“Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit.”
(Sergeant ‘Buster’ Kilrain from the film Gettysburg)
I’ve got to hand it to Representative Virgil Goode. Not content with exposing himself as an ignorant bigot by sending a letter to his constituents warning of a Muslim invasion of America and the prospect of many more Congressmen swearing allegiance to the United States on the Koran, he has now reiterated these points on the pages of USA Today:
My letter did not call for a religious test for prospective members of Congress, as some have charged. Americans have the right to elect any person of their choosing to represent them. I indicated to my constituents that I did not subscribe to the Quran in any way, and I intended to use the Bible in connection with my swearing-in. I also stated that the Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall of my office, and I have no intention of displaying the Quran in my office. That is my choice, and I stand by my position and do not apologize for it.
My letter also stated, “If American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran.”
Immigration is arguably the most important issue facing the country today. At least 12 million immigrants are here illegally. And diversity visas, a program initiated in 1990 to grant visas to people from countries that had low U.S. immigration at that time, are bringing in 50,000 a year from various parts of the world, including the Middle East.
Let us remember that we were not attacked by a nation on 9/11; we were attacked by extremists who acted in the name of the Islamic religion. I believe that if we do not stop illegal immigration totally, reduce legal immigration and end diversity visas, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable to infiltration by those who want to mold the United States into the image of their religion, rather than working within the Judeo-Christian principles that have made us a beacon for freedom-loving persons around the world.
Goode may not have called for a “religious test” specifically, but what the hell are we supposed to make of his warning about there “will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran…?” Ooooh…those “demanding” Muslims, how dare they! I didn’t hear Ellison “demanding” anything. I heard him state the fact that he would use the Koran when being sworn in. Why does Goode mischaracterize Ellison’s action in this way?
I will point out that making Ellison into a martyr was something I thought impossible. The radical liberal can be taken to task for his position on any number of issues. But his religion shouldn’t enter into the debate.
And what’s with Mr. Goode solemnly stating that he will not display a Koran in his office? And that he doesn’t “subscribe” to it in any way? That’s just bizarre. And that he assures everyone he has the Ten Commandments on the wall of his office and refuses to apologize for it? Holy Mother! If this guy set up any more strawmen to knock down, he’d be populating the universe with scarecrows.
The tone of this article is, if anything, more blatantly bigoted than Goode’s letter to his constituents. I can’t understand why his colleagues don’t take the lost soul aside and advise him to keep his mouth shut, that he’s sounding like a paranoid fool when he uses phrases like “vulnerable to infiltration…” – as if legal immigrants are sneaking around behind the government’s back.
My last post on the good Mr. Goode’s prejudice was met with outraged cries of “You don’t understand!” and “He’s absolutely right!” I suspect I’ll get the same for the following.
Anyone who believes that Muslim immigration is bad in and of itself doesn’t know American history and also doesn’t know much of American Muslims. The overwhelming majority of second and third generation Muslims are loyal, patriotic Americans who speak excellent English, believe firmly in American values, are very well assimilated into American life, and generally are indistinguishable from Americans of any other ethnic group who have recently arrived. They are teachers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, factory workers – in short, good, hardworking Americans who want the exact same things you and I want.
While it is true that a small subset of American Muslims are very insular and remain wedded to the old ways, their numbers and influence on the Muslim population is negligible. It is also true that there are enclaves of Arabs in some big cities where immigrants are not assimilating and where radical Islam is a lure that entices some younger men. But if we are to deny immigration to people based on the violent proclivities of the few, best we keep out all sorts of “undesirables” such as the Irish, the Basques, and black South Africans.
Goode is dead wrong – and an embarrassment to the Republican party to boot. It is one thing to advocate enforcement of the law when it comes to illegal immigrants and to support stopping illegal immigration – something I wholeheartedly agree with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with insisting that legal immigrants be law abiding citizens in their own country and not have joined a terrorist group or terrorist sympathizing entity. And even though I strongly disagree, there is nothing bigoted or racist about supporting reduced immigration quotas.
But to work toward denying the blessings of America to Muslims simply because there are extremists who would do us harm is nutty. Yes we should tighten up our screening procedures for all immigrants. But to judge an entire group by the actions of a few makes Goode a pea wit.