Normally I ignore religious controversy, but the latest flap surrounding incoming Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, a muslim who intends to take the oath of office with his hand on the Quran, demands comment. If you're not muslim then mind your own business. Here's the bottomline--the Christians who are in an uproar over Ellison's plan and who insist that the oath can only be taken with the Bible probably ought to read the damn Bible. Why? Because the Bible, specifically the New Testament, contains clear instruction about taking oaths. According to James 5:12 (Whole Chapter):
But above all, [James 1:16] my brethren, [Matt 5:34-37] do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.
Got it? If you are really a practicing Christian who believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God then shouldn't you follow its dictates? When it comes to taking an oath of office an authentic Christian should not swear on a Bible. A simple yes will suffice.
Someone alert that bozo Dennis Praeger. Praeger, who hosts a radio talk show, was running around Thursday sounding the alarm about Ellison. According to Praeger:
Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the Nazis' bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison's right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office?Thank you Dennis Praeger for providing the most stupid, outrageous comment by any pundit in recent memory. Since you are a self-appointed vigilante for correct religious observance, how about focusing on all of those Christians who are flagrantly violating a Biblical tenet by swearing on the Bible? Jesus! At least be theologically informed.
I don't know if Islam embraces or condemns someone swearing on the Quran. If it makes Ellison more likely to be honest and hardworking then swear away buddy. Personally I would prefer we eliminate the religious hocus pocus from our politics. If you must use a religious relic then use them correctly. Swearing on Bibles should have no place in the lives of folks who claim to be Christian. Is it too much to ask that anyone sworn into Congress will simply raise their hand and promise to uphold and defend the Constitution?