Obama wants to invoke God during inauguration oath

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President-elect Barack Obama will invoke God when he takes the oath of office January 20, despite a lawsuit filed by atheist and non-religious groups, according to an attorney for Chief Justice John Roberts, who will administer the oath.

The groups have sued in federal court to block any mention of God during the inaugural ceremonies. Roberts was among those named in the suit.

Some chief executives have embellished the oath with "so help me God." It is not constitutionally required, unlike in other federal oaths.

Historians have been at odds over whether George Washington established precedent by invoking the phrase on his own at the first inaugural in 1789. The Library of Congress Web site says he did. Most presidents have used the phrase.

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  • Peter R. Henriques: “So Help Me God”: A George Washington Myth that Should Be Discarded

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