We took up the Kieth Elison swearing in question at our weekly men's meeting yesterday. The issue presented itself because of the brouhaha stirred up by Dennis Prager in his column at Townhall.Com.
After a rather diverse and off issue discussion, I summed up the issue and Prager's view for the men. A few of the men asked me to send my summary to them by email so they could pass it on. Though Prager should get all the credit for the content, the following is my email to the men:The news item used at the men's meeting is at washingtonpost.com :Thousands of people are interested in this issue; I believe it is because of a fundamental flaw in our present educational system that so many people are apparently unaware of the reason the Bible was used. I added a postscript to my email relative to this belief:An Islamic civil rights group wants a columnist removed from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council for criticizing Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's decision to use the Koran during the Minnesota Democrat's ceremonial swearing-in next month.The question was: Is this a Christian issue?
The Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] said yesterday that comments by Dennis Prager, a columnist and conservative talk radio host, displayed an intolerance toward Islam that makes him inappropriate to serve on the council, which oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The answer is: Yes, in so far as Christians need to understand the role the Bible played (i.e., Judeo-Christian worldview) in the formation of America's value system (and most other Western nations of the world).
Based on news reports and various pundits, the vast majority of people no longer understand this ... and CAIR could CAIR less!
Explanation: The Bible is and was the principal source of America's unique "unifying value system." It matters not that the Bible is Christian or Jewish: the framers of the founding documents of this nation unanimously believed it to be the only source worthy of the fledgling nation's laws.
Every law (federal, state, regional, and local) in the country must pass the "constitutionality test" to be a legitimate law; that fact alone means all American laws, like it or not, are based on a Judeo-Christian view of the world. It does not mean the US is a Christian nation per se.
Interestingly, the Koran was available to the framers, if it was such a fountain of value and truth why wasn't it consulted? Answer: because the USA was a principally a British child, and thus an English speaking nation, whose worldview happened to be Judeo-Christian.
Bottom-line: when Ellison lays his hand on the Bible and swears allegiance, he is not swearing allegiance to a particular God or religious conviction or the Bible, he is swearing allegiance to "the single unifying value system" upon which the nation was founded.
As a Mohammedan, Ellison can’t do that. He wants the Koran because HE is being religious and HE is swearing allegiance to his religion, NOT to America. Therefore, he should not be sworn in with a Koran or any other book.
The issue is not the book but the value system used for the laws of the land. As Prager said, "If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress."Americans, like me, who hold to an active Christian or Jewish faith and practice, are forced to accept the reality of a secular government.The government cannot stop me from violating its laws, but my Judeo-Christian worldview can ... if I'm an authentic believer.
The genius of the founders is that the outworking of my faith and practice forces me into compliance with this government's laws.
What most people don't acknowledge is that only two of these "religious" bodies have been able to practice their faith in total liberty under those laws.
A problem manifests itself when members of those two bodies attempt to act outside their doctrines, while claiming to be within them.
The other side of the coin is that those bodies without a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot always act out their doctrines, because much of their teaching violates our secular government's laws (since they are Judeo-Christian value based).
For me it is simple - just be who I truly believe I am, and watch the government affirm or deny me the liberty to be so!