Rep. Kyrsten Sinema Sworn Into Congress without a Bible

In case you were wondering, newly-elected Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the sole religiously “unaffiliated” member of Congress (but, whatever you do, don’t call her an atheist), was recently sworn in by Speaker of the House John Boehner:

So what is that she’s swearing on? Is it a Bible?

I asked her staff and they told me it was a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

Great start for the purely-symbolic “leader of the Nones” in Congress.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Octoberfurst

    She wasn’t sworn in on a Bible??? Wait for the howls of outrage from the Religious Right in 5–4–3–2–

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    They should ALL have to do their oath of office on the US Constitution.

    Then maybe some of them would even read it.

  • IslandBrewer

    I sure there’s going to be some fringe* theorists who are going to say that because she didn’t swear on a bible, she’s not really a legitimate legislator.

    *”Fringe” theorists are so named not because they are on the periphery of society, but because of the theory that, because Federal District courts in the US display a US flag with a gold fringe, which is commonly used in the military, they are actually military courts, and the US Constitution doesn’t apply.

    I am not making this shit up.

  • jdm8

    The House did have a floor reading at the beginning of this session. I think congress members took turns reading sections for that. Beyond that, I don’t remember. The story didn’t mention the attendance level.

  • gingerjet

    Which is consistant with what the first Presidents and federal politicians took the oath. John Quincy Adams wrote that he took the oath on a book of laws. And there is little if any evidence that the Bible was used for oaths of earlier presidents. It didn’t become common practice until relatively recently.

  • C Peterson

    Totally off topic… but that photograph contains some of the strangest aberration I’ve ever seen. Was it taken through a curved bulletproof shield or something? The stars actually seem to be flying off the flags on the right side.

    Maybe it’s a miracle!

  • Rich Wilson

    Reading it isn’t the problem. After all, how often do they point out that “Wall of separation between church and state” isn’t even in the constitution?

  • A3Kr0n

    According to the FBI they all might be terrorists.

  • Revyloution

    Looking at the spine, it looks like a volume from a set of encyclopedia.

  • observer

    I’ll bet you they’ll say that her being sworn on the Constitution instead of the Bible is somehow against the 1st Amendment.

  • Mary Driftwood

    I approve of her choice. I’d probably have gone with something like a copy of Harry Potter, which perhaps does not set quite the right tone.

  • Cincinatheist

    Yeah, I knew right away it wasn’t a bible. All the bullshit in the bible requires them to be thicker than that.

  • SK

    It still horrifies me that the USA is a country where it is potentially scandalous that a member of Congress did not swear on a bible! In many more civilised parts of the world being non-religious and an elected representative are in no way incompatible.

  • Drew M.

    Kit lens?

  • Octoberfurst

    Yeah welcome to America—the land of religious nuts & flakes—where for most politicians loving the baby Jeebus is almost mandatory. >sigh<

  • GloomCookie613

    It looks like somebody used a cheap cameraphone and moved slightly.

  • Barbara

    With all the knuckleheads in Congress, it’s reassuring to see some sensibility for a change. Thank you, Rep. Sinema! And keep it coming!

  • SeekerLancer

    The same amount of times they say that God is.

  • TheExpatriate700

    Who cares what she calls herself?

  • Matt Eggler

    Religious Nuts & Flakes – I saw that in the cereal aisle at the store and thought I’d try it. I found it to be a bland tasteless source of empty calories.

  • Luther

    I think they messed up some of the words at the beginning of the last session.

  • Lawrence Bujak

    Rep. Kyrsten Sinema should have been Sworn in using The Little Red Book, by Mao Tse-Tung –– show some respect to the country that will take over the USlessA in the near future

  • edotwoods

    Capitalizing “sworn” made this comment so much funnier to me.

  • Q. Quine

    Did she say the “so help me, God” at the end?

  • Salomeh Ghorbani

    Rich…while the WORDS may not be in there, the phrase describes the intent and result of the Establishment Clause as detailed by Thomas Jefferson.

  • DR

    Read the article. The writer is a conspiracy loon, and you’re essentially parrotting his “interpretation”. What the FBI claims is that you should be careful with people who use the Constitution to defend themselves. The simple fact is that most people, when stopped for, say, a traffic stop, either say “I’m sorry”, or “What do you mean, I was speeding?”. What they don’t say is “I claim my right under the 5th amendment to not incriminate myself”. People who do use phrases like that are more often right-wing militia loons and so-called “sovereign citizens”, who are more likely than not to either be terrorists themselves or have ties to terrorist organizations.

    I’m not saying the FBI is not overstepping their bounds by using simplistic criteria like this. But the FBI is not saying that you don’t have the right to defend yourself using the Constitution, or that the Constitution is null and void. The same people who claim that this is a huge government conspiracy to impose martial law are fully behind Arpaio and his gang who use the same oversimplification to paint all undocumented immigrants as criminals and terrorists.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Should have used a volume of Funk & Wagnall’s encyclopedia

  • SocraticGadfly

    “Sole”? Yes, she’s the only one who officially said “none,” but 10 others answered “don’t know/refuse” to the religious affiliation question.–the-religious-composition-of-the-113th-congress.aspx

  • Lefty

    i hate john’s face so much

  • chicago dyke

    yes, i’m shallow. but i love her glasses.

