Monday, November 05, 2007

Jesus To Bill Sali: Stop Telling Everyone That You Know Me!

This evening while channel surfing, I landed on CSPAN which was broadcasting live from the floor of the House of Representatives. Excellent, I thought, an opportunity to check in on what our wards in Washington are up to. Let's face it, with Turkey and the Kurdish area of Iraq on the bubble of all out conflict, Pakistan going into meltdown and lots of poor children without health insurance, surely they would be discussing something of import.

(Sung to the tune played by the chimes of Big Ben and maybe your doorbell) . . . Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong . . . (Big Breath) . . . Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Instead of the people’s business, I was treated to five minutes from Idaho Representative Bill Sali on why love matters and his belief that Jesus loves him. Now I have no issue with an individual’s faith and if there's one thing the world needs more of, it's love. In fact, I'm a big fan of love. But I'm also a big fan of the idea of the separation between church and state. So when an elected official decides to take the time he's allotted for doing the people's business and instead does a commercial for Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Buddha, Moses, the Force or whatever, it pisses me off.

It especially pisses me off when said Representative espouses and endorses the values of a particular deity, but votes in ways that are incongruent with those values.

So let's see how the votes cast by Representative Sali stack up against the values of Jesus, a noted protector of children, the poor, the downtrodden and of course, a proponent of peace.

• January 9, 2007 - Vote 15: H R 1: A bill to implement many of the remaining recommendations proposed by the 9/11 Commission in 2004. One of the provisions of this bill was to give faster and more efficient funding to first responders, the ones who would render aid during a time of crisis. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• January 10, 2007 - Vote 18: H R 2: A bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over two years. In other words raising the standard of living for the poorest of the poor. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• January 12, 2007 - Vote 23: H R 4: A bill to allow the government to negotiate directly with drug makers for lower prescription drug prices for individuals using Medicare. In other words lower the cost of medicine for the poor and the elderly. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• January 17, 2007 - Vote 32: H R 5: A bill to lower the interest rate on student loans. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• January 18, 2007 - Vote 40: H R 6: A bill to repeal tax cuts to oil companies and mandate that they pay a fee to remove oil from the Gulf of Mexico. In other words, a bill to recoup some of the record profits that oil companies have made since Hurricane Katrina and maybe use them to help people. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• May 24, 2007 - Vote 425: H R 2206: A bill to provide funding in Iraq without setting withdrawal deadlines for troops, but rather “benchmarks for progress that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid”. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• July 27, 2007 - Vote 757: H R 1: An amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 that would require the inspection of all cargo traveling on passenger aircrafts and establish the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

• August 8, 2007 - Vote 836: S 1927: An amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 that would give U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order. Representative Sali’s Vote: Yes

• September 25, 2007 - Vote 906: H R 976: A bill to fund and expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Representative Sali’s Vote: No

It would seem that when the cameras are on, Representative Sali chooses to use his legislative time to provide us with a good old fashioned Sunday morning sermon. But when it comes to actually doing his job, instead of voting to help those who Jesus in his own lifetime protected, Mr. Sali does the opposite.

When the evidence is weighed, Bill Sali is not just a failure as a Representative, he is a failure as a Christian. One will get him voted out of office. The other? Well if he knows the Bible as well as he claims, then I think he probably can figure out the answer to that one.

If you find Representative Sali’s voting record, use of his speaking time or both to be repugnant, drop him a line!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in the Bible does it say that Representative Sali has to vote for the minimum wage or Iraq benchmarks or any of the things you mention? Give me a break.

11:54 PM  
Blogger John Fracchia said...

It doesn't. But the Bible doesn't speak to many things in the modern era. If it were truly to be taken that literally, then it should be fine for us to have slaves or for men to have multiple spouses. Even most fundamentalists I suspect would hesitate to interpret it that literally.

What the Bible does do is to provide principles for living. If you are at all acquainted with the words and acts of Jesus, you will note that several themes emerge. All of them have to do with the well being of those who are less fortunate, downtrodden or sick. Representative Sali's votes on the issues that I cited are in direct contrast to the values that Jesus himself espoused.

So yes, anonymous, if you take your Bible literally, Representative Sali does not need to vote for any of these things. But if he believes in the intent of Jesus's words, then he should. Otherwise he is a fraud.

- John Fracchia

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, due to what may be some form of "tater typhus", Bill Sali has an illness that causes him to confuse legislation with evangelization. The result is that he enters into the Congressional Record his sermons, which are lovely BUT wholly irrelevant. The Bible warns against providing "lip service" (not the Larry Craig variety, though Craig seems to have another strain of the tater typhus himself). Lip service means proclaiming the words of the Bible while ignoring them in your daily life.

If we are not trying to impose Christianity on the country as the national religion, why are we even recognizing National Bible Week and allowing Sali to preach New Testament quotations in our Capitol? He demeans the Bible in doing so and, based on his voting record, provides hypocritical, fraudulent lip service to this country. I'd send him an e-mail directly to tell him where I think he can get off (not in a Minnesota airport, by the way) -- but he won't listen to a non-Idahoan. Those of you out that way, tell him to knock it off, PLEASE.

11:01 AM  

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