Good tidings

Good(e) grief

Thank you for pointing out to the public the obvious, Mr. Goode’s prejudiced ways [“Goode Makes Complete Ass of Self,” Government News, December 19]. He doesn’t realize that the “values and beliefs” of America start first with freedom of religion. Keith Ellison’s family roots were established in the 1700s in America. Mr. Goode needs to apologize for his prejudiced comments and come to terms that all minorities, not just Muslims, have the right to be elected and serve as patriotic Americans. Sorry we cannot all be white, Christian males, Mr. Goode!

Haroon Rasheed
Chicago, IL


My name is Naveed I. Butt and I am a disabled United States Army Veteran. There are many others like me who have fought for our nation and some have made the ultimate sacrifice. Presently, I serve my State of Virginia and the county as a police officer. Is this guy suggesting that my service to our nation, state and the county for the last 25 years has no meaning just because I am a Muslim?? Or, that the protections of the United States Constitution do not apply to me although I defend it every day? Can someone please tell me if I need to start packing my bags so it will be easier for my family to move in when Goode sets up his internment camps? Is he going to use the Virginia National Guard to round up all the Muslims in the state? Maybe some of those troops might have served under me, and perhaps they will show my family some mercy. Goode is a lunatic, and he has forgotten his role as the people’s representative. Now he promotes bigoted ideology making him a bigot.

Naveed I. Butt
Stafford, VA


I am appalled by the letter that I read that was written by Representative Goode. He is one of our country’s leaders and a person who has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. One of the basic freedoms of all Americans is that of religious freedom. Since when does religion factor into the service of our country? We have men and women of all faiths serving in our military, defending our country. When Mr. Ellison can trace his family’s roots in America to the year 1742, I believe that he is truly an American. Just because he is a Muslim, does not mean that he cannot serve his country in the Congress. It is people like Mr. Goode who breed hatred and bigotry in this country. The United States is a land of immigrants, and it is these immigrants who have made our country the finest in the world. This Muslim bashing will earn him no points among his constituents. The Congressman’s remarks are an embarrassment to all learned Americans. Let’s see if he is a true Christian and can apologize to the 7 million Muslims living in this country. As an American of Arab descent and a Muslim, I am saddened over his remarks. I was a teacher for 34 years and taught thousands of children who passed through my classroom respect for all people, regardless of their religion, race or ethnicity. I can’t imagine what Mr. Goode would have taught students if he were ever in a classroom. I also wonder what Mr. Goode thought of African Americans when they were striving for their civil rights. Bigotry and discrimination are not what our country stands for. Mr. Goode’s remarks show great ignorance from a person who was elected to serve the people. Mr. Goode needs to apologize for his ignorant remarks and perhaps it is time he met a Muslim and had a conversation with one.

Miriam Zayed
Orland Park, IL


Well, the election is over and Congressman Goode has chosen to show his true colors! It seems unbelievable that in 2006 an “enlightened” representative of the U.S. government could still hold this Crusader mentality as near and dear. There are a few points that must be addressed.

First, Congressman Goode is aware, is he not, that immigrants founded this country. In fact if one searched his own genealogy one would invariably find…wait for it….immigrants! Next, perhaps Congressman Goode needs to revisit the Virginia Standards of Learning for High School History and note that in fact this country was founded by individuals seeking asylum from religious zealots who wished to impose a moral will on them. In other words, religious freedom brought the first Europeans to settle in America. In case the earlier sarcasm was lost on the congressman.

It seems odd too that the congressman bragged of having the Ten Commandments on his wall in his office. Issues of church and state aside, his ignorance shows through again. Perhaps, before criticizing and creating hysteria over a religion, the good Congressman should attempt to understand it. In doing so he would discover that his beloved Ten Commandments can be found in the Qu’ran. Furthermore, so can prophets like Jesus, Moses and Abraham…names he is undoubtedly familiar with as a good Christian.

Congressman Goode should know that it is not immigrants that are destroying this great nation. Rather, it is ignorance, racial and religious bigotry the likes of which has not been seen since the Middle Ages which makes us vulnerable and the bane of the rest of the world’s existence. Immigrant flavors make this country what it is, and civil liberties like religious freedom and freedom of speech define this democracy. Until the values of compassion, inclusion, diplomacy and civility guide our foreign and domestic policy, this country will continue to stagnate and progress will be but a pipe dream. 

Bill Casertano
Charlottesville, VA


Thanks so much for your article “Goode Makes Complete Ass of Self”. It’s a shame that people like Goode, a representative of the good people of Virginia, forget the legacy established by our founding fathers in the good state of Virginia. “According to James Hutson, chief of the Library of Congress’ manuscript division, the Founding Fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, “explicitly included Islam in their vision of the future of the republic.” Thomas Jefferson was more proud of his effort to pass Virginia’s landmark Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1786 than he was of his presidency. In his autobiography, Jefferson praised the Virginia statute’s “mantle of protection,” which included “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan (Muslim), the Hindoo and the Infidel.” Let’s give thanks for the religious freedoms we enjoy.

Naheed Hasnat
San Francisco, CA


Jeez, I guess we left Virginia just in the nick of time! Who put such a xenophobic asshole like “ol’ Virgil” in office? Does he really think that those “Immigrants” that brought his screaming big mouth into this world didn’t have just a wee smidge of Moorish blood tucked away in there somewhere, Rome being what it was? Why do we waste so much money trying to educate stupid, privileged snot-noses like this when there are so many more bright, non-blue bloods in the rest of the world who care about Middle East peace, global warming, poverty, and peak oil—people who can offer real multilateral solutions to the same? “America, leave it if your an Arab?” My God, Kofi Annan was right! We share a huge responsibility as Americans for the current state of affairs in this world, and all we do is serve up another fat plate of American southern hospitality. What on earth have we become? Virginia might be a beautiful state, but hearing people like George Allen and this dumb-ass sling outright racism in the free press truly makes me ashamed that I EVER called myself a Virginian (or an American for that matter…).

John J. Cervens
Raleigh, N.C.


Thanks for printing the story on Goode’s ridiculous letter and the increasingly ignorant responses from his office regarding it (I followed the story to you through The Washington Post). It’s ironic and appalling that a moron with a such an intolerant, simplistic and harmful view of religion represents a district that includes the home of a man who recognized Goode’s style of religious bigotry as a key impediment to liberty and freedom for everyone. I hope you keep on the story—and perhaps can report on a recall campaign.

R.S. Taylor Stoermer
Charlottesville, VA


Thanks for raising awareness and shedding light on the ignorance of Rep. Goode. You are a credit to your paper!

Wassim Subie
Washington, D.C.


LOL [“Insert Fart Joke Here,” Government News, December 19]. After reading Rep. Virgil Goode’s letter…I’d have to say the gas comes from his office!!!

Harry Bissell
Royal Oak, Michigan


Ms. Howsare, I don’t know if you or your editors are responsible for the headline “Goode Makes Complete Ass of Self,” but I literally laughed aloud and heartily upon seeing it. Thanks.

Seth Marlow
Roanoke, VA

Good(e) times

I don’t appreciate your headline calling Congressman Goode an ass: Your disrespectful headline is the one that ought to draw an apology. The congressman reflects his convictions and the values of many of the good citizens of Virginia. The Koran has never had a place in our politics. Indeed, most of the problems we face today as a nation come from those who follow its teachings literally. I’ll show you hundreds of headlines from the last 30 days of death, mayhem and misery, and every one of them is from Islamists doing the “will of Allah.”

Dr. Peter J. Dellas
Sugarloaf Key, FL

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