Instead Of A Bible, These Politicians All Swore In On Something Different

The list is longer and stranger than you think.

Bob Scott, a mayor from North Carolina, made national headlines this week when he opted out of swearing in on a bible. Instead, he swore in on the Constitution.

His decision, he explained, was actually quite simple.

"I've thought about it for a long time," Scott said to ABC13 News. "But I was talking to Summer [Franklin Town Manager] the other day and said I'm thinking about taking this oath on the Constitution. I realized we are taking an oath to defend the Constitution, pure and simple, and those are the laws of the land. And if I'm gonna give an oath, that's what I'm giving an oath to. It had nothing to do with religion--for or against--just swearing to protect and defend the Constitution."

While Scott's decision drew national attention, and maybe even some controversy, he isn't the first person to opt out of swearing into a political office on a Bible. In fact, here are some other notable swear-ins that happened on something other than the New Testament.  


1. Christopher Schaeffer swore in with a spaghetti strainer.

Just last year, the New York Daily News reported that Christopher Schaeffer, a politician from Pomfret, New York, swore into the town board with a spaghetti strainer on his head as a nod to his status as a Pastafarian minister. According to the Pastafarian community,  "the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma." 

Schaeffer made the move in an effort to make a statement about religious freedom and political office, according to the Daily News

2. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress, swore in on the Koran.

Ellison caused quite the stir when the Minnesota congressman swore in on the Koran in 2006. According to staffers, to this day he gets phone calls claiming it's against the law for a Muslim to serve in office, despite no such law existing

3. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hindu, swore in on the Bhagavad Gita.

When the Democrat from Hawaii swore in, she wasn't just the first American Samoan to ever enter congress. She was also the youngest woman in congress at the time, the first Hindu to ever swear in, and the first person to ever swear in on the Bhagavad Gita

4. Kyrsten Sinema didn't swear in with a religious text.

Sinema, the first openly bisexual member of Congress, says she is "religiously unaffiliated." When she swore in as a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, she did it without a bible. Instead, she swore in on the Constitution. 

5. Debbie Wasserman Schultz took her oath on the Tanakh, a traditional Hebrew text

"Each of us has every right to lay our hand on the bible that we were raised with; that's what America is all about -- diversity, understanding and tolerance," Wasserman Schultz said at the time


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