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As if you needed more proof that there's a xenophobic undercurrent to the tea party, one of its most prominent leaders attacked Congressman Keith Ellison for being Muslim.

Phillips came under fire Wednesday after publishing a column through Tea Party Nation's Web site in which he urged voters in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District to support independent candidate Lynne Torgerson over Ellison. Phillips said in the column that Ellison's Muslim faith as well as his liberal voting record and his support for sending federal funds to "terrorists in Gaza" were reasons to vote him out of office.

The actual email is behind a subscription wall, but Salon managed to get a screenshot.

Phillips told WaPo that since the Quran calls for infidels to be killed, anyone who believes that is morally unfit for office.  Uh huh.  What about the Kingdom Now and Reconstructionist crowd?  Oh, that's right--since Islam isn't a legitimate religion and Christianity is, it's perfectly all right for Christians to say such things.

Phillips stepped into it even further in another blog post, per Salon.

Phillips goes on to suggest that maybe having a Muslim in Congress isn't such a good idea after all:

   But his beliefs define his character and his character is a central issue. Do we want someone who supports and defends the Constitution or someone who supports the imposition of a theocracy?

   Should Muslims be denied the right to run for office because of their religion? No. The Constitution specifies that no religious test can be used to exclude someone from public office. But when someone adheres to an ideology that says kill people who disagree with you, that is something voters should seriously consider when they vote.

   Liberals go nuts when they hear this stuff. They think we should simply forget and just be "tolerant."

   I learned everything I needed to know about tolerance on September 11th.

Again, I wonder if Phillips has heard some of the stuff coming from the Kingdom Now movement--of which his heroine, Sarah Palin, is a card-carrying member.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 01:58 PM PDT.

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