Couric, "Embarassed" By Goode, States US A Secular Nation. Blitzer Blames Ellison ?
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 06, 2007 at 09:05:27 AM EST
The Ellison-Goode controversy has recently led a religious coalition to promote a petition inviting for Virgil Goode to visit a mosque in his Virginia congressional district, as an act of reconciliation following Goode's controversial anti-Muslim statements that Goode aired in a recent letter to his political supporters.

Now, Katie Couric of CBS has jumped into the fray and her framing of the issue is key - "America is about the only nation founded without one dominant kind of faith.". The reality that the US was founded as a secular nation rarely gets expressed so directly in major US media and bears repeated mention. Meanwhile, as Media Matters For America has reported, CNN's Wolf Blitzer has repeatedly made statements suggesting that Congressional Representative Keith Ellison sparked the controversy - presumeably for the indiscretion of being a Muslim or, perhaps, for being so open about his religious belief as to ask to be sworn into office on a Koran. Rather than engaging in innuendo, Katie Couric of CBS has chosen to address the issue honestly and directly.

In a January 3rd post on the CBS News blog entitled "Goode Behavior", Katie Couric wrote:

America is, of course, a profoundly religious country. But it comes as a surprise to many people that America is about the only nation founded without one dominant kind of faith. The Founders believed that every religion should be practiced without prejudice.

So it's disappointing today that a new member of the House of Representatives continues to be attacked simply for practicing his faith.

Keith Ellison, an African-American Islamic convert from Minnesota, announced that he would take his oath of office with a Koran rather than a Bible--actually, a Koran that belonged to that famous anti-American Thomas Jefferson, who collected texts from many religions.

Congressman Virgil Goode of Mr. Jefferson's Virginia (my home state--which, in this case, I'm embarrassed to say) announced that he wouldn't touch the Koran, wants to prevent Muslims from immigrating to this country, and strongly implied that Muslims can't represent American values....

Katie Couric seems to be one of the few major journalists willing to state the facts. Good for her!
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
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I wonder how Rep. Goode would feel about either a Lebanese or a Coptic Christian being forced to take an oath on a Koran instead of Bible. He would probably be the very first to scream about religious freedom being denied.

Well done, Bruce and I second the kudos to Katie!

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