"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

12.09.2006

all the children of the world

Here's my question for the people who are having a fit about Congressman-elect Keith Ellison's decision to take his oath of office with his hand on the Qu'ran rather than the Bible: why would you want someone who doesn't hold the Bible as a sacred text to make a promise on it? For all the nonsense rhetoric about tradition and public officials needing to uphold Judeo-Christian values (nevermind that those things aren't in the Constitution, and that swearing the oath on a text is a photo opportunity and not the official ceremony), why is this getting lost?

I for one would find it deeply disturbing if Ellison were to swear his oath on the Bible. He is Muslim. The Qu'ran is his most sacred text. I don't want him promising to govern the country in a legal and ethical way on something he doesn't believe in, especially when that text is the one that I hold as sacred. It would be deeply offensive to me for someone to make a promise while feigning respect for God's word. It is deeply offensive to me that some Americans apparently believe there should be an unconstitutional religious test to hold public office.

It seems to me that this is just one more item on the list of things that right-wing conservatives are using to keep their base upset. It's hard to feel persecuted if you don't have an enemy. Problem is, you have to keep creating and demonizing enemies to keep it up.

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