Congressional Bigotry

What is it about “family” organizations and bigotry? That’s some definition of family they’ve got there. The latest comes courtesy of the American Family News Network, and features the lovely hate of Congressman Bill Sali.

“We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers,” asserts Sali.

Sali says America was built on Christian principles that were derived from scripture. He also says the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through “the protective hand of God.”

“You know, the Lord can cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike,” says the Idaho Republican.

According to Congressman Sali, the only way the U.S. can continue to survive is under that protective hand of God. He states when a Hindu prayer is offered, “that’s a different god” and that it “creates problems for the longevity of this country.”

Yes, the founding fathers also did not envision women’s suffrage, a civil war over slavery, and a bunch of other amendments either. Who are these charming families that think the ideal America was formed 200 years ago, and refuses to acknowledge that the constitution is a living document? Tthe United States aims to become a “more perfect” union, we didn’t start out perfect.

Do us all a favor and send this one back next year Idaho.


  1. MartinM

    Indeed, the founding fathers never envisaged non-Christians being elected to positions of power. This is why the Constitution explicitly forbids the election of non-Christians, as opposed to, say, explicitly forbidding religious tests for office.

  2. previouslyNature

    Great comment! America was founded on freedom of religion (and even freedom from religion). The religious right is doing so much harm to America.

    “First they came for the bigots, but as I was not a bigot I did nothing…”

    p.s. sorry if you were insulted by my last post, but you really seemed to be making a personal attack on “Human” based on a “hippie” phrase.

    -love and peace, man 😉

    Where are you from? The word “Christian” doesn’t even appear in the US Constitution. Have you ever heard of Article 6 of the United States Constitution? How about the First Ammendment? The 14th Ammendment also ensures that individual States uphold the Bill of Rights.

    Article VI.
    “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Basically, the laws in certain States that allow discrimination against having an Atheist in office are unconstitutional. Jefferson was an Atheist! I’m sure it was not his intention to exclude anyone from office based on religious beliefs or lack thereof.

    Like MarkH says, the founding fathers didn’t envision a lot of things. The constitution is a living document, for better or worse. I just hope the religious nuts, like Congressman Bill Sali, don’t win.

  3. MarkH wrote:
    “Yes, the founding fathers also did not envision women’s suffrage, a civil war over slavery, and a bunch of other amendments either. Who are these charming families that think the ideal America was formed 200 years ago, and refuses to acknowledge that the constitution is a living document?”

    The constitution is not a “living document”. This term is used by those who see the interpolation of the words change over time, based on opinions of Supreme Court justices. The constitution should be interpreted literally with the intent of the words being those at the time it was written such as Clarence Thomas or Anthony Scalia believes. If changes are needed to the constitution, amendments can be passed. Thus women suffrage came about. If this is what you mean by ?living? then you are correct. However, if you mean that the meaning of the indent of the words changes over time, you are incorrect. The process of amending the constitution was made difficult for a reason. The “living document” comes in for people who want changes that the constitution does not allow, but do not want to go through the process of amending it. For example, changes to the right to bare arms or holding people indefinitely without charging them with a crime.

  4. Jay Hoofnagle

    Congressman Sali is just expressing a fairly widely held small-minded bigotry. Since he wants to exclude Hindus from Congress and “higher office”, he might as well exclude Jews as well. Jefferson was probably a deist; so was Einstein in a way. These men believed in a higher being, but didn’t believe in a personal God that intervened in people’s lives or history. Congressman Sali has decided that since God won’t intervene enough (rain falls on the just & the unjust), that he should try to correct God’s oversight in allowing Hindus to serve in Congress.

  5. MartinM

    Where are you from?

    I inhabit a small, waterlogged planet orbiting a single star (of a particularly boring yellowish hue) in the backwaters of a spiral galaxy remarkable only for its utter lack of any remarkable features whatsoever. The primary sentient life-form here is a semi-intelligent, mostly hairless species of ape, which contrary to all reasonable expectations seems to have developed basic language, technology, and even a rudimentary form of sarcasm. Sadly, the latter (and often the former) is largely absent in most members of the population.

    To put it rather more succinctly: I’m British.

  6. Wow Dan, way to miss out on 200 years of jurisprudence. I suppose then we don’t have any rights to privacy? Penumbral privacy rights go out the window on that one. And how was Scalia and Thomas upholding the original intent of the founders with the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case?

    Everything is interpretation, you just like the interpretation of Scalia and Thomas.

  7. How does Dan know the intent of people who died 200 years ago?

  8. Bigotry in the news:

    “An Arlington church volunteered to host a funeral Thursday, then reneged on the invitation when it became clear the dead man’s homosexuality would be identified in the service.

    The pastor said that he could imagine a similar situation involving a different sin. Perhaps a mother who is a member of the church loses a son who is a thief or murderer, Mr. Simons said. The church would surely volunteer to hold a service, he said.

    “But I don’t think the mother would submit photos of her son murdering someone,” he said. “That’s a red light going off.” ”

    gay love=murder

    Has the Christian right lost all sense of proportion? Shouldn’t they be mroe upset at people who don’t honor their father, after all, God made that one a commandment.

  9. G Barnett

    What? Changes in the right to bare arms? You’ll take away my muscle-t’s when you peel them off my dead, flabby body!

    And actually, Dan, if it WERE strictly interpreted, the only way to own a gun would be to join a local militia. But that goes against your talking points, now doesn’t it?

  10. Fred Mim

    Don’t despair, MartinM. A few of us hairless apes caught the sarcasm.

    I prefer to think we inhabit the suburbs of our spiral galaxy.

    Fred Mim

  11. I fear that poor previouslyNature suffers from a serious condition whereby he/she is incapable of detecting sarcasm. The only cure is massive doses of HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS!!!

    Seriously though previouslyNature, as a side note, Jefferson wasn’t an atheist. None of the founding fathers were atheists as far as I know. What they were, however, were believers in the idea that government should be a mundane and practical endeavor, and not a contest or venue for religious ideas: those were well enough left to the people to figure out amongst themselves without the need of any government authority. As George Washington said when hiring workmen for his house: “If they are good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa or Europe; they may be Mahometans, Jews, Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists…”

  12. Ex-drone

    “backwaters of a spiral galaxy ”

    I prefer to think that we are being shunned by the rest of the universe because we are quaintly religious and therefore have a lot of growing up to do before we can be trusted to interact with mature, benevolent societies.

  13. MartinM

    Actually, ‘backwaters’ was a compromise. I felt that ‘ass-end’ lacked a certain elegance.

  14. You forgot to mention the fact that we are still so unsophisticated as to think that digital watches are a pretty neat idea 😛

    – JS

  15. “that’s a different god”.

    Apparently Congressman Sali is a polytheist. If there is only one God, it would be impossible to pray to a “different” one.

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