I found it interesting that Ellison could have left the very faith that we--my relative and I--had been brought up in and that my relative still wholeheartedly embraced. I reminded him that the Constitution of the United States requires that "no test"of religion be a requirement for public office. See article 6. Furthermore, the same amendment says you do not have to swear on a bible, only that you have to take an oath "or Affirmation."
Ellison's family has been in America since 1742. Keith Ellison, the third of five sons, was born and raised a Roman Catholic in Detroit, Michigan by his parents Leonard and Clida Ellison, a psychiatrist and a social worker respectively. Ellison and three of his siblings became lawyers while the other became a doctor. One of his brothers is also the pastor of the Baptist "Church of the New Covenant" in Detroit, and the family has been involved in the civil rights movement, including the work of his grandfather as a member of the NAACP in Louisiana. Ellison's youth was influenced by the involvement of his family in the civil rights movement, including the work of his grandfather as a member of the NAACP in Louisiana. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in 1981 where he had been active in sports and the student Senate. At age nineteen, while attending Wayne State University in Detroit, Ellison converted from Catholicism to Islam.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Ellison)
I wanted my relative to get real, to stick to the issues instead of these paranoid fantasies of fear. His email presumed that a particular Muslim personage in the 18th century spoke for all of Islam back then and still speak for all of Islam today, and presumes that chosen phrases from some of the Barbary pirate's statements reflect current Islamic thought. All of which is to say that the writer of this piece knew very little about Islam and assumes that the most radical voices like Bin Laden, who have been rejected by mainstream Islam, especially in the United States, represent all Muslims.
What was of more concern to me was this: did my relative really think that terrorist criminals will be able to take over this country, rape our women, marry our little girls, and carry out a radical Muslim coup?
Just prior to receiving this fantasy of Muslim conquest, I had sent him something rational and relevant from a conservative writer. Maybe, I suggested, he could send me some real political argument sometimes, like a conservative piece in support of McCain? or a rational argument from somebody in the middle or on the left why Obama will be bad for this country. Those I would gladly read, but not this stuff.
The more I read articles by writers on the far right of the political spectrum and so called "independent" white voters, the more I understood that some folks just don't want some "uppity Negro" as president. In other words, too many Americans are being motivated by racism rather than reason.