Jan. 22, 2009 — President Barack Obama retook the oath of office on Wednesday evening after the first one was flubbed. But because the Bible was noticeably absent from the second swearing-in, a U.K.-based ministerial alliance is sending him one.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the second oath at the White House on Wednesday to dispel confusion created by the first one, which was given out of sequence, and to erase questions about whether Obama was legally president. On Tuesday, Roberts was apparently working without a copy of the oath, CNN reported. (View Tuesday’s swearing-in.
Both oaths included the phrase “so help me God.” But on Wednesday, Obama raised his right hand but used no Bible, according to CNN. (Hear the second swearing-in.
After learning that the second oath was administered without a Bible, the Evangelical Alliance U.K., based in England, sent the U.S. president a copy of The Poverty and Justice Bible to ensure he has one on hand for any future need.
The Bible, published by the U.K.-based Bible Society, highlights more than 2,000 passages addressing the issues of poverty and justice.
“President Obama’s commitment to the scripture was obvious during his inaugural address, when he quoted Paul’s letter to the Corinthians—so when we heard he didn’t swear on a Bible the second time, we could only assume it was because he couldn’t find one,” Krish Kandiah, director of Churches in Mission for the Evangelical Alliance, said in a statement.
“We are sending him a copy of the Bible in case he is ever biblically caught short again. We are delighted that President Obama takes justice and the alleviation of poverty very seriously, so we will send him a Bible that focuses on these issues that are so close to his, and God’s, heart.”
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also been given a copy of The Poverty and Justice Bible.
In a statement, Peter Meadows, Bible Society associate executive director, said the Bible is more than a symbol or a good idea. “The Bible is a reminder that true hope and real change has its root in Scripture,” he said.