updated 10:12 pm EST, Fri February 8, 2013
Unusual use of tablet allowed ceremony to go forward
In one of the more novel uses of an iPad, city officials in Atlantic City have used the popular tablet as a substitute Bible in order to swear in a set of Fire Captains and Battalion Chiefs when no printed Bible was readily accessible. The local NBC station had video of the event, which showed eight officers placing their hands on the device while swearing their oaths of office. The iPad was running an app version of the Bible at the time, and is considered equally valid for the purpose.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the City Council chambers in front of friends, family and supporters of the Atlantic City Fire Department. While it is unlikely to be the first time an iPad has stood in for the Bible for ceremonial purposes, the novelty of the idea made the local news.
It is likely that such usage will increase as e-books continue to gain dominance over physical books, though ceremonial Bibles or other historic religious texts will likely be preferred for a long time to come, as the physical object reinforces the tradition and history of the occasion. Although a Bible in not legally required for such events, it is nevertheless considered essential in most US civic ceremonies.