Sunday, December 03, 2006

But He Gets Paid to Not Get It

One can only hope that the Arizona Republic has something other than that which is most obvious when they publish yet another crazy letter-to-the-editor like this one.

"U.S. Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., has chosen to use the Quran for his inauguration oath rather than the traditional Bible. One must ask: Is he going to support our system of law, or will he be more likely to trust in the Islamic sharia?"

Ellison, of course, is the first Muslim to ever be elected to the House of Representatives. It really doesn't make any sense to require him to swear upon a bible, does it? The letter writer goes on to accuse the Democratic Party (which is referred to as "the Democrats," a word-choice preferred by Republican strategists because its ends with "rats," suggesting displeasing notions that activate deeply-framed negative connotations, but that's a whole other story and one which I also occasionally write about,) of "travesty."

"It is recognized that Ellison is "only" a congressman, but where does it end? Would we as Americans allow a senator, federal judge or a candidate for the Supreme Court to get away with this travesty?

If Ellison is indeed allowed to take his oath in this manner, the Democrat Party should be ashamed of itself." - Dale E. Singleton, Chandler

We've suffered a host of Republicans who have openly declared their allegiance to some sort of permutation of their so-called Christian god above and beyond our Constitution, which was the document they had sworn to uphold. For example, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office for ethics violations because he refused court orders to remove a 10 Commandments display he had snuck into his courthouse in the midst of night.

Attorney general John Ashcroft openly proclaimed his allegience to his religion outside the law.

Ashcroft, speaking after receiving an honorary degree, said, "Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal." As reported by major news outlets at the time.

Well, what Ashcroft said is just completely bass-ackwards. It is very well established that the authors of our Constitution were proud that they had fashioned a uniquely secular document upon which to build their new nation. It was all the other countries in Europe that were monarchies sent from god. Sheesh.

On another tack, politicians from JFK to Joe Lieberman to John Kerry have had doubts cast upon them just because of their religious affiliation, as Ann Coulter so tenderly reminds us:

"In addition to having a number of family deaths among them, the Democrats' other big idea — too nuanced for a bumper sticker — is that many of them have Jewish ancestry. There's Joe Lieberman: Always Jewish. Wesley Clark: Found Out His Father Was Jewish in College. John Kerry: Jewish Since He Began Presidential Fund-Raising. Howard Dean: Married to a Jew. Al Sharpton: Circumcised. Even Hillary Clinton claimed to have unearthed some evidence that she was a Jew — along with the long lost evidence that she was a Yankees fan. And that, boys and girls, is how the Jews survived thousands of years of persecution: by being susceptible to pandering."

I guess the national discourse, at least the so-called conservative spectrum of it, has progressed little since 1960:

When Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts ran for president in 1960, he faced a barrage of questions from a predominantly Protestant public like: "How do we know you can separate your Catholic beliefs from your political responsibilities?"

Anyways. the whole gist of Dale's LTTE offends me, because it is an affront to this:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Forcing an elected candidate, or anybody else for that matter, to swear on any given scripture flies in the face of religious freedom. Franklin Pierce and Herbert Hoover, among many others like Dennis Hastert (who just put his hand on the podium) chose not to "swear" oaths at all. They "affirmed" their oaths or just did something else. I'm sure the censorious loudmouth Dennis Prager has much to say about how those people undermined the moral fabric of The United States by doing so. Dennis, Sean, and probably a whole gaggle of others have somehow even managed to drag Hitler into the discourse. What? You mean this isn't Bill Clinton's fault?!

Prager actually agrees that people should be forced to swear oaths on a book they don't believe in. But then again, he's totally, eery-music enhanced, way-down-the-road-past-Jack-Nicholson's-house nutso. Of the ballistic variety, not just your ordinary garden-variety freak.

Colorado Republican representative Tom Tancredo says he doesn't care. Does that mean the Republicans are in disarray?!


vern said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Becca said...

You know, I saw that LTE and was going to respond to it, but the logic and hypocrisy were so absurd that I didn't even know where to start.

The word "idiot" or "moron" comes to mind, as does "bigot" or "asshole."

shrimplate said...

The 1st post was removed at the author's request.

Eli Blake said...

Like you said later on, it is an irony that they'd rather make him swear an oath on a book he doesn't believe in.

Now, wouldn't it be much easier for a politician to VIOLATE an oath they took on a book they didn't believe in, than one they felt was imbued with the Holy spirit of Deity?

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have them swear on a book that they might have it in the back of their mind that there might be some kind of eternal consequences for violating their oath of office.

And heck, swearing on the Bible, even though they claimed to believe in it, obviously didn't help Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney stay true to the oaths which they took.

By the way,

I got those books. Thank you very much for them.

Charles said...

I heard on Ed Schultz that no one swears an oath on any book. They are "sworn in" en masse.

dbackdad said...

Shrimplate -- nice blog and thanks for visiting. I'm adding you to my blog links. You probably wandered over there from Vern's? Where abouts in the Valley are you? I'm in Glendale within spitting distance of the football stadium.

james said...

You'd have thought that he wanted to swear an oath to the devil himself. Then again some of these Christians think any belief other then their own is of the "devil."

Speaking of the devil I like this quote from the great movie, The Usual Suspects: "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Like I say though, if you believe Christianity to be the only path then which brand of Christianity is right????

It's that black and white thought that some of these Christian Republicans think all Muslims are terrorists (rolls eyes).

That's like me saying all Christians are radical abortion clinic bombers!!