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Bible and the Oath of Office

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 The Bible and the Oath of Office



The Presidential oath of office is described in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution:


Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation—“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.”


While the United States Constitution states that no religious test can be given to a political office holder, every president since George Washington (except Thomas Jefferson) has taken the oath of office with his hand on a Bible, promising to keep that oath by uttering “I swear, so help me God.” Even during the hurried swearing-in ceremony of Lyndon B. Johnson on Air Force One after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, the soon-to-be president took the oath with his hand on “the slain President's own leather-bound Bible.”1


1 Nathan O. Hatch and Mark A. Knoll, "Introduction," The Bible in America: Essays in Cultural History, eds. Nathan O. Hatch and Mark A. Knoll (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 5.


American Vision P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460, www.americanvision.org . History Unwrapped by Gary DeMar


Please order a free information pack from American Vision. This pack will include subscription information for Biblical Worldview magazine plus a special discount form for their first order. For details, see the section for "First Time Visitors."

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