  • ruth

    For a while I had a job that entailed administering an oath in judicial proceedings. I never wanted to put someone on the spot so I used an affirmation for everyone. No one ever said anything and maybe no one ever noticed. Roughly, I asked: Do you solemnly declare and affirm that the evidence you will give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

  • ruth

    I also had to testify in court several times as an expert on an issue. I never but ever asked to be given the option of an affirmation rather than oath because I did not want my choice to color how people viewed my testimony. So, I was forced to say yes to “so help me god” type oaths. Not a lie but it was disquieting.

  • C Peterson

    I think that was Rich’s point… whether they read it or not, they seem utterly incapable of interpreting the intent of so much of it, or of understanding its interpretation in light of subsequent court decisions.

  • OCRazor

    Awesome! Great start Krysten!
    On a side note, just think of the uproar that will ensue the first time a Koran is used…

  • Q. Quine

    Thanks Ruth, yes doing expert witness work, I often face this. Once, I got the “God” read to me unexpectedly and had to stop the judicial recorder and ask for the non-religious affirmation. This recorder did not know about that, and asked me what it was, and I had to inform her that it was the same but just without the “so help me, God” on the end. Now I always ask for the non-religious affirmation before hearings or depositions get started, just to avoid any problem.

  • GeraardSpergen

    Here’s an article on the books available.

    Interesting snippet:

    >The “unaffiliated” lawmaker is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Democrat, who is claimed by atheists as one of their own, but whose office said she doesn’t identify that way.
    >She didn’t hold any text for the official swearing-in on the House floor, and did not take part in a ceremonial oath with Mr. Boehner.
    >“I already got sworn in — and it was glorious,” she told The Washington Times.

    So apparently she didn’t use a book for the official swearing in, but posed with a book for the fake swearing in photo.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I didn’t even notice she was wearing them.

  • Rebecca Davis-Nord

    I suspect that many who are sworn in on the Bible haven’t read it, so I’m not sure using a copy of the Constitution would ensure that they read it… but I love the idea. :)

  • Rebecca Davis-Nord

    I suspect Rich wasn’t arguing that fact, just pointing out some common Religious Right rhetoric.

  • Rebecca Davis-Nord

    What an honor it would be, as a new legislator, to be present in the chamber for the reading of the Constitution. Anyone who missed it should be ashamed of herself/himself.

  • GeraardSpergen

    It’s already been done.

    >In 2007, when he became the first Muslim, Rep. Keith Ellison used the Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson, which the Library of Congress brought over for him.

  • DavidNorris

    Bet he’s thinking, “We never should’ve let them out of the kitchen in the first place.” Poor Boehner. First he has to make nice with those icky gays, and now some uppity woman does the unthinkable by refusing to keep quiet and not swearing her oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies (foreign and domestic) on a Bible! What is the basis for her morality!?

  • smrnda

    Um, even in the PRC the status of the “little red book” has greatly diminished as its most often associated with the Cultural Revolution, a time almost everybody in China agrees was bad, even the government.

    And also, as someone who has been to China and who knows quite a few people from there and who work there or do business there, the idea that the PRC is going to take over the world is a little ridiculous. Their entire economy is built around keeping wages low and labor standards atrocious. There’s only so far you can go on an economy like that.

    Also, are you implying that now that we have a female ‘none’ in congress, that somehow we’re on a decline? Countries with a higher standard of living than the US (and who see that it’s more relevant to have a higher standard of living than geopolitical dominance) have many more such persons in office. If anything, getting out the ‘angry old white guys’ would be the best thing this country could do.

  • Carmelita Spats

    The Bible is as funny as Mao’s Little Red Book…Most congregations in the U.S. would NOT be able to distinguish between Yahweh’s maniacal throat clearings and Mao’s rants…Swap bible quotes for Mao quotes and the devotees will sit wide-eyed, taking in every word…You could even introduce a new God…YahMao.

  • Scott Amundsen

    Boner must have just LOVED having to swear in this new lot of incoming Representatives: Two Gay Men (with their husbands at their sides) and now this. I’m surprised he isn’t crying.

  • Robert B. Singleton

    As a Notary Public, only my local jurisdiction could cause a conflict…interesting.

  • Carrie

    Why does anyone even know whether or not she’s affiliated with a religion? That information should not only not be asked, it doesn’t matter.
    As far as God in the constitution, the Framers said “…endowed by THEIR creator…” not THE creator or OUR creator but ANY creator an individual chooses from YHWH to Allah to some prokaryote to Yoshi. They wrote it that way on purpose. You don’t think they “proofread” the constitution?? lol

  • Revyloution

    It was awful. They could have hired, or even had a great orator volunteer (I heard that Morgan Freeman would have done it for free, but it’s just a rumor) to read the entire thing.
    Instead, they all took turns, all 435 of them. Divide the constitution into 435 parts, and you get a long line of people who come up to the lectern, say a couple of sentences, then let the next guy/gal on. It was so disjointed and awful, I hardly made it to the bill of rights before I shut it off.

