Virgil Goode Still Doesn’t Get Itby Doug Mataconis
Virgil Goode has a piece on the USA Today blog about his statements last month condemning Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison’s plan to use the Koran in his symbolic swearing-in later this week. Once again, Goode proves he really doesn’t get it:
My letter did not call for a religious test for prospective members of Congress, as some have charged. Americans have the right to elect any person of their choosing to represent them. I indicated to my constituents that I did not subscribe to the Quran in any way, and I intended to use the Bible in connection with my swearing-in. I also stated that the Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall of my office, and I have no intention of displaying the Quran in my office. That is my choice, and I stand by my position and do not apologize for it.
And, Congressman, you have every right to make that choice. What about someone who chooses to do something different, though ? Whether it’s using another religious book, or as Teddy Roosevelt did, using no book at all, they have as much right to their choice and acknowledgment of their faith as you do.
But, of course, that’s not enough, because we must bring up the specter of 9/11:
Let us remember that we were not attacked by a nation on 9/11; we were attacked by extremists who acted in the name of the Islamic religion. I believe that if we do not stop illegal immigration totally, reduce legal immigration and end diversity visas, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable to infiltration by those who want to mold the United States into the image of their religion, rather than working within the Judeo-Christian principles that have made us a beacon for freedom-loving persons around the world.
The only problem with this is that Representative Ellison is an American citizen, not an immigrant. He converted to Islam and, whether you agree with his politics or not, he has as much right to his religious beliefs as Virgil Goode does. If he chooses to acknowledge that faith when he becomes a Member of Congress, what business does Virgil Goode have saying he can’t do it ?