January 9th, 2009
04:15 PM ET
10 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. Robin

    I didn't vote for him, but people, for goodness sake, he is not a Muslim.

    And even if he was, so what? There is a HUGE difference between a peaceful Muslim practicing his religion and an extremist who wants to destroy democracy.

    Let the hate go, Democrats and Republicans alike. Our future is in this man's hands. If he fails, we are in for a time worst then you can imagine.

    January 9, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Rachel

    Yes, let them keep searching for the birth cerfificate. Gives them something to do. Now all the Athiests will have something to belly ache about or sue. What a world we live in. I think it's time we sue them for tring to take our rights away!

    January 9, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    cario – because a lawsuit was filed to prevent Obama from saying 'so help me God' THAT is why it is news. And now we know that Justice Roberts will add the phrase per Obama's wishes.
    God bless our new President and his family!

    January 9, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Objective thinking

    John Roberts was appointed by Bush, so Bush-bashing in 3... 2... 1...

    January 9, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama does not ring true for me and everything he says impresses as either: 1. ingratiating or 2. self-aggrandizing

    January 9, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Holly

    I'm a huge Obama supporter, but I don't think religion, invocations, and "so help me God" should play any part in the inauguration of our president. If he wants to personally and privately swear by his god, that's obviously his choice, but all this bible stuff doesn't belong in this civil ceremony.

    January 9, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Jacob-Kevin

    I'm so sick of the right side making news out of petty and rediculous pieces of information. They're really working hard at trying to make Obama look like a Godless Democrat.

    January 9, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Avon Lady

    It's news because some athiest wants it removed, and Obama wants to keep it, not that Obama is trying to call attention to it. Oh, and I am NOT an Obama suporter, I didn't vote for HIM, but I support the president of my country, and in less than 2 weeks, that will be Obama. I sure hope he does his office justice.

    January 9, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. A Woman In California For Obama

    I think that is a good thing. Please keep that in your oath. God knows you will need him.

    January 9, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. sandee in Portland

    Good for him. Why should anything be changed to satisfy the demands of a few. If you don't believe, don't watch; then it won't bother you because you won't hear the words.

    January 9, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. It's The Ronald

    He's going to need it!

    January 9, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. ram

    Osama just lost my support. He is no different than all of the others – at least W had the decency to let us know where he stood.

    January 9, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Kruz

    I would like to say so what... I am an atheist and very, very against religion in the government. But he is a Christian and if he wants so say 'so help me god' let him. Can someone explain where there is a problem?

    January 9, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. obama's the one

    He's gonna need God's help with the mess George Bush left him. I for one will be praying for him.

    January 9, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. John Holdt

    It isn't about being Muslim Carlo. Its about moving past medieval teachings regardless of whether we call it Islam, Christianity, Judaism or any of the other made up gods and religions. Its time the U.S. joined the rest of the western world in rejecting this nonsense by proclaiming itself fully secular. Christianity, Islam, its all made-up nonsense.

    January 9, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. olusola

    Adding "so help me God" is not unwarranted. American founding founders acknowledged God, and so also some of us in this generation. For those who need to know, if God will not president Obama, then he might not make any impact . " For with God all things are possible".

    January 9, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. MK

    Obama is very respectful of traditions and history. I am so happy that he will be our new leader. I do agree that he will never prove to the crazies that he is a Christian but HE knows it and that is all that will ever matter.

    January 9, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. Pepou

    He needs more than God's help to clean up the mess left by Bush.

    January 9, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. Eric

    Come on Obama, you're a smart guy. You don't need to pander to all those who believe in a God in this country. Have some balls, represent all Americans, not just the ones who believe in their imaginary friend in the sky.

    January 9, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Kev

    Muslims do in fact believe in God, in case you didn't know. So that would make no difference. But is being Christian any better?

    January 9, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |


    January 9, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |

    Only a fool says that there is no GOD. Thus, we do not need
    G. Washington or B. Obama to tell you that you should depend on
    GOD for success in all your good efforts.

    January 9, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. My Friends, let me tell you

    Money is God to many people and some dont even know it.

    January 9, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. M. Townsend

    Thanks Carlo for making my day with that comment. That is funny.

    January 9, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. SMAC25

    In order for many in this Nation to finally "get it", perhaps, unemployment needs to reach in the very high double digits - like 40 to 50%.

    January 9, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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