When our first president under the Constitution was sworn in on April 30, 1789, it was in New York City. Back then it was our capital city. Today it is often called the cultural capital of the country.
George Washington took the oath of office in the common way it was done in his Anglican Church, by saying, “So help me, God.” He took the oath with his hand on an open Bible. Also in keeping with an Anglican tradition, Washington leaned over and kissed the Bible. The last time I checked (in 2014), that Bible is still on display (near Wall Street).
But, my, how things have changed.
George Washington was an active church-goer and a regular reader of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the National Catholic Reporter (1/16/14), “is now perhaps the nation’s most visible ‘none,’ an icon of one of the nation’s fastest-growing religious groups — those without any formal religious identification.”