Keith Ellison says conservatives talk of ‘liberty and justice’ but not ‘for all’

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison gave an impassioned speech on the House floor late last week criticizing conservatives for only seeking liberty for some. He talked about his love of coming to the House chamber to say the Pledge of Allegiance and said conservatives often miss the point of “liberty and justice for all.”

He cited GOP efforts to curtail abortion rights, freedom of worship — particularly non-Christian faiths — and the right for same-sex couples to marry.

Crooks and Liars has the transcript of Ellison’s remarks:

Now see, the conservatives in this body, they like to talk about liberty. And then when they’re talking about liberty they’re not talking about a woman’s right to choose, ’cause that’s liberty. They’re not talking about the freedom of worship — to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Bahai, no religion at all — they don’t believe in that. They believe in only one way to seek the divine and they get more radical with it every single day. They don’t believe in liberties like that. They don’t believe you should be able to say whatever you want to say, they don’t necessarily believe in the liberties that I’m talking about.

He added that “justice” in the pledge means for all and cited the controversial hearings into radicalized Islam held recently.

Now, this last part in some ways is the best part. For all. For every one. Last week we had some hearings in the Homeland Security Committee where one particular religious group was pointed out for persecution, actually. That was a sad day.

For all, though. America is about for all. For everybody. All Americans. Of whatever faith group, of whatever color, of whatever — rural or urban. Straight, gay, all of us.

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Andy Birkey

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