The blogosphere has already destroyed his ridiculous statement that "He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization. " The ammo has come from both left and right. Even the often absurdist FAR RIGHT Eugene Volokh (yes, law profs can be, and often are, vainglorious fools) wrote that
This argument both mistakes the purpose of the oath, and misunderstands the Constitution. In fact, it calls for the violation of some of the Constitution’s multiculturalist provisions...the Constitution thus already expressly authorizes people not to swear at all, but to affirm, without reference to God or to a sacred work. Atheists and agnostics are thus protected, as well as members of certain Christian groups. Why would Muslims and others not be equally protected from having to perform a religious ritual that expressly invokes a religion in which they do not believe?What made this more remarkable was Praeger's "Who, me?" response. He wrote that
My belief that the Bible should be present at any oath (or affirmation) of office has nothing whatsoever to do with the religion of the office holder....Why wouldn't Ellison bring a Bible along with the Koran? That he chose not to is the narcissism of multiculturalism that I referred to: The individual's culture trumps the national culture.The "national culture" involves subscribing to a particular religion? "Why wouldn't Ellison bring a Bible along with the Koran?" WHY WOULD HE??? Why bring a religious tract that means nothing to you?
Of course, a leading Jewish source also disagreed with his take on Jewish officials.
Denny adds that
You don't have to be Christian to acknowledge that the Bible is the source of America's values.Uhhhm, this Sunday School teacher does a HUGE Scooby-Doo moment. How is the "Bible" the source of American values?
Denny idiotically blathers on that
I cannot name any Western European country that does not have a document similar to the American Constitution and something akin to our Bill of Rights.Ummm, Denny, ever heard of the UNITED KINGDOM? England swing like a pendulum do? You do know that in the English system, there is no equivalent of the 1st Amendment?
Even Denny concedes that the "swearings" with props are photo-ops and are PURELY ceremonial, as the legally effective oath is administered en masse with no "props." Here's the rant:
Obviously, Mr. Ellison will have already been officially sworn in. Therefore, the use of the Koran has absolutely nothing to do with taking an oath on the book he holds sacred. It is used entirely to send a message to the American people.Yes, Denny, he is sending a message, a message that he cares enough about his congressional duties to affirm that in the presence of the scripture he reveres.
Denny concludes that
It is not I, but Keith Ellison, who has engaged in disuniting the country.OK Denny. Disuniting the country? How? By not engaging in a sham? By taking the solemn oath on a book that means nothing to you? How?