RE: As a native Virginian, I continue to be amazed by politicians, such as Rep. Virgil H. Goode,Jr. who use insensitive and intolerable comments to spread hatred and prejudice about a fellow congressman-elect, Keith Ellison(D, Minn). Goode who is a five-term elected official has forgotten that our Consitution prohibits "religious test" for public office and that the United States is a diverse nation in culture, ethnicity, language, race and religion. The diversity and multiculturalism make this nation great.
Goode's comments can only rekindle the fiery persecution of the Crusaders during the late 11th century and their ghastly atrocities of 150 years in the name of the Christian faith. What has happened to members of Congress in exercising mutual respect and common courtesy of each other through a sense of civility in free America? Why is it that a wedge is drawn between the Bible and the Quran? Has the terror of 9/11 so changed society into a people of fear? How will Goode relate in word and deed to the first two Buddhists who were elected on Nov. 7 and ever to serve in the House of Representatives and what will be their sacred texts in their private oaths of office ceremony? These questions need honest answers.
I see our nation through its leaders stands at the crossroads where the long-held principles of religious liberty as defined in the Constitution are disregarded, eroded, repudiated, undermined and usurped by deluded enthusiasts and ambitious hypocrites.
Where is the outrage against Goode's comments? When Sen. John Kerry spoke of the poor quality of education of the soldiers in Iraqi, there were outright statements denouncing him and the calling on him for an apology, even from the White House. Kerry later apologizes, but Goode has resisted and remaines proud and arrogant about the whole incident.
The worst bigots, the cruelest scoundrels, and the meanest extremists can be found in Congress, too.
Isaiah J. Ashe