.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This Is Sure To Generate A Comment Or Two

There is a subject that is winding its way through the blogosphere. Our editor, Thomas Lindaman, (who just recently joined the ranks of the blogosphere) touched on this subject, and today, Captain Ed picked it up. The subject is Keith Ellison, and his taking the oath of office with his hand on Koran. The reason why Captain Ed picked it up was because of a recent Dennis Prager column where he stated the following:

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.

Let me be upfront before I continue. Thomas and I listen to Dennis Prager, and we enjoy the wisdom the man imparts. He has a good show, and neither of us can come away from listening to it without admitting that the show and it's subjects made us think. However, on this particular subject, like Captain Ed, we must disagree with Mr. Prager.

First, the Constitution specifically states that no litmus tests will be given for anyone aspiring an office within the federal government. That applies to presidential nominees for the judiciary, his Cabinet, and ambassadors. It also applies to those who serve in Congress. If Mr. Ellison's religion is Islam, and it is an affront to him to swear an oath on the Bible, then let him swear it on the Koran. In addition, Mr. Prager is correct, but he obfuscates the issue, when he states that America has chosen what book elected or appointed officials will swear oaths upon.

America has chosen, with its very inclusion and tolerance of EVERY religion recognized in the United States. There is NOTHING in historical America that states elected officials must swear an oath on a Bible. Captain Ed points to the Quakers who opted for an oath of affirmation. And any atheist that has ever served in the federal government has, likewise, affirmed their allegiance to the United States. So, in essence, the law has not stated clearly what book will be used, but America has spoken with its tolerance of all religions.

This is the only nation on the face of the planet that allows such a right. No other nation on the planet is as tolerant or equivocating to religions as we are. The very first right guaranteed in the First Amendment is the free exercise of religion, and the government's prohibition of interfering in that practice. It was that vital to the Founding Fathers that the right be enumerated. Many, many early settlers left Europe, especially England, for a chnce to practice their religion without having the continual government interference from the crown.

Above all, the question that I have for Mr. Prager is "Does it really matter what he swears his oath on?" The swearing ceremony is done from the floor, as a group, and not individually. His oath is to the United States, specifically:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

He pledges his allegiance to the nation. He pledges to defend and support the Constitution. And for those worried about where his true heart lies, as Dennis Prager eludes to, he cannot take the oath or office if he has ulterior motives, hence the "without any ... purpose of evasion." This oath ties him to the nation, and ties his actions to supporting America, and our way of life.

Part of that is our free exercise of religion, which in our opinion, Mr. Praher ignores. We do not think this makes Mr. Prager a bad man, a racist, or an anti-Muslim person at all. He has his opinion, which is not backed up by fact, or enough facts to base that opinion on. On the flip side, the arguments made by Captain Ed, Mr. Lindaman, and ourselves seems to have far more backing. Are people upset that he is taking the oath of office on a Koran? Sure they are, but if the media had not made a big deal about it, no one would be the wiser. Truth be told, it would be a footnote on some obscure Wikipedia page, or a calignous note at Keegan's Pub on trivia night, but the general populace would not really know about it.

We can understand Mr. Prager's concerns. But from a pragmatic approach, they do not warrant the level of merit he put into the issue. What concerns us is where he stands as an elected official. And what book he swears on has no bearing on that job. If he screws up somewhere in the voter's eyes, he will answer to them in 2008. But I doubt the voters will hold it against him for swearing on a Koran.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My understanding of Islam is that it is also a form of government. To any Muslim, their allegiance and oath are to the Islam government where ever it may be and to no other. He took the oath on the Qu'ran. His alligence is, therefore, to Islam and not our Constitution. Why didn't he just affirm as provided in the Constitution? Rawriter

10:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

weight loss product