Thursday, January 04, 2007

what is Virgil Goode thinking?

Congress’s only Muslim member, Representative Keith Ellison of Michigan will be sworn in later today—and, it should be noted, when he is officially sworn in, he will not have his hand on a copy of the Koran. . . because when members of Congress are officially sworn in, they don’t put their hands on anything. Members simply raise the right hand and swear to defend the US, the Constitution, the Congress, etc.

Where you do see religious books turning up is in ceremonial swearing ins that are photographed for whatever it is that folks do with staged photos of this sort. And it is in one of these—in a ceremonial staging—that you will see Rep. Ellison’s hand on a copy of the Koran.

That this copy will be the one that was Thomas Jefferson’s copy notwithstanding, one of the Michigan Democrat’s colleagues, Rep. Virgil Goode (a Republican representing Jefferson’s birthplace in Virginia, by the way) is having kinipshins and night sweats over the thought of swarthy hordes of Muslims destroying his beloved House of Representatives and taking over America—and the first step toward that end will be Keith Ellison putting his hand on a book other than the New Testament during a ceremonial photo-op.

Even some of the more xenophobic of Goode’s Republican colleagues have distanced themselves from the Virginia Representative’s stand, but the seemingly butt-stupid and clearly racist Virgil Goode just keeps on keepin’ on about how Keith Ellison’s entry into Congress will undermine American civilization (yes, he really said that).

But what I really want to know is, why is Virgil Goode frothing about some ceremonial swearing in when it is clear the condition of our American civilization is in so much more trouble already. That’s right, I’m talking about the Eid stamp.

It’s scary enough that the federally regulated United States Postal Service has spent time and money commemorating other minority holidays, but is Rep. Goode aware that we have a stamp carrying US postal value that commemorates the Feast of the Martyrs—the very same holiday celebrated by the 9/11 hijackers!?!

Obviously, I kid—but I am surprised that Virgil Goode and his freaky friends have not made more noise about this. I mean, I wouldn’t have known to be mock outraged if I hadn’t seen a cancelled stamp with my very own eyes. Where are the guardians of our fictional Christian roots?

Honestly, I would be much happier to see no sectarian holidays commemorated on US stamps—no Christmas, no Hanukkah, no Easter, no Eid (I don’t know what to do about Kwanza—it’s not actually sectarian, now, is it?)—for that would truly honor our nation’s roots and our founding father’s intentions. But, seeing as I don’t actually live in such a utopian America, I am pleasantly surprised to see that we have an Eid stamp. . . almost as surprised as I am not to see Rep. Virgil Goode flipping out about it.


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