Congressional Representative Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar is one of the first Muslim women elected to serve in Congress, putting her religious head covering at the center of controversy.


We’re probably all familiar with the long-running debate over Muslim head coverings in France, Belgium, and other European countries. How do we balance religious freedom with safety, security, and the liberal Western values of a free society? It’s a question Europeans have been struggling with for decades.

Now, in the wake of the recent midterm elections, that conversation has begun anew in the United States. Earlier this month, voters elected the first two Muslim women to Congress in the nation’s history. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will head to Washington in January when the 113th Congress convenes for the first time. But this historic demographic inclusion has sparked debate over a 181-year-old (and some say archaic) rule that prevents members of Congress from covering their heads while in the chamber.

Initially implemented to lessen class divides (the rich often wore fancy hates), the rule, as written, states that a member cannot enter the House “with his head covered.” This poses an obstacle for Muslim congresswomen who feel obligated to wear a hijab or some other type of headscarf.

Changing of the Guard

Although Tlaib does not wear an Islamic headscarf, Rep.-Elect Omar does. And she’s adamant that her right to freedom of religion will not be infringed by any congressional rules:

Other Democratic members were quick to side with her, calling the rule outdated and unnecessary. They have introduced a proposal to amend the rule to include exemptions both on religious grounds and for health reasons.

Can the Rule Be Justified?

Despite this vocal support for changing House members’ dress requirements to accommodate religious attire, there remains some opposition to the idea. Opponents argue that the rule – while admittedly quite old – still serves two important purposes: 1) it ensures that all members are viewed equally in the chamber, and 2) it maintains a distinct separation between church and state.

And beyond those concerns, opponents insist changing the rule could have unintended consequences. If we allow hijabs to be worn in Congress today, they posit, what’s to say congressional burkas and niqabs won’t be commonplace at some point down the road? It’s not outside the realm of possibility, especially given that Islam is set to become the world’s largest religion by the year 2050.

But others say this is nonsensical fearmongering. The U.S. was founded on principles of religious liberty and free expressions of faith. If someone’s religion calls for a certain type of head covering, who are we to deny them that right? Plus, supporters argue, these concerns are primarily manufactured to target Islam. Think about it: when’s the last time anyone complained about a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke in public?

Where do you stand? Should the rule be changed to accommodate hijabs in Congress, or are there good reasons to regulate how political figures present themselves?

 

109 comments

  1. power to the people says:

    The rule is outdated and unnecesary.

    1. Kat Hass says:

      Would a hoodie then b allowed? How about a cowboy hat? Skimask?

      1. Browny says:

        “Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”

        If a hoodie, cowboy hat or “skimask” are part of one’s free exercise of religion, then yes, they would “b” allowed.

        1. Nancy Kilian says:

          How about a collander? Pastafarians actually wear them on their heads. Google it. When is this nonsense going to end? Christians are always having to lose their cultural symbols, lose your scarf or get a different job.

    2. David S Logan says:

      All points are very valid yet equality goes 2 ways. With the money grubbing, gerrymandering , lies and denials what if she wants to blow her head off? Hijab means nothing to me.

      1. David S Logan says:

        Secondly, the spiritual leaders of this faith have sworn to destroy the United States. Read the old out dated book they follow and worship with. No. No head gear.

        1. Devon says:

          Do not generalize an entire religion’s followers by the ignorant words of a few. If we were to play off of your words, then would the entire Christian community be nothing but terrorists and racists due to the actions of the KKK.
          Hijab can mean nothing to you, but it means everything to some. Would you expect a Christian nun to remove her headdress? No. You speak of equality but your easiness to fall into untrue and anti-Muslim stereotypes astounds me.

    3. Patricia A Klucas says:

      I remember when Mother Theresa visited the congress, no one balked about her veil. She wasn’t a member of congress herself, but everyone sure listened to her words and paid her due respect.

      .

      1. William N Hodges says:

        This is a red herring. No one is suggesting guest do not wear head gear, just members.

        1. Nancy Kilian says:

          Agree!

    4. Kimberley says:

      Would a nun be asked to remove her covering in the White House. Of course not. This is a pointless discussion based on bias and ignorance.

  2. Reverend Krystina S. says:

    Why of course Muslim headscarves ought to be allowed. Would a (Christian) nun have to remove her headwear, if she wore it? Would a Sikh man have to remove his turban, if he wore it? We are free in the United States, and supposedly religiously tolerant. Let’s make some people stop being FakeOutraged, and let Congresspeople and Senators wear religious headwear, if it is part of their tenet. It wasn’t so long ago that A BLACK MAN was not allowed… the Outrage!? and that ANY WOMAN was not allowed… the Outrage!? See how far we are coming along, becoming a more tolerant and inclusive and accepting society….

