 2006

It seems that a bit of a debate has been brought to light with the upcoming swearing in of Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Incoming Rep. Ellison wishes to use the Quran during his swearing in. Read on.>>>

According to Media Matters, an editorial written on by Denis Prager has sparked a controversy on this issue. The other night on the Fux un-news channel Shawn Hannity had Mr. Prager on the show, and as they always do teamed up Allen Colmes, but that is not the issue here Prager wrote that by using the Quran, Mr. Ellison would be emboldening to the terrorist even more than 9-11.

He should not be allowed to do so — not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American Civilization.

It is statements like this one that make one think that the terrorist have won. It is these types of statements that show we are not a country that follows what the Founding Fathers set out to establish, a nation free of religious persecution.

Prager’s editorial shows the very thing that has let this administration hold control over the citizenry for so long, the instilment of fear. Later in his column Prager makes a utterly ridiculous statement that should piss-off anyone who reads it,

“If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress.”

When such garbage is spewed and then backed up by the likes of Hannity, the rest of the people should reject it for what it is Right-Wing hate speech.

Prager and Hannity tried to make the argument that the only book that the Constitution say should be used in a swearing-in of a elected official is the Bible. That argument by itself shows, these Neo-Cons don’t care in the least about the Constitution. If they would have bothered to even check their facts, instead of relying on the stupidity of their viewers not to know the truth, they would have known that nowhere in the Constitution does it say that any religious book should be used. In fact it does not even say that you have to swear to it, just affirm that you will uphold.

If you read the Prager column, and then watch the video clip, or (read the text at the bottom of the page,) from the Hannity and Colmes show, you will see the way Prager backs out of some of the accusations that were made in the column. That is until Hannity joins his side.

As always the Neo-Con have a way of fear mongering, disguising it as concern. In the column Prager spreads more falsehoods about the wording of the Constitution on this matter.

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison’s favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

Mr. Prager should also know that some of the people revered as grate Americans did not use the Bible when taking the oath. John Quincy Adams was the first not to use it, Teddy Roosevelt did not use it,

Doing a little research would have told these bozos that the phrase “So Help Me God” was not even written in to the oath of the President originally. It was not added until, 1881.
Wash. Publications

The oath of office for United States president, as specified in Article II the Constitution, does not include the phrase “so help me God.” Contrary to the Architect of the Capital description of President Washington’s Inaugural, the National Endowment for the Humanities grades 3-5 lesson, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and Donald R. Kennon, Chief Historian of the United States Capitol Historical Society, among others, there appears to be no contemporary evidence that any president voluntarily appended those words to the oath of office until Chester A Arthur’s 1881 inauguration.

It appears that that phrase is optional.

A review of contemporary accounts of subsequent presidential inaugurations also raises serious doubts about the claims that “so help me God” was always, or even usually, appended to the presidential oath of office. The next president-elect, Grover Cleveland, apparently did not add the phrase (4 march 1885). Neither did Benjamin Harris (4 March 1889). Grover Cleveland again apparently omitted that phrase during his second inauguration (4 March 1893). Nor is William McKinley quoted as using that phrase for both of his inaugurations (4 March 1897 and 4 March 1901). Theodore Roosevelt appended the phrase “And thus do I swear” in his first inauguration (14 September 1901). A first hand of account of this can be found in The Illustrated Buffalo Express, Sunday,15 September 1901. Roosevelt also did not use a Bible during his first inauguration. Note that John Quincy Adams was the first president-elect to recite the oath of office without a Bible. Woodrow Wilson appended the phrase “so shall I keep Thy Law” during his first inauguration (4 March 1913). It appears that Warren Harding was the second president to append “so help me God” on 4 March 1921. Calvin Coolidge also appended the phrase on 3 August 1923. A film of Herbert Hoover’s inauguration (4 March 1929) shows he did not append “so help me God” when he recited the oath. Franklin D. Roosevelt appended the phrase on 20 January 1945, and Harry Truman did the same on 20 January 1949. Eisenhower appended the phrase during his first and second inaugurations in 1953 and 1957. Carter in 1977 and Reagan in 1981 and 1985 appended “so help me God.” So, appending “so help me God” became more common sometime after World War I.

So as we see the Constitution was not based on the Bible as the Neo-Cons would have you believe, but on morals and commonsense.


Ps. If you would like to know what bible and scripture it was opened to, or if was even open. Memory.loc

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2009 6:50 am

    This is quite a up-to-date info. I’ll share it on Delicious.


  2. Raymond Soller permalink
    December 6, 2006 4:54 am

    At least five Presidents did not swear their oath of office on a Bible


    It is not known whether GW used a Bible at his second Inauguration. (He certainly did not mention God/Almighty/Providence in his Inaugural Address – the only President not to do so.)

    John Quincy Adams swore on a book of the law. (, Inaugural History – 1825 The Tenth Inauguration)

    Franklin Pierce affirmed on a law book. (

    Theodore Roosevelt did not place his hand on a Bible. (

    Calvin Coolidge did not place his hand on the Bible, which was nearby. (

    JFK did not place his hand on his family Duoay Bible, which rested on top of the podium. (Go to; “video search” for Past Presidential Inaugurations; view video clip starting at 1:17:45)


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