Other Controversial Books to Swear OnByErik Amonson January 05, 2007 - 12:00 pm |
Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to U.S. Congress, intends to be sworn in on a Koran, not on the customary Bible. But to counteract those who think Islam is unamerican, he's requested Thomas Jefferson's copy from the library of Congress. And he's not the first to hedge his bets on a swearing-in book. Here's a look at a history of controversial figures and the books they controversially chose to swear on, complete with our interpretations.
Strom Thurmond - U.S. Senator - David Duke's copy of W.E.B. DuBois' "The Souls of Black Folk"
What he was trying to say: The always empathetic Thurmond wanted "colored" voters to know that he knew their souls when he won his last re-election, but he also wanted his racist-ass base to know that all of that knowledge was first filtered through the eyes of a Klan leader.
Thomas Jefferson - 3rd U.S. President - George Washington's January 1770 Issue of "Slave Gals"
What he was trying to say: This one was actually an accident. It was stuck to the front cover of his Bible.
Saddam Hussein - President of Iraq - Osama Bin Laden's copy of "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret."
What he was trying to say: He wanted the world to know that he was not a girl, not yet a woman. Nobody listened. He also liked The Babysitters' Club.
Abraham Lincoln - 16th U.S. President - "At This Point, I Would Really Prefer Not Being President," an essay by Abraham Lincoln.
What he was trying to say: Honest Abe he was. Still, you have to be pretty self-centered to swear on something you've written yourself. Shame on you, Abraham Lincoln.
Charleton Heston - NRA President - A hollowed out copy of "Ulysses" with a .38 inside.
What he was trying to say: He was trying to balance his intelligent side (fake book) with his unhinged side (surrounded constantly by loaded guns). His strategy prevailed when King George wandered on stage and threatened to severely tax his tea farm (no euphemism).
Bill Clinton - 42nd U.S. President - A Stack of Bibles
What he was trying to say: Slick Willie knew that the best way to convince someone that you're telling the truth was to repeat the lie many times -- at once, if possible.
Michael Jackson - King of Pop - Howard Hughes' copy of "Peter Pan"
What he was trying to say: When Michael assumed his mantle in 1989, he was already well on his way to Hughes' level as a wildly eccentric hermit, and also well on his way towards turning his face into the one in the painting of Peter Pan he has hanging in his house.
George W. Bush - 43rd U.S. President - "The Pet Goat"
What he was trying to say: Nothing. He was part way through reading it when he got called up to the podium to be inaugurated. It took him almost nine months to finish.
Burger King - The Burger King - Stephen King's copy of "Great Masters of Horror"
What he was trying to say: We don't know, but nothing else could explain that terrifying costume.