Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, points out a column with a telling quote:
Ellison will be sworn in on a Koran. So now the Bible is equivalent to the Koran in the halls of Congress? Doesn't this then mean he is pledging allegiance to Islamic Law (Sharia) rather than our Constitution? Where is the outrage here?
Stunning, isn't it? If one of us secular humanist types suggested that a Christian, by swearing an oath on the Bible, was pledging allegiance to the Mosaic law rather than our Constitution, she would likely accuse us of religious bigotry... On the other hand, it's entirely possible that for someone like Markell, swearing an oath on the Bible does mean pledging allegiance to Biblical law over the Constitution.
Personally, I'd prefer if religious books were left out altogether. Also, I'd like to win the lottery.