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Published:December 27th, 2008 10:57 EST
Obama Should End Tradition Of Using Bible To Be Sworn In

Obama Should End Tradition Of Using Bible To Be Sworn In

By Robert Paul Reyes

Barack Obama has decided to take the oath of office on the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration in 1861.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5389281.ece

Obama is being hailed for his symbolic gesture, and everyone is hoping that like Lincoln he will be able to hold this country together.

But I don`t applaud Obama, taking his oath of office on a Bible is a divisive gesture that won`t help unite Americans.

In 1861 almost everyone in our young country was a Christian, but that`s no longer the case. America is a diverse country with adherents from almost every religion in the world. There are millions of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, atheists and agnostics in our democracy who might feel slighted and excluded when Obama is sworn into office with his right hand on the Bible.

Obama should eschew religious texts and opt to be sworn into office with his hand on the sacred document that binds us together: The Constitution of the United States of America.

Obama is a great man but religion is his Achilles heel, his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright almost derailed his presidential ambitions. Obama hasn`t learned his lesson, he selected the homophobic Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration.

Obama will make history as the first African American president, but I can`t wait until a successor to Obama makes history as the first president not to be beholden to a religious ideology.