ON THE KEITH ELLISON FLAP
Dennis Prager said he's asking all who hold office to acknowledge the centrality of The Bible to American history, its "irreplaceable value." Tucker is obviously perplexed. What is Prager asking, that Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat and Congressman-elect (the first Muslim ever to be so elected in the U.S.) who has voiced his intention to bring a Koran with him (not The Bible) to his swearing-in, not to be allowed to take his office? How does that differ from a "religious test" for office, which is forbidden by the Constitution? Prager responds, oh no! He's just saying that Ellison should be "pressured" to acknowledge the Bible as the foundation for American values by bringing a Bible as well as a Koran to his symbolic photo-op after taking his oath of office.
I listened to Prager's radio show this afternoon on my way to a meeting. The last thing I heard him say was, you tell me, doesn't this outrage you? I also heard wingnut Mike Gallagher this morning pick up on the same issue. He, too, was frothing at the mouth at the audacity of an American duly elected by his district to represent them in the House of Representatives, exercising his Constitutionally guaranteed right of religious freedom.
I was astonished at Prager's argument that even a practicing Jew, Hindu or atheist (to cite some of his examples) should be compelled to honor The Bible in their swearing-in. That strikes me as the most base of hypocrisies. The freedom to express our religious faith, or lack of it, was at the heart of the motivations for many of those who first established our nation. The very suggestion that a person should be compelled to publicly acknowledge the supremacy of a single religious document, though the one that above all else I personally revere, that they do not personally adhere to, is an abomination to us as Americans. And personally, as a Christian, it has been my lifelong challenge (though in fantasy) to imagine, would I have the courage to refuse any attempts, even unto death, to compel me to deny my Lord and my faith? I pray that I would not.
And I pray that I would not be party to any similar effort to compel someone of another religion to do so. It's distincly unAmerican and much more of a threat, as Prager characterized Ellison's intentions, to American tradition.
Tags: Keith Ellison, Dennis Prager