    1. Don says:

      “Would a (Christian) nun have to remove her headwear, if she wore it? Would a Sikh man have to remove his turban, if he wore it?”

      The answer is a resounding YES – ALL persons are prohibited from covering their heads. This is equality made manifest. Why does this woman want to be Separate instead of Equal?

      “let Congresspeople and Senators wear religious headwear, if it is part of their tenet”

      NO. If you want to live in a country where the line between church and state are not drawn, please move.

      1. power to the people says:

        Thank you for the narrow minded morning laugh.

        1. Don says:

          I’m sorry you find factual information and logical discourse “narrow minded”.
          More than likely, you are just a sleazy little troll who uses insults in place of reasoned responses.
          Let’s see if I am correct…

      2. flugo says:

        Excellent point of view, Don.

      3. John D. Partin says:

        Don, is the Priest or Reverend who prays for the Senate at the opening of their sessions required to remove his collar because of separation of church and state or does he, in fact, keep his collar on? Of course, he keeps it on. If a Jewish rabbi were to pray at the opening of the Senate sessions, he would, of course, keep his yarmulke on his head as well. Separation of church and state doesn’t mean that people stop being whatever religion that they are while they are in the Senate conducting the business of legislating, but only that they can’t overrule the Senate with their religion and impose it upon them. Just wearing a headdress or a collar or a yarmulke doesn’t do that, however. So, of course, it is perfectly alright for a Muslim woman Senator to wear her Islamic headdress during Senate sessions. Sikh men also have beards, as well as turbans, to express their religious faith. So, should they shave off their beards, too, along with removing their turbans in order to maintain separation of church and state? Of course not! Many government buildings also have the Ten Commandments plaques displayed on them, which would also have to be removed under strict separation of church and state and even Presidents couldn’t pray for God’s blessings or say “God bless the United States of America”, if we practiced absolute separation of church and state!!! This would become totally ridiculous very quickly (more than it is already!) if pushed to its logical extreme! Why make such a big fuss about a Muslim Senator wearing an Islamic headdress?!! Just accept it and move on to bigger matters!!!

        1. Don says:

          “…is the Priest or Reverend who prays for the Senate at the opening of their sessions required to remove his collar”

          No, only head coverings, as previously explained. Collars do not normally cover the head…unless you have some strange collar…

          1. John D. Partin says:

            But collars, as are quite evident to all REASONABLE!!!!!! people here and everywhere else, are expressions of religious faith, the same as Islamic headdresses, and don’t have to cover priests’ or ministers’ heads in order to be such. If the objection is against expressions of people’s religious faith in the Senate, that can’t, again REASONABLY!!!!! only be restricted to Islamic headdresses worn by Muslim women, but must also, CONSISTENTLY!!!!!, be extended to collars worn around priests’ or ministers’ necks, as well as crucifixes or Stars of David worn around their necks or any other symbols of religious faith. It can ONLY!!!! be prejudicially demanded that Islamic headdresses ALONE!!!! have to be removed in the Senate, while all other expressions of religious faith there can be kept on. Yarmulkes are objects on Jewish men’s heads, the same as Islamic headdresses, which Jewish men wouldn’t be required to remove, either. If yarmulkes and collars and crucifixes and Stars of David don’t need to be removed in the Senate, neither, CONSISTENTLY!!!!! and LOGICALLY!!!! should Islamic headdresses need to be removed in the Senate!!!!

      4. Pat Alfus says:

        BINGO!!! The dreadful rules of iz-SLUM is too despicable for this atheist to even tolerate. When it comes to meKKKah, there is NO SEPARATION. Any woman who enters that D**N place in the desert without a total covering is going to be punished to the Nth degree. As a person who literally watched THE Trade Centers get built floor-by-floor from my childhood bedroom window, and on my way to a conference driving go The NJ Turnpike, saw then hit by a follower of mud-HAM-mud, I have total hatred for the fayth and find any ‘respect’ for it a total dis-respect of reality. Furthermore, if that female person were to show up at a meeting within Sor-diD Ah-Ray-Bee-aH without her husband, she would be stoned. So, make her take off her symbol of discrimination or just stay out of our government. AMEN

        1. John D. Partin says:

          Pat Alfus, every Muslim in the world didn’t fly into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, but only those 19 terrorists did. If terrorism were really a major teaching or practice of Islam, more mainstream Muslims or all of them would be doing it and not only a few lunatic fringe elements now and then. So, it makes no sense to hate all Muslims or Islam for the actions of just a few of them, anymore than hating all white or black or any other people for the actions of a few of their group does. Also, Muslims, generally, have no more say over the customs, traditions or laws in their countries than we have over ours in this country and so why should a Muslim Senator remove her headdress because of what men in Saudi Arabia would do to a woman without a husband there? Again, that makes no sense!!!