  • Betty Clark

    The Constitution, eh? That seems most appropriate.

  • AtheistAnthony

    Now didn’t the first pilgrims which came to this country come here to escape government controlled by religion… ???
    Ok, so I do understand that for most it was because they wanted to have a different religion than the one the gov’t was pushing down their throats.

    I do understand that “Separation of Church and State” is not specifically in the Constitution (though it should be an amendment) that the very first Amendment covers some of that and Article 6 proclaims that ” No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    TELL ME WHY in 7 states is is ILLEGAL to hold public office if you are a proclaimed Atheist???
    This is directly UNCONSTITUTIONAL and should be enforced!
    How about this… If the churches want to be able to have an influence on government, TAX them at the same rate as we are taxing the top 2% … NO Loop Holes or any of that crap! I think that would go a LONG way toward balancing our fiscal issues (Hey Republicans – this is where that additional revenue comes from!)
    In My Opinion, this Country needs Dr. Bill Nye and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson in the white house, full 8yr. terms for both of them and maybe Neil’s Vice-Pres could be Dr. Michio Kaku, then he could be Pres. for 8 years also. 24 years of extremely intelligent scientific leadership for this country would do it some good I think… Now THAT’S a pipe dream!

  • Cat’s Staff

    Unless she was late for the official one, this is just the photo-op pose. For the official swearing in, all members stand at theirs desks raise their hands, the Speaker says the oath and they are expected to ‘solemnly swear or affirm’ it. Here’s the video… Looking at it I don’t see any of them using a Bible or anything else to swear on…oh my!

  • Brenda/Lysana/either

    Heck, she’s also the first openly bisexual woman to be elected to Congress, so she’s a double whammy.

  • Ferblunjit

    Let’s be shallow together! :D I think you have wonderful taste! Let’s hope the caliber of her legislating is commensurate with her fashion sense. (And before the accusations of sexism start flying, I’ll put in the same two cents for any male Rep. in a well-tailored suit… or chapeau.)

  • allein

    My thoughts exactly :)

  • Reginald Selkirk

    AtheistAnthony: Now didn’t the first pilgrims which came to this country come here to escape government controlled by religion… ???

    They came here to escape government controlled by someone else’s religion. They had no problem with theocracy. You can read about the wonderful treatment of heretics and Baptists by the Puritans. Find out why Roger Williams fled the Massachusetts Bay Colony to found Providence Plantations (lets Rhode Island).

  • rodbucko

    Thats whats great about the U.S.. In the United States, freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept advocated by Thomas Jefferson.[1]
    Its her right to decide

  • Councilwoman

    Good for her! I took the oath of office as a councilwoman in my little municipality last week, and I too used a copy of the United States Constitution. Glad to see I’m in good company!

  • Joseph Heston

    No, but the concept is there (The First Amendment, Article VI: Section III, and by Article VI: Section II, The Treaty Of Tripoli Of 1797).

  • Michael Hill

    This website is just as accurate and reliable as WorldNet Daily and The Drudge Report.

  • allein

    It should be irrelevant, but as long as there are people who pander to the religious to get elected, and/or try to write legislation based on their own religious beliefs, it will unfortunately remain relevant. I hope I live to see the day that no one actually cares.

  • allein


  • therealhellkitty

    Read the 1st Amendment. The “establishment clause” makes it very clear. The term “wall of separation” is not in the Constitution, if you put down your bible long enough and read a bit of history, you might have learned this :

    I am getting really really tired of theists expecting others to educate them on their own history and laws and wading through their ignorance as they spew nonsense. And before you go on to tell me that this is a “christian nation” read the Treaty of Tripoli with special attention to section 11. The Founders were Deists, not christians.

  • Lynvick

    If there is a separation of church and state, why does anyone have to swear on the bible? It makes no sense.

  • Doug

    NOT saying they need the Bible, but damn – 99.9 % of congress swearing oath on the constitution – the very thing they ignore day in and out!? Why not swear them in on a newspaper.

  • Joseph Heston

    How is it disrespectful to not swear on the bible? I wouldn’t swear on it either.

  • John Kieffer

    Wonderful to see this news. Sad on the other that such is news.

  • Joseph Heston

    Actually the provision that you have to subscribe to a religion in those 7 states are unenfocible per Article VI: Section III.

  • Mallory E. McLaren

    When I was sworn in at State, I recited “so help me Government.” Because, after all, the Government will come after me if I am naughty. Not the Bible!

  • Doug

    he did say “so help you god”

  • Invincible Irony Man

    I have to wonder if Kirsten is playing the long game. She is only thirty-six, so she could have a long career in politics from this moment on, and if the “nones” continue to be on the rise as they have been recently, in twenty years time she could be perceived as remarkably prescient and ahead of her peers. Good for her, I say! If only all politicians could be so honest, as I am sure there are far more atheists and agnostics in politics than will currently admit to it.

