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 Read more
Vice President Mike Pence has been raked over the coals in recent weeks and months. He and his family have been the target of criticism, vitriol, and hate.
Some of it has come from random internet blogs or “celebrities” who might otherwise be ignored, except their acrimony was then repeated by the media as “news” — in some cases, it was seemingly promoted by the media.
Pence was attacked not because of a policy decision, a political position, or any action that was illegal or unethical.
Mike Pence has been attacked simply because he’s a Christian.
Notably, at no point did those same media organizations remotely defend Pence’s human rights, and rights under the US Constitution, that protect his ability to believe and do the things so vilely attacked.
By all accounts, Mike Pence is a good and honorable man — though that’s Read more
The Supreme Court ruled (5-4) yesterday that injunctions preventing the Department of Defense from implementing a change to President Obama’s transgender policy were stayed while the case worked its way through the courts. This allows the DoD Policy proposed by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis to take effect.
Previously, lower courts had ruled in both directions on the policy.
While the policy is about medical and mental conditions, critics of the ruling blamed it on religion — that is, Christianity.
Tris Mamone, a member of the awkwardly named LGBTQ Humanist Alliance, is quoted saying [emphasis added]
Today’s ruling is another example of bigotry and Christian nationalism overriding legal protections for all Americans.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein similarly called it a product of the [emphasis added] Read more
Last Wednesday the US Senate passed a resolution stating what should have been obvious — there is no “religious test” for public office in the United States.
In response to Democrat Senators questioning nominees on their Catholic beliefs in association with the Knights of Columbus, the Senate passed a resolution stating it was
the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to Federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States
The resolution noted then-Senator and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had similarly faced anti-Catholic bigotry: Read more
As has now been widely reported, Brian Buescher has been nominated to the US District Court. In the course of confirmation, nominees provide written responses to written questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Two Democrat Senators, Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), appear to raise concerns about Buescher’s religious beliefs:
Hirono asked whether his membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from hearing cases “fairly and impartially” and, if confirmed, whether he would end his membership in the Roman Catholic charitable organization.
“The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono said in the questionnaire. “For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Yes, that’s a US Senator un-ironically declaring Read more
Last week an enlisted Airman at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, sent an email soliciting volunteers for a Salvation Army food distribution that is scheduled to happen today and tomorrow. Apparently, one of the recipients forwarded the email to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who says he promptly complained to the base. Grand Forks passed Weinstein to their higher headquarters Public Affairs, to whom Weinstein says he sent this professional email thoroughly explaining his concern:
Volunteering for the Salvation Army “during duty hours”?
A local Grand Forks site quoted Weinstein saying Read more
SSgt Abdul Rahman Gaitan has become the first US Air Force Airman to obtain a religious exemption to grow a beard in uniform:
The biggest challenge yet, was getting approval for his shaving waiver from Air Force Headquarters. This required endorsement by the unit commander, base chaplain, installation commander up to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel Division. This process took Gaitan almost four years to accomplish.
Interestingly, the article explains Gaitan was actually Catholic, but he apparently became disenchanted with the lack of authenticity in the liturgical faith — and he was drawn to the seeming sincerity of Islam he saw in locals while stationed in Turkey.
With the beard openly displaying his religion, Gaitan says Read more
Gina Harkins at Military.com says the Air Force is “looking into” a complaint about the content of a Catholic chaplain’s sermon last month [emphasis added]:
Capt. Antonio Rigonan, an Air Force chaplain at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, said during an Aug. 19 service that many priests who’ve abused children were “homosexuals” and “effeminate,” according to a military officer’s spouse who attended that morning.
In context, “looking into” appears to mean nothing more than “find out about,” since the Air Force had no idea there was a complaint until the press asked: Read more