Liberal Grace

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Victory for Traditional Religious Values in Minnesota

I applaud Minnesotans for electing a Muslim to Congress. It's a great victory for all people of faith.

First Muslim elected to US Congress

Nov 8: Keith Ellison, a Democratic candidate from Minnesota, on Tuesday became the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress. With results from 99 per cent precincts announced, Mr Ellison got 135,519 or 56 per cent of the votes while his rival, Republican Party Jewish candidate Alan Fine received only 51,896 or 21 per cent.

My own religious stock is from the "Northern Bible Belt" which has Minnesota as it's buckle. For the most part, we're pretty conservative in our personal faith but, because were tolerant, we inaccurately get called liberal.

I'm an evangelical Christian and I certainly disagree with much of Muslim theology. However, I would eagerly vote for a Muslim candidate if I thought he would do a good job.

I assume that's exactly what happened in Minnesota. I applaud them.

The way for liberals to take the religious high ground away from the Republicans is to be strong in our own personal faiths while being inclusive as a political movement. Don't ignore religion -- celebrate it! But welcome all religions to the party.

Besides, this is the real traditional American value of religion.

I devoutly worship my Lord and I respect how my neighbor worships (or not). If I just can't bring myself to respect his religion (let's say I live next to Tim Cruise) then I at least keep my mouth shut and skillfully change the subject to the weather. This is a middle American religious value, which is in glaring contrast to the southern bible belt culture of fighting over religion.

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