As the Presidential Inauguration approaches, which will cost millions of dollars to host, a controversy has come up and that is the use of the Bible, the written Word of God, in the ceremony. ON Thursday, host Lawrence O'Donnell said on his MSNBC program "The Last Word" that the Bible shouldn't have any role in the upcoming Inauguration Day ceremonies.
This comes as no surprise to those of us who understand that we have become a pluralistic society where every "god" and every religion is considered as equally valid. However the controversy that O'Donnell brought up was that Atlanta Pastor Louie Giglio had the honor of providing the benediction at the inauguration ceremonies because he simply stood on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.
“It turns out there is no better way for a pastor to get kicked out of the inauguration ceremony than quoting the Bible,” O’Donnell said. “That is what Louie Giglio, of Passion City Church in Atlanta, did to get knocked out of this year’s inauguration. His participation was announced at 9 a.m. on Tuesday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. It took all of a day for something to surface in his Giglio’s sermonizing past that made him persona non grata at the swearing-in of a president who is in favor of gay rights, including marriage equality.”
Giglio was "outed" by Josh Israel, a senior investigative reporter for Think Progress, who went back fifteen years to point to a sermon by Giglio that called homosexuality a sin. I seem to recall a certain prominent politician who attended a church for 20 years where hatred for white people and hatred of America was preached and he got a pass. Oh that's right, liberals do that when it's their guy.
“The truth is that homosexuality is a sin in the Bible,” O’Donnell continued. He also noted that Giglio’s sermons cited Leviticus 18:22 and I Corinthians 9-10, which warn against committing “sexual immorality.”
“We will ensure that whoever delivers the benediction rejects the same parts of the Bible that President Obama rejects and most Democrats reject, even though every word of the Bible is the word of God,” O’Donnell continued. “As I’ve pointed out … no one accepts all of the teachings of the Bible. No one. … Still, the president, following one of our most absurdest traditions in the government that invented the separation of church and state, will put his hand on this book filled with things he does not believe – filled with things that no one in the United States of America believes – and with his hand on this book he will recite the oath of office. ”
O'Donnell then suggested putting in an alternate for the swearing ceremony: one of Barack Obama's daughters. He asked, “Now, wouldn’t it be better if the president’s hand was on the shoulder of one of his daughters, suggesting that he was honoring the oath of office as much as he honors Sasha and Malia?”
Apparently what O'Donnell doesn't understand and what many don't understand is that when one places their hand on the Bible and takes an oath, they are calling the Triune God of the Bible as witness against them to uphold their oath of office.
Many, even with a clear conscience, have taken upon themselves to swear on other writings. For instance, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) became the first Muslim elected to Congress and his swearing in ceremony consisted of a photo op where he "swore" on a copy of Thomas Jefferson's Koran. Jefferson was not a Christian. He was a Unitarian.
Then there is the latest deviation from taking one's oath to elected office on the Bible. This week as members of the 113th Congress were sworn in, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who was raised a Mormon and graduated from Brigham Young, but some believe her to be an atheist, placed her hand on a copy of the United States Constitution, instead of the Bible. Sinema is known to quote the phrase that Americans are entitled to "freedom of religion and freedom from religion."
Apparently, Ms. Sinema doesn't understand anything about the United States Constitution. The Founders would have taken issue with her I'm sure, especially with regards to her claim that one has the right to "freedom from religion."
Though I do not believe George Washington was a Christian, there is no doubt he was a religious man. In fact, in his Farewell Address, he specifically blasts claims like Sinema's stating:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
But friends it goes further, those who would cast off the restraints of God's Law and seek to toss him aside are not only undermining the foundations of our society, but of their own lives. Barack Obama even took the oath in his first inauguration a second time, because he so badly screwed it up. The only catch in the second oath was that he swore on nothing.
It appears now, he is attempting to portray himself as super religious and super civil rights by not only taking his oath on the Bible, but two Bibles. He plans to take the oath on a Bible owned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and also one owned by Abraham Lincoln. Oh, the irony!
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