Photo: via Tulsi Gabbard
Recently appointed Hawaiian Democratic congresswoman and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard plans to swear her oath on Hindu sacred texts.Rachel Rickard Straus of the Daily Mail reports:
Proud of her Hindu religion, she is not Indian or of Indian heritage. Ms Gabbard was born in American Samoa to a Catholic father – Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard – and a Hindu mother. She moved to Hawaii when she was two and fully embraced her religion as a teenager.
Gabbard is the first Hindu and the first female combat veteran elected to the Hill, at a time when Congressional Veterans are waning in number.
Her accomplishment highlights the fact that many units in the U.S. Military are accurate demographic representation of America. The military is relatively tolerant too.
Gabbard told the Huffington Post about how her religion helped her through Iraq, “First thing in the morning and the last thing at night, I meditated upon the fact that my essence was spirit, not matter, that I was not my physical body, and that I didn’t need to worry about death because I knew that I would continue to exist and I knew that I would be going to God,” she said.
She may have faith, but still there could be a little blowback though, from a Congress beholden to tradition — in fact, the last time a Hindu prayer was attempted in Congress, a group of self-dubbed “patriots” interrupted it.
Her opponent, Kawika Crowley, even went so far as to say Gabbard’s religion “was incompatible with the Constitution.”
Gabbard retorted with an appeal to her service, via an email to HuffPo: “It is stunning that some people in Congress would so arrogantly thumb their nose at the Bill of Rights. When I volunteered to put my life on the line in defence of our country, no one asked me what my religion was.”
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