I’m pleased that I got to meet and hang out with David Neiwert and Sara Robinson at Yearly Kos. It’s this sort of face-to-face time with smart thinkers and good people that makes YK (hence to be called Netroots Nation) so valuable.
Dave’s got a post up today that needs one little addition. Republican Rep. Bill Sali of Idaho “thinks Muslims should not have been allowed to say a prayer in the hallowed halls of Congress, nor should they even have representation there,” Dave writes, quoting this news story:
“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.
Not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers? “Well, perhaps they were, perhaps they were not,” writes Dave. “As far as anyone can discern, they were silent on the subject of Muslim American citizens. Some of them were in fact unrepentant racists, so seeking their advice may not be all that useful anyway.”
But what we do know about them is that they believed in the freedom of religion. It’s one of America’s true founding values. See, e.g., the First Amendment.
The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.” The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.
Seems pretty clear to me. It’s a shame we elect people like Bill Sali who doesn’t share America’s true founding values, huh?
Update: Pastor Dan says Sali doesn’t know Scripture, either.