Dispatches from the Creation Wars

OMG! Non-Christians in Congress!

So says Rep. Bill Sali (R-etard) in this article from Agape Press:

“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.

He’s obviously right. We should pass a law that says only Christians can be elected to Congress. I’m sure the Founding Fathers would be for that. What’s that? The Founding Fathers put a clause in the Constitution explicitly forbidding religious tests for public office? Why, that’s a predicament, ain’t it? Here’s the funniest part:

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.”

You know, it’s funny, but that exact same argument was used against the Constitution by the religious right of that day. Calvinist ministers in particular railed against the new Constitution precisely because it allowed non-Christians to be elected to office. In January 1788, an anti-constitution article appeared in papers in New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts as they debated the ratification of the Constitution. It warned of the dangers of the no religious test clause, allowing people like this to hold office:

“1st. Quakers, who will make the blacks saucy, and at the same time deprive us of the means of defence – 2dly. Mahometans, who ridicule the Trinity – 3dly. Deists, abominable wretches – 4thly. Negroes, the seed of Cain – 5thly. Beggars, who when set on horseback will ride to the devil – 6thly. Jews etc. etc.”

Indeed, the writer said, since the president commands the military, “should he hereafter be a Jew, our dear posterity may be ordered to rebuild Jerusalem.” Anti-Federalists throughout the states railed against the Constitution as a godless document and declared that if it was not made explicitly Christian, the wrath of God would be upon us all and the country would be destroyed.

It’s rather ironic, isn’t it? The religious right in the time of the Constitution declared it to be a godless document that would bring down the wrath of God, in large part because it allowed Muslims, Jews, deists and infidels to hold public office. The religious right today argues that the Constitution was a godly document all along and that having non-Christians elected to office – something that document explicitly allows – will cause God to remove the “hand of protection” we’ve enjoyed all these years.


  1. #1 BaldApe
    August 9, 2007

    “Apparently, the Christian idea that Jerusalem needed rebuilding so it could be re-destroyed to hurry along the end times wasn’t yet in vogue.”

    As I understand it, the “end times” fairy tales hadn’t been invented yet in the 18th century.

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