Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Neocon Op-Ed of the day, by Dennis Prager: America, Not Keith Ellison, Decides What Book a Congressman Takes His Oath On

Dennis Prager earns the Neocon op-ed of the day with this powerful piece explaining why Muslim Congressman-elect Keith Ellison should not be allowed to take the oath of office with his hand on the Koran instead of the Bible. Before reading this piece, I had difficulty caring one way or the other which book Ellison placed his hand on. Prager explains with sharp clarity why we should care and he has persuaded me, perhaps he will persuade you as well. A few samples below:

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?

Of course, Ellison's defenders argue that Ellison is merely being honest; since he believes in the Koran and not in the Bible, he should be allowed, even encouraged, to put his hand on the book he believes in. But for all of American history, Jews elected to public office have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament, and the many secular elected officials have not believed in the Old Testament either. Yet those secular officials did not demand to take their oaths of office on, say, the collected works of Voltaire or on a volume of New York Times editorials, writings far more significant to some liberal members of Congress than the Bible. Nor has one Mormon official demanded to put his hand on the Book of Mormon. And it is hard to imagine a scientologist being allowed to take his oath of office on a copy of "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard.

When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. It is hard to believe that this is the legacy most Muslim Americans want to bequeath to America. But if it is, it is not only Europe that is in trouble.

(photo: Keith Ellison celebrating his election-night victory to cries of “Allah Akbar”).

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