“You’ll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said to a group of atheists last week in Edina, Minnesota.
Over 100 members of Atheists for Human Rights gathered to hear Ellison discuss the recent controversies surrounding the Bush administration, from the Iraq war to Scooter Libby’s prison pardon. However, it was his comparison of the September 11th attacks to the 1933 Reichstag fire that drew the most ire. (An excellent editorial in Minneapolis’ Star Tribune defending Ellison’s comments can be found here.)
Controversy aside, it is refreshing to see another member in Congress, particularly a member of faith, standing up for the rights of atheists. Having members of Congress like admitted nontheist Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) on our side is great, but I’m pleased to see people like Rep. Ellison, who are able to look beyond the differences in our beliefs to protect our right to have them.