2 Comments

  1. It is interesting to note that the addition of the optional “affirm” in the Presidential Oath was put there by the Framers to facilitate different religious views. At the time of the Constitutional Convention and the early days of America, there were popular religions who would not take an “oath” to anything other than their God, as they believed this to be placing that organization above God. So, the Framers put the optional “affirm” language in the Presidential Oath to allow a person who felt that way to “affirm” those things in the Presidential Oath(/Affirmation), instead of take an “oath”.

  2. brian

    Actually in the U.S. Constitution, it is 35 words that make a president and not 39 words as shown at the top of your video of President Ford taking his Oath of Office. Many presidents do add “so help me God” and there is nothing wrong with that. However it is not required by the Constitution.

    Also there are a number of presidents who did not say the actual oath. Rather they said “I do” after being asked if they swore “To faithfully execute the office of President …”

    Furthermore it is not required that a bible or other sacred book be used. Both Franklin Pierce and Theodore Roosevelt did not use any book, and John Quincy Adams used a law book. Nothing wrong if a holy book is used and/or the words “so help me God” are added. But it is not a requirement and not doing so does not prevent someone from being President.

    REFERENCES:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_office_of_the_President_of_the_United_States

    http://www.america.gov/st/usg-english/2008/December/20081223094506hmnietsua0.8240321.html

    http://americanhistory.about.com/od/uspresidents/ss/inauguration_5.htm

    http://www.buffalohistoryworks.com/panamex/assassination/page2.htm

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