As I have mentioned before, I’m driving up to DC to watch the Presidential Inauguration in person later this week. The spectacle is admittedly what draws me. I have told others (and myself) over several years that the US Presidency is just a limited 18th century monarch, more sheriff than Sun King. The ceremony seems to show that, just a simple oath taking from a magistrate in front of witnesses. I like that idea.

The President is not King, he does not ‘make’ law (were that it so), he is there to administer laws in as a disinterested path as possible. Sure, he has military power, but that just fulfills his role as an uber-sheriff.

What I think is grand about this whole understated ceremony is that is shows a radically different view of the world that would be impossible to create in a culture that did not have as its backbone the Christian gospel. There have been wretches as US President’s, and some real saints. But the wonderful thing is that the US does not need or require saints as Presidents. There is no need for Edward the Confessors or St. Louis the IX; all that is for the inhabitents to work out on their own.

Now when the President thinks he must ‘make’ laws, rather than declare what is already there; then we get into problems.