Franklin mayor swears in, but not on the Bible

Bob Scott swearing in a Franklin mayor (image courtesy WLOS)

Bob Scott has had decades of public service. He was in the Army as a public affairs officer and flew in the Civil Air Patrol. He also spent ten years on the Franklin Board of Aldermen.

Each time he was sworn the same way - using the Bible.

But for his second term as mayor of Franklin, Scott decided to go with something different.

"I've thought about it for a long time," said Scott. "But I was talking to Summer (Franklin Town Manager) the other day and said I'm thinking about taking this oath on the Constitution. I realized we are taking an oath to defend the Constitution, pure and simple, and those are the laws of the land. And if I'm gonna give an oath, that's what I'm giving an oath to. It had nothing to do with religion--for or against--just swearing to protect and defend the Constitution."

The mayor did say his own views on religion are just that - his own. He said he didn't feel it was a novel idea because of history. He pointed out many other people have used the Constitution instead of the Bible. He also referenced one representative using a Quran in a photo op in 2007, although no religious text was used in the official swearing in.

"We do not represent any religion, what we represent are the laws of the land," Scott said. "As far as I'm concerned, there is no place in government for religion. I'm a secularist in that respect. I just don't think there's a place for any kind of religious doctrine in government, because we represent everybody."

Scott ran unopposed in the last election and said faith has never been an issue during his time in government.

Read more from WLOS.

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