Thomas Jefferson, Threat to American Values

Brian Zick

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts in WaPo write about the fanatically bigoted attack by GOP Virginia congressman Virgil Goode against Democratic representative-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, for announcing that he would be taking his oath of office on the Koran (in a private ceremony - in the official ceremony, no religious texts are used). Goode called Ellison's use of the Koran "a threat to American values." Argetsinger and Roberts then report: Yet the holy book at tomorrow's ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We've learned that the new congressman -- in a savvy bit of political symbolism -- will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson. (…) Jefferson's copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson's collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn't the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies -- the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions. Ellison will take the official oath of office along with the other incoming members in the House chamber, then use the Koran in his individual, ceremonial oath with new Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Keith is paying respect not only to the founding fathers' belief in religious freedom but the Constitution itself," said Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert. via Kagro X at dailykos

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