Smearing Dennis Prager

When Keith Ellison — a Muslim recently elected to Congress — said he would use the Koran, not the Bible, at his swearing-in next month, he was criticized by commentator and talk-show host Dennis Prager, a Jewish scholar and the author of a book on anti-Semitism. On November 28, Prager wrote that if Ellison were to follow through, it would send a damaging signal to American unity. For that observation, Prager was viciously attacked by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

On December 1, the ADL called Prager's comments "intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American." On December 4, CAIR said it has petitioned the Holocaust Memorial Council (which oversees the US Holocaust Memorial Museum) to remove Prager from its board.

On December 5, Catholic League president Bill Donohue, and Don Feder, president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, issued a joint statement supporting Prager:

"We, too, will contact the Holocaust Memorial Council. What we will say is that Dennis Prager is an outstanding American who was wisely chosen to serve on the museum's advisory council. We will further note that he is the subject of a patently unfair and defamatory attack by the ADL and CAIR. Our nation's motto, ‘E Pluribus Unum,' is not ‘Out of One, Many,' rather it reads ‘Out of Many, One.'

"The Bible is the constitutive source of the Judeo-Christian ethos upon which the US was founded. The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are products of Judeo-Christian civilization. As Prager said, Jews take their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament. It's a matter of respect: it's a symbolic statement that pays due homage to our common heritage. Ergo, the same rule applies to everyone.

"We proudly stand by Dennis Prager. What he said was accurate and what has been said against him is scurrilous."

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  • Guest

    Yes I agree with Dennis Prager, and thank the Catholic League for standing by

  • Guest

    Does someone who professes no religious belief still make the oath of office on the Bible?
    If the answer is “Yes” then I say we have found yet another absurdity in US political practice.

    Such a situation, I think, is resolved by requiring an affirmation under penalty of perjury (or something similar – clearly I am weak on the terminology).

    Theoretically, when an adherent of Judaism takes the oath of Office on the Christian Bible (I think this is a wrong understanding; I think the Jewish scriptures are used), the relevant element for the oath taker would be the Law of Moses found in the Old Testament.

    Clearly this does not apply for a Muslim. It seems reasonable to me that a Muslim would not only want to use the Koran, but that they would be expected to do so.

    I cannot agree entirely with Prager’s statement about the pernicious effect on the unity of the body politic that this action would have. On the contrary, I believe such an action would to some extent strenghten the “muscle” of religious tolerance which made this a haven for the persecuted Europeans (could you all please go back home now; you have brought enough trouble down on our lodges).

    However, given the historical fact that this country was founded on the basis of Christian belief (regardless that this fact is denied by many), there would also result a certain weakening of the country’s unity vis à vis its religious foundation.

    It is at least arguable that that weakening is due more to having allowed large numbers of non-Christians to enter the country and Ellison’s use of the Koran is but one symptom of that underlying fault. The disregard of religion in the naturalization process is a consequence of the deliberate denial of the religious origin of this country’s founding principles. The fox has already been allowed into the henhouse, so to speak.

    Was Prager’s comment un-American? Only if you insist the country was founded by deists without reference to the principles of Christianity. In other words, only if one wants to deny US history. Since it serves CAIR’s larger, and more insidious purposes, such a denial is a virtue for them, not a fault.
    The religious tolerance of this country is founded on a bedrock of Chritian principles. It is clear from CAIR’s recent activity on many fronts that their long term objective is to subvert that religious toleration.

    I believe that the reaction of CAIR to Prager’s statement is ludicrous on its face. (It is also highly hypocritical given the intolerance for other religions in Muslim countries which, incidentally is mandated by Islam.) In this country it is not intolerant to express one’s views about the future health of the country or of its political system.

    Old Sigma
  • Guest

    Follow-up deleted.

    Old Sigma