On Keith Ellison, the newly elected Congressman from Minnesota who intends to take his oath of office swearing on the Koran instead of the Bible:
- The point of the swearing on the Bible is not to prove the Christianity of Congressmen, but to prove that Christian Congressman take the oath seriously. Taking an oath on the Christian Bible would be meaningless, at best, for Ellison. That he’s taking the oath on the holy book of his own religion shows that he takes his oath seriously. I’m sure that there are plenty of things I won’t like about Ellison, but the seriousness he’s showing to his duty as a newly elected Congressman is not one of them.
- It’s interesting that so-called “conservative Christians” are making the most noise about this. I’ll get to the conservative in a moment, but as for the Christians, Matthew 5:34-37 ought to be instructive [The red letters bear the usual meaning]:
- But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
- Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
- Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
- But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
- As for the conservative…What document says this? “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” That would be the United States Constitution. Those who insist Ellison take his oath on the Christian Bible are pushing aside the Constitution in the name of a Christian theocracy. Ironically, one such group claims that “Islamic Theocracy [will] Trump US Constitution At Next Congressional Swearing In Ceremony”. The Constitution doesn’t specify how the oath will be taken, though it does make allowance for those who want to obey the verses quoted above and “affirm” rather than “swear”.
- The same group is advancing the same ridiculous arguments that were used by bigots against John F. Kennedy when he ran for President. “how does one expect an Islamic Congressman, whose religion requires submission to an Islamic theocratic form of government, to uphold the Constitution of the United States , especially if he is swearing an oath on the very book that requires the Islamic theocracy?” It was a stupid argument when it was claimed that Kennedy would submit the entire nation to the Pope. Now, it’s moved past ridiculous and on to tired. If Ellison turns out to be a Democrat in the mold of John Kennedy, we need to haul in a few more Korans.
All in all, this is a nontroversy on the scale of Senate candidates propositioning their own wives for sex.