To understate the case, my last column, "America, Not Keith Ellison, Decides What Book a Congressman Takes His Oath on," seems to have touched a national nerve.
It has caused a national discussion -- actually, more hate-filled attacks on me than civil discussion -- and has been covered by just about all major American news media. To their credit, CNN and Fox News both gave me ample time (in television terms anyway) to express my views on two of each network's major shows: "Paula Zahn Now" and Headline News on CNN, and "Hannity & Colmes" and "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Fox News. And many American newspapers have covered it.
In addition, there was widespread coverage on left-wing blogs, which, with no exception I could find, distorted what I said, charging my column and me with, for example, racism (see below), when race plays no role at all in this issue or in my column. For the record, because I deem this a significant statement about most of the Left, I found virtually no left-wing blog that was not filled with obscenity-laced descriptions of me. Aside from the immaturity and loathing of higher civilization that such public use of curse words reveal, the fury and hate render the leftist charge that it is the Right that is hate-filled one of the most obvious expressions of psychological projection I have seen in my lifetime.
Clearly, many Americans, including some conservatives and libertarians, have no problem with the idea that for the first time in American history, a person elected to Congress has rejected the Bible for another religious text when taking his oath of office (whether ceremonial or actual -- more on this below). This includes some thoughtful colleagues in conservative talk radio (intellectual life on conservative radio is far more diverse than intellectual life at most American universities).
So, for those who do cherish dialogue, including those on the Left who have trained themselves to avoid thought by merely choosing from a list of epithets -- "racist," "bigoted," "homophobic," "Islamophobic," "sexist," "xenophobic," "fascist" -- here are my responses to the most frequently offered objections to my piece:
Accusation: I am advocating something unconstitutional by demanding that the Bible be included in oaths of office. I am reminded that Mr. Ellison has a right to practice the religion of his choice and that there shall be no religious test for candidates for office in America.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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