Giglio’s presence threatened the “diversity” of the event, agreed the Obama administration. George Orwell would have enjoyed the selection of that word for strict uniformity of thought. Who will replace Giglio? Liberal websites and gay groups quickly drew up a list of “gay-friendly” clergy to help the White House. Numbered on the list was Fr. Jim Martin, a Jesuit who serves as the Colbert Report’s “official chaplain. Others suggested that the White House tap an atheistic astronomer or physicist for the duties. After all, why would Obama need God’s blessings? Doesn’t that already imply a violation of modern America’s understanding of itself?

Indeed, the Giglio flap just reminded liberals of the odious theistic traditions that still cling to the inauguration, prompting them to ask: Why have a benediction at all? Why invite clergy to the stage in the first place? And why should the president swear his oath with his hand placed on the Bible?

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who sees the Bible as hate literature, considers the spectacle of Obama placing his hand on it “absurdist.” He should place his hand on something he truly honors, like the shoulder of one of his daughters, argues O’Donnell. To swear an oath on a risible and racist book, he continued, suggests a lack of seriousness.