Posts Tagged ‘election’

WOW News and the UK’s Times Online Madame Bess Twiston Davies pens routine enshrined epiphanies on the Bible and sanctimonious satire that often makes you think and smirk all at the same time.

But this one inspired from the BarackStar’s inaugural oath made my history pants go crazy. This is grandiose, and quite useless, information.

So, if you are half the antiquity dork that I am, enjoy these facts to be heard extolled from the great Alex Trebek on a TV near you soon. Thanks for this transcript, Bess. Who knew?

1. The Bible used by George Washington was printed in London in 1767, bound in maroon Morrocan leather and finished with silver clasps. It was later used by Warren G Harding (Baptist), in 1921, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and in 1989 by George W. Bush (an Episcopalian).

2. Lyndon Baines Johnson took the oath of office on November 22, 1963 on board an Air Force One airplane using the Catholic missal found in the desk of the just-assassinated John F. Kennedy. At his 1965 inauguration Johnson’s wife held the Bible as her husband took the oath, the first time a first lady had done so.

3. Two-handers: Some presidents have used two Bibles to take the oath of Office: Richard Nixon (in office 1969-1974); Dwight G. Eisenhower (1953-1961) George Bush Snr (1989-1993).

4. Harry Truman (1945 – 1953) was the last president to kiss the Bible after taking the oath of office.

5. Family affair: Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) used his mother Nelle’s Bible. Bill Clinton (1993-2001) used the Bible which had belonged to Edith Cassidy, his maternal grandmother.

6. John Quincy Adams (1825-9) refused to use a Bible to take the oath of office in 1825. He thought it too sacred for use in politics, so instead swore the oath with his hand upon a law book containing America’s Constitution. Theodore Roosevelt, a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, also shunned the Bible when taking in 1901 his first Oath of Office. But he did use it on starting his second term as president in 1905.

7. William McKinley (1897-1901) used a Bible given him by the congregation at his Methodist Church to take his oath in 1897.

8. Franklin Pierce (1853-57) an Episcopalian did use a Bible to take office in 1853, but rather than swearing an oath he made a statement of affirmation.

9. Closed book: Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Bush Jnr kept the Bible firmly shut during their swearing in to office. It is customary for the incoming president to select a favourite verse, usually a psalm of proverb.

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OK, here we go…

change-this-tooIt was a source of contention during the presidental campaign, right up to the election: Is Barack Obama a Muslim or a Christian?

ANSWER: Christian, with a Muslim heritage. It’s not like his surname is “Washington” or something.

However, if he keeps tiptoeing around stories like this in USA Today, that heated debate is going catch ablaze again.

As Barack Obama begins his tenure as the first U.S. president with Muslim ancestry (though he is a Christian), a group of 300 young Muslim activists from 76 countries has asked him to promote policies that can help peacefully curtail religious extremism.

I get it. 9-11 changed the world, specifically the world’s perception of Muslims. It’s not fair – at all.

Segments of global populations get blamed for the actions of a diabolical few, and the good guys get snubbed because of the bad ones. I know, that’s life unfortunately.

Don’t believe me? When was the last time someone accused you of being like “those televangelists on TBN”? Good-hearted Muslims get the same bad rap, only minus the megalomania, bad hair cuts and dripping in other people’ser, hard-earned cash. Carry on.

The Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a grassroots movement aiming to foster a new generation of civic engagement, issued the open letter after convening the group’s first international conference last weekend in Doha, Qatar.

So, this group decides to cash in on a last name and writes the president a letter. Guess what? This would not have even made the news if said correspondence wasn’t read. Now, it’s America – a land rich in opportunity and chock full o’ folk – and the BarackStar represents them too. But, this is one of those gray areas where perception is reality.

Regretfully, if he doesn’t want to be painted with that broad brush of bigotry, he may have to create an act of Congress against all religious extremism and just hope this rubs off on this group. It’s a small world, after all. Don’t you think?

aretha-and-that-hatBarack Obama has been on the job for less than a week, and already someone has managed to steal his thunder. Who would be the dastardly culprit? The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Well, technically it wasn’t here, the song where she unfortunately paused in the middle of “coun-try” causing the FCC to have a collective coronary.

No, it was her church hat, or for those of us who are all too familiar with the COGIC experience, “Her Crown of Glory.” A bow that was twice as large as her own melon is now the rage nationally, according to the New York Times.

The hat was an instant sensation. Even before Ms. Franklin had finished singing “My Country, Tis of Thee” on the inaugural podium, calls began pouring in to her hat designer, Luke Song, 36, of Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit, Ms. Franklin’s home town.

“A lot of my clients know my signature style, and they knew instantly that it was my hat,” Mr. Song said in a telephone interview Friday. “They called to verify it, and then they just started screaming at the top of their lungs.”

