The latest ho-hum debate swirling about the blogosphere comes via Dennis Prager's ridiculous column in which he soils himself over the possibility that newly elected Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison might—horrors!—swear his oath on a Koran instead of a Bible. A few observations:
1) Obligatory irony citing: Prager's disregard for the Constitution's prohibition on religious tests for public office looms rather large, given that his complaint centers around the oath members of Congress take to uphold and defend the Constitution.
2) The oath Prager's all worked up about is pretty meaningless to begin with. Every member of Congress takes this oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. They then immediately begin passing bills that not only aren't authorized by the Constitution, but don't even go to the trouble of citing what part of the Constitution they've butchered to give themselves authority to pass the bill. So most of them break the oath within days of taking office. You'd think Prager would be more upset about, for example, President Bush swearing on a Bible to protect the Constitution, then months later signing a law he conceded he thought was unconstitutional.
3) That said, if you're going to have an elected official swear on a religious text as part of the oath, wouldn't you rather it be a religious text the official actually believes? I mean, I could take an oath by swearing on a stack of Dennis Prager columns. But I wouldn't feel particularly obligated to keep it.
4) Seems to me that if you think one Muslim congressman taking a meaningless oath by swearing on a Bible "undermines American civilization" (as Prager wrote in his column), you have a pretty low opinion of American civilization (insert "Why does Dennis Prager hate America?" line, here).
Eugene Volkokh slaps Prager around here.
Title comes from Prager's bizarre boast of having "lectured on all 7 continents."