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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Okie Redneck Legislator Who Rejects the Koran Gets Put In His Place

This week in Oklahoma, in yet another bigoted display of ignorance reminiscent of Congressman Virgil Goode's objection to newly elected Congressman Keith Ellison taking his oath of office on the Koran, at least 17 law makers chose to join state representative Rex Duncan in refusing a copy of the Koran which was distributed to lawmakers by the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council ( a panel on diversity) as part of the state's centennial celebration.

Mr. Duncan's letter to his colleagues reads in part:

"most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology." At least 17 other legislators have notified the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council that they too will return the gift."

Wow Mr, Duncan, that's quite a statement you made there. Just what did you mean by that? So much for diversity Mr. Duncan, and so much for you bringing red-necked fame to your state again, but I have news for you, not everyone in your state agrees with your actions, in fact many are objecting to this latest display of ignorance by so called lawmakers in this country

Quran rejection is criticized

The Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, president of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry Board of Trustees, speaks in front of a photo of Mecca during a press conference Friday at the Al-Salaam Mosque. Lavanhar criticized a Sand Springs lawmaker for his comments this week about the Quran.

By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer

Several faith groups condemn Oklahoma lawmakers who turned down copies of the book.

In a show of solidarity with the Muslim community, representatives of the Jewish Federation of Tulsa and several interfaith organizations held a press conference Friday condemning Oklahoma lawmakers who turned down a copy of the Quran.

Read further>>>>>>>>>>>

Here Mr. Duncan and cohorts is the answer to your ignorance and hateful actions from a fellow Oklahoman. And you can check out what they are saying on OKC Talk where I found the referral for this EXCELLENT rebuttal to this absolute nonsense.

Tolerance, diversity, separation of church and state? Not here.

October 24, 2007

I got an e-mail late yesterday from one of my Muslim friends, Orhan. Orhan, an Oklahoma City resident, is from Turkey and is part of an organization called the Institute for Interfaith Dialog. Their mission is to get people of all faiths to learn about one another's beliefs, traditions and practices. That process, they believe, will dispel a lot of myths, which in turn will dispel a lot of fears, which in turn will dispel a lot of hatred and violence. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.

Orhan was concerned about a story in the Tulsa World about Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, and his refusal to accept a copy of the Quran as a gift from a Muslim group. Orhan sent the e-mail to a lot of people, not just me. The e-mail simply contained a link to the story above which he wrote, "Dear Friends, Would you please take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule to write a comment to the Tulsa World for the following article." That was it. He didn't even suggest what sort of comment to provide.

Today, David Derby of Owasso, Guy Liebmann of Oklahoma City, Scott Martin of Norman, Mark McCullough of Sapulpa, Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City, and Susan Winchester of Chickasha, all Republicans, joined Duncan in his refusal, according to a follow-up story in the World.

Hypocrisy abounds. Duncan was one who this year accepted a Bible as a gift from a Baptist General Convention, so he can hardly claim he's honoring some ideological separation of church and state. His argument against the Quran is that "Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of an ideology."

He went on to tell the World: "I know not all Muslims are terrorists, but I don't know of another religion or ideology that employs terrorism and the threat of terrorism."

Really? Check out this passage from the book of Jeremiah. Or this Psalm, which is sort of the Christian version of killing all the infidels. Or even the Last Supper story as told by Luke, who recounts Jesus telling the disciples to make sure thaey had a couple of swords with them. How about Numbers 35:33? Or even Genesis 9:6. Lots of violent Christian groups like to cite those passages.

And Duncan's best quote: "I don't know any Christians who run around using the Bible as their basis of justification or instruction booklet to keep killing innocent people."

Well, Rex, let me introduce you.

If you have the stomach for it, check out the Army of God Web site, one of many that promote violence against abortion clinics in the name of an ideology. Here's the National Abortion Federation's data on such violence. Former Presbyterian minister, Paul Hill, was executed in Florida for murdering a doctor. Hill believed he was doing God's work. Check out the Rev. Bruce Evan Murch's Web site if you need to see more.

I'm a Presbyterian, and I can tell you with certainty that Paul Hill did not represent my beliefs, nor those of most Presbyterians. The PC USA folks tend to be a tolerant, inclusive, peaceful bunch.

If you need a historical lesson, Rex, you can look back to the Crusades or the Salem witch trials for some more examples of Christians using the Bible to justify violence. There are plenty more examples if you remain unconvinced.

Maybe the seven of you should have accepted the gift and read the book. You would have found that there is a theme of helping others and that one of the Five Pillars of the faith requires that the haves go out of their way to help the have-nots.

Blindly believing that one's group has everything right and virtuous while thinking some other group has it all wrong is immature, lazy and worst of all, dangerous. Pick up a copy of the Quran, all seven of you. Just for fun, check out a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, too. Read them for yourselves. Talk to some people of other faiths. Check out this site, run by Shahed Amanullah, a frequent contributor to Beliefnet.

That site, Rex, wouldn't be the worst place to start getting acquainted with some people who aren't rich, white Republicans.

Oklahoma keeps battling an image problem, one that has hurt our economic development efforts. When elected officials show a lack of tolerance, coupled with ignorance, it perpetuates the stereotype that Oklahomans are a backward lot, struggling for recognition and acceptance without a clue why we're not being allowed into the game.

Thanks, Rex. Our state needed that little boost.

I'm disappointed in all seven of the legislators who refused such a simple gift, but I am perhaps the most disappointed in Rep. Winchester. Susan, I held her in higher regard than some of the others on this list. Frankly, I thought she was better -- and smarter -- than that.

My friend Orhan feels about Muslim terrorists the same way I feel about Christian terrorists: We abhor their actions and are embarrassed that they consider themselves part of our respective faith communities. But I bet you'd take another Bible, even if it came from a Presbyterian, wouldn't you, Rex?

(This BRILLIANT response to Rex Duncan and cohort's bigotry is a blog editorial found HERE
that you can respond to)

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