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  1.    #1  
    Congressman Ellison (D-MN) is the first Muslim congressman in the US.
    Is U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va) out of line and out of touch?

    Story
    Last edited by impish; 12/20/2006 at 06:56 PM.
  2. #2  
    I have heard this conspiracy theory from several right-wingers: After the Islamofascists take over the middle east, they will take over the western world. They won't stop till they have the whole globe under their control.
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  3. #3  
    Citing this act as an impetus for immigration reform is foul. Unfortunately Rep. Goode's misguided objection will likely serve to obscure the true significance of the matter -- a matter which I thought the "separation of church and state" advocates would devour. Namely, this act specifically casts the swearing-in of a U. S. Congressman as a religious act, rather than a civil act.

    The Bible's standing in U. S. History is that of having and being a significant influence on our laws and our values. It's use in vow-making is not a nod to Judaism nor Christianity (the religious movements most closely affiliated with the text), but a recognition of and deference to the ideals that undergird this 230 year old experiment.

    The Q'aran does not have such standing. It's only comparison to the Bible is in the context of religion. Thus to swap the texts can only be viewed as a religiously motivated act.....unless, the the U.S. of A. is making a declaration that it intends to cite Islamic law in its judicial matters going forward.
  4. #4  
    Well, it is a religious act. When you swear with your hand on the Bible, you're doing so with God as a witness. "So help me God." If you're an atheist, swearing on the Bible is a meaningless act, just as swearing on your mother's life is meaningless if she's already dead.

    The point of using the Bible isn't for its influence on our laws, but for its symbolism for one's deference to God.

    I don't know if Muhammad's Allah and Abraham's God are the same - but if a Muslim wants to swear to Allah, does it make any sense to use a book that he doesn't believe represents the word of Allah?
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    I have heard this conspiracy theory from several right-wingers: After the Islamofascists take over the middle east, they will take over the western world. They won't stop till they have the whole globe under their control.
    Don't have a clue about right winger conspiracy theories, but I have read a lot mission statements from several Islamic terrorist organizations and many of them either state this as a straight forward goal in varying degrees of ambitions or elude to it with very obvious statements.
  6. NRG
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    #6  
    It does not matter, I would chose to be sworn in w/ my hand on the newest edition of Road & Track. As sam rightly pointed out, it is swearing to something you hold dearly. Such as my newest edition of R&T.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post

    The Bible's standing in U. S. History is that of having and being a significant influence on our laws and our values. It's use in vow-making is not a nod to Judaism nor Christianity (the religious movements most closely affiliated with the text), but a recognition of and deference to the ideals that undergird this 230 year old experiment.
    Sorry, but I think this is Hogwash. The Bible is a religious document, period. To ask a non-Christian to swear on the bible is insulting and demeaning if the oath is to be taken seriously, or a mockery otherwise.

    If we don't want to entangle religion into the oath of office, then we should have people swear on the Constitution of the U.S. (Maybe if we did that, Goode would have read it, and understand what it says.)

    As for the article, Goode is nothing but a racist. He can couch his statements any way he wants to (but using an American born congressman for an argument against immigration is pretty ironic), but his statements come down, in the end, to fear, ignorance and bigotry.

    He's ignorant of history, as well, as many legislators, justices, and at least one president have sworn on documents reflecting their personal beliefs, rather than the Bible. It's yahoos like Goode that make me embarassed to live in Virginia.
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    Sorry, but I think this is Hogwash. The Bible is a religious document, period. To ask a non-Christian to swear on the bible is insulting and demeaning if the oath is to be taken seriously, or a mockery otherwise.
    Is it your understanding that every elected and/or appointed official who has taken oath of office using a Bible, and every citizen who has given sowrn testimony in court having given oath on a Bible is a christian? I haven't conducted the research, but my guess is many non-christians have taken oaths on the Bible, without thinking that such a deed in any way was a declaration of faith.
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post

    If we don't want to entangle religion into the oath of office, then we should have people swear on the Constitution of the U.S. (Maybe if we did that, Goode would have read it, and understand what it says.)
    That is a reasonable action as it is what defines the role and responsibility of the representative.
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post

    As for the article, Goode is nothing but a racist. He can couch his statements any way he wants to (but using an American born congressman for an argument against immigration is pretty ironic), but his statements come down, in the end, to fear, ignorance and bigotry.

