Contact: Jessica Mancari (202) 225-6365
Forbes Introduces Resolution to Display Lincoln-Obama Bible in Capitol Visitor Center
Washington, D.C., Jan 30, 2009 - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he has introduced H.Con.Res. 34, calling on the Capitol Preservation Commission and the Architect of the Capitol to place the Lincoln Bible used by President Barack Obama at the 56th Quadrennial Inauguration on permanent display at the Capitol Visitor Center.
“Our historical buildings and the displays within them tell the story of our nation. The Lincoln Bible that President Obama used for his oath of office represents both a 144 year epoch in civil rights, from the freeing of slaves to desegregation to the inauguration of our first African American president, and the religious heritage that has played a vital role in the more than 200-year history of our nation. It is only appropriate that the Lincoln-Obama Bible be placed on display in the Capitol Visitor Center so visitors may realize the rich Godly heritage and significant advances in civil rights it represents,” said Forbes.
President Obama chose to swear his oath of office using the Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used at his second inauguration on March 4, 1865. H.Con.Res. 34 expresses the sense of Congress that the Bible be placed on the table President Lincoln used at his second inauguration, which is currently on display in the Capitol Visitor Center without the Bible. Adding the Bible to the display would enrich the experience for Capitol visitors so that they may fully appreciate America’s journey of civil rights and its rich religious heritage.
Since the inauguration of George Washington, each of the 44 presidents of the United States has placed his hand on a Bible while swearing the Constitutional oath of office. Currently, no inaugural Bible is on display in the Capitol Visitor Center.
Congressman Forbes is founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Forbes and Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have been instrumental in ensuring the new Capitol Visitor Center is historically accurate and reflects the religious history so central to the founding of our nation and its historic development. Their efforts have resulted in keeping “In God We Trust” over the Virtual House Chamber, in adding the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” engraved in stone within the Capitol Visitor Center, and in the research and development of a permanent religious history display.
H.Con.Res. 34 has been referred to the Committee on House Administration, where it awaits further action.