Ohio's new Gov. Mike DeWine swears on 9 Bibles during oath-of-office ceremony

Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine takes his oath of office on a stack of nine Bibles at his home in Cedarville on Jan. 14, 2019. |

As President Donald Trump made headlines in January 2017 for swearing on two Bibles during his oath of office, Ohio's new Catholic conservative Gov. Mike DeWine took it to another level on Monday.

The former U.S. senator and state attorney general swore on a stack of nine Bibles during his official swearing-in ceremony that took place on his farm at midnight Monday morning. 

DeWine’s decision, however, was not meant to seven-up the president but rather to honor his children and members of his family that came before him.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the nine Bibles include:

  • DeWine's late daughter Becky DeWine’s childhood Bible

  • DeWine’s great-grandmother Gertrude Budd’s Bible

  • DeWine’s grandmother Ruth Perkins Liddle’s New Testament that was given to her by her father over 100 years ago

  • DeWine’s grandfather Albert Liddle’s New Testament, which was issued to him by the U.S. Navy while serving during World War I

  • DeWine’s Aunt Elizabeth Ann “Mickey” DeWine Harwood’s Bible, which was given to her by her grandmother

  • A New Testament that the DeWines acquired many years ago in Jerusalem

  • A study Bible given to DeWine by the former chaplain of the U.S. Senate Lloyd Ogilvie

  • A Bible that belonged to DeWine’s mother, Jean DeWine.

  • A Bible that DeWine was given by his wife, Fran, on their 10th wedding anniversary

Taking over the reins of the state from outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich, DeWine’s oath was administered by his very own son, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine. Meanwhile, DeWine’s wife, Fran, held all nine Bibles.

“During a short ceremony this morning at my home in Cedarville, I took the oath of office to become the 70th Governor of #Ohio,” DeWine wrote on Twitter. “I was honored that my son @PatDeWine administered the oath as I placed my hand atop nine family bibles held by my wife, First Lady @FranDeWine.”A spokesperson for DeWine told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the governor and first lady wanted there to be Bibles representing each of their eight children.

Immediately after taking the oath of office on Monday morning, DeWine issued six executive orders.

At the public swearing-in ceremony that took place in Columbus later that day, DeWine only took the oath while swearing on just two Bibles.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted took his oath of office at Riverside United Methodist Church in the suburbs of Columbus while swearing on a family Bible, according to DeWine’s office.

DeWine was endorsed during the 2018 gubernatorial election by the evangelical social conservative advocacy group Family Research Council. He has served in both the House and Senate.

As attorney general of Ohio, DeWine fought to defend Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage in the wake of a federal court ruling against the state law in 2014. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of a national right to same-sex marriage in 2015. 

“In the Senate, his sponsorship of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Federal Marriage Amendment are evidence of his dedication to the principles of federalism and first amendment freedoms,” FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement. “Having helped lead a multi-state amicus brief on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Hobby Lobby, and having supported Ohio’s constitutional marriage amendment all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell, it’s clear that he recognizes that religious freedom is a sacred right, and that healthy families are the bedrock of society.”

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