Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two Bibles Inform Themes of Continuity and National Unity for Second Inaugural

It is reported that at his public inaugural today President Barack Obama will use the Bible Abraham Lincoln used at his first inaugural and a Bible used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (see Wall Street Journal, Jan. 18, 2013, p. A13). This is entirely appropriate since it evokes themes of national commonality and continuity, which will almost certainly inform the second inaugural address. In an era of gridlock, these are important reminders of national unity.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in. Abraham Lincoln, Mar 4, 1865.

Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 3, 1968.

Let us create together a new national spirit of unity and trust. Jimmy Carter, Jan. 20, 1977.

Alongside our famous individualism, there is another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we're all connected as one people. Do we participate in the politics of cynicism or do we participate in the politics if hope. Barack Obama, July 27, 2004.