January 9th, 2009
04:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama has asked to say 'so help me God' at swearing-in

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama has requested that the words “so help me God” be added to the end of the oath of office to be administered by Chief Justice John Roberts on Inauguration Day.

That confirmation came in an affidavit filed today by Roberts' court counselor in a pending lawsuit by an atheist opposed to any mention of God in the inaugural ceremonies. Roberts said he would abide by Obama’s wishes.

The Constitution has specific language on what has to be said when swearing in the president, but the “so help me God” phrase has traditionally been added at the end of the required oath, starting with George Washington in 1789.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. carlo

    Well, if it has always been added, why is this news? Oh, yeah, you're trying to inform the 25% that thinks he's a Muslim? There's no hope for them. They're still searching for his "real" birth certificate.

    January 9, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Proud Democrat.

    Good for him!

    I guess we need to get ready for all the crazies who are going to start objecting over the language.

    Someone needs to tell them to fall in line and get over it!

    January 9, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Laverne

    AMEN!

    January 9, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Jewel

    Thank you!

    "So Help Me God"

    January 9, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. James L

    And may God Bless Our President !!!!!!!

    January 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Perusing-Through

    Thank you PE-Obama.

    January 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Vigla

    No big deal, guys. If he wants to say it, he can. It's his oath. However, should a future President not wish to say it, then they shouldn't have to...

    January 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Bambi Goes to Washington

    I'll be saying, "God help us all" as Obama takes the oath.

    January 9, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Nebraska

    "But... but.... but... Obama didn't want to say the pledge of allegiance and is a Muslin."

    Booyah! Conservative White Neo-Con America!

    January 9, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Pat White

    I am so thankful for this. So many people talk down about him. I have prayed so hard for him. I believe he is a good man. I wish others believed in him. We need to Pray for him and our "Country to got back to God. Lets all make a vow to Pray for him every day and I know the Lord will bless him and us.

    January 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Mya

    I'm confused.......

    January 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. bk

    Who cares?

    January 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Nurse Ratchet

    I'm an atheist, I think everyone has the right to believe what they want. If Obama believes in God and wants to include these words, then that is just fine with me.

    The only thing we ALL should be against is when someone/anyone tries to FORCE their beliefs/non-beliefs.

    Obama sticks to his convictions – he believes in God so I think him asking for his God's blessing is a good thing. He's not forcing anyone else to believe in anything, religious-wise.

    Please don't equivocate the stupid actions of that jerk atheist in California to the rest of the atheists in the world. Trying to prevent others from practicing their religion is just as bad as forcing them.

    January 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Do the right thing

    Good. I'm glad he is doing that.

    No matter what, you can't make everyone happy in this country, but what you can do is ask God to help you make the right choices.

    Like him or not, for all of our sakes, we ALL should be hoping for the best. God help us all.

    January 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. obama-mama

    If you're an atheist, you don't have to watch the swearing in. Nit picky and ridiculous. This country need prayer...

    January 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. PJP in OK

    I am impressed!!! Thank you Mr Obama!!!

    January 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Azar

    What's he trying to prove?
    It should not be mentioned in a secular country. It is ridiculous.

    January 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Stephee LeAnn

    I'm just sick of hearing this and how atheist groups want to prevent him from saying "God" in the inauguration. Honestly, people need to get a grip and just lay off of it. All you're doing is enforcing your believes on everyone to follow by, not showing respect on free speech and religion.

    January 9, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. philosopherkingtomas

    if its really your baby, take care of him be a MOM !

    January 9, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. joyce

    Too bad they are just words to most Presidents taking the oath. The Presidents usually break the oath of office within a few months after taking office.

    January 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Laverne

    Carlos: that is an excellent point!

    January 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Missy in Pikeville

    Obama is really trying to do good things for this nation, and good things come from God. Obama realized the need for God. He will be a great president, especially if he depends on God for guidance. Ignore the atheists.

    January 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Rick

    Well this should upset all of you hedonistic democrats out there.

    January 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Robin

    Why is this news? I did not vote for him and still have some small doubts regarding his birth certificate, but I know he is not Muslim.

    Even if he was Muslim, so what. There is a big difference between a peaceful Muslim practicing his religion and an extremist trying to destroy democracy.

    As far as his birth certificate, move on, who cares. We have bigger fish to fry and he has a large order to fill with all of those campaign promises he made.

    If he fails, ( I don't want him too, America can't afford that) the media will turn on him quicker then you can imagine.

    January 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. LIP

    God bless Barack Obama. May he succeed where others have failed.

    January 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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