You Don’t Have to Care About Inauguration Day, but You Should at Least Care
It’s inauguration day in the United States. We’re witnessing history – whether for better or worse. That’s no different from any other inauguration day that has happened before today. However, while the coming months and years will bring an unveiling of the path our country will ultimately veer, my fellow country men and women, we are a vital part of that directing.
Yes, it is true that there has been much uproar leading into this inauguration day, beginning with the shocking primaries and even more shocking (to many) election. Regardless, we as a nation have much work to do if we are to take our civic responsibilities seriously.
What I am praying, today, is that we can join together in unity with a sense of perspective and hope – no matter if you predict ultimate doom or unprecedented prosperity when you look to the future.
Let’s not be spoiled victors, sore losers, worried victims, or smug arrogants. Let’s not forget we are born to collectively exist with a purpose that is so much more than to tear one another apart. Let us remember to build one another up, and seek not to build ourselves at the expense of others.
Myths Surrounding the Trump Election and Inauguration
First and foremost, I am not writing this post in support of or against Donald Trump. Rather, I want to encourage everyone to first look beyond the hype and orchestrations of our media and political tribes. We are too smart to be continually giving into these foolish shenanigans.
I have studied the lives of many U.S. Presidents. There’s a lot that gets glossed over with the passage of time. Sadly, those media and politico’s would have you believe several untruth’s. For instance… many would have you believe:
The election of Donald Trump represents the most decisive US Presidential election in history.
Um, nope. For starters, you might want to learn more about the election of Andrew Jackson when people rioted IN THE WHITE HOUSE! The campaign was perhaps nastier than that of 2016!
Donald Trump is easily the most narcissistic person to take the U.S. Presidency.
Yeah, no. Go read about the many misadventures of LBJ who forced people into meetings while he dropped a deuce in the bathroom. He often referred to his penis as “Jumbo” and would show it off to people while asking them if they’d ever seen one bigger.
Donald Trump has to be the least qualified US President in history, right?
Time will tell, but I suggest you learn about Chester A. Arthur. He became President after the assassination of Grover Cleveland AND was only in the position of Vice-President as a result of a corrupt, compromise within the party – after NY Congressman Levi Morton first turned down the gig. Arthur got the job because he was a loyal yes-man to a crime boss, having never really held leadership positions in any meaningful role.
President Donald Trump will be the biggest womanizing US President in history.
Maybe, but the bar is set pretty high on that one considering the sexcapades of President’s LBJ, Kennedy, Clinton and Harding… to name just a few.
Where is God on Inauguration Day?
Again, the intention of this post is not to defend or smite Donald Trump. The facts provided above are simply to show that we are all flawed – and we DO rise above flawed leadership.
To be fair, though, we have also suffered at the hands of the most prepared and dignified of Presidents. For instance, James Buchanan had one of the most extensive resumes of any U.S. President coming into office. He’s also widely regarded as one of the most disappointing and, perhaps, the worst of all time. Take a look at his pic… he might even have had worse hair than Trump!
God cares about nations of people. Study the minor prophets and you’ll immediately see that.
When a President of the United States is sworn into office, he recites thirty-five words that are specifically required by the U.S. Constitution:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Notice that there is no mention of God.
Some presidents, though, choose to adhere to customs started by George Washington and followed by succeeding presidents. For instance, he ad-libbed the “so help me God” part. Also, as Washington was set to take the oath, at the realization that no Bible was present, New York State Chancellor Robert Livingston went to the Masonic Lodge down the street and brought a Bible so the ceremony could begin.
The Presidential Passage
That Bible was placed on a red cushion. Then, it was opened randomly to Genesis 49:50, which may have been a little bit providential. Those chapters contain the narrative of Jacob reassuring his sons of their promise for a new land.
Since Washington’s first inauguration day, many passages have been used by other incoming presidents. A few presidents have used books other than the Bible, though most have followed the precedent set by Washington.
Donald Trump, in addition to using his personal Bible given to him by his mother, will be using Lincoln’s Bible. Pretty symbolic given that Lincoln is credited with keeping America from fatally dividing.
Incoming Vice President Pence intends to use the Reagan family Bible that was last used by President Ronald Reagan, which he used during his inaugurations as governor and president. Pence will also open the book to the same passage Reagan used:
Consider those words and the context with which the Joseph Benson Commentary provides:
If my people shall humble themselves, and pray,
Thus national repentance and reformation are required. God expects, that if his people, who are called by his name, have dishonoured his name by their iniquity, they should honour it by accepting the punishment of their iniquity. They must humble themselves under his hand, must pray for the removal of the judgment, must seek his face and favour: and yet all this will not be sufficient, unless they turn from their wicked ways, and return to him from whom they have revolted. National mercy is then promised.
Then will I hear from heaven,
God will first forgive their sin, which brought the judgment upon them, and then will heal their land, and redress their grievances.
About Chad Gramling
Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.