December 02, 2006


Oh my God, oh your god

Dennis Prager, columnist and charter member of the Chuck Colson fan club, is upset that Congressman-elect 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 rather on the Quran. There are many comments taking issue with his article, but the bulk are sailing right (in circles, I'd suppose) along with Cap’n Paranoid on the S.S. Theresanotherone. Scroll the comments - some are pretty damn scary.

Prager wrote:

"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."

Of all the arrogant bigotry, and yet I am not surprised that the right's knees jerk so.

So as one commentor astutely pointed out, hey, we have a Constitution, let's check that! Prager obviously has not done this. Article VI clearly states:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several
state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United
States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support
this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to
any office or public trust under the United States.”

Prager’s short-circuited logic continues with typical mighty righty whining about multiculturalism and political correctness topped by a heinous analogy of this situation with that of a racist elected to Congress choosing to be sworn in with a copy of “Mein Kampf.”

What absolute twaddle.


Qu'uran, Bible, or nothing at all. WGAF? Besides, I think he has the right to choose that or nothing:

"Joseph Story, an early Justice of the Supreme Court and the author of the first detailed commentary on the United States Constitution, comments on the oath or affirmation clause of the Constitution as follows:

Oaths have a solemn obligation upon the minds of all reflecting men, and especially upon those who feel a deep sense of accountability to a Supreme being. If, in the ordinary administration of justice in cases of private rights, or personal claims, oaths are required of those, who try, as well as of those, who give testimony, to guard against malice, falsehood, and evasion, surely like guards ought to be to be interposed in the administration of high public trusts, and especially in such, as may concern the welfare and safety of the whole community. But there are know denominations of men, who are conscientiously scrupulous of taking oaths (among which is that pure and distinguished sect of Christians, commonly called Friends, or Quakers,) and therefore, to prevent any unjustifiable exclusion from office, the constitution has permitted a solemn affirmation to be made instead of an oath, and as its equivalent (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833, pp. 1838ff.).
In other words, the Constitution guarantees all federal and state officials the right to avoid taking oaths of office. Further, the Constitution guarantees that there will be no religious tests for federal office. In the words of Joseph Story, the effect of these provisions is to "cut off for ever every pretense of any alliance between church and state in the national government." Additionally, these clauses moved the Constitution well beyond contemporary state constitutions in terms of their provisions for religious freedom.

Presidents and other federal officials may swear on the Bible and say the words "so help me God," but this does not make the Constitution any less secular. The Constitution requires nothing of federal officers in the way of religion. The framers saw no need to refer to God in the oath of office, and explicitly provided an alternative to the oath that guaranteed secularity."
Twaddle. What a great word.
Interesting addendum, Mark - thanks. I'm incredulous that these people think they have a case in suggesting that all but those willing to take an oath on the Holy Bible should not serve in public office. If someone wants to make a "solemn affirmation" with their left hand raised and right hand on a "Captain America & The Falcon #222" then I say more power to 'em.
That is just shows how stupid this man is to publically insist that a non-Christian take an oath on the Christian Bible. I thought that religious freedom is what this nation was founded on. Jeez Louise!
Prager's an asshole. I've always thought so. He's an embarrassment to Jews--well, to me anyway. I guess this issue never comes up with atheists cuz they never get elected to anything (or if they do it's because they've pretended to believe). Remember how Dubya wasn't sure atheists were citizens? *snort*
"Captain America & The Falcon #222"

Dude, this is an important oath here! We can't be having just any comic used for swearing in. We need to require something from the Golden Age, or at the very least the Silver Age, or maybe, maybe something by Neil Gaiman. But no way can we allow an issue #222. That's way too pedestrian.

On another note, I noticed you are now in Archer's blogroll. Have you any idea what a monumental achievement that is?
It's not as if swearing an othat on the Bible ever stopped anyone from being a crook or a horndog, anyway.

As far as "Captain America" goes, I would elect to swear my oath on my hard-bound graphic novel collectio of the original "V for Vendetta" series.........
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