Mike Pence Will Be Sworn In On Reagan’s Bible and On One Verse In Particular

Mike Pence Will Be Sworn In On Reagan’s Bible and On One Verse In Particular

Today is Inauguration Day, when both Donald Trump and Mike Pence will be sworn in as president and vice president, respectively. It’s already been announced that Justice Clarence Thomas will be the one to swear Pence in, but it’s just been announced that Pence will be sworn in using Ronald Reagan’s bible. And he has a specific bible verse in mind as well.

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Pence is using Reagan’s bible, which was used for his swearing-in ceremonies as both president and governor of California, but the bible will be opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14. It reads, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

The verse is commonly used by Christian politicians, but not everyone is a fan. Dr. Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, claims that using the verse as a reference to the United States is “theological liberalism.” According to Moore, the phrase “my people” refers specifically to Israel, a reminder of the covenant that Abraham made with God. Moore says that the verse is about the church as a whole and not as a reference to one specific country.

“We too often see America as somehow more ‘real’ than the kingdom, and our country as more important than the church,” Moore has said. “But 2 Chronicles 7:14 itself starts with the question of identity: ‘If my people … called by my name …’ This, or any other country, is not called by the name of God. The kingdom of God, on the other hand, is.”

Still, Moore’s take hasn’t kept politicians from using the verse to be sworn in and Pence is the latest example. As to why he’s using Reagan’s bible, Pence said that Reagan “placed his faith in a loving God and the goodness of our country.”

“In the march of history, Ronald Reagan’s time in office was limited, but his legacy inspired a generation and will continue beyond.”

The bible has been on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. It was hand-delivered for the inauguration by Andrew Littlefair, a long-time Reagan aide who now serves on the board of trustees at the Reagan Foundation and Institute. The bible will be kept safe until it is time for Pence to use it.

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