When Idaho State Rep. Bill Sali was running for Congress in 2006, Vice President Cheney visited his state and said, “Bill is ready to make a difference in Washington, and he’s going to be the kind of Congressman who will make you proud.” Now-Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID) is demonstrating his worth by criticizing the new religious diversity embodied in the 110th Congress:
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.
Really? Sali may want to take a peek at Article VI of the Constitution, which notes that there is no religious test for public office:
Sali’s not alone in his bigotry. In Dec. 2006, shortly after Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was elected as the first Muslim congressman, Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) warned that “American citizens” need to “wake up” or “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office.”
Last month, protestors belonging to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America loudly interrupted the first Hindu prayer delivered in the Senate. Sali said that when a Hindu prayer is offered, it “creates problems for the longevity of this country.”
UPDATE: MahaBlog notes that Thomas Jefferson argued strongly for religious freedom.