In response to an attack on CIA Director John Brennan for taking the oath of office with a hand on George Washington's copy of the Constitution rather than the Bible, Visiting Assistant Professor of History John Ragosta wrote a response in an essay published by The Huffington Post. In “Bravo for Brennan!,” which appeared on the publication’s website on March 14, Ragosta explained that “The Constitution does not require that a Bible be used for the oath of office. In fact, in Article VI, the specified oath is followed immediately by the demand that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’”
Ragosta notes that the oath also does not require that the official swear “so help me God.” He concludes his piece with praise for Brennan: “Director Brennan, bravo for swearing to uphold the law of the land and recognizing that this is a nation of laws, and not of men!”
Ragosta is the author of the forthcoming book, Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed, due out in April and published by University of Virginia Press.