After the possibility of an unconstititional swearing in ceremony infront of a global audience. Presidet (elect?) Obama had another private swearing in at the whitehouse. Reports claimed that this was performed without a Bible present Now there are lots of different views on whether anyone should swear on the Bible in the first place – Jesus did say :
33″Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matt 5:33-37)
Which does seem to prohibit the idea of swearing on anything but encourages honesty and plain speaking all the time. Nevertheless because we thought it would be an opportunity to try and get a fun news story that would help us get the Bible into the political news cycle we sent Obama a Bible. It has been picked up quite a bit – so I guess it was moderately succesful.
Here’s the Bible we sent Obama:
We thought it might help raise the poverty and injustice issue too as Obama has already expressed an interest in these areas.
Let me know what you think:
“So the Evangelical Alliance has decided to send him one for free. No doubt thousands of churches and Christian organisations around the world have decided to do likewise. It conjures up quite an amusing picture, of Obama in the White House within a few days of taking office, being Agape-bombed by Bibles from all around the world.”
The Bible they are sending is the ‘poverty and justice’ Bible, which uses the contemporary English version with more than 2,000 verses on God’s attitude to the poor and marginalised specially highlighted. This was the Bible carried by the Archbishop of Canterbury and hundreds of other Anglican bishops during their Walk of Witness in London, in the middle of the Lambeth Conference.
What will happen to the EA’s gift to Obama? Will it sit in a basement somewhere with thousands of other gifts sent to the new President? Will it be one of thousands of other Bibles sent him after the strange episode of the second oath? Will he notice it? Perhaps he doesn’t even need it, after all he seems to understand already the need to act in accordance with its principles, as his first decisions within hours of assuming his duties illustrate.
I just hope, if the EA ever receives a reply, they will tell us. I would quite like to know where precisely that Bible ends up.