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Ellison: A Democratic Patriot

During the recent election period, Keith Ellison, a Democrat and a Muslim from Minnesota, was elected to the House, and Representative Virgil Goode and other Republicans complained vociferously that Ellison should not be allowed to swear himself in with the Koran in his hands, as he had promised. Now that Ellison is esconsed in the House, the Bush Administration is using him to show the world that America is a bastion of religious tolerance.

Immediately after the election, Goode sounded the alarm:

The Muslim Representative [Keith Ellison] from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration, there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.

Ellison was officially inducted into the House the usual way, without Bible or Koran. Then he had a private swear-in where he used the Koran that had belonged to Thomas Jefferson. As he is a Muslim, why not? There was absolutely no reason for the Republican fuss.

Today, I'm heartened to read the following:

Now, two months into office, the Minnesota Democrat has plans to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other top State Department officials to talk about showcasing his story as part of their public diplomacy efforts in the Muslim world.

Instead of hurting America, Republicans are finding out that electing a Muslim to the House helps America. We can use this great American to show that America does not discriminate against Muslims, but stands for tolerance of all religions.

And Representative Ellison says he is eager to help:

Hey, my country first. We can work out our political differences later. I've said I'm willing to do whatever I can to make some friends for America.

Now, there is a great Democrat. Representative Ellison did not throw brickbrats in answer to the brickbrats thrown at him. No, he made friends with Goode, and now he is helping the administration improve the horrible view foreigners have of America.

Representative Ellison is expressing his patriotism the Democratic way.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 7, 2007 6:37 PM
Comments
Comment #210968

I don’t condon what Goode did. But it could have been the same with the Dem. Libs. if a Rep. wanted to use a Bible to be sworn in. We are a country of religious deversity if a man wants to use the Koran or a Bible so be it.

Posted by: KAP at March 7, 2007 7:29 PM
Comment #210983

Well said, Paul. However, you said:

“Representative Ellison did not throw brickbrats in answer to the brickbrats thrown at him.”

True, yet Ellison didn’t act weak or overly ingratiating in the face of anything that was thrown at him either.

Look at how he handled things while talking to Wolf Blitzer regarding Goode’s bigoted attack.

Or watch the video of Ellison on Glenn Beck’s show here.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 7, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #211009

The duplicity is laughable and typical.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2007 11:22 PM
Comment #211032

Goode is an embarassment to my state (or commonwealth). His is a bigot and does not deserve the office he holds. I think they should all be swearing their oaths on the Constitution not a religious text - but if all the Christians want to swear on bible, Elllison should be able to use a Koran.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at March 8, 2007 9:36 AM
Comment #211033

Now, there is a great Democrat. Representative Ellison did not throw brickbrats in answer to the brickbrats thrown at him. No, he made friends with Goode, and now he is helping the administration improve the horrible view foreigners have of America.
Representative Ellison is expressing his patriotism the Democratic way.

So there’s one Democrat in congress who’s willing to put aside the mudslinging and work with the administration? Well, one is a start.

Posted by: TheTraveler at March 8, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #211035

Republicans should not as a party try to create american muslims as the enemy. It is simply not in their interest because before the Iraq war Republicans did very well within the muslim community. Many are values voters, who share many values with the christian right, like any abortion etc. It is not inconcievable that we will see a muslin republican sooner rather than later. And the hubbub over the use of the koran is rediculous, its a symbol gesture of taking an oath. I would be offended if he did use the bible (I know there is much in common with the koran and the christian bible, this is a bit of hyperbole) because he doesnt believe in it. You swear an oath to the higher power that you believe in, otherwise the oath is not particularly convincing. If a Roman pagan swore on the bible, he probably was not going to follow through with what he was promising. But an oath to Jupiter or Mars, thats serious buisness. Swearing an oath is a about creating internal controls. It is about what you believe.

Posted by: MikeD at March 8, 2007 10:06 AM
Comment #211077

I see Keith Ellison as part of a long tradition of Minnesota politicians with great integrity: Floyd Olson, Harold Stassen, Hubert Humphrey, and Paul Wellstone. (Not just a bi-partisan list — this group is tri-partisan!)

You may not agree politically with them, but the political tradition from the North Star State is one of clean government and cooperation. Ellison is this country’s first Muslim Congressman. Given the track record of great politics, that may not be his last “first” in politics.

Posted by: Steve K at March 8, 2007 3:23 PM
Comment #211102

How about if we ask Rep Ellison how he feels about the treatment of women in the Muslim world. Lets ask him to draw a map of the middle east and see if he recognizes Israel on that map. Lets ask him if newspapers should be allowed to print cartoons that are hostile to Islam without the threat of physical harm. Lets ask him how he feels about it being illegal for a non Muslim to share their faith in many Muslim countries. The list of questions could go on but you get the picture. Its nice to see the democratic party embracing Rep Ellison as a “great democrat” regardless of how he would answer these questions.

Posted by: Carnak at March 8, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #241112

Bible or Quran? “Is Anything From God - Really?” “Can You Help Me?”
http://bibleislam.com/bible_vs_quran.php


American Chaplain discovers the truth.
What is the Bible - REALLY?
http://bibleislam.com

Posted by: LoveJesus at December 20, 2007 12:26 PM
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