Dis-Respect

Posted: June 24, 2008

HARRISBURG is a place where smart ideas, like health-care reform and adequate funding for public education, often go to die. The usual silly partisan battles that characterize budget season seem worse this year, because the economic stakes are much higher. Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, one elected official has reminded us that in Harrisburg, it always can get worse.

Meet Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe.

Metcalfe (Butler County) opposed a resolution honoring a Muslim organization holding its 60th annual convention in Harrisburg over the weekend. His reasoning? "The Muslims do not recognize Jesus Christ as God." That's a direct quote.

What country does he think he lives in?

Does Metcalfe's logic apply to Jewish organizations or other non-Christians? (To their credit, a few legislators protested on this basis.) Should our elected officials insult groups that spend money holding conventions in Pennsylvania? Or, for that matter, signal the preference for one religious doctrine over another . . . or for that matter, any at all?

Finally, is there an IQ test for lawmakers?

Metcalfe's statement remids us we know the answer to that one. *

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