Inspired by Mattbear, who needs to blog more, I decided to post some trivia questions on Facebook and have my friends give their answers. It was fun for me and people seemed to enjoy it. Elizab decided to do the same and the three of us made a game out of it. Some of the answers were indeed comical, even if it wasn't their intention.
Last night I posed the question as to who was the first US President that didn't use a Bible when taking the oath of office. The answers I got were a bit interesting. Let's take a look at them shall we?
First we have my cousin: Either Obama, or no one...they all have.
I'm not sure why she felt so authoritative that all US Presidents have employed the good book in the oath, but it gets better.
My wife's coworker chimed in with this gem: obama - he hates Jesus
I'm uncertain as to why he feels our current President feels loathsome towards the Lord and Savior, but I reminded him that Obama used Lincoln's bible at his inauguration. He responded in kind:
Typical polotician. A hypocrite. He openly bashes the Bible during his campaign, yet he has the nerve to actually touch one (but just for show). Surely it was the first and last time he'll ever be that close to a Bible. Worst president ever - he'll burn in hell... mark my words
Wow. At first I thought it was a joke, but one can never tell. There's a lot of hatred towards Obama lately for reasons I don't really understand. I've never known our President to openly bash the bible during his campaign and as I understood it he was an avid church goer. Perhaps I wasn't paying attention well enough as the religious affiliation of anyone elected to public office matters very little to me. Still the commenter in question is a good guy, politics be damned.
Another friend chimed in with this amusing piece:
If it wasn't Jefferson or Adams, then it was probably Teddy Roosevelt. You know... the greatest Republican president that conservatives ignore. Started the FDA, government regulation of railroads, national parks. He even considered a national health plan.
Yes my friend decided to take a stab at the modern conservative movement while giving an honest answer. I thought it was amusing as I too am stumped as to why the current GOP leadership and their Tea Party brethren don't seem to like, or mention at all, my favorite President, Theodore Roosevelt. If one would like to see a politician who doesn't tow the party line you need not look further.
He's right in the fact that Theodore Roosevelt didn't take the oath of office with a Bible after McKinley died. He did for his second term; however.
My old boss was taken aback at all the Obama hate and particularly at the comment my friend made regarding his eligibility into heaven. She decided to voice her displeasure publicly:
Hey Eric (Editor's note: the incorrect spelling of my name), surely this **** dude is no friend of yours...very scary!!!
While I can understand how his comment would raise an eyebrow, especially when you consider how my former employer is a staunch liberal, the public lashing of my friend's political views seemed a bit much, especially in that context. I defended him stating he is a good guy, which is true. I've never engaged with him politically or religiously for that matter as I normally don't with my new found Texas friends. Still he's one of the nicest people I've met since I've moved here and will vouch for his character.
The boss replied stating that she trusts my judgement, which is a mistake, but still made it clear that his comment scared her. I let it go, but the wife chimed in further defending the qualities of her colleague and our friend in a tactful manner.
I should've known better than to think that the answers to the question would be all reasonable. Some take politics and religion very personally, a fact I've yet to really comprehend why. I enjoy a good debate and often times find myself at the wrong end of the spectrum, but to simply ask a question to bring about facts really brought out the colors of a few.
It's Facebook though, a stupid social networking site that can hardly be expected to be the appropriate forum for reasoned debate.
What's funny about this is that the answer I gave was John Quincy Adams, but my friend Alec pointed out that I may be wrong in this. Apparently there's little evidence that Jefferson and Adams Sr swore on a Bible. They may have, but history is not clear on this and may be the result of heresay.
John Quincy Adams reportedly laid his hand on a book of laws, claiming he wanted to keep religion and the office of the Presidency separate, even though he was a Christian. Funny how that act wouldn't sit well with the Evangelical community today, but he was right in doing so.
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." - John Quincy Adams