Religion & Beliefs

Would you swear… in Jesus’ name?

At the risk of bringing up Prager in a different contex, I have to point you to this argument, which I stumbled on via the Beliefnet virtual Talmud (a site worth checking out).  The big issue seems to be whether … Read More

By / December 7, 2006

At the risk of bringing up Prager in a different contex, I have to point you to this argument, which I stumbled on via the Beliefnet virtual Talmud (a site worth checking out).  The big issue seems to be whether Keith Ellison, a new Congressman from Minnesota and the first elected Muslim to Congress, should be allowed to swear his oath of office on the Koran. 

Now, here’s where I show my ignorance (never having been sworn into office myself)… but is this really so odd, so unreasonable?

Prager asks  why are we allowing Keith Ellison to do what no other member of Congress has ever done — choose his own most revered book for his oath?  

But is that true?  Has no Jew ever requested to be sworn in on a copy of the Torah? 

I must be a complete idiot, but I didn’t realize there’s an official bible of the United States.  What is it?  King James? 

It seems to me that asking someone to swear on a bible they don’t believe is stupid as HELL!  What meaning could it possibly have.  It’s like forcing them to cross their fingers behind their back. 

I’m curious to know what you think, as Americans, and as Jews… would you swear on the Gospel of John, (which has been accused of containing anti-Semitic sections)?  Would it mean anything if you did?  And what does this say about our reverence for faith as an institution.  It feels cheap to me.