    He's ignorant of history, as well, as many legislators, justices, and at least one president have sworn on documents reflecting their personal beliefs, rather than the Bible. It's yahoos like Goode that make me embarassed to live in Virginia.
    Humorously, your last statement reflects the same type of stereotyping you're criticizing ("Goode holds this view, therefore all Viriginians hold this view?" )
  9. #9  
    The real official ceremony doesn't use any text. The private ceremony afterwards uses the Bible (typically).
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    The real official ceremony doesn't use any text. The private ceremony afterwards uses the Bible (typically).
    That is my understanding as well. When I first heard of this matter, I thought of raising the discussion here. But, I didn't because a private ceremony is just that.

    Does anyone know how plans for the private ceremony got out? Was it a press release? Or was it scuttlebutt that made its way to the public?
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    It does not matter, I would chose to be sworn in w/ my hand on the newest edition of Road & Track. As sam rightly pointed out, it is swearing to something you hold dearly. Such as my newest edition of R&T.
    Newest edition? So then your oath would be good for about a month!
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    He's ignorant of history, as well, as many legislators, justices, and at least one president have sworn on documents reflecting their personal beliefs, rather than the Bible.
    I guess I'm ignorant of history too. Which President, and what document? Thanks.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Does anyone know how plans for the private ceremony got out? Was it a press release? Or was it scuttlebutt that made its way to the public?
    If it wasn't announced, it's an understandable question the press would have asked the first Muslim congressman.
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    It does not matter, I would chose to be sworn in w/ my hand on the newest edition of Road & Track.
    Or Playboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    If we don't want to entangle religion into the oath of office, then we should have people swear on the Constitution of the U.S.
    Agree!
    If swearing is necessary, we need a document that galvanizes and unties us as a nation: something we ALL have in common.
  15. #15  
    So, which act is more meaningless: having a Muslim politician swear an oath on a book in which he does not believe or allowing a Mulsim politician swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States on a book that denies the validity of any government based on such a constitution?

    If both are equally meaningless then why change at all? It seems that the act of changing in this case means to abonadon an act that, though meaningless, has much traditional significance for an act that has neither meaning nor traditional significance.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    So, which act is more meaningless: having a Muslim politician swear an oath on a book in which he does not believe or allowing a Mulsim politician swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States on a book that denies the validity of any government based on such a constitution?
    The Quran denies the validity of the US government?
  17. #17  
    I believe the bible does. The US Constitution it is!
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  18. NRG
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Newest edition? So then your oath would be good for about a month!
    Maybe, but not really. The oath would hold, just as long as at the time of swearing it is the newest.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    So, which act is more meaningless: having a Muslim politician swear an oath on a book in which he does not believe or allowing a Mulsim politician swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States on a book that denies the validity of any government based on such a constitution?
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    The Quran denies the validity of the US government?
    I am not an expert, but to the best of my understanding it does. At least in the sense that God has already made all the laws. Man cannot make, change, and implement new laws as that is Gods doing. There were several interesting links when I Googled "Koran Democracy". This one kind of sums up what a lot of them were saying:

    ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY: THE IMPOSSIBLE UNION
    Democracy means the rule of the demos, the common people, or what is now known as popular or national sovereignty. In Islam, however, power belongs only to God: al-hukm l'illah. The man who exercises that power on Earth is known as Khalifat al-Allah, the regent of God. Even then the Khalifah, or Caliph, cannot act as legislator. The law has already been spelt out and fixed forever by God.

    The only task that remains is its discovery, interpretation and application. That, of course, allows for a substantial space in which different styles of rule could develop.

    But the bottom line is that no Islamic government can be democratic in the sense of allowing the common people equal shares in legislation..........

    To say that Islam is incompatible with democracy should not be seen as a disparagement of Islam. On the contrary, many Muslims would see it as a compliment because they believe that their idea of rule by God is superior to that of rule by men, which is democracy.

    -------------------

    Last year Yussuf al-Ayyeri, one of the leading theoreticians of today's Islamist movement, published a book in which he warned that the real danger to Islam did not come from American tanks and helicopter gunships in Iraq but from the idea of democracy and the government of the people.

    Maudoodi, another of the Islamist theoreticians now fashionable, dreamt of a political system in which humans would act as automatons in accordance with rules set by God.

    --------------------

    The late Ayatollah Khomeini called democracy "a form of prostitution", because he who gets the most votes wins the power that belongs only to God.

    http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/4585
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 12/22/2006 at 06:44 PM.
  20. #20  
    Hmm. That puts a whole new light on the vision of democracy in the Middle East.

    I wonder how the Muslim lawmakers in Turkey, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq reconcile their work with the Quran. Even al Sistani supports democracy.
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