  • Mathew Gunnar Mills

    Does sitting in a garage make you a car? Does sitting in church make you a strong believer? Does being a pastor make you a good person? No! It’s just a perception. We associate good mannered people with pastors, cars with garages, and strongly religious with attending church frequently and regularly. How many pastors have raped young men? So having someone swear on a bible is somehow magically going to make her a good person? I am not saying she isn’t but just because they do ONE thing that doesn’t conform to your belief of a good person doesn’t make them a bad person. In fact in my belief the fact she had the guts to go up and be the first person to swear on the constitution is admirable. To each there own but being religious and a politician doesn’t work I’ve never personally seen it work at least with as the author of the article called her a “none” normally none’s are not out for themselves and will represent no matter ethnicity, race, belief, status, etc.

  • Mathew Gunnar Mills

    Good eye

  • Stev84

    Now didn’t the first pilgrims which came to this country come here to escape government controlled by religion.

    No, they didn’t. That’s a myth. They came to America to establish theocratic colonies and oppress everyone who didn’t follow their commands exactly. They enshrined the Bible into law and executed people for cursing their parents (among other things). The first American colonies that guaranteed wide ranging religious freedom were founded by people who fled from the Puritans.

  • Brian Westley

    So she swore on something like Cicadas – Cookies?

  • Brian Westley

    And yes, there was an uproar from the Stupids. See Dennis Prager’s remarks.

  • Brian Westley

    Pretty much all swearing-in photos are like that.

  • Brian Westley

    And Torcaso v. Watson. But it doesn’t always stop idiot government officials from throwing away money in a few cases.

  • coyotenose


  • coyotenose

    it matters in much the same way that pushing legitimate science matters when fundamentalists try to force Creationism into school curriculums. As long as they keep making religion an issue, decent people have to respond and put forth the alternatives.

  • Bob Becker

    Being sworn in on the Const was a step up, but even better would have been raising one hand to take the oath and leaving the other hand at her side.

  • Rich Wilson

    It seems that we are all prone to reading things a little too quickly at times.

    It is nice to see new faces coming to the blog though.

  • Christopher Price

    But most of them haven’t read the bible that they swear on, so wouldn’t get too excited at that prospect.

  • Old Fogey

    I have been called for jury service a couple of times, serving on 7 cases (this is in the UK), and when it came to swearing in for each case, I noticed that every single time the jurors before me swore on a bible, koran, etc. I then affirmed, after which just about everybody did.

    People hate to stand out, until it is proved that they are not alone, and the sky didn’t fall in.

  • Atheistically Yours

    Oh yeah! I have an overwhelming desire to move to the 9th CD of AZ (even though AZ IS a “red state”!)

  • Eric

    I agree that they should all swear on (or by) the U.S. Constitution. Isn’t that what they are following to serve us? And don’t some of them not believe in the Bible or what it stands for? And if that is the case, how can they swear on the Bible if they don’t?

  • Bob Raphael

    Well I’m impressed … someone in congress with the courage of her convictions. Good for her and, I hope, the rest of the country.

  • miriam

    Good for her! She’s my latest hero.

  • HolyChrist

    I hope they don’t swear to do the things the Bible teaches. Have you read that thing!?

  • Clay Dreslough

    But the Constitution is MUCH shorter. We should leave one in every stall in the Congressional bathrooms. Two fiber muffins will force you to read the entire thing.

  • Clay Dreslough

    How did this post get 16 “up” votes (so far)?!? You didn’t even understand the post you are responding to.

  • Clay Dreslough


  • Clay Dreslough

    But they:

    1) Intentionally omitted some parts. Thank you, John Boehner.

    2) Messed up some of the rest.

  • A3Kr0n

    OK, so I was in a hurry with the website link. Yes, it is a nutjob, but it is still a true pamphlet, and here’s a link to a bunch of FBI pamphlets. Hope you don’t use cash, or modify things you buy (doesn’t everyone?). Whatever you do, don’t buy meals ready to eat, of follow the government guidelines on preparing for a disaster.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Careful now we don’t want to express any rudeness towards the only Openly Tan Man of Ohio

  • Uncle Bobolink

    Why is she swearing to anything. Her word is meaningless, and she will do what she wants, like all politicians.

  • Lucy

    My eyes went straight to her odd, unflattering outfit… not the book.

    I am a terrible person.

  • Uncle Bobolink

    Jefferson was a slave owner who had lots of sex with his slaves.

  • Uncle Bobolink

    That always amuses me…atheists, as much as fundies, want to interpret the Bible literally.

    But if you interpret the Constiution literally there is no “separation” and no right to “privacy”…certainly not abortion which tramples on other human rights by dehumanizing the human victim.

    So, atheists want to interpret the Constitution liberally, but not allow theists to do so?

    The Atheist Double Standard is blatant. And hilarious

  • Janae Smith

    Sarcasm just doesn’t work well online, sadly…

  • Bill S.

    If the Bible is truly the Word of God (i.e. the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the Universe), you should expect that its declarations of fact should be true: that plural marriage should be the norm, women should be executed for being raped, the world was created in 6 days, etc. etc.