        2. Alicia says:

          Thank you for showing your immense hatred for an entire religious group. Also, thank you for showing how childish and petty you are by resorting to name-calling. SMH.

          1. Roger Camp says:

            Alicia, it is not a religion, only a belief like a cult.: John d Partum, yes all Muslims are the same. Some nutter stands up on a soapbox and spews their crap out, and they all follow. The comic book they quote is full of Sura telling them to kill the non believers or infidels or kaffar.

          2. John D. Partin says:

            Roger Camp, once again, if all Muslims were the same, as you believe, they would all be flying planes into buildings or strapping bombs to themselves and blowing themselves and everyone nearby around them up or committing other acts of terrorism, and they just aren’t all doing that!!! Only a lunatic fringe of a few extremists are doing that. So, they are, quite clearly, not all the same. You might as well say that all Christians are extremists and terrorists because of our few people who have committed crimes, too, such as the Inquisitors and Crusaders and others. What works for “all Muslims” also works for “all Christians”. The Jews also killed Midianites and Canaanites and other tribes of people because their “God told them to do it” and “some nutter stood up on a soapbox and spewed their crap out and they all followed”, but that wasn’t the actual Jewish religion or what God was actually telling them to do. Neither is terrorism the actual Islamic religion or what God is telling Muslims to do because, if it were (except according to nut cases), all Muslims would be doing it and they aren’t!!! The Bible also has many verses condemning non-Jews and other religions in Biblical times and demanding death for them, but those were men’s words put into “God’s mouth”, the same as they are in the Koran, and not what God was actually saying to the ancient Jews or Muslims today. If the Koran is a “comic book” because of those verses in it, so is the Bible a “comic book” because of similar verses in it, by the same standard!!! Also, my name is John D. Partin, not John d Partum. Learn how to spell!!!

      5. Heather Engelsman says:

        Thanks Don,
        I agree this is more about equality and maintaining separation of church and state, not religious freedom. She should be willing to remove it while in congress and only wear at other times. She understood all the rules when she ran for office.
        Rev. Engelsman

      6. Nancy Kilian says:

        Great point, Don.

    2. Roger Camp says:

      But the hijab is not religous same as the niqab, it is forced upon them by their menfolk. Muslims arent interested in equality which is seen and demonstrated in so many of their speeches quoted from their comic book. They have been ordered to infiltrate foreign countries and either convert the inhabitants to believe in the shite that spews from this comic book or kill them.

    3. Art North says:

      My position is that a citizen of the United States is first a free person, irrespective of race, gender and political & religious affiliation. Only secondarily does he/she claim these traits. If the intent is to use dress code as a leveling tool, all of congress should wear robes, as does the Supreme Court. Faces and hands should always be visible, head covering, if present, identical by rule, possibly optional. Congress and our country have so many other things, like adopting the ERA amendment, to worry about than these egotistical, ridiculous and distracting issues that come between us. Our Constitution states that we are all equal. We need to act that way in the halls of government.

    4. David S Logan says:

      Big difference between tolerant and gullible. Negligent. A nun wouldntw be there and a Sikh would remove their piece out of respect. They have basically sworn themselves as enemies to all Faith’s. Wise up

    5. renie says:

      she must remove her head gear . no exceptions. thisis not for debate, next thing people are going to start wearig all kinds of head gear enough. no head cover period.

  3. Don says:

    “This poses an obstacle for Muslim congresswomen who feel obligated to wear a hijab or some other type of headscarf.”

    It also posed an obstacle for Christians who wanted to wear head coverings. This is a SECULAR nation and needs to stay that way.

    Equality = no one is allowed to cover their head. Period.

  4. Daniel says:

    The rule is obviously outdated because it only used the masculine pronoun “his”, and it was originated in an era when women were not even allowed to vote.
    Also I’m pretty sure there are congressional members who are ultra right wing conservative “Christians” who wear a crucifix around their neck.
    If, as some claim, it’s a matter of separation of church and state, then NO symbols of ANY religion should be allowed. That would include any Mormon members not being allowed to wear their temple-garment underwear and no crucifixes for the other Christians.
    The leaders elected by the people represent the PEOPLE that elected them This lady never concealed her choice to adhere to her beliefs by wearing a head covering during her campaign. AS SUCH, her head covering was ALSO elected by the SAME people who elected HER. To not allow her to continue to wear the head covering would amount to degrading EVERY person who voted to elect her.

    1. Roland says:

      Just saying as a reminder that the original intent of the separation of church and state is not to keep religion out of government but to keep government from establishing a one state religion as what they left the old country from.

