Thursday, December 7, 2006

Swearing on the Holy Koran

in direct conflict with the first amendment of the constitution of the united states, conservative pundit dennis prager calls elected minnesota representative keith ellison's desire to be sworn in with the koran "an act of hubris ... that undermines american civilization." he continues: "insofar as a member of congress taking an oath to serve america and uphold its values is concerned, 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." and many americans, in agreement with prager, are outraged. i've been following this story for a few days, but didn't write about it because i thought it would have disappeared quickly after these angry americans did some fact-checking on u.s. history and political science. but it hasn't. people are really up in arms about this. i'm not sure why we're even discussing this in a national forum, because the topic was addressed in amendment one of the bill of rights, ratified on december 15, 1791.

here's the first amendment, for those who are still unsure:

"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."

the establishment clause of the first amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion by congress or the preference of one religion over another, or religion over nonreligion.

why are we debating this? just give the poor guy a koran, swear him in, and lets move on to more important issues.

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