When Oklahoma City Council member JoBeth Hamon wassworn inearly this year, she chose to use a copy of Marxist Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” rather than the Bible.
While there’s no law or policy that requires the use of a Bible for swearing-in ceremonies, Hamon upset traditions going back to ninth-century England.
In an email to me, Hamon explained that she comes from a social services background, so she wanted to center her campaign “on uplifting voices that aren’t often at the table when our governments make decisions”— the homeless, the car-less, and so forth, from whose perspective, she claimed, Zinn told U.S. history.
“A People’s History,” she thought, “would be a good reminder of who I seek to serve.”
Implicit in the ritual of taking oaths on the Bible is the acknowledgment of the need for God’s guidance—something that U.S. presidents have signaled…
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