    2. Lisamarie BARRICK says:

      Why would you bring in the Mormon undergarments? Or necklaces? The Rule/Law is no head coverings in the chamber. Thats what the rule is, of course if it was a Republican Muslim then the Muslim would have to remove the head covering.

  5. Glenn P Ordell says:

    Forcing the social customs practiced by one segment of the world’s population should not be used to injure or exclude another segment of that same population.

  6. Willow says:

    Of course the head scarves should bcd allowed. I do however have a problem with head gear that only the eyes can be seen; and only because of safety concerns to others who can not identify someone (similar to the tinted glass on cars where the Police can see inside).

  7. Willow says:

    Sorry for the spelling errors

  8. Janice Ellery says:

    Many Orthodox Jewish women and some Christian women also wear head coverings in public. There is in fact a black Congresswoman from Florida who is famous for her hats, I just can’t remember her name. This rule seems outdated and definitely infringes on religious liberty,

    1. flugo says:

      ‘jaundice oily’:

      We’re NOT talking about ‘wearing in public’! The issue is the covering of heads while in chamber. This troublemaker should have read the rules before she decided to become a member of a group . . . . a group that has rules which are to be respected..

      She has no business ‘making a point’, ‘pushing the boundaries’ and ‘causing trouble.’ She ought to shut up or get out!

      1. Pat Alfus says:

        BINGO!!!

      2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, ADS, OM says:

        “flugo” You make fun of a woman minister’s name by referring to her with disrespect as jaundice oily? What an ugly, disgusting troll. It would behoove you to shut up, not the Congresswoman. Janice, I agree, this is a religious freedom issue.

    2. Don says:

      “Many Orthodox Jewish women and some Christian women also wear head coverings in public.”

      In public, sure – not in chambers. This rule applies to EVERYONE. Sorry, but Muslims are not an exception.

      “There is in fact a black Congresswoman from Florida who is famous for her hats.”

      Her name is Frederica Smith Wilson, and she has NEVER EVER worn a hat in chambers.

    3. John Owens says:

      Yeah. She dresses like a rodeo hooker.

  9. Pastor Dave says:

    Why do people make such big issues over things that aren’t major problems? I’m Christian and a pastor. Someone tells me I can’t wear a cross outside my shirt because it OFFENDS them I tell them GOOD, THAT MEANS I’M DOING MY JOB. Let’s stop the hate in this world and try to better understand each other’s faith so as to make this world a better place. If not for us, for our children and grand children.
    Take a look at my ULC profile and visit my web site.

    1. Don says:

      “GOOD, THAT MEANS I’M DOING MY JOB.”

      Jesus said the EXACT OPPOSITE regarding professing your religion in public. Matthew 6:5-6:6

      So, whose job are you doing, exactly? Satan’s?

    2. flugo says:

      ‘pastor’ dive: ‘OFFENDS. . . .DOING MY JOB’! What a load of crap! NO biblical basis for your error!

      It’s the Gospel that may offend. We are NOT to be offensive.

      Get your ‘opinion’ correct, before embarrassing yourself.

    3. flugo says:

      ‘pastor’ dive: Offending people is ‘doing your job’?!

      NO where in the Scriptures does Jesus suggest we are to offend people. NO where! As a ‘pastor’ you ought to know that!

      The Gospel may offend some people, but the presenter of the Gospel has NO right to offend.

      You ought to know what you’re talking about before embarrassing yourself.

  10. Pastor Dave Prison Ministry Services says:

    ok, you’ll have to know what profile to look at, won’t you?

    prison ministry services

  11. John Owens says:

    If that has been the rule, it should not be changed to accommodate anybody. If they cannot follow the rule in good conscience, they have no business running for Congress.

  12. prison ministry services says:

    Christmas is coming. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a multi faith holiday for ALL PEOPLE OF ALL FAITHS? Christians Jews and every other faith all together.
    Universal . People coming together even if only for one day a year.
    NO I’M NOT CRAZY.

    1. Don says:

      FESTIVUS! For the rest of us!
      http://festivusweb.com/

    2. Prison Ministry Services Pastor Dave says:

      I would like to start a muti faith Bible study in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area.
      This would be a around the table informal study of EVERY faith were we learn from each other.
      I feel there is just too much hate in this world. It’s time we come together to make this world a better place.
      I want to do a weekly study.
      Any one interested can e mail me at
      prisonministryservices@gmail.com

      1. Don says:

        “It’s time we come together to make this world a better place.”

        If you’re honest about this, do something positive to achieve it – start by throwing out your racist, sexist, vile holy books…or at least stop trying to get advice from them.
        They are ignorant platitudes written by racist, sexist Bronze Age herders who didn’t even know where the Sun went at night. Stop pretending there’s any actual wisdom in there.

