December 20, 2006  ·  Lessig

From jefferson.jpg to virgil-sm.jpg

Regarding this article in the New York Times about Congressman Goode’s letter to his constituents condemning America’s first Muslim Congressman’s decision to swear his oath on the Koran:

Congressman Goode: The Constitution which you studied as a law student at Virginia, and swore to defend as a member of the “105th, the 106th, the 107th, 108th and the 109th Congress” says this:

“but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” (Article VI, section 3)

Does your oath to the Constitution not include this section? Or do you simply not take the oath you took seriously?

  • James Day

    Those of strong Christian beliefs might also pondere the implications of his apparent intent to falsely swear on the Bible to uphold that Constitution.

  • Serge

    He’s quite concerned that more Muslims may come to the US unless action is taken:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2006/12/19/goode-islam/

  • Lessig

    Yea, but as Congressman Ellison pointed out, his family has been in America since 1742. I’m sure there were lots of Africans circa 1742 who had wished the U.S. was stricter on its immigration policy then…

  • http://www.jzip.org/ adamsj

    It’s amusing (for particularly cynical values of amusement) that Goode, being white, is almost certainly descended from immigrants, whereas Ellison, being black, is almost certainly descended from non-immigrants (for values of immigration which exclude kidnapping and force).

    I’m happier and happier by the day that I named the kid Quincy. If there were only a good biography of JQA!

    Now I’m trying to decide what book, should I ever need to be sworn, I should use. I’m still a little peeved with CRC for a couple of reasons, so I think the Standard Mathematical Tables is out. If the occasion arose today, I’d probably flip a coin and pick between Rudin’s Principles of Mathematical Analysis and Thomas’ Calculus and Analytic Geometry–probably the latter, as my copy of Rudin is in atrocious shape, while my copy of Thomas is not so bad. Rudin is dark blue but thin, while Thomas (in my edition) is yellow but dark.

    Hm. Maybe Leaves of Grass would be a better choice.

  • Jay Snoddy

    It is particularly appropriate that Jefferson’s book was used given that he explicitly stated in his autobiography that foundational thinking that was used to base the religious clause of our Bill of Rights explicitly confirmed “the mantle of protection” to the “Mohammedan,” among others This was in reference to the intent of the “Virginia Act for Religious Freedom.” a major input in the formulation of our national Bill of Rights. The quote is as follows:

    “[A]n amendment was proposed by inserting �Jesus Christ,� so that [the preamble] should read �A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion�; the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”