Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Goode Day for Religious Pluralism

Faithful America

Faithful America, a program of the National Council of Churches, USA, is made up of persons who believe that one’s faith - however broadly or uniquely expressed - has a word to say about our nation’s government and its priorities. Recently they assembled a delegation to call on Representative Virgil Goode (R-VA) to discuss his recent anti-islamic statements in response to representative Keith Ellison’s decision to use a Qur’an for his unofficial swearing-in.

On one wall of Goode’s office is a framed poster that says, "In God We Trust." On the opposite wall is a television turned on to Fox News.

The delegation of Muslims and Christians talked about how disparaging remarks from an elected official fuels anti-American propaganda abroad and reminded the Congressman that his words and actions extend beyond his personal religious views. They even dared to suggest that perhaps Muslims and Christians need one another.

A hair-loss commercial was blasting from the overhead tv and the visitors weren't sure if Goode heard anything. But when they had finished their presentation, Goode thanked them for their remarks, and stated unequivocally that he stands by his earlier statement. “I didn’t say anything that was untrue.”

The group counts this as a Goode day because the Congressman did agree to attend a Muslim service or gathering. So the possiblity for dialogue continues. At least Fox News won't be blaring in the mosque.

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