This has to be one of the most patently offensive things I’ve seen in awhile. A congressman in Virginia named Virgil Goode (yes, that’s his real name) apparently received several letters from his constituents who were upset or worried that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is planning to be sworn in using the Koran, not the Bible.
First, it’s worth reiterating that this “scandal” was yet another fake issue brought forth by the right-wing, who can’t point to actual accomplishment and therefore need to bring the hate. Several members of Congress have been sworn in on books other than the Bible, and insisting that it should be part of the process is spitting in the face of the separation of church and state. (Sigh.)
In any event, Goode responded by sending them back a letter which included the following gem:
"The Muslim representative 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….I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."
Um, moron? The key word there is “elected.” It’s the process by which you got your job, and one would hope (perhaps in vain) that you would respect that process. Be they Muslim, Jew, Atheist or wingbat, if people want to elect someone, they should. The people who state this are the same people who insisted (perhaps wrongly) that George Bush “won…get over it” so loudly in 2000.
Of course, I’m ignoring the incredibly racist, xenophobic tone here which is that Muslims shouldn’t be in our country, let alone our Congress. Whatever happened to Freedom of Religion? Why is this guy – who has stated that he stands by his letter – being excoriated for this?
Naturally, I have no problem with Goode having his job – if the good people of Virginia want to elect racists (hey, George Allen was their Senator for awhile), they should be allowed to. But freedom is a two-way street, Virgil.