    3. Pridon Ministry Services says:

      Jesus said we should judge not so let’s stop being crule to people who are not of the same faith or race that we are.
      Don’t worry about what they wear or who they call god.
      Christians are too fast to want to convert every body rather than just loving the person for who they are. They are not bad people just because they worship someone other than Jesus.
      Did you ever sit down with them to understand why they worship as they do?
      NO! We are too fast to judge them. Better to lead by example. These people look at us who are suppose to be
      CHRIST LIKE anfd what do they see? In case you don’t know Christian means Christ like, look it up for yourself.
      When they look at you fo they see Christ? Maybe thst’s why they don’t become Christian.
      Hay I’m not perfect either, but I try to respect others and treat them as I would want them to treat me.

      1. Me again says:

        GOD IS LOVE…but we are not

      2. flugo says:

        ‘pastor?’ dave: You’d better ‘look it up yourself”! You don’t know what you’re talking about! You’re distorting the Bible’s teachings about Christ!

        Jesus said it’s okay to judge and do it rightly: John 7:24. He, also told us to rebuke the errant(which involves discernment and judging). Luke 17:3.

        If you’re going to wear the ‘pastor’ title, do it with authenticity, reliability and validity!

    4. flugo says:

      ‘pastor? dave’: YES, YOU ARE CRAZY!

      There is no Scriptural basis for it. NO where did God condone His people participating in other religions’ ceremonies. In fact, He warned His people to not be involved in other faiths’ worship, ceremonies, and activities.

      NO way is ‘light’ compatible with ‘darkness’.

      1. Als*7893 says:

        It’s called ecumenism.

        1. flugo says:

          ‘pastor? dave’: WHO called it ecumenism? WHO is this ‘it’s’ to which you’re referring? I’d rather base my observations on the Scriptures than on ‘it’s’! God’s opinion is what really counts. Right?

        2. John Owens says:

          Ecumenism runs contrary to diversity. A culture that embraces and celebrates diversity should not really encourage ecumenism.

    5. Daniel says:

      I like your idea of a universally day of celebration. I think the easiest wau to gay there would be to redefine Thanksgiving as simply a day for EVERYONE to be grateful. The current version only masks how horribly the indigenous people were treated after they helped their new neighbors survive. And – at the New Thanksgiving people could wear whatever they wanted to while recognizing we ALL have something to be grateful for.
      Hope you all have a great holiday season!

      1. Pastor Dave says:

        Thankx Daniel. Glad to see someone feels the way I do.
        Pastor Dave

        1. Gary Shade says:

          so there are two of you?

          1. Daniel says:

            Maybe just two who commented. But, for those who claim to be Christian a day of universal thanks and celebration would be a chance to practice how to “love they neighbor as thyself”-remember that the most neighborly was the one most despised and not the so-called religious leaders.
            One day out of 365 days of the year may not be much BUT it could be a start towards a better world.

      2. Rev Ned says:

        I thought Thanksgiving was for everyone, not just followers The Christ or The Great Spirit.

  13. Randall Worcester says:

    I believe the rule says “no MAN shall enter with HIS head covered” that ends that debate, she’s a WOMAN?
    Mitt Romney wears his Morman under clothes, Catholics wear their Cross, so a woman wearing her head coverings should be ok.
    That said a hijab? No because you don’t know who’s under it!
    They don’t allow them when getting a drivers license in Ca
    Let’s worrry about real issues like if we have a corrupt President who’s possibly violating the law every day.

    1. John D. Partin says:

      Well, If I could be elected to Congress, which I cannot because the voters are so homophobic, I would want to wear a hat with a penis on it. I am certain the extreme right-wing christian libertarians would be deeply offended, and I would try to wear one with a penis from a different ethnic group every day, just to make sure I offended them all, because I hate them.

  14. Maine santo Santos says:

    This is another bullshit bitch by people who cry about everything, you can see the ladies face, end it there, im so fucking sick of all the crap over nothing and the unknown morons hiding behind keyboards making scenes about everything, muslims, gays, black, white, athiest, christian, et al we all have rights, and screw you if you don’t think so, the bloody dark ages are over, live with it.

  15. Maine santo Santos says:

    Post this on twitter or fakebook, see what those fucking morons who are anonymous keyboard commandos have to say.

  16. James says:

    Out dated for what reason? If head gear becomes legal. I’m gonna show support by wearing my head wear. My religons will let me wear my choices in full glory…
    https://www.scoopwhoop.com/Places-Where-Penis-Is-Worshipped/#.4ztdoqkwm

  17. J says:

    PMS…. You crazy? Never… People coming together even if only for one day a year. What about the other 354 days? …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffO8nZThwmM

  18. ET says:

    If the elected person wore the head covering during the election, then the electorate accepted it and it should not be problematic for the governing body.

