Friday, December 22, 2006

Goode and Islamophobia

Turns out I'm represented by a bigot! My congressman, Virgil Goode (R-VA) has shown himself to be a despicable hatred-monger. The figure is a copy of his letter to constituents, written on his official letter head where he starts off by saying that he will always swear on the Bible and not the Koran (duh!) and that somehow people swearing by the Quran (my preferred spelling!) indicates something despicable.

Goode is hardly alone in his vitriol. The story was made national headlines by talk-show host, Dennis Prager who had this to say:
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.

Someone forgot to explain to zealots like Prager that that is a violation of the idea of America! Indeed, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life points out that Ellison is not even the first candidate to not swear on the Bible; his predecessors include one famous gentleman by the name of John Quincy Adams, who swore on a law volume instead. And yet Christian groups like the American Family Association are joining in the chorus, asking their members to pressure their legislatures to pass laws requiring a swearing with the Bible, and disallowing other religious texts. To these enlightened souls, I, an immigrant to this land, give you the First Amendment, the cornerstone of American democracy:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

As you can tell, I'm disgusted by this hatred. When George Allen made his famous 'maccaca' remark, I gave him the benefit of doubt, suggesting he had not intended it as a slur. But now a much more insidious bedrock emerges ...

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