November 29, 2006Who says anyone has to swear their allegiance to anything on a Bible. If I'm not mistaken I do believe Scripture tells us not to swear on anything at all - "simply let your yes be yes and your no be no." Just because its a tradition in America that people swear on a Bible why should Keith Ellison be forced to? America is not a theocracy and I pray it never becomes one. When we start forcing people to accept our religious beliefs, what gives us any right to judge the Taliban for doing the same thing?
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A first for America...The Koran replaces the Bible at swearing-in oath
What book will America base it's values on, the Bible or the Koran?
Please take a moment to read the following TownHall.com column by Dennis Prager, who is a Jew. After reading the column, take the suggest action at the bottom of this email. After you have read it, please forward it to your friends and family.
America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on
By Dennis Prager - Tuesday, November 28, 2006
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 civilization.
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 trouble. (End Commentary)
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I'm quite certain this is the exact reason Jefferson encouraged separation of church and state. The government has no right to tell anyone what they can and can't believe when it comes to faith.
I don't care how many Jews or Mormons have sworn on the Bible before, Ellison has the right to swear on anything he chooses.
When you take an oath of office you are taking an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States - not an official (or unofficial) religion of America.
Here's what Wikipedia says about oaths in the United States:
In the United States, the oath of office for the President of the United States is specified in the U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1):Here's the oath for representatives and senators:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The oath may be sworn or affirmed. Although not present in the text of the Constitution, it has been conventional for Presidents to add "so help me God" at the end of the oath. George Washington did this at his inauguration in 1789. 
The Constitution specifies in Article VI, clause 3:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. (emphasis added)
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.This is from another source on the web:
Oathtaking is not rocket science. If the framers wanted Presidents to invoke God when taking the oath of office they could have worded the oath to accomplish that objective. Instead, the constitutional oath of office contains no reference to God, need not be administered on the Bible, and need not even be considered an oath. Contrary to the accommodationist argument, Article II, section 1 is evidence that the framers intended the federal government to be secular in its operation...Well enough of my rambling... I want to hear what you think... especially those of you across the pond.
Presidents and other federal officials may swear on the Bible and say the words "so help me God," but this does not make the Constitution any less secular. The Constitution requires nothing of federal officers in the way of religion. The framers saw no need to refer to God in the oath of office, and explicitly provided an alternative to the oath that guaranteed secularity.