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Message #1872 of 2187  *NEW*
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Rob Reed  
The Oath of Office
11/29/06, 2:44pm (Last Edited: 11/29/06, 2:45pm)
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Keith Ellison was recently elected to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. He is the first Muslim representative ever elected to Congress.

He has come out and stated that he wishes to take his oath of office on the Koran.

And, as you might imagine, there has been some uproar.

Once again, the beauty of our Constitution and the thinking of our Founding Fathers comes into the spotlight.

From the U.S. Constitution:

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.

If we are honest, the declaration of telling the truth or upholding the laws of the land by putting a hand on a Bible is largely symbolic. But, in my opinion, it is an important symbol, because one is publically making a sworn declaration with the backup of a document that the swearer believes in (presumably).

Why would we want a devout Muslim to make an oath or affirmation on a text that he does not believe in?

I love that the Founding Fathers inserted a "no religious test" provision. While I have a problem if someone wants to swear on, say, a Curious George book, I think that for symbolic purposes, swearing on a religious book that the swearer believes in is perfectly sufficient.

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Message #1873 of 2187  *NEW*
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Rob Reed
saundrabeach  
Re: The Oath of Office
11/29/06, 3:15pm (Last Edited: 11/29/06, 3:22pm)
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A good argument in point.

While no Jewish Person has been elected President as yet, it would be quite interesting to watch on TV they (she) (hope-hope) had a hand on the Torah.

I would actually love to see someone test the waters with a Curious George Book or the like.

Freedom! Founding Fathers sure had a thought or two. Amazing that all their thoughts, though antiquated, still prevail and are pertinent for the most part.

What happened to "Separation of Church and State?" A sworn statement under penalty of perjury i.e. OJ Simpson should be enough, but we know IT ISN'T...

A man's honor used to be solemn and sacred as in the Old Southern Movies I love with dueling and all. What really is sacred these days? Other than the obvious love of family. (Hopefully)

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