The author of this article noted that J. Q. Adams recited the oath on a book of Laws of the United States. “He wanted to demonstrate that he recognized a barrier between church and state and that his loyalty was to our nation’s laws above all else.” T. Roosevelt did not use the Bible either.
No doubt that fundamentalists, had they been as nuts as those living today, would have ‘claimed’ that neither of these men were legitimate. But then, they claim lots of stuff, most often useless pap.
J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings would be equally appropriate- perhaps even more so since the plot actually can be followed from cover to cover. Tolkien’s ideas were crated from his interest in mythology, especially Beowulf. He also was inspired by the Germanic tale, Nibelungenlied as well as Norse myths and legends.
The prose of Tolkien clearly surpasses that seen in the Bible. The blood, horror, magic and other-worldliness are less grim in Tolkien’s writings than that of the Bible because the reader knows that it is pure fantasy. Sadly, although that book is filled with the same mythological fantasies, most people assume that the Bible is historical. Thus the ghastliness of it all.
What do bible-thumpers and other religiously-skewed people think obtains from a president pressing his flesh atop that book? Do they envision that he will absorb some mysterious power while resting his hand thereupon?
A better question might be: Do we really want the stuff written in that book to be absorbed into the skin of our president! The rapes, the slavery, the incest, the concubines, the murders, the ethnic cleansings, human sacrifice, the smiting, the vengeance…
Is this what we hope our president will absorb from that book?
It seems to me that the majority of that book radiates negative energy; why would we want our president to begin his 4-year term with his aura perverted?
Rather than using the Bible, perhaps one could seek out a book of stories of the lives of dedicated, caring and compassionate people from all across the world. Quotes from philosophical sages down through the millennia or works by more modern sages like Dr. King, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Thomas Merton.
Conceivably the president might place his palm on the book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong. Compared with the Bible, Ms. Armstrong’s book radiates positive energy, stimulating energy that could affect the leader of the free world to accomplish great things for The People of this nation as well as for the world!