    When it comes to broad legal maxims that do not always neatly fit every single possible scenario, then yes, there is room for interpretation (e.g. when exactly a mention of religion by the government becomes endorsement). There are certain parts of the Constitution that are direct and to the point, and therefore have no room for interpretation: e.g. each state gets two Senators, the voting age must be at least 18 in all states, etc. And then there are some that are so vague as to require judicial interpretation, for which the Constitution establishes our federal judiciary for this very purpose (e.g. the 9th Amendment, which states that not all of our rights are enumerated in the Constitution).

  • Bill S.

    The whole thing is nonsense. The only purpose for reading something on the House floor is to put it in the Record. The Constitution is already in the Record: it’s the Constitution!

  • TychaBrahe

    I doubt it.

    There are a lot of things said to be on the fringe, from the healing powers of magnets and colloidal silver to the existence of yetis and lake monsters. I truly doubt that most of the people who believe in ghosts, astral projection, and panspermia have any clue that some other lunatics question the validity of a fringed flag.

    Hell, I spent half my teens playing around with tarot cards and reading Ouspensky and Colin Wilson and Robert Anton Wilson, and I only heard about the fringed flag thing from watching King of the Hill.

  • Rich Wilson

    They’ll all have copies of the Jefferson Bible to use if they wish, thanks to AHA

  • Rick Brown

    Boy, Boehner must have REALLY hated this!

  • Nepetarias

    Great idea. The Constitution covers all people of all races and religions, not just Christians.

  • Kyle Klye Che Chong

    This is all a reenactment… it’s for the photo op… they all swear in the chamber prior…

  • Jesus Lives

    Where is the dislike button?

  • MCW

    The only human is the mother. There is no such thing as an unborn child, BY DEFINITION. Every child’s life begins at birth.

  • Rich Wilson

    Just curious, assuming the Bible is your first choice, what would bother you less, her using the Qu’ran, which acknowledges your same Abrahamic God, or the Constitution which is secular?

  • Brian Williamson

    I repeat this for you reference Article VI of the Constitution of the United states end of paragraph 3: ‘but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    John Boehner has no recourse or right to add that “religious invocation” to the end of any Oath or Affirmation. It is an undeniable fact that a public Officer and public Trusts(such Being credible as a Witness) Don’t need or can use religion cheeks against or favoring people.

  • Brian Williamson

    How is it a Double Standard to note the prohibition against lawmakers efforts to impose religion threw laws. No more than an atheist can close churches for anything beyond building code violations that insure the safe building practices(mind you once up to code we must let them reopen), No religious person has the right to invoke things as the “Palms verses” as laws justification. Actually go threw the 1st Amendment word for word and pay attention to the sentence structure and word forms it uses next time.

    As for this story this is how an Oath or Affirmation may be Constitutionally Administered without invocations to religion or revocations of religion/
    You plan to contest this Uncle Bobolink?

  • Sinfanti

    As a voter registered in her district I have to say that I am very cool with this.

  • Open-minded liberal

    I think all the members of Congress should be “sworn in” with the Constitution. Leave the religious texts out of it. They are swearing to “uphold” the Constitution, so I think it should be what’s under the palm of their hand. Kudos to Rep. Sinema.

  • Joel Galle

    I find the bible very offensive, and would not put my hand on it.

  • Len

    Right, because the ones who swore on the bible have read the bible…

  • Miss_Beara

    but… but… but… this is a christian country and she wasn’t sworn in on the bible? See! We are being persecuted!

    Add evil secularism, gays, abortion and muslims into the mix and you will get what a Fox News pundit will be talking about on their crap show.

  • David Shanaman

    Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptitsts that they constitution does in fact create a wall of seperation between church and state. He is obviously referring to the first amendment. So yes, it does not say”seperation of church and state”, it does however mean just that, but in different language.

    “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Jefferson

  • Rich Wilson


  • Harrison Button

    I like the concept!

  • Paul Newon

    you will have to wake up and stop your “religious chauvinism” America, it is getting late……..

  • Sandy Kokch

    (Im a Brit so a bit confused here)

    So what is with the 8 or 9 flags they stand in front of? Bit of an overkill I would suggest. Id have asked to be photographed in front of one of the great paintings you can see in the corner. Maybe the famous one of the Founders signing the original document.

    And then there is that butter sculpture/parrot cage covered in a table cloth in the background. Whats that then? If that is a parrot cage covered in a table cloth its a damn fine symbol for the lower house – most appropriate.

    Love the “Hi Mom!” pose as well.

  • David

    Why do politicians need to be sworn in at all? When I got my new job, I simply showed up at the office and went to work.

  • Rich Civil

    Did she have to say “so help me god”?

  • Bob Blaskiewicz

    When I come to power (heheh) I’m going to be sworn in on a stack of phonebooks.

  • SimonNorwich

    Why do all male American politicians wear exactly the same style dark grey suit?

  • wobbles88

    I hope this is the beginning of a new precedent.

  • Michael Kuntz

    why shouldn’t the bible be interpreted literally. to say it’s up for interpretation is a cop out to allow for the falsities held within.

  • Chris2027

    It’s an the oath of office.

    While the oath-taking dates back to the First Congress in 1789, the current oath is a product of the 1860s, drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors.

  • Celso Pinheiro

    She is hot!

