A United States Congressman from Virginia, who had been ridiculed for being “racist,” and a “bigot,” for his comments about the first Muslim elected to Congress, has been defended by a journalist. The journalist, John Lofton, editor of the TheAmericanView.com, said the comments criticizing the congressman are unfair, because the congressman merely wants to preserve the Christian heritage of America.
The congressman, Virginia Republican Virgil Goode, had said an incoming congressman should take the oath of office only on a Bible. Representative Goode made the remarks after Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota had said he wanted to take the oath of office on a Koran. He did take the oath of office on a Koran, a personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson, and new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, administered the oath to the new congressman.
Last month Congressman Goode had criticized Ellison for his plan.
Some had labeled Goode a “racist” and a “bigot,” and he was even criticized by members of his own party, including Senator John Warner (VA) and Lindsey Graham (SC). Lofton, however, was one journalist who defended the Virginia congressman and said Goode merely wanted to defend America’s Christian heritage.
“You’d think every Christian in America would want to preserve our heritage; that was his point,” the journalist said on the website, www.agapepress.org.
Lofton said people of two different religions would have two different gods. He noted that Graham “eagerly” attacked Goode, even though Graham is an outspoken Christian. He said that despite Graham’s claims that America is supposedly a nation of pluralism and diversity, the Bible states that, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
Lofton said it was “shameful” that no Christian leader has defended Goode. He pointed out that the First Commandment stated that, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Late last year the Council on American-Islamic relations had called on Muslims in two other Congressional districts near Goode to repudiate what it called “Islamophobic” remarks.
In an OP-ED piece in USA today, Goode defended himself against charges of racism. He wrote that he never said that a religious test should be given for anyone running for office.
“My letter did not call for a religious test for prospective members of Congress as some have charged,” Congressman Goode wrote. “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,” Goode wrote. He also noted that the Ten Commandments and the words, “In God We Trust,” are in his office. He said he offered no apology for that fact and would not have the Quran in his office.
Goode wrote that America was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2002, not by a country, but by extremists. He said the country should do everything possible to stop illegal immigration.
Some Christian leaders who have defended Goode pointed out that our founding fathers did not use any other book to be sworn in than the Bible. They have noted that when a Mormon was elected to Congress, he used the Bible to be sworn in, not the Book of Mormon. They have also wondered what book a witch might want to use if he or she were elected to Congress.
Despite journalist John Lofton’s defense of the Virginia Congressman, the AmericanView.com has not always been a supporter of Republican causes. The most recent online edition criticizes President Bush and the war in Iraq.