    1. Daniel says:

      It could very well be that the rule was also based on a rejection of the British protocol where their leaders wore powdered wigs while governing. So, if we literally applied the outdated rule today it would ALSO apply to wigs or toupees worn by the men as they are also a head covering.
      But how many older men would “flip their wigs” if told they could NOT wear their hair piece during congressional sessions!?!
      The outdated rule should not be allowed to selectively protect an old man’s ego while trampling in the will of the people who elected a woman and her known religious head covering.
      The outdated rule needs to be removed, or…OFF WITH THEIR WIGS!!!

      1. Pastor Dave says:

        I like you, YOU’RE FUNNY.
        BUT YOU MAKE A GOOD POINT.

        1. You know who said that. It was ME says:

          THEY WOULD END UP WITH JUDGES WHO LOOKED LIKE KOJAK.
          ALL THEY NEED NOW IS TO PASS OUT TOOTSIE POPS TO EVERYONE.
          L O L

          1. Just one of my crazy thoughys for today says:

            Hay! That’s it. Stop the hate and pass out Tootsie pops. Who doesn’t like Tootsie pops. And we can paint a smiley face on the back of their bald heads too. What do you think?

    2. Gary Shade says:

      “If the elected person wore the head covering during the election, then the electorate accepted it and it should not be problematic for the governing body.”

      Her election is from a small area of Minneapolis and she does not represent all of Minnesota.

      The rule iis in regard to head coverings only. Nothing prohibits someone to wear a cross or a star of David ro to carry a Koran into the Chambers. It deals with head coverings.

  19. Robert Bruce Kelsey says:

    Both ideological sides here would benefit from a read of their own government’s religious guiidelines. See Sessions’ guidelines for protecting religious freedom ( https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-sessions-issues-guidance-federal-law-protections-religious-liberty ) and the SCOTUS opinions attached to the main ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case ( https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/584/16-111/#tab-opinion-3910080 ). G. Ordell’s post is close to the position of SCOTUS, which cites the need to protect expression of religion ** especially** when that religion is a minority and/or deviates from social norms. Gorsuch, concurring with the Court: ” Popular religious views are easy enough to defend. It is in protecting unpopular religious beliefs that we prove this country’s commitment to serving as a refuge for religious freedom.” Religious tolerance neither morally requires nor logically entails the suppression of all expressions of religious beliefs.

    The ‘rules of the group’ flugo references and Don’s invocation of the separation clause would be legitimate objections were this not a case of protected expression.

    Welcome to America, folks! What was the phrase….? Oh, yeah, America, Love it or Leave It.

    History is full of ironies, isn’t it?

  20. Dan Anderson says:

    Personally, I find the hijab to be quite an attractive piece of clothing. No, I am not Muslim. The way some ladies wear them frames their faces quite nicely with the coloring complimenting their attire and eyes.

    To discriminate in Congress is a form of “religious test”, is it not, therefore, constitutionally, not allowed?

    1. Willie says:

      It seems most people are ignorant about the fact of what taking your hat off means in by gone days. When men or boys entered a home they would take their hat or cap off n hang it on the hat rack. It would show disrespect for the hostess or host of the home entered, not to. And in the better educated families that still applies.Not for women but men and boys only. So it is only natural this also applies to congress or any official functions or for churches.

      When a man was outside he would greet a woman/ women by taking his hat off slightly n puting his hat back on. It was always impolite for men to wear their hats or caps/for blue collar workers inside. Maybe because of safety reasons. Men could put a weapon in.their hat or cap. The way men would shake another mans hand to show he did not have a weapon in his right hand.

      For women it it was the opposite. She kept her hat on since it was part of her attire, like jewelry or other adornments. In fact if she did not wear a hat in a Catholic church she was supposed to put a scarf or handkerchief on her head. I don’t know about other denomination churches. The way a priest has his official gear on his head or other denomination have theirs.

      In fact when pres.Trump visited the English queen he walked ahead of her and had his back to her. Bad manners. A real oaf. He thinks money can buy anything, but not good manners or etiquette!
      You never show your back to royalty and never get up before they do. They will give you the signal by getting up first. Otherwise like in the old days you have to leave walking backwards. That is the difference between the better educated families and blue collar workers wearing.caps or who wears hats. To learn a good trade is also invaluable.
      But nowadays any body can learn that, like setting a table correctly.
      Manners are just common sense, like the law is! For those that have it.
      🙄😀🙏

      1. Willie says:

        What I forget to mention is you never offend others on purpose either, that is also bad manners. And inately you know what does and does not. Good or bad manners. Unless it is a necessary thing to make a point!😣🙏

      2. Kelso says:

        It was terrible how Trump disrespected the Queen. I’m surprised they didn’t nuke us.