  • Chris2027

    They most likely represent something, what that is, I’m not sure… there are 9… 3 are out of view in this picture…

    Here’s the other angle:

  • liessi

    THIS !!!!!!!! It has so much more meaning.

    (2 cents’ worth — Swearing on the Judeo-Christian bible is twice foolish: it says right in the book not to swear on it so those who revere its contents mustn’t swear on it; and of course it carries
    zero weight for the rest of us who see it as nothing more than just another book.)

  • Amy Newman

    Its hard to believe that people swore them self’s in on something as barbaric as the bible. Hopefully more people can start switching towards this so we can get ‘the bible’ as far away from this country as possible.

  • Thinking-Free

    Here in Australia our PM is an Atheist I am glad to live in a truly secular country

  • Donalbain

    Just one more symbol instead of substance.

  • Rogue Medic

    Uncle Bobolink,

    Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner.

    At least one close relative appears to have had sex with at least one slave.

    It is not a logical conclusion that Thomas Jefferson ever had sex with any slave.


  • Loomer

    The Republicans are choking on their shellfish

  • Beth Hagerty

    Awwww…….but it is so much easier to put your hand on a book of make believe! And after all, you have your made up imaginary friend to be your witness that you will do the right thing. Doesn’t that count for something? And surely god would know if you had your fingers crossed behind your back when you took oath! Without a bible, who’s gonna know she REALLY is honest and truthful? (Sarcastic, of course.)

  • DarrenHughes

    This made me so angry I almost choked on my Shellfish!

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    Brian Williamson Threw is the past tense of throw. I think the word you are looking for is through. Do try a bit harder with spelling and word use as otherwise your comments become a nonsense…. Ensure not Insure unless you are talking about insurance.., Psalms not Palms A dictionary comes in very handy in these matters….

  • Ewan

    Because your head of state isn’t a church leader or anything.

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    In most modern Western countries it is seen as an advantage to be atheist or at least agnostic… But then most western countries are better educated than the US, believe it or not. The better educated a person the likelier he/she will be Atheist. Anyone who disputes this should read some of the comments posted on such facebook pages as Atheism. The level of illiteracy is astounding, especially amongst those who claim to be “gawd fearing Americans”

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    Matthew…”To each there own ” should read “To each their own ” There means you are there. Their means their ownership of . This is getting ridiculous peeps; didn’t any of y’all go to elementary school.?…

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    Yet at the same time she espouses ridiculous notions like not supporting Marriage Equality because the bible doesn’t….just saying.

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    Them self’s should be themselves…..

  • Peter Scargill


  • Curious

    Isn’t she gay, lesbian, bi, or something?

    So does she take cock or not? Has she ever taken it in the ass?
    Does anyone know?

  • Ewan

    Isn’t this an utterly bizarre thing to do? Firstly, how can anyone tell if any given person actually said the oath at all when they’re doing it en mass? Secondly, if you’re going to take the time to ‘symbolically’ stand next to the speaker and get ‘symbolically’ sworn in, why not just do it for real then? And thirdly, doesn’t it bother any of them that essentially their first act in power is to create a fake photo of themselves supposedly doing something they’re not actually doing – I mean, we all know that politicians lie, but really, very first thing you do on the job?

  • James
  • Patrick O’Gormley

    @DR… ever heard of double negatives. You seem to be in love with them and as such your comment is rather laborious to read and understand…that plus your penchant for starting a sentence with But…. I am enjoying this rather….

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    They already have a claim to the keys of Fort Knox….

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    ……of utter evil. Murder, misogyny, homophobia, infanticide, rape, paedophilia, war hatred and well just about any evil you can dream up is contained in the Abrahamic cults “holy books” But then one expects nothing more from illiterate desert goat herders who didn’t know where the Sun went at night and believed a new Sun was born ever morning and lived 3500 years ago……

  • Patrick O’Gormley

    A little shallow perhaps but terrible? Nah!

  • Katherine Lorraine

    Probably not. The “swear” part and the “so help me God” are added at preference to the person taking the oath. She probably said “affirm” and left out the “so help me” part of it.
    Similarly, a Muslim congressperson would be able to say “so help me Allah” and so forth.

  • Cindy Davis

    I know, right? Make Fifty Shades of Gray look like a children’s book.

  • Cindy Davis

    Oooo, good one. Thanks for that.

  • Cindy Davis

    And your point is?

  • Bill Clayten

    She is one of the few people here that make me proud to be an Arizonan. She is proof that our state is becoming less red…

  • Cindy Davis

    I love the difference between the educated mind and the brain-washed mind.

  • Cindy Davis

    And then, in addition to the educated thoughts and opinions herein, there is the occasional bigoted, ignorant asshole that we must be forced to wave the stench away from our noses.

  • Shane Kelley

    No one has mentioned what exactly he was replying to. The Danbury Baptists wrote him asking for help because the state constitution, put together by Presbyterians, stated that to hold office in Connecticut, you had to be a member of the Presbyterian church. Jefferson wasn’t talking about stripping the 10 commandments off the walls of court houses. That was considered history pertaining to where western law came from, not “an establishment of religion”. He wasn’t talking about nativity scenes either. He talking about the government controlling the church, or the church controlling the government. Don’t make this something it wasn’t.

