Opinion

Tulsi Gabbard: Religious bigotry is un-American

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California administers the House oath of office to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, during a ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, during the opening session of the 116th Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(RNS) — I am proud to be the first Hindu American to have been elected to Congress and now the first Hindu American to run for president.

While the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first, 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.

That Hindus — alongside countless Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics and atheists — support me should not be newsworthy. But 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?

I too have been accused of being a “Hindu nationalist.”

My meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s democratically elected leader, have been highlighted as “proof” of this and portrayed as somehow being out of the ordinary or somehow suspect, even though President Obama, Secretary Clinton, President Trump and many of my colleagues in Congress have met with and worked with him. India is one of America’s closest allies in Asia and is a country of growing importance in a critical region of the world.

The strategic partnership between our two countries has been a priority for several decades now. To question my commitment to my country, while not questioning non-Hindu leaders, creates a double standard that can be rooted in only one thing: religious bigotry. I am Hindu and they are not.


RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 bid raises questions about Hindu political ties


When I deployed to Iraq with my fellow soldiers, putting our lives on the line for our country, no one questioned our patriotism because of our religion. No one asked whether we could be trusted because we were Jewish, Catholic, Muslim or atheist. We all took an oath to serve our country and defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.

My military service has shaped who I am today. While in the Middle East, I saw how quickly religious sectarianism and bigotry can lead to the disintegration of a country — how leaders manipulate people to fear others who are different, who look different or who have different beliefs.

I also experienced how we as people of the world have more in common than we think. Beneath our various beliefs and appearances is our common humanity. This commitment to equality and justice for all is the ideal that our country was founded upon and that we continue to aspire to as people. We cannot be complacent and must vigilantly affirm this again and again, as bigotry and hatred have an insidious way of seeping into our society.

Religious bigotry and attempts to foment fear of Hindus and other minority religions persist. During my 2012 and 2014 elections, my Republican opponent stated publicly that a Hindu should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. Congress and that Hinduism is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. In the 2016 race for Congress, my Republican opponent said repeatedly that a vote for me was a vote for the devil because of my religion.

Republicans like Ben Carson said in 2016 that a Muslim American would be unqualified to serve as president. Democratic Senators have recently grilled and opposed Republican judicial nominees because of their connection to Catholicism.

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.

After my 2012 election, I made a personal decision to take my congressional oath of office on the supreme yoga/Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna’s teachings have provided wisdom and spiritual solace to me throughout my life, including when I was serving our country in the Middle East during the Iraq war.

After doing so, I was amazed and surprised to hear from thousands of Hindus from across the United States, and even around the world, many conveying how they finally felt free. They felt they no longer had to hide who they are.

I will never forget looking into the eyes of a young girl from Texas who shared with me how she’d always been embarrassed to be Hindu, especially among her non-Hindu friends.

Like so many other Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, atheists and “others,” she felt she had to hide or change her religious identification to be accepted in America. “Now,” she said, “I no longer feel that way.” She no longer felt she had to hide her beliefs, faith or identity, and she could be herself and pursue whatever goals she wants to in life.

The heartbreaking atrocity in Pittsburgh last year, in which 11 people were murdered while worshipping in their synagogue, is a reminder of the potential consequences of unchecked prejudice and hatred. The shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and at the mosque in New York, the killing of a young Indian student — the list sadly goes on and on.

At what point do we as a society see the connection between these incidents and the religious bigotry being fomented in our society? We must all stand for religious freedom and call out this bigotry whenever it raises its ugly head.

Enshrined in our Constitution is the separation of state and religion, which means that people’s religion should play no part in their qualification to serve our country in any capacity. When John F. Kennedy ran for president, his political opponents attacked him for being Catholic, insinuating that he would be loyal to the pope and the Catholic Church rather than to our Constitution.

He said: “For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, on other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew, or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist…. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.”

He was right. Yet sadly, so many decades later, our country struggles with the same issue — judging people based on their religion, the color of their skin or where they are from.

