American Religious Racism
Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States
Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the
Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.
He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American
hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American
First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies
multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What
Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is
of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that
matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.
Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's
favorite book is. 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. In your personal life, we will fight
for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your
right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America,
not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.
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.
So why are we allowing Keith Ellison to do what no other member of
Congress has ever done -- choose his own most revered book for his oath?
The answer is obvious -- Ellison is a Muslim. And whoever decides these
matters, not to mention virtually every editorial page in America, is
not going to offend a Muslim. In fact, many of these people argue it
will be a good thing because Muslims around the world will see what an
open society America is and how much Americans honor Muslims and the Koran.
This argument appeals to all those who believe that one of the greatest
goals of America is to be loved by the world, and especially by Muslims
because then fewer Muslims will hate us (and therefore fewer will bomb us).
But these naive people do not appreciate that America will not change
the attitude of a single American-hating Muslim by allowing Ellison to
substitute the Koran for the Bible. In fact, the opposite is more
likely: Ellison's doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new
ones, as Islamists, rightly or wrongly, see the first sign of the
realization of their greatest goal -- the Islamicization of America.
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