Archive for August 19th, 2007

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Channeling The Founding Fathers

August 19, 2007

On August 8th, Rep. Bill Sali apparently spoke to/for the dead:sali.jpg

“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,” Sali said, according to an article on the network’s Web site.

Oooooohhhhhhmmmmm…

I think it’s perfectly valid to consider the Founding Fathers’ intentions when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. After all, they wrote the darn thing. Channeling them on the issue of equal opportunity in government is something of a howler though. The Constitution was written in a time when black people were slaves and women couldn’t vote. I guess it’s safe to say that they didn’t “envision” blacks or women (or the double whammy…a black woman) representing the people in Congress either. Or take the 16 Mormons serving in Congress. Here we have a religion that didn’t even come into existence until after the Fathers were dead. 

Now it’s a black Muslim. Oh…the humanity.

Sali responded days later, sending Ellison an e-mail explaining he meant no offense.

“He said that he wanted to make sure that Congressman Ellison understood that he meant no harm or disrespect,” Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman said.

Hey Keith, your very existence in Congress flies in the face of my interpretation of what the Founding Fathers envisioned. No offense buddy.

Perhaps he should send an apology to every member of Congress whose race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. fits within the criteria of “changes not envisioned by the Founding Fathers” ?

Sali wasn’t done with this topic though. On August 13, he felt the need to expand on it a bit and posted this on his website: Sali: Religious freedom, Christian principles important to the nation. Read the whole thing, but here’s the conclusion:

The Judeo-Christian principles on which our republic was founded can be embraced, defended and practiced by people of any faith. Anyone doing so will find an ally in me. But when principles outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition begin to be promoted within Congress, we should all recognize that the government given to us by the Founding Fathers will be at risk. That should give every American serious pause.

The problem with this piece is, Sali doesn’t really offer any examples of principles being promoted outside of the tradition. If someone of different faith (like Ellison) is capable of adhering to the principles, where is he failing?  Just by showing up?  The whole post is laughably convoluted.  Take this nugget:

For example, in order to protect the language of every ethnic group multiculturalists would find it hard to support English as the official language of the US. The Judeo-Christian heritage would protect the right of every man to know and speak as many languages as he desires, but the banner of E Pluribus Unum could restrict our official language to one, the product of our country’s origin and for 400 years the common language of the American people: English.

“E Pluribus Unum” itself is, of course, Latin.