Today, Mr. Song has a backorder to make these domes of disdain up to a full month! Seriously?

How many suckerser, women who bought this hat are going to show up at service believing they will receive a round of spurious praise, “Girl. Where did you get your crown? I gotta get me one of those.”

crownsWell, that is until someone spins that bow, the hat goes flying and the propeller atop her cranium ends up fleeing out of the window. There have been jokes a-plenty surrounding this high mass adornment.

Even the great Stephen Colbert noted, “Even Aretha Franklin even managed to steal a bow off a brand new Lexus for the occasion.”

Yet, these warnings haven’t stopped the crown shopping. So, pastors everywhere, be on the lookout for an 8-foot tall woman in the back of your church. She’s not really that tall… it’s just that wicked nice bow, and the sound you hear are elves at the North Pole wishing they had it. Stay classy, Queen.

Tom Hanks in a fit of rage, and waxing sentimental about the friends he made – and tragically lost – while making “Philadelphia”, decided to make a political statement… and a complete mockery of himself.

god-loves-gay-people-tooYou remember what is now commonly known as Proposition 8, which made a law in California that made marriage only recognized between a man and a woman. Hrm. Go figure, given the interlude between Adam and Eve and all.

Americans… well, only the rich and pretentious ones, and, oh, those who live in the Hollywood Hills… blame the Mormons for Prop 8 being voted into law (again).

Granted, California isn’t full of the LDS saints; nevertheless, because of some money, the Mormons got blamed for it. Chiefly among them was the aforementioned Tom Hanks who called the entire Mormon nation, “Un-American.

Never mind the fact being American is the very reason they were able to exercise their rights to fiscally bolster Prop 8, but apparently, Hanks think the denizens of Utah were actually illegally transported from Indonesia, Cuba or escaped from Madagascar in a plane of penguins.

Blame the economy, his conscience or the fact that some folk may not go see his great movies (except for “The Money Pit”, Oy!) after that cockamamie comment, Tom Hanks went biblical and performed a mea culpa, according to FOX News.

…”Everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American,” the statement continues. “To say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who contributed to Proposition 8 are ‘un-American’ creates more division when the time calls for respectful disagreement. No one should use ‘un- American’ lightly or in haste. I did. I should not have.”

mormon-family-crossingConsidering this is a guy for “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan”, you would think he had a slight grasp on the Bill of Rights. But hey, we all reserve the right for a moment of vociferous angst… and an even larger right of delicious irony and unfortunate hypocrisy.

It turns out Hanks is an executive producer of the spoof drama about the Mormons – and their panache for multiple wives – called “Big Love.” Oh, and he spewed his vitriol at the HBO premiere of said production. That sound you heard was Joseph Smith and Brigham Young rolling over in the grave, doubled over in laughter.

Nice to know even though it’s been a while since the pop culture rich “Bosom Buddies,” Tom can still make folks laugh.

Two million people. A man who would be president. And a nation of millions waiting for his every word.

inaugurationThat was the summary of yesterday’s inaugural sermoner, message. And since that day, I have and read my opinions, concerns and observations. After you heard it, what did you think?

There were no zingers. No “ask not what your country will do” quotables. No rah-rah moments. Just a stoic reminder of where we are as a country and what is to come. And, since you are here interested in what little I have to prattle about, I think it’s precisely what the throng needed to hear.

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given,” he said. “It must be earned.”

Greatness must be earned, and whether you voted for the dude or not, he earned it; therefore, he must work on his greatness legacy through action, passion and correction. And believe me, this country will keep him true to his word.

However, those who just can’t seem find the objectivity to consider the greatness that just occurred, allow me to help you. That harmonious horde gathered on the Mall was split down the middle – half was there to witness the BarackStar take his oath, and the other half was there to witness the first black POTUS become a reality.

king-and-obamaConsider: Only 40 years ago did the stains of “Colored Only” signs smear across federal buildings, Knights of the KKK were permitted to seek public office openly and racial epithets were common vernacular in Washington D.C. That’s it… 40 years!

Until a courageous man of limitless constitution named Martin Luther King was thrust into the national spotlight to help more than a battered people, but a broken patronage called the U.S.A.

In the shadows of a president who freed the slaves stood a man who would be King to help them realize their freedom. And with steadfast determination, haunting diction and a God-given dream, Dr. King shared a moment when the days of Lincoln would meet the years of the future. That moment was yesterday.

A lot more was happening than 1000s of people freezing their toukas while watching a president make it official. It was a moment in time when other 1000s of people were sharing the same memory hearkening to those glorious words shared only four decades ago, “Free at last.”

What we saw was so much more than a vast collection of dreamers; it was the culmination of a dream.