Put That Hand Where I Can See It!
I have big issues with the Koran, of course. Mostly with the parts where Allah and/or his prophet are urging jihadistic slaughter against non-Muslims, and the parts that are used to justify the cultural slavery of women.
But I absolutely LOOOOVE the idea that the first Muslim elected to Congress in US history is using the holy book of his own faith to swear upon. And why the heck shouldn’t he? It’s as sacred as the Bible, if you believe that sort of thing.
Naturally, there has gone up a wailing outcry and rending of garments from the usual suspects. Chiefly emanating this time from the big, fat, flapping, presumably Christian jowls of Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.), who direly warns of a future where “there will be likely many more Muslims elected to Congress and demanding the use of the Koran.” Oh, the horror! How dare they run for office! How dare they want to use their own scriptures to put their hands to God on!
Fellow cretins protesting this include talk-show host Dennis Prager, who says that by using the Koran Rep. Ellison “undermines American civilization”, and goes on to demand that some law be passed so that the Christian Bible be required for oath-taking purposes.
Hel-loooo? Doesn’t that kinda shatter that whole pesky Church-State separation thing? Not to mention insult anyone who for whatever reasons doesn’t hold the Bible sacred—and there are quite a lot of us. If someone forced me to swear on a Bible, I would consider the whole oath utterly null and void. Which could come in useful, actually. Or maybe that's what the idiot Prager (no, I've never heard of him either) is counting on...
Other people of this distasteful and idiot persuasion have called for controls on illegal immigration—lest there be floods of illegal Muslim Mexicans wanting to swear on the Koran, I guess.
What just tickles me to pieces is that the Koran that Rep. Ellison is using for his ceremonial swearing-in (usually the reps just stand beside their desks, raise their right hands and are neatly and efficiently sworn in; the book stuff occurs at a private photo op) BELONGED TO PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON!!!
AND CONTAINS (I am told) HIS PERSONAL NOTATIONS!
Well, gosh-a-mighty, folks, just think of that! We always knew Tom was smarter than all the Presidents who followed him combined (current unelected incumbent doesn’t even bring enough brain tissue to the weigh-in to tip the scales…), but now we see, as if we needed further proof, that he’s a sight more tolerant and respectful of other religions too.
And no wonder, since Jefferson (and his buds) WASN’T A CHRISTIAN BUT A DEIST! (Go look it up, kids. I haven’t got the strength to explain…)
So here we have a black Muslim-American, the descendant of slaves, being sworn into Congress using Thomas Jefferson’s personal Koran. I think that’s one giant leap for humankind right there.
Goode (who won't accept Internet messages from non-constituents, hmm, wonder why) and his Christofascist ilk are just damn lucky (for many, MANY reasons) it’s not me being sworn in to national office today. Witches really don’t have one sacred book that we all agree on---since we were an oral tradition, and any books that may have been around later on were trashed by the Christians (no, the Nazis didn't invent book-burning---or witch-burning either, but that's a whole other rant)---so if I didn’t use some ancient Celtic Pagan epic or the Norse “Havamal” (yay Odin!) for my own particular swearing-in ceremony, I’d use “The Lord of the Rings”. I'm sure they're all at least as true as the Bible...and a lot better written.
In Frodo I trust.
And also, of course, in Commander Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5 ("Trust Ivanova. Trust yourself. Anyone else, shoot 'em!").