When Michael Higgins was running to become the President of Ireland in 2011, he told Atheist Ireland of his desire for a country more inclusive of the non-religious perspective, including the re-examination of the presidential oath with its godly language (“May God direct and sustain me”):
Do you personally agree that, as a President elected by the people, many of whom do not believe in a god, you should be required to publicly ask a god to “direct” you in your work as our President?
Clearly, if I am elected President I will take the oath: I embarked upon this campaign in the knowledge that this would be expected of me if elected. There is to be a constitutional convention in the new year — which I fully support — and it is at this forum that matters such as the oath ought to be examined. It is of great importance that the Presidency and all surrounding it ought to be fit for purpose for a modern state with a population comprising a large number of different religious beliefs as well as none.