Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under fire last month when he announced that he would take his oath of office on the Koran—especially from Virginia Republican Virgil Goode who warned this was a "threat" to American values.
Later this morning, Congressman-elect Ellison will be sworn into office with a holy book whose Americana cannot be disputed: It was the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson. The Washington Post:
Jefferson's copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson's collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn't the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies—the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.
Two weeks ago, Rep. Virgil Goode released a letter objecting to Ellison's use of the Koran. "I believe that the overwhelming majority of voters in my district would prefer the use of the Bible," he told Fox News.
Perhaps the irony is lost upon the not-so-distinguished member from Virginia. WaPo reports Goode represents Thomas Jefferson’s birthplace of Albemarle County, Virginia. The founding father was a champion of religious tolerance.
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