I was just looking at a photo on USA Today, and it raised a question for me:
Why do elected officials, most especially the POTUS swear on a bible to uphold the Oath of Office? I think they should swear on the Constitution. How is this separation of church and state?
So help you g-d? Pfft, so help you the angry masses if you screw up.
A couple of issues here...
First, swearing on the bible originally meant the POTUS pledged before god to perform the office, as indicated in the oath. This was somehow supposed to carry some weight, as it was expected that a true christian would not accept the oath with the wrath of god hanging over their head. Similar to what takes place in court on the stand. Simple stuff to understand, even if it makes no sense.
I think this is a archaic practice that should be done away with too. Anyone can fake an oath. If there are no repercussions for intentionally failing to fulfill the duty of POTUS then what exactly is the point? Maybe we should just have them sign a contract agreeing to fulfill those duties.
Actually, we as a country, enjoy dignified pageantry when a POTUS takes office. We like to see the POTUS appear to take this stuff seriously. It makes us feel as if they're beginning the path towards doing something important. After all, when it's someone else taking the oath of office, it doesn't make any difference what we believe. We've already elected them so we want THEM to take the oath seriously. What they do after taking that oath? That's another discussion.
Interesting post. Where I am in Canada, and to the best of my knowledge, there's no such posturing when a politician is sworn in. I think the basic assumption is that a person's nationalism is enough to guilt them into not lying under oath (as if that's a legitimate expectation haha).
The pageantry is appalling. We have millions to spend on Secret Service among other things for that? Heck NO. People need jobs, Social Security needs funding, and how long before Bush 1 dies and we hold a big fat funeral funded by the taxpayers. Ohhhh kayyyyy. Do you suppose Beyonce is singing for free?
Swearing to uphold a moral contract is a great idea.
So we agree Bush must not die for financial reasons. Wait, he's pulling in a pretty hefty pension. ;-)
Actually, you're right about the expense of all these ceremonies and celebrations. I'd really like to support Obama in many things but he seems to have no idea the value of money. Politicians spending taxpayer money by the truckload so they can somehow convince us they're worth having as leaders? Maybe it's all designed to take our mind of more serious issues. It sounds like something Zaphod Beeblebrox might try.
Nooo, I do not wish death on him. He's not been well of late, and having recall of Reagan's elaborate funeral. It's the hypocrisy of waste that gets me. I wish President Obama had departed from a traditional inauguration, and honestly a second term should not warrant it anyway. That would have spoken volumes in and of itself.