Some conservatives (the kind that have a white dunce cap and bedsheet in their closet) are enraged that Representative-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim, wants to take his private oath of office on a Koran and not a Christian bible. Really, who does this guy think he is?
Some background on the swearing-in procedure from the Philadelphia Tribune:
House members are sworn in en masse in the chamber, and no Bible or other religious document is used for the oath. However, several incoming House members use Bibles for their individual swearing-in, which is administered by the House speaker and takes place after the official group oath… According to the Library of Congress, Theodore Roosevelt became the first and only president to take an oath without a Bible in 1901. In 1961, John F. Kennedy took his oath on a Catholic ( Douay) version of the Bible. Several Jewish members of Congress have taken their oath on the Torah. Article VI of the Constitution specifies that â€œ… no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.â€
Rep. Virgil Goode, a member of the GOP (of course), is so upset about this potential use of the Koran by Ellison, that he wrote a letter, which his office accidentally sent to the local chapter of the Sierra Club. After the letter was picked up by the press, Goode responded “I wrote the letter. I think it speaks for itself…” Some excerpts:
The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens donâ€™t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran
I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.