January 04, 2007

Tom, may I borrow your Holy Book? No, the other one ... Newly elected Congressional representative Keith Ellison caused a stir when he stated his intention to take his oath of office with his hand resting on the holy Quran. The Detroit-born Minnesota Democrat is answering his critics by borrowing for the ceremony a translation of the holy book from the Library of Congress -- a book that belonged to none other than Thomas Jefferson (purchased by the library in 1815). I can say little more here than "Cool."

I further wonder if this opens up the gates for scientific atheists (for example) to swear on a copy of the Principia Mathematica, or ... ?

  • Oh snap. I didn't see the bottom of the earlier thread I linked, and this followup has already been covered. Apologies to sugarmilktea, and um, what's the terminology you use here? Eek? Eek away. :(
  • So... people would rather he swear on something that holds no significance for him. Like a brick, or busted carburator. I caused a bit of a stir myself when, at my call to the bar, I chose to affirm rather than swear. I saw no need to involve God in the affair.
  • Swearin' at the bar again, eh Louie? Ahh, you hard-livin lawyer types. I gots to get up too early in the morning to be cattin' around like that. my two sense are that this FPP is USA A-OK. Fwiw. Ymmv. Made in China.
  • Getting a copy that belonged to Jefferson was a Stroke of Genius. This has all been said before, but swearing on the Bible presupposes that this actually means something to the one doing the swearing. To how many (countless) non-muslims has it meant nothing? Most go through the motions as a symbolic gesture, which satisfies at least the onlookers. This man wants to go beyond the symbolism and use a corresponding book (at least to him) to make his oath of office. This should be commended, but most American's ignorance (of perhaps both the Koran and Islam) makes them nervous. I have to admire the spirit of the people who elected this man, at this hour. It is a small beacon of light in an American spirit bedarkened by fear.
  • No need to apologize now, zorgon. There's something I like about the way this whole story is playing out... Indeed, a stroke of genius. I admire Mr. Ellison for staying true to himself and the country.
  • Does the Koran have any passages similar the the Bible's Matthew 5 which forbids swearing or can a person swear by it without proving he hasn't actually read the thing? Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
  • Pfft. Reading. S'posed to be so good for ya.
  • What class! I feel compelled to note that while I'm sure reporters and others are saying it's Ellison "causing a stir" it's really these nimrods being all ignorant and uncomfortable that are being fussy. Someone quietly staying true to their religious beliefs? Outrageous!
  • I further wonder if this opens up the gates for scientific atheists (for example) to swear on a copy of the Principia Mathematica, or ... ? I'm getting sworn in on the Principia Discordia RIGHT NOW.
  • I think Thomas Jefferson would be incredibly proud right now. And I'm proud of you, too, Cap'n. Although it's highly unlikely I'll ever be in the position of doing so, I've always intended to refuse to swear on a religious book in a civil setting like court.
  • We have black bibles in our courtrooms that are sworn upon daily. I don't know if they have ever been opened. I want to gut them and replace the pages with another book, preferably the Koran. However, The Story of O might be a good call, too.
  • I'm getting sworn in on the Principia Discordia RIGHT NOW. Now that's a euphemism! You randy bastard you.
  • I would definitely swear on Story of O. Come to think of it, I've sworn AT Story of O.
  • Swear AT it? What is not to like?
  • "You naughty little bitch of a book! Take that! And that! And also THIS! Ho-ho, you like being slammed closed, don't you?"
  • > I want to gut them and replace the pages with another book Hollow one out, leaving the edges of the pages. Then put half a sandwich inside. Or a pack of cigarettes.
  • My sewing box is one of those false books you get to hide stuff in in your elegant Victorian library.
  • I thought to mention the Principia Discordia, and that led me to think, "gee, what if a SubGenius is elected to office, what would that person use?" and that wasn't going anywhere good so I stopped.
  • Well, there's no obligation to hold anything in your left hand, is there? Separation of church and state and all that. The oath is no more compelling if you've got a bible in your left hand, or a cheese sandwich, or the preserved pizzle of a Camargue horse... Try juggling that lot one-handed, though.