Our country was established on the basis of freedom of religion, and the Constitution states there would never be any religious test for any public office. It is a freedom enshrined in our Constitution, and one that every member of Congress takes an oath to protect — a freedom that many heroes have given their lives to defend. Nothing is more important to our democracy than this freedom.

Those who are trying to foment anti-Hindu sentiment expose the dark underbelly of religious bigotry in politics and must be called out. To advocate voting for or against someone based on religion, race or gender is simply un-American.

(Tulsi Gabbard is a U.S. representative serving Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

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Tulsi Gabbard

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  • Thank you congresswoman for standing up against religious bigotry.
    You served and protected our country against foreign enemies in Iraq, so that we could have the religious freedom and free speech granted to us by the Constitution here at home. It’s tragic to see—what’s obviously motivated by election-cycle agenda—that you’re attacked for your religion by people who misuse the freedom of speech you fought to preserve for them.

    Keep fighting the voices of bigotry. Then candidate Obama was also attacked by similar bigotry when he was running for the high office. Just like him you’re showing the a similar grace and leadership in face of these attacks and through this process displaying your wisdom that qualifies you for the high office.

  • OKAY, HOUSTON, WE’VE HAD A PROBLEM HERE!

    TULSI GABBARD: “To advocate voting for or against someone based on … gender is simply un-American.”

    PINK NEWS: “Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard rejects anti-LGBT past in new apology”.

    OUT MAGAZINE: “Tulsi Gabbard Swears Her LGBTQ+ Views Have ‘Changed Significantly'”.

    JOE.MY.GOD.: “Dem Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes For Anti-LGBT Past: ‘My Views Have Since Changed Significantly’ [VIDEO]”.

    THE GAILY GRIND: “Presidential Hopeful Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes For Past Anti-LGBT Remarks, Work As Anti-LGBT Activist”.

    HpO: Vote Tulsi Gabbard For U.S. President in 2020 If You Wanna Kick Trump Out Of The White House! (Only that’ll work. Promise.)

  • She has won over the LGBT community and movement. Now she’s targeting on winning over the even larger Anti-Bigotry community and movement. Surely you can see her electoral campaign strategy at work here.

    Brilliant campaign!

  • I enjoyed reading that. Her live and let live attitude is attractive, Good point about JFK “Yet sadly, so many decades later, our country struggles with the same issue – judging people based on their religion, the color of their skin, or where they are from.”

  • Separation of church and state is a huge issue no one talks about out loud. The republican party claims to be the christian party who wants to change our country to a biblical establishment, and have said so over and over. The judges being confirmed in the senate and all republican hires from secretaries to staff has a religious test for office, they have to be christian biblical literalists who want biblical law in america.

    I will get behind Ms Gabbard because of her religion if nothing else, because this is a subject that needs to be talked about out loud, on the media, and from the public square.

  • Sign me up as un-american! All you religious vermin need to be exterminated. No better Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikh, Shinto, taoist, etc. etc. ect. than the DEAD ones. EVERY RELIGION KILLS, RAPES AND HARMS IN THE NAME OF ITS BELIEFS MORE HUMANS THAN THEY CLAIM TO HELP/SAVE.

  • May I make a request of Candidate Gabbard, indeed of all candidates? Please have the social sciences to create a category known as mind science, separate from religion, then move Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism to that category.

    The kinds of controversies that Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are involved in are very different from the ones Christianity, Islam and (to some extent) Judaism are involved in, so having a separate category is logical.

  • A search of Tulsi Gabbard Hindu Nationalist leads to all left leaning sites.
    Might be time to rethink the company you keep politically.

  • Separation of church and state is a rather simple issue:

    the government may not establish a State Church, or promote religion over irreligion, or irreligion over religion.

    The ONLY current attempt to establish religious tests for public office, which is prohibited within the body of the Constitution itself, is that of the Democrats opposing Catholics for judicial appointments.

