Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sali: Where Does the Madness End?

As if Idaho firefighters don't have enough on their minds with a large number of wildfires raging throughout the state and unions in general taking heat as the Crandall Canyon mine disaster continues to develop, they are worrying about their freshman congressman, Bill Sali, as well.

On the website of the Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho, you can find an article about Sali's comments on the Hindu prayer offered in the U.S. Senate as well as the text of the actual prayer offered by Rajan Zed. The man even had the decency to pray for the family of the late former first lady Lady Bird Johnson.

If this is indeed the prayer Sali objects to, I find it quite ironic that he's objecting to a Hindu who is not only an educator, but a Westerner. The Congressional Record has the exact introduction of Rajan Zed to the Senate as given by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
Let me say a few words about the guest Chaplain. Mr. Zed is a resident of Reno, NV. He serves as director of interfaith relations of the Hindu temple in Reno and is a spokesman for the Indian Association of Northern Nevada. He serves as the Hindu chaplain in northern Nevada and northern California hospitals. He teaches at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno.

In addition to his tireless work in the Hindu faith, he is also active in the community doing many different activities . He serves on the governing board of the Northern Nevada International Center, is a member of the Reno Police Chief Advisory Board, and is a member of the Diversity Action Plan Committee of the Washoe County School District.

Mr. Zed was born in India. That is where he studied to become a Hindu chaplain. He holds degrees, including a master's degree from San Jose State University, in mass communications. He has a master's degree in business administration from the University of Nevada Reno.

[....]

I think it speaks well of our country that someone representing a faith of about a billion people comes here and can speak in communication with our Heavenly Father regarding peace. I am grateful he is here. I am thankful he was able to offer this prayer of peace in the Capitol. I say to everyone concerned, think of Gandhi. If you have a problem in the world, think what this great man has done to bring peace and nonviolence to a troubled world.

For Senator Reid's complete comments, please visit this link to the Congressional Record.

I wonder which part bothered Sali more, the simple fact that we had a Hindu offering the prayer in the Senate, the fact that a faithful Mormon introduced the Hindu who then offered the prayer in the United States Senate, or that the Hindu, introduced by the Mormon, offered a prayer in which he blessed the family of a woman who belonged to the Disciples of Chirst? If you ask me, this is all beginning to sound a little bit like the old lady who swallowed the spider to catch the fly...

As for Sali's latest defense, er, lack thereof, of his earlier comments on One News Now, I am beginning to side with the AU (Americans United for the Separation of Church and State) -- Congressman Sali must have flunked history! (See: Flunking History: Idaho Congressman Misunderstands America’s Heritage Of Religious Pluralism)

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