Keith Ellison will become the first Muslim member of the US Congress in January. I am surprised that he is the first. There is nothing shocking here. We have certainly had Muslims in government for some time now. However, his plans for the oath ceremony seems to have riled a few conservatives. He wants to use a Quran (Koran) instead of a Bible as part of his taking of the oath of office. Considering his faith, this is no surprise. However, conservatives are up in arms over this. Dennis Prager on his site Townhall.com went so far as to say that his use of the Quran "undermines American civilization." Come again?
I'm sorry, but I think that is a bit of an over- reaction. For one thing, the use of the Bible has, according to the AP article I read today, is part of a "photo-op ceremony," not the actual swearing in, which takes place on the House Floor with the whole congress assembled. Secondly, while I am a firm supporter of seeing faith in the public square, I don't think that the Bible's presence in such a situation, let alone a Koran, is integral - or detrimental - to the integrity of the oath. This is Kingdom of the Left, which our Lord rules and governs through whether the Bible is present and heeded or not. As a chaplain I appreciate the opportunity to share my Christian faith freely, even in a government institution (fire dept.). I appreciate the fact that my voice is not compromised by another faith; that I have the sole witness in this arena. But demanding that this man appear with his hands on a Bible when he doesn't even believe in it? That would be a farce. Anyway, it's a photo-op, not the actual ceremony. This just doesn't seem worth all the hype.