Between the Lines

Conspiracy theories have been with us since time began. Highly educated and well-respected individuals have spent a great deal of their lives trying to prove this, or disprove that. There are a few trigger names that immediately invoke thoughts of doubt or wonder. Marilyn, Dianna, JFK, Lennon…events, times and places that beg us to re-examine our own views on things that may, or may not, have happened. If there is no comprehensive explanation given for a particular event, circumstance or action then the keyboards of the theorists get busy loading their doubts onto the web or into a book. Crop circles, flying saucers, aliens, moon landings and even the tragic events of 9/11 have all been microscopically examined for their authenticity and the potential for hidden agendas by governments or government controlled agencies. We recently witnessed the inauguration of a new American president…or did we? Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president but, because the words were ‘fluffed’ during the elaborate ceremony, it was decided to reinaugurate him the following day. This was felt necessary partly because of the obvious legal implications but partly to placate the conspiracy theorists. ‘An abundance of caution’ was the reason given by an official for the enactment and yet, there is a problem that the worlds leading superpower couldn’t get right: apparently. Just for a minute or two I shall take on the mantle of a conspiracy theorist.

President Obama retakes the oath of office from Chief Justice Roberts at the White House on 21st January 2009

The second ‘legal’ inauguration took place in the map room of the White house: the First Lady wasn’t present. The President repeated the correct words as quoted to him, line by line. However, one of the essential elements involved in the process was missing: a Bible. In a light-hearted statement it was said that it was simply because they couldn’t find one! It’s important at this juncture to dispel an untruth. Obama’s middle name is Hussein. His father and stepfather were Muslim and he spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, a largely Muslim country. But he attended secular and Catholic schools and, despite all the speculation and rumour, he is, without doubt, a Christian. Now, even if we remove the religious significance of this part of the process, if it was required and enacted in the first instance, then why was it deemed sufficient not, as convention dictates, to swear on a bible once again? Therefore, with this one simple omission, are we legitimately permitted to doubt the credentials of this new President? Now, back to reality. In my view they might have been better advised to just leave things as they were: nothing more or less than a monumental cock-up in the face of the world’s media. Conspiracy theorists will now be pouring over every aspect of this second ceremony…. and wondering; just…. wondering.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Between the Lines

  1. paul shardlow

    There is no requirement in the US constitution for the president to swear on a bible at his/her inauguration. It is tradition, not law.
    The Presidential oath of office is described in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution, below:

    Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
    There is no mention of god.

    • You know that Paul….I know that…..however, making him take the oath a second time without Lincoln’s Bible….well……did the Duke of Edinburgh order the death of Diana?…..why are there no stars in the backgroud as the astronauts played golf on the moon?

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