The right message needs the right messenger.
Congressman Virgil Goode, a republican from Virginia, has the right message, but he's not the right messenger.
See, Mr. Goode is opposed to the plans of congressman-elect Keith Ellison from Minnesota to have his photo taken with his right hand on the Quran - the holy book of Islam, simulating his swearing-in ceremony. (For the record, the House is sworn in together, in a mass-ceremony, where they just raise their right and and affirm to support the Constitution of the United States. The photo-op with the person doing the swearing-in and their family/friends/gay lovers, etc., is totally ceremonial, so Ellison will be posing with the Quran for a photo, not taking the oath of office with it. Christians traditionally pose with their hand on the Bible, so what's the big deal? To Muslims, the Quran is their Bible, so it's one in the same, right? Right. Thank you, drive thru.)
So this is not a big deal - rather, it should not be a big deal.
But Goode wants some pub, and he's getting it.
And distorting his message in the process.
See, Keith Ellison is a Muslim. He converted in college.
And while a few bad apples often spoil the whole darn bunch, Ellison has said, publicly, he's no fan of terrorists. And he's refused to get into a war of words with Goode, taking the high road, doing the right thing and not adding fuel to a fire that didn't need lit to begin with. Ellison is being smart.
Goode, however, won't take that sitting down. Goode, for the record, is not anti-Muslim. His message is about immigration reform, and how it needs fixed, otherwise we're all in big trouble.
And he's right.
Attaching this message, however, to Ellison's swearing-in, is wrong. Here's why:
In a letter sent to his constituents, Goode included the following paragraph:
"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and 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 Koran."The problem with this message being attached to this issue:
Ellison was born in Detroit.