Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona made history yesterday as the first bisexual woman and first officially nonreligious person to serve in the Senate… but she’s making waves for another reason.
Apparently, Sinema refused to take her oath on a Christian Bible.
Sinema instead was given her oath of office on what was described as a “law book.” A spokesperson for Sinema later confirmed that it was a book obtained from the Library of Congress, which included text from the Arizona Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.
But Sinema’s oath wasn’t completely religion-free: Vice President MIke Pence, who swore her into office, still ended the oath with the traditional: “So help you God?”, to which Sinema responded, “I do.”
By contrast, Sinema’s 2018 opponent—Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who was appointed to fill the late John McCain’s seat in December—was also sworn in, choosing to do so on a Bible that was recovered from the wreck of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor.
Despite her lack of religious beliefs, Sinema wasn’t the only incoming member of Congress to take an oath on something other than a Christian Bible: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress, took her oath on a koran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson.