To the Editor:
Re 'New congressman to use Jefferson's copy of Quran' (news, Jan. 4):
Mr. Jefferson probably owned the Quran to have a reference on how not to craft a constitutional republic.
The Quran goes hand in hand with Sharia law, tells Muslims to lie to nonbelievers and calls for their slaying. The more Muslims we have in elected office, the more America as we know it is in peril.
While the Qur'an, like any other religious text, would certainly not be the sort of book one might consult for tips on establishing a constitutional republic, I suspect that Jefferson owned a copy of the Qur'an because -- as a student of the Enlightenment -- he both revered and actively pursued knowledge.
And Jefferson, who once edited the Bible down to a mere 114 pages in an effort to present the true teachings of Jesus, would surely have noted that the Qur'an is no different from other religious texts in that it contains passages that are every bit as alarming as others are beautiful.
Dogmatic adherents to the Qur'an are no more a threat to American democracy than dogmatic adherents to the Bible or the Torah. What does pose a grave threat to America as we know it is religious intolerance, which is precisely why the Founding Fathers took such pains to protect our religious freedom, even stipulating in Article VI of the Constitution that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
Of course, as Thomas Jefferson lamented way back in 1817, "ignorance and bigotry, like other insanities, are incapable of self-government," so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised to find them flourishing in 2007.