  • Shane Kelley

    Actually a fetus has it’s own DNA unique from the mother, and meets every clinical standard of life we have (heart beat, reactive nervous system etc,.). It is by the most clinical definitions available to us, NOT the mother’s body.

  • Rich Wilson

    We’ll never have definitive proof, but the important point is that whether or not it was Thomas Jefferson or his son who fathered Hemings’s children make not one whit of difference to our Constitution.

  • Dj

    Maybe it’s time that it is…

  • Rich Wilson

    Pretty sure Congregationalism not Presbyterian. Not that it makes much difference.

    “He talking about the government controlling the church, or the church controlling the government”

    what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen.

    He was responding people of one religious view having unequal rights based on that religious view. In my opinion, one does not have to control the other to see that effect. Or perhaps it’s a matter of level of control.

  • John H

    I agree completely, and whether a fetus is alive, a separate entity from the woman it inhabits, or a legal “person” are all entirely irrelevant to the question of whether abortion should be legal. It has no right to use another’s body against hir will, even for survival, in exactly the same way that I don’t have a right to forcibly extract your bone marrow or blood (far fewer risks and the impact is of a much shorter time, by the way) if I need it to survive. In response to the Bobolink, it is not the case that abortion “tramples on other human rights”, unless he considers the ability to enslave others or assault them a human right.

  • Rich Wilson

    Personally I reserve my grammar Nazi for more important things, like press releases and advertisements. If I tried to correct every blog comment I see, I’d go crazy. And I’d have people correcting me all the time, since I assure you, even if I could buy insurance against it, I could never fully ensure that I wouldn’t make the occasional mithtake.

  • Sparky McBiff

    And this boys and girls is a textbook example of an “ad hominem” attack.
    It is what people often resort to when they don’t have an actual retort or factual opposition to a point in contention.

  • Witchgawd

    It should be required reading for every American, especially public servants and they should be tested on their knowledge of it.

  • Witchgawd

    Grahmmer Knotsees sukk.

  • Antinomian

    Covered by hair would be my guess..

  • Rogue Medic


    From your link – “In an article that appeared in Science,[29] eight weeks after the DNA study, Eugene Foster, the lead co-author of the DNA study, is reported to have ‘made it clear that the data establish only that Thomas Jefferson was one of several candidates for the paternity of Eston Hemings.’”

    There is a also good discussion of the evidence at BookTV –


  • Antinomian

    Says the troll who felt the crushing blow of the banhammer to his tiny brain over at JT Eberhard’s blog, WWJTD.

  • FreeThinker

    We should ALL be jumping up and down with joy! What a country we live in! First, a Black man wins the presidency; not once but TWICE! And now a “none” wins a seat in Congress and is sworn in ‘not on a Bible’! And let’s not forget Barney Frank, another trail blazer.

  • Witchgawd

    Shouldnt U bee teeching remediol english to 1st graderz sumwear instedd of lercking arownd bloggs correctin commants?

  • James Smith

    I’m sure she’s not the “sole religiously unaffiliated” in congress. She’s just the only one who has the balls to stay true to her beliefs and not pander to the jesus freaks just to get votes.

  • Patric Westerling

    Theists don’t expect you to educate them, they expect you to be so uneducated as to not question the lies they tell you.
    It’s all part of the illiteracy agenda to keep everyone so stupid that they can spoon feed us shite and have us believe it’s caviar.

  • brian harriott

    Why has she not been stoned to death yet.

  • CelticWhisper

    She didn’t say Jehovah!

  • Rich Wilson
  • Naomi Whetstone

    If you don’t want people to put you down for your nonbelief then do not put those down who do believe in One God who created everything and has allowed your freedoms to exist until his purpose is fulfilled.

  • Jim

    I wonder if she bothered to read what’s in it!?

  •!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    IF i decided to go to a blog called the “Friendly Christian” & started talking Atheism, i would expect to get told off (at least) & if the post was about Atheists would you expect just a bunch of positive comments? When you came here what did you expect, we’re Atheists many of us think your beliefs are crazy & we’re not going to be respectful to your “God”. Some of you Christians really do think you deserve special treatment.

  •!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    So you agree that it’s not a “Baby” or gets a “Soul” at conception?

  • Christopher Neal Peters

    Maybe put one in Virginia Foxx’s Royal Elevator!

    In case you haven’t heard:http:

  • b4bigbang

    She is also the first openly bisexual member of Congress.
    America is truly proving that it is ‘New Rome”.

  • Grant Spatchcock

    It makes sense to me to be sworn in using the constitution, there are pollies who hold on to some of it’s tenets (gun control) than they would the 10 commandments!

  • Callice Equality Lieder

    That should be “Have you ever heard of double negatives?” because you were asking a question and not making a statement. You also failed to capitalize ever and that. Your usage of ellipses is excessive, unnecessary, and makes you look foolish. Your last sentence makes
    absolutely no sense because you should have put rather before enjoying.

    Maybe you should find something productive to do with your life instead of being a prat?

