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President Obama Will Use Bibles Belonging to Dr. King and Abe Lincoln For Inauguration Ceremony

Although the intensity surrounding the second inauguration is pretty subdued compared to the one in 2008, there will still be firsts when President Obama once again takes the Oath of Office on January 21, 2013.

Mr. Obama will be using two Bibles–one belonging to Abraham Lincoln, the other to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.–when he is sworn in for the second time.

King’s Bible has never been used for such an event:

The inclusion of King’s Bible is particularly significant since the inauguration comes on Jan. 21, the federal holiday in honor of the civil rights leader, who delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech 50 years ago at the Lincoln Memorial. Obama will be facing the memorial as he takes the oath. King’s Bible, which his children say he used early in his career as a preacher, has never been part of a presidential inauguration.

The selection of the pair of Bibles announced Thursday is richly symbolic of the struggle for equality in America, beginning with Lincoln’s emancipation of slaves 150 years ago this month, through King’s leadership of the civil rights movement, and ultimately to Obama becoming the nation’s first black president.

Inaugural planners say Obama plans to place his left hand on the stacked Bibles held by first lady Michelle Obama as he raises his right hand to repeat the oath administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. It hasn’t been determined which will be on top, with Obama’s hand actually resting on it, but King’s is larger, so it may need to be on the bottom.

Read more at The HuffPo.

Obama will use Mrs. Obama’s family Bible during his private swearing-in.

Does Obama’s choice suggest that he will take the concerns of black citizens and racial equality more seriously and address them in his second term,

or is the symbolism largely empty and simply a way of honoring King on the federal holiday?

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