        When did laws become common sense? Perhaps you should read the US tax code.

  21. The Pastor says:

    Before I get busy let me wish you all a happy and safe THANKSGIVING

    Pastor Dave
    Prison Ministry Services

  22. Joe says:

    Meawhile back at the fake news desk the sore losers are trying to discredit a senator for wearing a Confederate hat on her own time four years ago.
    If we are going to accept symbols that offend than we should accept all of them. If someone in hijab’s district should visit Congress wearing a swastika and ask for her help when they get mistreated the reaction would be interesting.

  23. Daniel says:

    I would feel the same way for the senator who wore a confederate hat IF she had worn the hat while campaigning. And
    The responsibility is to represent ALL the people in their district and not just the ones who voted them into office. I think the woman with the religious head covering would respond to someone with a swastika the same way the woman with the occasional confederate hat would respond to a “damn yankee” or person of darker color – by not letting their own beliefs get in the way of doing the job they were elected to do.

  24. Charles 'rents says:

    You are all going to be six feet underwater in thirty years time.
    Start worrying about the things that matter and not whether the lady covers her hair.
    If she came in still burqua, that’s different. She might be a he with an AK-47 underneath, but of course that would be ok if he had a concealed carry permit!

    1. Willie says:

      So it is alright to kill somebody as long as you have a concealed weapon permit?🙄😣😝🙏

    2. John Owens says:

      I would LOVE to see where you come up with that six feet underwater in thirty years bunk. That’s hilarious.

  25. Rashid says:

    Reading all these comments has made me think about how far we have really come in terms of racism.

    Being a muslim convert wearing headwear I see it myself. Why? Because I recognize myself from way back in the day. I wasn’t such a nice guy back then. Would you recognize me? Run from me? Run to me? Bald head, white T-shirt, jeans, boots and suspenders. Sound familiar? We were known as skinheads. Most of us were raised in that culture. We used written text as rule to push our agendas. We used force when we couldn’t get our way. It’s sad that I see churches, our heros, parents or others we look up to using those same techniques.

    We have progressed by changing history. Women being elected to an office which once bared them, wearing items which is currently banned… but alas, there are those monsters of history supporting the archaic rules.

    Racism is really just an idiot wanting to control another, for his/her own enjoyment, draw attention to him/her self or to creat chaos (war monger.) After all… those who percieve themselves to be alone or on the bottom have to push their way up, right? What better way than to step on another!

    Racism is not over. It will never be over. There will always be someone who wants control over others… Until others controls him!

    Aren’t we all the same? Looking to meet our creator on the best terms. What a shameful creation we are!

    Rashid

    1. Don says:

      “We used written text as rule to push our agendas”
      The way Muslims use the Qur’an to commit atrocities?

      “We used force when we couldn’t get our way.”
      Just like the Qur’an commands. Would you like the verses?

      “It’s sad that I see churches, our heros, parents or others we look up to using those same techniques.”
      The same techniques have been used by Islam for the last 1600 years.

    2. Daniel says:

      Rashid; I commend you for the insight that the progress in your life has brought you.
      Many point to the few radical extremists claiming Islam sanctions their violence, while forgetting the terror and violence spread by “Christian” colonialism.
      I think the perfect example of peaceful Islam can still be easily accessed in the writings of Rumi, who repeatedly said how people who kill each other in the name of God, obviously didn’t get God’s message.
      Anyway. I consider my self a “non-traditional”, “old school” Christian, without all the political crap that has warped current “Christianity”. And, as such, I can honestly and lovingly say, “peace be with you”.

  26. Hank Stanco says:

    Robert Frederick Drinan, a Catholic priest, served in the House of Representatives from 1971-1981. He wore his Roman collar while serving and no one complained. Why would an Islamic headscarf be so offensive.

    1. John Owens says:

      Umm… because one is a collar and one is a headscarf? Just spit-balling here.

  27. Rich says:

    I CAN see banning masks OR anything that hides a persons identity being banned… I don’t really care either way about head coverings AS LONG AS there is EQUAL enforcement of what ever rules there are… IF this is allowed then they HAVE to allow people to wear MAGA hats and others too… Bottom line with me is EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW!

