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
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
A few sailors aboard the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, were recently highlighted for their unique exercise of religious freedom. From the official news release:
Heathenry, a religion with roots in Norse culture and mythology, is being practiced by a small, committed group of Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood, from Eagle River, Alaska, is John C. Stennis’ Heathen lay leader.
The story is “interesting” enough that the normally sleepy Navy news report has been widely repeated across the media, though it seems to have Read more
Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at West Point High School in Virginia, was recently fired for refusing to use male pronouns when addressing a female student:
While Vlaming conceded to referring to the student by [her] male name, he refrained from addressing [her] by any identifying pronoun, the Times-Dispatch said.
This sounds much like the situation with Shawnee State University and Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, who was fired not for what he said, but for what he refused to say. In both cases, the reports indicate 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
Sometimes, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is so quick to pat himself on the back he ends up shooting himself in the foot.
Weinstein recently posted a sanitized email of praise from a [redacted] Chaplain, but it is fairly obvious from whence it came:
From: (Military Chaplain’s E-Mail Address Withheld)
Subject: Gratitude From (military branch withheld) Chaplain (name and rank withheld)
Date: December 20, 2018 at 1:08:38 AM MST
To: Mikey Weinstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sir, as I make my end of year contribution to MRFF this morning I want to express my sincerest gratitude to you and MRFF for your tremendous support last February and for going to bat against one of this country’s worst examples of fundamentalist Christian supremacy and 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