Saturday, April 14, 2007

Senate Historian Office promotes false propaganda

Since early this year the United States Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) web site has featured a "so help me God" video that begins with a voice, probably of Warren Earl Burger, former Chief Justice of the United States, saying "shmG" repeated by another voice, probably that of former President Ronald Reagen, followed by a Senate Historian falsely asserting that all presidents have followed George Washington's precedent of appending "so help me God" (shmG) to the constitutionally specified presidential oath of office. There are no known contemporaneous eyewitness accounts of George Washington appended shmG during either of his inaugurations (newspaper accounts of his second inauguration quoted the oath as recited without shmG). The first newspaper accounts of shmG being appended to the presidential oath of office appear during the inaugural ceremony of Chester Arthur in 1881, over 90 years later. Appending shmG to the presidential oath of office became a tradition in the 20th century not long after commercial radios made it practical for many Americans to listen to the ceremony in their homes. Audio of Herbert Hoover's swearing in ceremony proves that he did not append shmG. Here are details about the mid 1850's origin of the George Washington shmG myth.

The Senate Historian Office's "so help me God" video on the JCCIC web site is irresponsibly and indefensibly misrepresenting false presidential oath of office shmG recitation propaganda as historical fact. I have called and written the Senate Historian's office about this . They have neither provided citations of contemporaneous eyewitness accounts to substantiate their incredible shmG claims nor taken any action to correct their video or the JCCIC web site text. That office and its employee titles are misnamed. As long as they promote these ahistorical shmG claims they are functioning as the Senate Mythology Office and its employees are serving as Senate Mythologists.

Take action: Call and write the Senate Historian's office and the Senate Rules Committee. Request that they immediately remove all unsubstantiated presidential oath of office shmG claims from the JCCIC and other Senate web pages. Inform them that they are entitled publish such claims only after they are substantiated with citations of contemporaneous eyewitness accounts. Contact information can be found on Atheist Action Central.

1 comment:

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