Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bigot of the Month - Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA)

The final bigot of the month title for the year 2006 goes to the Islamophobic and xenophobic Republican congressman from Virginia, Mr. Virgil Goode. The article below says it all.

Run for your lives! The Muslims are coming.
At least that's how Rep. Virgil Goode sees things from his Virginia district.

Goode raised eyebrows and gave bigotry a whole new slant last week when he advocated tighter immigration laws to keep Muslims out of the country and especially out of elective office. Unless those laws are tightened, "many more Muslims" will be elected, he said, and will follow the lead of the first adherent of Islam elected to the House of Representatives.

What sent Goode, a Republican, into such a xenophobic tizzy was the announcement that Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., plans to use a Quran when he is sworn in next week. Anyone knows a real American takes his (and only occasionally, her) oath of office on the Christian Bible.
The prospect of Goode not using a Bible has left Goode apoplectic.

"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."

The fact is that Ellison was born in Detroit and became a Sunni Muslim in college. He is about as American as a Chevrolet - actually more so when you consider how much of a Chevrolet is built with imported parts anymore. Besides being the first Muslim elected to Congress, he also is the first African American elected from Minnesota.

I was taken with interviews CNN did with some of Goode's constituents. A few, at least, didn't have a clue what the congressman was upset about. "Well, for me, I prefer the King James version," one woman responded when asked what she thought about the controversy. I wasn't aware there was a King James version of the Quran.

Others said Goode must have a point because he is their congressman and he wouldn't speak out like this unless speaking out was needed. Little do many understand how the mind of a member of Congress works.

There's plenty of precedent for not using a Bible - King James or otherwise, for a swearing-in. Mormon office holders have used their book of faith, and nothing happened. Personally, I don't care whether Ellison is sworn in on the D.C. phone directory. It will mean about as much. In fact, it would be a refreshing change and a reaffirmation of the separation of church and state.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded Goode apologize. As of this week, no apology was forthcoming, and none was planned. This latest flap only shows that the next Congress seems poised to pick up the nonsense where the last Congress left off. Maybe that's the real reason we should run for our lives.

No comments:

Blog Archive