  • SocraticGadfly

    Ambiguous statement … she could have been sworn in with no book at all. Per Chis Stedman, picture this, out of the mouth of the first Muslim Congressman:

    “Keith Ellison believes the term Muslim is not befitting of his life’s
    work or personal character.”

    Let’s sic Rebecca Watson on her:

  • angie497

    No double standard there. I’ve never heard an atheist claim that the Constitution is the eternal and infallible word of an omnipotent being, while supposedly that description applies to the Christian bible.

    The hypocrisy lies in claiming that the Bible is the literal word of an all-powerful god, while simultaneously cherry-picking which parts of it you choose to obey to the letter.

  • angie497

    There’s absolutely nothing to indicate that her opposition has anything to do with the bible. Her exact words, as appear in the Herald: “My position flows from my strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and that should continue unchanged.”

  • Dave K

    Good for her. Article 6, Paragraph 3 does end “… but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” after all. Each time I swore in to enlist and re-enlist in the Army I affirmed instead, and ended with “On my sacred honor” while everyone else said “So help me God.”

  • Georgia Woolett-Roy

    Virginia Foxx, Bitch!!!!

  • True Freethinker

    He is not a Black Man. He is half white. Morgan Freeman says so.

  • True Freethinker

    Yeah, its becoming Mexican.

  • Popeye

    Yeah, those goat herdes were a bunch of old Jews.

  • Popeye

    But you weren’t elected.

  • Popeye

    But does she ever take penis?

  • Popeye

    Your “sacred” honor? What “honor”? To sign up to kill on government command?
    Whats “sacred” about it?

  • Dave K

    Sorry. You’re not going to drive away an ally so easily. You’ll have to try harder.

  • fin312

    A few high court decisions were started with “We are a christian nation,yet”. Screw the Treaty of Tripoli,that was then this is now. This sounds a little Christian to me, from TJ ” I swear upon the altar of “God”(not a God) eternal hostility towards Tyranny of any kind over the mind of man”

  • fin312

    Ok let me ask you this what was the intent of this phrase from TJ? “The only time Government shall interfere in the name of religion is when one is ill towards”

  • fin312

    Lets make no mistake about it it’s “The Unfriendly Atheist”.

  • Rich Wilson

    One SCOTUS decision included the phrase “We are a Christian Nation” in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States

    The opinion was written by Justice Brewer, who further clarified in a book available for $2.25 for Kindle on Amazon

    But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. [...] Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.

    Edit to add my emphasis in the quote.

  • fin312

    Threw the yet in there.

  • Rich Wilson

    I don’t know if you keep coming up with new IDs because Hemant is banning you, but I wish he wouldn’t. It’s annoying to repeat myself and then realize I’m repeating myself to the same person. We’ve already been over this. The more government takes a stance on religion, including stating that there are no gods, the less religious freedom you have.

  • Rogue Medic

    Thomas Jefferson is the source of the phrase “wall of separation between Church & State.” You are taking a quote out of context to attempt to contradict what Jefferson specifically stated was his intent.

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.


  • Rogue Medic

    Being unfriendly to ignorance is not a bad thing.


  • Rogue Medic

    Where did Jefferson write that sentence fragment?

    Was there an entire sentence?

    Ill towards what? The subject of the sentence is not included.

    Ill towards religion?

    Ill towards government?

    Ill towards something else?

    Ill towards being taken out of context?

    It would be foolish to attempt to analyze a sentence fragment if the whole sentence, paragraph, letter, or more is available.

    You argue like a Creationist – looking for anything that you can take out of context, that could be misinterpreted as supporting your point.


  • fin312

    Sorry I am computer illiterate, to finish the phrase “ill towards thy neighbor”

  • fin312

    Hey I’m the religious right, good for her. Just as akmed akna habeeb should be sworn in on a Koran and and a Jehovah on there literature etc.etc.

  • fin312

    Screw the Treaty of Tripoli. Ok the founders were deists. TJ, who wasn’t even there to ratify the constitution once said ” I swear upon the altar of “God”(not a God), eternal hostility towards any form of tyranny over the mind of man”. Sounds Christianish to me.

  • Rogue Medic

    Why do you think that a Deist would not write the same thing?

    What is your reason for suspecting that Deists would use the term “a god,” rather than “God”?


  • Danco30

    Politicians aren’t worthy to be anywhere near a Bible anyway. Especially Kyrsten.

  • Michael Barranti

    Is that the Christian thing to do, “Do unto others only after they’ve done unto you to your satisfaction”?

  • Ashley Blue

    Joe Biden has it easy compared to John Boehner.

    Biden only has to swear in 100 Senators; Boehner has to do 435 Representatives, and not all of them are as considerate as Rep. Sinema in letting him carry a document as physically lightweight as the Constitution.

  • Bill Clayten

    Not anymore than it was before. There was a time when it WAS Mexico and it became more American. We had a great Mayor in Phil Gordon who brought business and commerce to the city of Phoenix while fighting extremist kooks for civil rights. We have a growing arts and entertainment community. And, we have Kyrsten Sinema. We are very slowly stepping out of an old west mentality and into more progressive attitude. Now, we just need our gubernatorial to get rid of Brewer.

    But, good job a making a douche-y comment.