Friday, November 17, 2006

Interesting Test for the Christian (and Jewish) Right

Apparently, Keith Ellison, the first Muslim U.S. Congressperson, will take his oath of office with his hand on a Koran instead of a Bible. We'll see how the Christian Right likes it when it's not their holy book.

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?

Brayton comments:

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.


Ezzie said...

Huh? I'm with Brayton. (Though not with you. :) )

B. Spinoza said...

I'd like to see an atheist take his oath of office with his hand on a copy of Leviathan.

RebPropagandist said...

Once again I agree.

Anonymous said...

> Also, I'd like to win the lottery.

I'll pass on the lottery but I do want an afterlife. Quite a long one too please. With entertainment. (could be spiritual).

dbs said...

I think that, by law, atheists are required to swear upon either "The Evolution of the Species" or "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".

Seriously, the idea of swearing on a holy book is simply that the oath is considered to be taken more seriously if it is associated with something sacrosanct to that person. Thus, it shouldn't really matter what everyone else thinks of it, so long as it represents something significant to the one swearing.

Thus, swearing on the soul of your father is better than swearing on your honor as a spaniard.

asher said...

Muslims do not have a tradition of swearing an oath of public office. But since he will go along with it he must be considered one of those "moderate" Muslims.

skcorefil said...

Obviously he shouldn't be swearing on the Bible if swearing on the Koran would have more meaning to him. It kinda puts the Bible in a place of no importance if he swears by it seeing no importance in the swearing by it whereas he may take the oath more seriously if a Koran is involved.