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. Was that footage taken at Dick Cheney’s hunt club where they stand in one spot and shoot tame animals? That sure was an accommodating animal. He was probably thinking,”Are you going to take all day? It’s cold out here and I want to go back to the barn”.

  2. FFLEO,

    There’s no way that woman’s a seasoned hunter.

    That whole thing seemed off. I almost wonder whose tag that animal actually filled.

  3. Gyges,

    I also thought that was very odd for any seasoned hunter to allow.

  4. BDAman,

    She needs someone to chamber a new round for her. I think that says just about everything that needs to be said.

  5. If Palin doesn’t know when to shoot and then can hit her target I don’t think she can be president.

  6. Rufus Although I went to sleep at 10 last night, I would rather read about beer and music than Palin.

  7. BBB:

    notice how they ignore your post and go right to beer? They have been educated to a level beyond their comprehension.

  8. I loved the Irish pubs on Grand Ave in St. Paul. Probably liked them too much. IRA members hung out in a couple of them. I didn’t know you quit “drankin” 41 years ago, FFLEO.

  9. FF LEO-

    I suspect that ordering a “Shirley Temple” in an Irish pub would be similar to ordering Gefilte Fish in Iran.

  10. Ha! what a song…

    I do miss going to Irish Pubs just to listen to Irish fiddle and tin whistle music. Besides, none of them ‘Arish’ barkeeps knew how to mix me up a ‘Shirley Temple’ cocktail…

  11. FFLEO,

    Forgive me ahead of time but this is one of my favorites … listen to the end

  12. Buddha,

    Save trying it till you can do it with Beamish … that way you get the whole experience at its best.

  13. Blouise,

    I could probably get by with drinking just one with it diluted by the beer. It would be easier on me drinking it boilermaker style than shot and chaser.

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