Hindu National Guard Soldier Elected to Congress
Tulsi Gabbard was recently elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democrat from Hawaii. Gabbard is a Hindu and a Captain in the Army National Guard.
Her faith was apparently made an issue during the campaign, at which point she made an interesting reply:
When I volunteered to put my life on the line in defense of our country, no one asked me what my religion was.
Actually, when she inprocessed they probably did ask her religion, as religious preference is a part of servicemembers’ military records. The point, however, was probably that her service was not contingent upon nor affected by her chosen religion.
The US military is a reflection of the American society from which it is drawn, which includes the cross-section of religious beliefs. The US military not only permits the religious beliefs of its troops, it supports their religious exercise, even as troops are deployed around the world.
Religious freedom is a good thing, and the US military generally does an admirable job of defending it within its ranks.