The first Muslim elected to Congress hasn't been sworn into office yet, but his act of allegiance has already been criticized by a conservative commentator.
In a column posted Tuesday on the conservative website Townhall.com, Dennis Prager blasted Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison's decision to take the oath of office Jan. 4 with his hand on a Quran, the Muslim holy book.
"He should not be allowed to do so," Prager wrote, "not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American culture."
He said Ellison, a convert from Catholicism, should swear on a Christian Bible — which "America holds as its holiest book. … If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."
This is ridiculous. If the oath is to mean anything at all, it should be taken on a the book (or object?) that is most meaningful to the individual taking the oath.In a secular and supposedly multicultural society like the United States which professes to have freedom of religion, I would imagine there are many lawmakers who are not Christian (though they may not admit it).
If you are not Christian or Muslim... if you are Buddhist or Atheist or Native American, how should you take the oath of office? Should this practice be adjusted for witnesses swearing in court as well?
Here's a hypothetical question because we know all of you either have too many skeletons in your closet to run for office or have inhaled some illegal substance at some point:
How would you heathen non-religious commentators on Reformed Leftist take the oath of office?