Lauren Green, the religious affairs editor for Fox News, put together a segment on the issue of God being invoked in oaths, and how some members of the House of Representatives are purposefully leaving Him out. I have a brief comment on this issue. What I said grows out of my convictions, spelled out in my book, AMERICAN AMNESIA, that America is forgetting God more and more, and we’re paying the price for it.
In a recent column on the issue of oaths and God, I talked about this controversy.
As to George Washington taking the oath of office and saying “So help me, God,” that was the standard way of taking an oath that day—certainly in the Anglican tradition, which was Washington’s chosen tradition. Observers that day (April 30, 1789) report that Washington leaned over and kissed the Holy Bible, which is also a long-time tradition. After his First Inaugural Address that day—an address which mentions God many times—our first president led everyone in government—his cabinet, Senators, House members, Supreme Court Justices, etc. to nearby St. Paul’s Chapel, where they participated in a 2 hour Christian worship service to dedicate the new nation to God and ask for His help. Included in the service was the Lord’s Table, and eyewitnesses said George Washington participated in that. As to swearing in on the Bible and kissing it, we can see video from 1948 of President Harry S. Truman doing this. It’s been a long-standing tradition.