Abbott defends prayer in presidential oath of office

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

AUSTIN, TX - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is leading a 50-state coalition to defend prayer in the presidential oath of office.

"Since President George Washington uttered the words 'so help me God' at his first inauguration in 1789, American presidents have a longstanding, historic tradition of invoking the Almighty at their inaugural ceremonies," said Abbott.

Activist, Michael Newton and several athiest groups have filed a lawsuit that claims the inagural traditions, such as prayer and an oath of office that includes the words "so help me God", go against the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.

"Despite more than two hundred years of established tradition - and no legal precedent for their challenge - a group of activists have asked the courts to interfere with President-elect Obama's right to pray and invoke God during his inauguration as forty-fourth President of the United States," said Abbott. "[This] legal action reflects a concerted bipartisan, fifty-state effort to defend a constitutional acknowledgement of faith during an inaugural celebration."

To read the documents related to the lawsuit click here.