Swearing On A Stack Of Bibles

The Twentieth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that the terms of the President and Vice-President shall end at noon on January 20th, and so the winner of the last election is sworn in at that time. Because January 20th is a Sunday, there will be one ceremony in the White House today, and the large outdoor ceremony will be held tomorrow.

Holy BibleOn Sunday when he takes the Presidential Oath of Office, Obama has chosen to use a Bible that belonged to Michelle Obama’s paternal grandmother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson, who was the first black manager of a Moody Bible Bookstore in Chicago. On Monday, he will use not one, but two Bibles: the Lincoln Bible, and one that belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr.

There’s a propaganda technique that’s called Transfer. I wrote about this in Wrapped In A Flag: Transfer as Propaganda.

Transfer carries the authority, sanction, and prestige of something respected and revered over to something else in order to make the latter acceptable.

In the application of the Transfer Device, symbols are constantly used. With the Cross, the propagandist lends the sanctity of the Christian religion to his program….

What is the meaning of the thing from which the propagandist is seeking to Transfer authority, sanction, and prestige?

Is there any legitimate connection between the proposal of the propagandist and the respected and revered thing, person, or institution?

In other words, leaving the propagandistic trick out of the picture, what are the merits of the propagandist’s proposal viewed alone?

In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned the nation “to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” Obama may cart in a hundred Bibles in an attempt to give his presidency its authority, sanction and prestige, but the number of Bibles used is unimpressive given that among other things Obama has continually lied while in office, mocked his opponents, sown division among Americans and actively worked to prevent Christians from freely exercising their beliefs and to force them to disobey their beliefs by paying for abortifacients.

The word Holy is used before the word Bible on the cover, and it tells us it this is God’s Word and is a sacred book. To use it as a political prop is an offense against God when Obama has given support to a redefinition of marriage that would include same-sex couples and has fought against legislation that would ensure medical treatment for babies who survived abortion, and even now advocates the use of federal monies to kill unborn children.

Wikipedia tells us that after Abraham Lincoln took his second oath of office, he closed with the words, “So help me, God,” and then kissed the Bible. No doubt he did it to emphasize his sincere and solemn intent before God to uphold his oath, and his recognition of his need for God’s help. Over the next two days, Obama will place his hand on not one, but three Bibles as a witness that he is telling the truth when he takes the Oath of Office of President of the United States:

“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.”

Is Obama using those Bibles to emphasize his sincere and solemn intent before God to uphold his oath? Of his recognition of his need for God’s help?

“Will it be well when He examines you?
Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?”
Job 13:9

Photograph: FreeFoto.com
Presidential Oath of Office from The United States Constitution, Article II, Section. 1.


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