Sunday, December 24, 2006


Muslims in Congress? And Buddhists, Jews, Agnostics, and Lions and Tigers, Oh My!

The Republicans, I have to admit, really do deserve the bigot-of-the-year(s) award. They do it so effortlessly, too. Kind of like without even thinking about it the Republicans can take their inner bigots. Maybe it’s just because they’re the party in power—I certainly don’t think the Democrats are any less cynical, obtuse, power-hungry, or corrupt—that I notice their stupidities so often.

Anyhow, this goes down with “macaca” for right-wing-foolishness of the year...I hope for Christmas they all get their white hoods and robes.

Buddhists in Congress? Who knew?

Contributed by Tommy Stevenson - Posted: December 22, 2006 10:11:25 AM

TUSCALOOSA | In all the brouhaha stirred up by Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode over the first Muslim ever elected to Congress using a Koran in his private swearing-in ceremony next month (the official swearing-ins are done sans holy books of any kind), little attention has been paid to the fact that on Nov. 7 the first two Buddhists to ever serve in Congress were also elected.

Not only that, one of them is a southerner, Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat from our neighboring state of Georgia, who took out the inflammatory and confrontational former Rep. Cynthia McKinney in last year's primary and coasted to victory in the general election in his heavily black, Democratic district in and around Atlanta. The other Buddhist elected in November was Rep. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, a state which probably has more Buddhists than any other.

In his mean-spirited attack on Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, a Democrat and Muslim elected in Minnesota, Goode has generally shown himself not only to be a fool, but a bigoted one at that. In a letter to his constituents, in which he failed even to use Ellison's name, referring to him only as "The Muslim Representative from Minnesota," Goode said that he does "not subscribe to using the Koran in any way" and warned that "if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode [don't you love it when politicians refer to themselves in the third person] position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."

Never mind that Ellison, who has handled Goode's hysterical attack on him graciously, can trace his roots in this country back to the 1700s and is a Muslim-convert, was born in America as an American. His presence here has absolutely nothing to do with immigration (unless you are talking about the forced kind in the belly of a slave ship) and he was duly elected by a majority of the people in his district, just as it is supposed to work in our democracy under the United States Constitution.

Maybe after Goode finishes making a idiot of himself over Ellison and the Koran, maybe he can turn his attention to these two nefarious Buddhists. Wonder what they will place their hands on in their own private ceremonies?

Oh, that's right, they are Buddhists. So the answer would be "nothing."

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