The Wall Street Journal has a very nice interactive article about the Bibles used by the various presidents when they have been sworn in, including information about which verses the Presidents chose to have the Bible opened to, if any. It's an interesting trivia tidbit, and gives surprising insights into each man. Some were not especially religious, not using a Bible or prayer book, or, if they did, having it closed. Others appear to have known their Bibles well. Some chose to have more than one Bible, which seemed a little odd to me, but there was usually some symbolism to be observed in that choice. Barak Obama has asked to use the Bible President Lincoln used, which is being brought over from the Smithsonian for him.
Check it out:
'I Do Solemnly Swear..."
So let's play pretend, as my kids used to say. If you were elected president, what document would you choose to use for swearing in? If you would use a holy book, what verse, if any, would you choose to lay your hand on?
I think that if I were a person who did not practice a religion, I might choose to lay my hand on a copy of the U.S. Constitution. I think that would be more meaningful to me than using nothing at all, though there are several presidents who did not swear on anything.
Since I am a practicing Christian, I would use a Bible. I think I would use the nice Revised Standard Version Bible my husband got for me the first year that we were married, special because it was a gift from him, even though I have since changed to using a more recent translation. I think I would have it open to Micah 6:8: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
What would you do at your pretend inauguration?