Friday, November 16, 2012

Oath both Inspiring and Disturbing

Part of me was glad to see that Tulsi Gabbard was able to choose to be sworn in with a copy of the Baghavad Gita rather than a Bible. There does not seem to be any real backlash from this. In a way it seems to speak well for pluralism and tolerance especially in light of the ridiculous episode that grew up around Keith Ellison*. Another part of me very quickly jumped in with the question of why anyone should swear an oath to serve a public office on any piece of scripture. He may be a positive gesture, superficially, to greater acceptance of minorities but it still is an affront to one of our most important democratic ideals: separation of church and state.

 *A handful of years back a variety of right wing assholes had a hissy fit because the newly elected Congressman, Keith Ellison, supposedly had sworn his oath of office over a Quran rather than a Bible. He actually did no such thing. He posed with Nancy Pelosi after the official ceremony. They each had their hand on a two volume Quran set that had been owned by Thomas Jeferson. The horror!

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