  28. Amy Minckler says:

    I know most people don’t click and read links but this one is a really viable view on the difference between our ability to judge and gods ability. One of the lines that I really like is …”It’s a terrifying thing to think of God judging me based on the way I judge others. So often, my judgment lacks mercy. It lacks compassion. And it lacks knowledge. Do I want to be judged by God and others with the same standard? https://theblazingcenter.com/2017/11/judge-not.html

    As far as the hijab.. well I had an interesting encounter the other day. There is snow here and I wore a ring scarf , it goes around the neck twice and if you want you can pull it up over your head kind of like a hood. It is grey with silver thread and has white lace in the center. I was accosted and swore at being accused of being a ‘White Islamac”. One I am Native American just not as dark skinned. Two the stupidity of not being able to actually tell the difference between a scarf and a hijab BEFORE you start running your mouth is beyond understanding. I mean if your going to be racists at least KNOW what your being racists about. So hell if she wants to take the chance and endanger her life its her right to do so. But if she can’t wear it I don’t want to see any other religious symbols in congress. Oh Wait…that would be mean they couldn’t have money in the government.. Yeah that would go over well lol.

    1. Gary Shade says:

      “Do I want to be judged by God and others with the same standard?”

      Actually when Jesus comes to judge you (and me) he is NOT going to be the New Testament Jesus you think he will be. He will have feet of Bronze and eyes of fire. He will judge quickly and without compassion according to Revelations.

      What Bible are you reading where you think his judgement will be compassionate?

      1. flugo says:

        ‘gray shades’:

        Excellent!

        All of mankind is under judgement. We ALL are facing the ‘death penalty’ for our sins. But, JESUS took our ‘sentence’, our penalty on the cross. There, He showed mercy and compassion.

        If we refuse Jesus’ sacrifice, we WILL, one day soon, be judged quickly and without compassion. The time is NOW, to make the most important decision in one’s life.

      2. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        I know which one your reading and it clearly is not one based on the following of the man deemed the christ by his followers.

        Jesus clearly spoke that with his coming the old testament and its bloody ways were to be left behind. Any one with a basic understanding of theology and biblical history could explain that.

        You sound much like the typical false christian trying to use the very same teachings Jesus condemned as divine mandate.

        1. Don says:

          “Jesus clearly spoke that with his coming the old testament and its bloody ways were to be left behind”

          Not at all. Jesus clearly said the EXACT OPPOSITE. Here is the verse verbatim – ‘Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.’

          Jesus clearly stated the law was NOT TO CHANGE ONE BIT until his return.
          Nowhere does he say the law is “to be left behind” – stop making up lies about Scripture please.

          1. John Owens says:

            Don, you’re a troll, but you are 100% correct on this one. In fact, when the New Covenant was promised, it never mentioned doing away with any of God’s law. The prophets said He never changes.

  29. Don says:

    “No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment.”

    No one puts a gun in my hand but me. It’s my choice–one protected by the second amendment.

    Congressional rules prohibit both from being brought into chambers. PERIOD. Doesn’t have anything to do with the Constitution or rights of any kind.

    1. M Wilhelm says:

      Bullish!t Don it is only about hats. Men wore hats. Rule dates mostly back to 1800s

  30. T'Keren Valmaz says:

    Anyone with a basic grasp on history would understand that this rule was originally put in to help put the conflict between the Whigs and Loyalists to rest after the revolution.

    However I do seem to recall reading something about it actually having in part a reason connected to religious garb as well. Recall that Puritan men wear hats. And those to where banned as yes separation of church and state did indeed intend to put the people they served before their religious values.

    So while a part of me does want to support her position. Id not want to see it open a flood gate. However I also concur that does indeed mean any one wearing a wig or hair piece of any sort should also have to remove it, and indeed should not be allowed to have hair plugs or extensions of any kind.

    Actually maybe we should even require everyone who serves in this capacity to keep their head shaved clean during their tenure.

  31. oldaabill says:

    The rule is unenforceable against a Representative.

  32. kevin oleary says:

    every one has a God its not the same God you can have sun God rain God just because you have a God does not mean you have the right God so there for if your God not the right one well your not going to the place you want to go when you die let me just say the more hate in your country the less God in your country find the true God and you will find true peace. peace all

  33. M Wilhelm says:

    It is about hats. Universal Church My foot! What a long winded drawn out bunch of crap

  34. William N Hodges says:

    You need to have “like” and “dislike” buttons on the comments. That would give you and the rest of us a better feeling of the way the group is leaning.

  35. Lyn Anton says:

    This is just plain silly! Given everything going on in our government now, we have far bigger issues to deal with. Given that’s my first take, I’ll approach the head covering controversy. I do not recall right now but has no one ever worn a yarmulke in Congress? Has a priest or minister never worn a “dress”? It is absurd to bar a hijab. Frankly, I think underneath it all this is just
    anti-Muslim sentiment rearing its ugliness. If a nun were elected to Congress, I’ll bet what she wore would not even be mentioned. GROW UP, CONGRESS!

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