The swearing-in of new members of Congress can be a moving scene, but it's not actually how it appears in pictures. What are the rules for taking the oath of office?
The swearing-in of new senators and representatives at the beginning of a session of Congress is always a touching scene, isn’t it?
The raised hand, the encircling family, the oath upon the Bible, the promise to uphold the Constitution, and so forth.
Well, it’s great that American democracy is refreshed from time to time by an influx of new leaders. But those swearing-in ceremonies you’ve seen pictures of are not what they seem.
First of all, the Bible in essence is a prop. It could be – and has been, in some circumstances – a Quran, or some other book of religious significance. Or it could be something by Jane Austen or Stephen King, or a compilation of “Calvin and Hobbes” comics.