January 9th, 2009
04:15 PM ET
11 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. Emmanuel

    Carlo and Robert are right and I wonder what will be the GOP strategy in 2012 when they go against Obama. Shame on them if they feel the president is a terrorists the world will laugh at them after knowing Obama. Mark my words 2012 will spell the doom of the GOP for a long time and it will take Bobby Jindal to rescue that party called Grand Old People.

    January 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Charles L. Shaw, Liverpool, NY

    Hey people weather your Muslim or Christian, God is God, I'm just asking the Almighty to show all us the path, or humanity itself will be lost and this will be the last President of the United States.
    So lets pray that all of our elected leaders can listen for word of the Almighty so we can survive as a nation.

    January 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. S Callahan

    I think I am love.:-) .....this man is a kindred spirit to my soul...

    Seriously, You have done the right thing, believe in your heart what you say in your words!

    January 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Gina, Baltimore, Maryland

    Carlo, you are absolutely right. For those of you who are convinced he's a Muslim, if that were true, I'm sure the republican bloodhounds would have found out. They are a ruthless bunch.

    January 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Spare me the drama......

    Well said Carlo! I really think we as Americans need to dispense with all this useless drama and put our energies toward conquering the many challenges that lay ahead of us. Last I checked, God wasn't the type to come swooping in and lay down some Thou Shalts in regard to the economy. But as I see it, asking for God's help never hurt anyone. That 25% that Carlos referred to ought to try it!! 🙂

    January 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Randall from FL

    Like they say, there's no atheists in foxholes....

    January 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Bleebo

    Praise GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Barack Obama you are AWESOME!!!!!

    That is why 99.9 choose "U".

    How "ya like THAT!".

    January 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Sophia in Canada

    looks like "Old Hand' needs a new hand.
    everything is news from here on out – since Nov. 4th, get use to it.

    January 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. tom

    He'll probably have his fingers crossed....

    Hopefully he will have better luck than the Govs of New Mexico and Illinois and the mayors of Detriot and now Baltimore.

    January 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. NATHAN

    Thank goodness Barack Obama has a good head on his shoulders and acts in accordance with his beliefs. We could use a good deal more of that in Washington.

    January 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. AL

    If Obama (or anyone else for that matter) wants to publicly state that they believe in fairy tales, they should be allowed. I personally find it disheartening that any of government officials buy into the talking snake/immaculate conception scheme, but who am I to tell someone that they can't believe in Santa Claus?

    January 9, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. bill

    I believe in God. But religion has no business in politics. Religion has had more people killed than any other cause. Keep your church out of my state.

    January 9, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. dEMOBRAT

    He's gonna need it.

    January 9, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Daniel

    "God" could mean a divine being, the Universe, Higher Power, etc. Personally, I don't like religious zealots of any sort, but Obama's saying the word "God" is really no big deal. As a matter of fact, his use of the word "God" just shows that he knows how to be humble and realize that there are higher powers greater than he.

    January 9, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Meka

    @ Robert, SC and Carlo

    I'm 57 years young, and I thought my children would expereince a brighter future-because of Education. . .

    I WAS WRONG . . . Ignorance is still a high percentage of America !

    January 9, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Mike

    I think it's news because there is an athiest trying to get that phrase out of the swearing in. Obama is making sure it's known he wants it in there. So, an athiest shouldn't be able to push his beliefs on someone that wants to say the phrase. Way to go Obama. I didn't vote for you, but I'm proud of you.

    January 9, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Mari

    That's a great idea........ sadly with the Bush Disaster that President Obama will have to deal with, he will plenty of help from GOD!

    HOPE WON.......... HOPE WON......... HOPE WON......... HOPE WON...........

    January 9, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. S.positve

    You cannot help a lost mind or as the bible call it, a Reprobate mind. They are lost until they wake up to the truth. It is called self denial...

    January 9, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Simmy

    I sooooooo love this man, I mean PE Obama! You go sir! Very smart move! And He will "so help" you in all of your endeavors!" Amen.

    January 9, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Consevative

    Our founding-fathers are conservative, and this nation is a Christian nation. Obama is not above God.

    January 9, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. dm houston

    If he's reeelected in 2012, you won't hear him asking for it to be included again.

    January 9, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Gloria - Minnesota

    Thank you Pres. Elect Obama! Our nation cannot fold to the minority wishes–especially when it comes to the mention of God!

    January 9, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Peggy from IA

    Again, too old to old hand.

    January 9, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Tim

    What the atheist doesn't understand is that its Obama's choice to say "So Help Me God". Some presidents say it, some don't. No on is mandating that it must be said.

    January 9, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. RP Michigan

    There is no evidence that George Washington DIDN'T say 'so help me God.' He was a strong believer in God's Providence in his life.

    January 9, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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