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Are ‘So Help Me God,’ Inaugural Prayer Still Appropriate?

Commentary Inside the First Amendment By Charles C. Haynes First Amendment Center senior scholar

When President-elect Barack Obama takes office on Jan. 20, he will recite the prescribed oath — and then Chief Justice John Roberts will ask him to repeat four additional words found nowhere in the Constitution: “So help me God.”

If Michael Newdow is watching, he will not be happy. Last month, the high-profile atheist filed suit to enjoin the chief justice from adding “so help . . .

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