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Did George Washington Actually Say “So Help Me God” During His Inauguration?By David Barton 1

In December 2008 following the election of Barack Obama as president, noted atheist Michael Newdow filed suit to prohibit religious acknowledgments or activities from being part of the inaugural ceremonies, specifically seeking to halt the inclusion of “So help me God” as part of the presidential oath as well as halt inaugural prayers by clergy. 2

Newdow has an established record of bringing suits to eradicate long-standing public religious practices, including to:

  • remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance 3
  • eliminate “In God We Trust” (the National Motto) from coins and currency 4
  • prohibit California textbooks from mentioning Biblical events found in Genesis 1-3 5
  • exclude clergy prayers from presidential inaugurations 6
  • reverse the time-honored tax exemptions for housing provided by churches to clergy 7
  • abolish chaplains hired by Congress 8

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