12/1/06

MN Congressman to Swear on Qur'an

I saw Prager on TV talking about this issue yesterday. He makes no sense at all. He seems to think that swearing on a bible is an affirmation of our values as Americans. NO.

Swearing on a bible is a means of insuring that the swearer is telling the truth, that he is serious about his oath. Forcing someone to swear on a book he does not believe in is a way to start out crooked and dishonest. Wait, perhaps that is entirely appropriate for a new congressman!

Oath on Qur'an: Provocation or act of faith?

The choice by Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in the U.S. House, to take his oath of office on his faith's holy book, has stirred a debate.
Rob Hotakainen, Star Tribune

WASHINGTON - Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's decision to take his oath of office on the Qur'an is stirring a debate among academics and conservatives, with some of them saying it's only appropriate to take an oath on the Bible.
The Minnesota Democrat says that the Constitution gives him the right to use the Muslim holy book, and that is what he intends to do on Jan. 4.

"Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath," radio talk show host and author Dennis Prager wrote in his online column this week. He said that American Jews routinely have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they don't believe in the New Testament, and that if Ellison refuses to do so, "don't serve in Congress."

But Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the Constitution authorizes people not to swear their oath at all, protecting atheists and agnostics.

"Why would Muslims and others not be equally protected?" he wrote for National Review Online.

2 comments:

Reb Yudel said...

At what point did Prager fall totally off the rails?

And when will David Mamet notice that the "wicked sons" of this decade are those like Prager who are so in bed with the Christian Right that they eagerly embrace the New Testament?

Bryce said...

There was once a Jewish man being sworn into some office. He put his hand on the Bible --- no, he opened the Bible to the dividing line between the Old and New Testaments -- and put his hand on the Old part.