Army Major, Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Discovers Religious Freedom
Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat representing Hawaii’s 2nd District in the US House of Representatives. She is also a Major in the Army National Guard and a recently declared presidential candidate.
She is also a Hindu.
In response to criticisms regarding her religion and her political aspirations, Gabbard wrote a strongly worded rebuttal published at Religion News Service saying “religious bigotry is un-American” [emphasis added]:
While the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first [a Hindu presidential candidate], and maybe even informed Americans about the world’s third largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear and religious bigotry about not only me but also my supporters…
Some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling and targeting all of my donors who have names of Hindu origin and accusing them of being “Hindu nationalists.”
Today it’s the profiling and targeting of Hindu Americans and ascribing to them motives without any basis. Tomorrow will it be Muslim or Jewish Americans? Japanese, Hispanic or African Americans?
While Gabbard is right to protest vitriol pointed toward her because of her religion, her apparent personal offense is misplaced. She almost seems to genuinely believe she is the first person to have her credibility questioned because of her religious beliefs.
Only now, apparently, is she concerned what “tomorrow” may bring for Muslims, Jews, Japanese, Hispanics, and African Americans.
Notably, she left out Christians, and she even went so far as to imply that bigotry toward religion only applied to minority faiths [emphasis added]:
Religious bigotry and attempts to foment fear of Hindus and other minority religions persist.
Finally, though, she acknowledged religious bigotry is an ongoing issue — and that it even occurs against Christians, when she mentioned a recent event:
Democratic Senators have recently grilled and opposed Republican judicial nominees because of their connection to Catholicism.
Interestingly, she chose to leave the “Democratic Senators” anonymous, while calling out a Republican by name. Two of those Senators were Kamala Harris — a fellow presidential candidate — and Mazie Hirono — a fellow Hawaiian Senator. That might explain her gentle handling of the accusation of bigotry. The other two, in a separate incident over Catholicism, were senior Senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin.
Unfortunately, that’s it. That’s all Gabbard says about Christians, bigotry, and the US government, despite the fact that for years Christians have faced bigotry as they attempted to serve in public office. She alludes to the recent actions against Catholics, but she ignores the actions of Senator Bernie Sanders, who acted prejudicially toward a Protestant Christian nominee. She says nothing about the treatment of Mark Green, another nominee vilified for his Christian faith.
She says nothing of current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whom Senator Cory Booker voted against because of his Christian beliefs.
She also ignored the treatment of Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, who have been castigated in the media over their faith.
Despite her outcry about a Hindu being called out “today” and people “ascribing to them motives without any basis,” Gabbard has ignored the treatment of fellow US servicemembers who have been accused of treason by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein. Weinstein targets military Christians, claiming they’re “nationalists” and “dominionists” trying to take over the world — notably, “without any basis” — and his bigotry has been largely unopposed, particularly by Democrats in government (while Republicans have repeatedly spoken and acted in defense of military religious freedom).
It turns out longtime politician Tulsi Gabbard said nothing publicly in defense of the religious liberties of these public servants and nominees — at least until the finger was pointed at her because of her religion.
It seems that “tomorrow” finally came for her, and now she’s awakened to the blight of bigotry laid on religious freedom in America [emphasis added]:
These actions and attitudes not only undermine our Constitution but also incite fear and force people into the shadows because of their religion. Our Constitution clearly states that there shall be no religious test for any who seek to serve in public office…
What Rep Gabbard is saying, if you can see it, is that Mikey Weinstein undermines the Constitution and tries to incite fear over Christians and force them into the shadows because of their religion. That’s astute.
Those who are trying to foment anti-Hindu sentiment expose the dark underbelly of religious bigotry in politics and must be called out.
How about we call out everyone who is fomenting anti-religious sentiment, including those Democrats you coyly didn’t name? It’s not just about you, you know.
To advocate voting for or against someone based on religion, race or gender is simply un-American.
Welcome to America, Ms Gabbard. We hope you like it here. Now please try to defend the constitutional rights of others as strongly as you’ve defended your own.
*(To those who are easily offended, that’s not a reference to immigration; it’s a sarcastic reference to suddenly discovering the US Constitution whose protections you’ve lived under for so long.)