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A first for America...The Koran replaces the Bible at swearing-in oath

By ProtiusX ·
As I am a subscriber to the American Family Association I receive regular emails indicating certain causes that I usually agree with. In this instance I do not. Here is the text of the email I received:

"Dear ProtiusX (Alias inserted to protect me)

Please take a moment to read the following TownHall.com column by Dennis Prager, who is a Jew. After reading the column, take the suggest action at the bottom of this email. After you have read it, please forward it to your friends and family.

America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on
By Dennis Prager - Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the Nazis' bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison's right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office?

Of course, Ellison's defenders argue that Ellison is merely being honest; since he believes in the Koran and not in the Bible, he should be allowed, even encouraged, to put his hand on the book he believes in. But for all of American history, Jews elected to public office have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament, and the many secular elected officials have not believed in the Old Testament either. Yet those secular officials did not demand to take their oaths of office on, say, the collected works of Voltaire or on a volume of New York Times editorials, writings far more significant to some liberal members of Congress than the Bible. Nor has one Mormon official demanded to put his hand on the Book of Mormon. And it is hard to imagine a scientologist being allowed to take his oath of office on a copy of "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard.

So why are we allowing Keith Ellison to do what no other member of Congress has ever done -- choose his own most revered book for his oath?

The answer is obvious -- Ellison is a Muslim. And whoever decides these matters, not to mention virtually every editorial page in America, is not going to offend a Muslim. In fact, many of these people argue it will be a good thing because Muslims around the world will see what an open society America is and how much Americans honor Muslims and the Koran.

This argument appeals to all those who believe that one of the greatest goals of America is to be loved by the world, and especially by Muslims because then fewer Muslims will hate us (and therefore fewer will bomb us).

But these naive people do not appreciate that America will not change the attitude of a single American-hating Muslim by allowing Ellison to substitute the Koran for the Bible. In fact, the opposite is more likely: Ellison's doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, as Islamists, rightly or wrongly, see the first sign of the realization of their greatest goal -- the Islamicization of America.

When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. It is hard to believe that this is the legacy most Muslim Americans want to bequeath to America. But if it is, it is not only Europe that is in trouble. (End Commentary)"

I believe that our government is indeed secular and should remain that way. An oath is a solemn thing and is intended to invoke a promissory response. If one does not revere the object being invoked during the oath then it detracts from the ultimate objective. The objective here is not to convert this person to Christianity nor is it to show the world that the US is a Christian state because it is not. I wonder what a religious Jew would swear upon.

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There's hope for you lot yet

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to A first for America...The ...

Anyone who stands in his way in swearing his oath by what he holds dear, is saying they what they hold to is meaningless.

I've always wondered what I would do if I had to take the witness stand, swearing on the bible would mean nothing to me, my word though that means a lot.

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Okay

by Oz_Media In reply to A first for America...The ...

I agree, who the **** cares what someone swears on, as long as THEY deem it an oath that cannot be broken. If YOU were asked to swear on the Quo'ran would you see it as an oath you couldn't break? When compared to the bible?

What would an athiest swear on?

It's outaded garbage really. My view is that everyone should be allowed to choose a religion or faith of choice. I would never try to deny someone's ability to have faith.

I don't care what they have faith in though, religion, the New York Yankees or even Paris Hilton (well that last one worries me). They have faith as a personal and very private belief that keeps one going.

BUT, religion has no place in government and no place in law.

Swear on a Smarties box if THAT's what will mean something to you and make you feel that you should not lie. But to force someone to state as much on something they don't believe is just silly.

It's quite nice to see this side of you ProtiusX.

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Wow.

by drowningnotwaving In reply to A first for America...The ...

Doesn't a lot of American institutions enable people to "swear" in a non-religious manner, if they are not Christians?

I know our courts do over this side of the world.

I've no doubt Ellison is pushing the agenda to get a point, spurious or serious depending upon your own point of view, over to Joe Public. The nature of the reaction would appear that, irrespective of the final outcome, he already has his result.

Thank you px for bringing this out.

I certainly agree that the USA has every right to determine that, overall and historically, they are a Christian-based society and the Bible is the manifestation of that faith.

But surely enabling people to swear on the bible if Christian, or on a non-religious basis if their own beleifs are different, doesn't seem to actually threaten the basis of modern society. Is it that fragile?

"If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11." . Wow.

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Yes, such is a well established practice here as well.

by deepsand In reply to Wow.

It's an ancient practice called affirmation, and, it has a well defined place in English Common Law, which serves as the foundation of the Law in most of the States, as well as our Federal Law.

There are, of course, those who are either ignorant of the facts, or choose to ignore such when convenient to their cause.

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True

by Oz_Media In reply to Wow.

I have been in many courts where no Bible is presented. People are sworn in simply with a raised hand.

It does depend on the court though and those present. In a Supreme Court they will often have more formal approach.

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Wow

by Oz_Media In reply to Wow.

"If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11." . Wow.

LOL

Well done, you're getting it now.

Touche'

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Now THAT's hyperbole!

by NickNielsen In reply to A first for America...The ...

When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11.

Somebody needs a life.

Edit: title typo

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Apparently you are ignorant of the ancient practice of affirmation

by deepsand In reply to A first for America...The ...

Per Encyclop?dia Britannica Article

affirmation

"in law, a promise by a witness concerning testimony allowed in place of an oath to those who cannot, because of conscience, swear an oath. For example, members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), Jehovah's Witnesses, and other persons who have objections against taking an oath are allowed to make affirmation in any manner they may declare to be binding upon their consciences?"

The practice of affirmation predates the founding of the U.S., and the custom of using a Scripture (of any kind) as part of taking an oath.

To insist that only the Christian Bible will suffice is not merely without logical foundation but egregiously disrepectful of the beliefs of others as well.

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One word, Protius: Thorazine

by DelbertPGH In reply to A first for America...The ...

You get way too excited over way too little. What's the next line of defense these crackpot Christian jabberwockies are going to proclaim in the defense of our beloved constitution? Swearing on the King James version instead of the dreaded papist RSV? Taking the oath in 100% cotton underwear? Brylcream?

Honestly, these are symbols to solemnize an occasion, and to bring Godly blessings to an earthly task. But people lie after holding the book, or while holding the book, or reading it. So it means next to nothing, except to some hyperventilating little evangelist tub-thumper trying to scare people out of thinking and lining up behind rural Neanderthal politicians.

Egad. I had better shut up. I'm letting show my prejudices against traditional Southern lunacy.

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Egad; please don't shut up.

by deepsand In reply to One word, Protius: Thora ...

TR needs all of the sane ones, with the balls to speak out, that it can get!

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