So, Help Her God

Sarah Palin’s new book, America By Heart: Reflections On Faith, Family and Flag, repeats the debunked myth that George Washington, at his first inauguration, added the phrase “So help me God” to the oath of office. The myth was started by Washington Irving and repeated by Rufus Wilmot Griswold in his 1854 book The Republican Court, or, American Society in the Days of Washington.

Washington Irving told the story of how he was present at the first inauguration.

Submitted by -David Drumm (Nal) — guest editor

However, Irving was barely 6 years old at the time and had observed the proceeding from 200 feet away. There’s no way he could have seen, let alone heard what happened. There is no other report or evidence that George Washington said what Irving claimed.

But that’s enough for Sarah Palin, who is well-known for believing in myths.

Newdow v. Roberts, a federal lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, sought to enjoin the Hon. John Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, from adding the phrase, “So help me God,” to the Presidential oath of office. The dismissal was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit in 2009 as moot, and due to lack of standing for future inaugurations. Roberts did add the phrase, “So help me God” to the end of a flubbed oath.

From Peter R. Henriques, Professor of History, Emeritus, at George Mason University:

One of the most widely held myths about George Washington is that immediately after he took the prescribed oath to become the nation’s first President, he solemnly added the words, “So help me God” and thus began a tradition that has been followed ever since.

In fact, an examination of the historical evidence demonstrates that claim  [that Washington added the words, “So help me God”] is almost certainly false.

H/T: Talk To Action, Chris Rodda, American Creation, History News Network.

-David Drumm (Nal)

139 thoughts on “So, Help Her God”

  1. Pingback: So Help Her God
  2. Gyges:

    you never ate squirrel muddle? I just use the fox and coyote skins to make coats out of, coyote is really nice.

    I have a personal vendetta against coyotes, they ate my damn dog about 10 years ago. I have been shooting them ever since just to even the score. And they do make nice coats.

    I should have had Brutus fixed, he was a golden retriever/rottweiler cross, big dog about 120 pounds and solid muscle. Nice as hell to, he’d lick you to death. I have heard that coyotes will send one of their bitches that are in heat into a neighborhood to troll for over sexed dogs. I guess Brutus let his pecker get the best of him and the coyotes got the best of Brutus.

    I found his collar,tags a few patches of skin and his skull the next day. I also found 2 dead coyotes. God damn I loved that dog.
    Killing coyotes is what I live for and that .243 kills em real nice.

  3. Gyges:

    you shooting squirrels in the back yard at 30′?

    You never went Coyote or fox hunting? I now a couple of sick sons of bitches who set up on a prairie dog town and shoot them cute little rascals from 300 yards. I know they raise hell with a horse, but for christ sake this isnt 1898.

    I can shoot most any thing but for some reason I cant bring myself to shoot a dog. It just inst sport to blow them away when they pop their little head up out of their holes.

  4. Bdaman:

    if the president says it, it must be true. He is omnipotent, omniscient, all powerful and all knowing. 🙂

  5. anybody want to debunk this

    A letter signed by 42 members of Congress criticizes President Barack Obama for telling students in Indonesia last month that America’s national motto is “E Pluribus Unum.”

    Obama commented to the students last month that the U.S. and Indonesia share a similar history. “It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is ‘E Pluribus Unum’ — out of many, one.”

    In a letter to the White House, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus — mostly Republican — note that the national motto has been “In God We Trust” since 1956.

    http://www.forbes.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=216891

  6. Gyges:

    The father called it his varmint rifle. I assumed it was a .243 and he loaded the rounds himself, so who knows what he had.

    I am pretty sure, but not 100%, a .243 at a couple of hundred yards would take down a caribou. Especially a small one as it seemed to be implied.

    But those are just my thoughts/observations.

    By the way, the first time I saw a mule deer I thought I was seeing a wild horse shag it’s ass up the side of a mountain.

  7. Kit,

    Also, if you’re using a rifle with enough umph to take down a caribou as your Varmint rifle, you don’t really get the concept of a varmint rifle.

  8. Kit,

    White tail and muley. I also usually bag a pronghorn while I’m at it. You did notice that I was arguing that the caribou was behaving normally right?

    I know scopes get knocked out true. You’ll notice I didn’t say word one about her aim.

    What struck me as odd was the way she was behaving. I’ve been on at least 3 people’s first hunts, and none of them required anywhere near the amount of coaching she did. And NOBODY has ever needed to have their rounds chambered for them.

  9. Gyges:

    I don’t know what kind of deer you shoot, but a misplaced foot sends them running in these parts.

    The wind was apparently in their faces and the rife was not sighted in properly as she later figured out when they tried to shoot a paper plate back at camp. Depending on wind speed, the animal may not have even heard the rifle shot. It was a young Caribou and so had probably never seen a human being or heard a rifle shot.

    When she used the friends rifle, I believe she put the animal down the first shot.

    The first rifle was her fathers varmint rifle, it could have been sighted in for 300 yards plus.

    Do have Palin Derangement Syndrome as well?

  10. Lotta,

    Eh, if they were going to go that far. They’d also edit it to make it look like she got it on the first shot.

    Depending on how far off she was, that bullet could’ve hit quite a bit away from the animal. Remember, there’s only been high powered rifles for a relatively small amount of time. Deer aren’t really wired to react to the new sort of danger they created.

  11. HenMan is onto something- I’m not a hunter but more than one hunter I know has railed on to me about taking inexperienced hunters out with them and having them ruin otherwise good opportunities because they just didn’t know how to be quiet. Wouldn’t that critter hear the first, missed, shot and skedaddle out of there? Can you be so far away that the sound wouldn’t reach the prey? Maybe the critter was drugged.

  12. Hen,

    Eh, assuming wind in their favor, decent scopes and telescopic lenses on the cameras, the animal’s behavior isn’t all that odd.
    It’s the people that are acting off.

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