Published January 11, 2013
MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell suggested Thursday that the Bible is causing too much hassle at inauguration ceremonies -- and should no longer be used to take the oath of office.
O'Donnell was reacting to the Atlanta pastor who pulled out of the Jan. 21 ceremony after a controversial sermon on homosexuality from the '90s was uncovered. The Rev. Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, had described homosexuality in a "sin" in that sermon.
"It turns out there is no better way for a pastor to get kicked out of the inauguration ceremony -- no better way to do that -- than quoting the Bible," O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell suggested presidents should simply stop placing their hand on the Bible when taking the oath, claiming "no one accepts all of the teachings of the Bible."
"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," O'Donnell said.
Instead, he suggested President Obama place his hand 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."
That's not likely to happen. Obama plans to use two Bibles during the Jan. 21 ceremony, including one owned by Martin Luther King Jr. and one owned by Abraham Lincoln.
George Washington began the tradition of using a Bible during his 1789 swearing-in.