"The (Staunton, Va.) News LeaderSept. 23, 2007
A few weeks ago, after former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had announced he was resigning, we suggested that a good way to check the qualifications of any prospective candidates for Gonzales' post might be to require them to pass the same test prospective U.S. citizens take. After all, Gonzales seemed unaware of concepts like the rule of law and the Constitution, things every want-to-be American must know.
After listening to the ravings of Rep. Peter King, R-NY, we've got another suggestion: Make it a prerequisite that any individual seeking to be elected to or currently serving in Congress be familiar with at least the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.That would be what we fondly refer to as the Bill of Rights. It's apparent King isn't even familiar with the First Amendment, at least not the part that guarantees freedom of religion.
In an interview with The Politico, a newspaper that covers - what else, politics - in Washington, D.C., King, who is the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said that there were "too many mosques" in America.
"Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. We should be finding out how we can infiltrate. We should be much more aggressive in law enforcement," King was quoted as saying.
Later, King tried to say he was quoted "out of context." Unedited video of the interview, however, shows that not to be the case.
Every time an elected official wanders off into this kind of intellectual terra incognito, we can't help but wonder two things:
- Did they even get a basic education, and
- Wouldn't we be better off if this person was in some other line of work?
There are not "too many mosques" in the U.S., any more than there are too many Baptist churches or Jewish temples.
Sadly, there are too many people like Peter King who do not understand that one of the reasons the U.S. has grown and flourished is its ability to open its arms to people of many faiths, many nations, and many colors."