Maira Kalman did a whimsical and moving essay on the inauguration, on-line on the Times site.
In it, she draws a picture of the Lincoln bible that Obama used (and which she got to hold). But she also says this:
I too think that is a Very Good Question. If one of the general principles of our country is the separation of church and state, why then is religion so much a part of of the inauguration of the president of the "state"? There was an invocation and a benediction, with a bible in between for an oath that ended with "so help me god".
In the constitution, the oath/affirmation for the President is set forth as follows:
No "so help me god". Please tell me why our politicians feel the need to add "so help me god" and "god bless America" at every turn? Why do they swear on a bible?
I always say that I'm going to use a dictionary when I get sworn in.
Another panel in Kalman's essay is a drawing of a red Fortuny dress. When I win the lottery, I want one. I've wanted one ever since the first time I ever saw one, a long long time ago. Sigh. Something about the pleats makes the dresses flattering no matter what the body shape. The colors are always fabulous. The simple little details. Sigh. I could wear it to my inaugural ball.