Sali and the Muslims

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U.S. Rep. Bill Sali is making waves on the blogosphere (oh, here we are!) for comments regarding Muslims in Congress.

Muslim Congressmen and Hindu prayers, he said, are an odd fit in the House built by the Founding Fathers.

(Update below: Wayne Hoffman's response.)

He's got Bryan Fischer at his side, who agrees that anyone who worships "cows, monkeys and snakes" is at odds with the whole "One Nation Under God" notion.

The whole shebang started with Sali's comments on OneNewsNow, an online news site, where he made comments like these, regarding U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, and the opening convocation of the House given in Hindu recently:

"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."

Okay, cue the outrage, the wonderment and puzzlement. It should be noted that the third link, by Randy Stapilus, has comments from Sali's spokesman, former Idaho Statesman reporter Wayne Hoffman.

Just as things were getting testy, Bryan Fischer came riding over the hilltop with his call to the faithful to stand by Sali.

"Idaho Congressman Bill Sali has taken a beating in the last two days from the left wing blogosphere and the old media," writes Fischer.

He's there to back up his favorite pol by asserting that yes, Hindus and Muslims don't quite fit with the U.S. Congress.

"Hindus believe in a virtually infinite number of gods and worship cows, monkeys and snakes, while our Founding Fathers believed in one God, the Creator God revealed in the Old and New Testaments.

We pledge allegiance to “one nation under God,” not to “one nation under gods.” Quite simply, Hindus, who of course are free in America to worship as many gods and animals as they would like, do not pray to or worship the God who is enshrined in our Declaration of Independence.

And Congressman Sali’s caution with regard to Islam and public policy is wise. When you examine nations whose public institutions have been shaped by Islamic politicians, you find no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech, no freedom of conscience, no fundamental rights for women, and no freedom for ordinary citizens to choose their leaders.

If an Islamic-inspired worldview were to shape America’s public policy, this country would become a far different land than the one handed to us by our Founding Fathers. It would no longer be the 'sweet land of liberty' of which we sing."

Update: Wayne Hoffman called in to clarify what he says is an erroneous characterization at the top of this post:

Rep. Sali, Hoffman said, does not have a problem with Rep. Ellison's membership in the U.S. Congress.

"As far as having Muslim members of Congress, that's perfectly OK with Congressman Sali," Hoffman said.