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  Muslim Ellison should not sit in Congress
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ContributorServo 
Last EditedServo  Dec 15, 2006 09:46am
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CategoryOpinion
News DateWednesday, December 13, 2006 03:45:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionLast month Keith (Hakim Mohammad) Ellison of Minnesota became the first Muslim elected to serve in the United States Congress and shocked many Americans by declaring that he would take his oath of office by placing his hand on the Quran rather than the Bible. Can a true believer in the Islamic doctrine found in the Quran swear allegiance to our Constitution? Those who profess a sincere belief in Allah say "no!"

In 1789, George Washington, our first president under the Constitution, took his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God." Placing his hand on the Holy Scriptures, Washington recognized the God who had led our Pilgrim fathers on their journey across the Atlantic in 1620 and who gave our Founding Fathers the impetus to begin a new nation in 1776. Soon after Washington's oath, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which required all judges of the federal courts to "faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties" incumbent upon them "agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God." Placing their hand on the Bible, the members of Congress had already sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States ... So help me God."

Thus began a long tradition that extended both to state and federal government of acknowledging the Judeo-Christian God as the source of our law and liberty. Today, some believe that it does not matter what we believe or before Whom we take our oath. But as Keith Ellison is demonstrating, it does matter.
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