Dennis Prager is a bit upset that the new Minnesota Congressman, Keith Ellison, wants to take his oath of office on the Quran.
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.
That seems pretty extreme.
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
I’d really like to think Praeger is being sarcastic, but he’s serious. Apparently he doesn’t realize in 1674 the Jews of Barbados were allowed to take an oath on the Torah. And in 1822 the Jews of Maryland were granted the right to take a non-Christian oath. For a long time we’ve allowed elected officials to ‘affirm’ as opposed to making an oath. So he’s a little behind the times. More recently, Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii, took her oath of office on the Torah.
But what really confuses me is why anyone would want a non-Christian to take the oath of office on a Christian bible. I mean — what is the purpose of an oath? It’s to assure that the individual is telling the truth, right? And if the individual doesn’t believe in the words contained within the Christian Bible, and they take their oath on that, then they would have no fear that they would be punished by their god for their lie. Only if they’re taking their oath on something that they believe will it have any effect — right?
I remember clearly a scene from some movie where a member of the clergy substitutes his ‘own bible’ for the bible offered him. Unbeknownst to everyone it’s a work of Dickens, so the clergy member has no problem lying.
The law should be changed so that if an elected official’s religion allows an oath to be taken, they should be forced to take their oath on their religion’s holy book. Otherwise, there’s no point.
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?
There are people who might argue Mein Kampf is their spiritual holy book, so I won’t make the argument I’ve seen elsewhere that that isn’t a holy book so it’s an unfair comparison. If someone were elected in this country who, G-d forbid, felt that was their holy book, then they should take the oath of office on that book. Otherwise, their oath is meaningless, and they might as well be crossing their fingers behind their back.