  • Record shows precise sequence:

    (1) TG announces her presidential bid
    (2) MSM rejects it and her (just because they can)
    (3) MSM finds pretext for (2): her anti-LGBT past
    (4) She goes, Oops; but no worries
    (5) She mans up and goes, Sorry
    (6) LGBT Media go, Oh that’s OK
    (7) Christian Media go, No, not OK
    (8) Going forward, she strategizes pre-emptively, just in case
    (9) Her next target: Anti-Bigots

    BOTTOMLINE: “she’s lying”? Clintonistas hate her, so “lying” may not best describe “her lips moving”. Convincing Dems, more like. That only she can beat Trump. I for 1 am convinced.

  • This “LGBT community in Hawaii” is buddy-buddy, though, with “the LGBT communit[ies NOT] in Hawaii” – personally, socially, culturally and politically. What Pink News, Out, Joe.My.God., and Gaily Grind are saying about her, shall become their common public opinion. LGBT-backed Independent Secular Media, the likes of Reason and Friendly Atheist, are already on board with LGBT Media. Progressive Secular Humanist isn’t; but they’ll come around, too. As shall LGBT Hawaii!

  • You the movie dude or Zerohedge?

    Interesting if the latter endorses “Ma’am” Tulsi. That’ll persuade libertarians and conservatives to vote for her in 2020.

  • Don’t know why MSM branded her as “conservative”. She ain’t. Anti-Clinton, anti-corporational takeover of DNC, is what she is. That should win many votes from among The Religious Right and The Christian Right.

  • “Racism”: The belief that blacks and other minorities should behave responsibly, follow rules, and obey laws.

  • There are many amazing things in this world. One of the most astonishing is that many people still appear to believe in talking snakes and asses, global floods, magical gods who live way up in the sky, prophets who rode a horse to heaven,
    virgin pregnancies, men living inside fish, people finding messages from ‘god’ on golden plates buried in rural New York, dead guys waking up after 3 days, the existence of a verypotent ‘Satan”, ad nauseum.

    But then people who substitute faith for thinking don’t have much intellectual horsepower anyway.
    http://www.godisimaginary.com

  • I’m a Hindu and I think this is complete bullshit and deflection. Hindutva =/= Hinduism. They are a nationalist movement trying to redefine “hindu” as an ethnic identity, with “blood & soil” rights to India, to rationalize discrimination against non-Hindus in India. She has ties to this movement, not just through her support of Modi (which predates his election to PM), but also through the Hindu American Foundation, who she meets with regularly and hires interns directly through. HAF puts on a progressive front in the US whilst advancing Hindutva revisionist history and whitewashing of casteism and Hindutva bigotry in India.

  • Tulsi thanks for for standing up once again for what is right and fighting religious bigotry. Much of this comes from communist and marxist groups in India, some Christian evangelicals, and some who simply fear a leader who tries to bring Republicans and Democrats together, and leaders of other nations. This is one of the greatest opeds written!

  • Dear Tulsi Gabbard,

    Now for some 21st century reality with The Great Kibosh of All Religions:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • Religious bigotry is actually quite American. It’s why we have laws at every level of government that forbid it, including the civil rights act of 1964. It’s YF. Bailey Smith declared that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a jew“. It’s also behind all of the fear mongering about Muslims and brown people. It’s also Why religious conservatives are hell-bent on carving out exceptions for their particular brand of bigotry.

  • they weren’t opposing them because they were catholic, there are lot’s of catholic judges. they were opposing them because they would put biblical law over civil law.

  • “Religious bigotry is actually quite American.”

    No, it is not. That’s why our Constitution prohibits religious tests for office, and the very first amendment to that Constitution prohibits the establishment of a State Church as existed in England.

    What the fact that “… F. Bailey Smith declared that ‘God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a jew’.” demonstrates is that the First Amendment is honored.

    What’s “…. behind all of the fear mongering about Muslims and brown people.” is from your side of the political spectrum, which never tires of striking poses as put upon to gain votes and sympathy.

    Where the bigotry really shows up is when some anti-religious git writes something like “It’s also Why religious conservatives are hell-bent on carving out exceptions for their particular brand of bigotry.” to disguise his attempts to kick hind leg high on the religious beliefs of his fellow citizens in an effort to thwart the First Amendment.

  • It remains to be seen if she has a “.. live and let live attitude …” or is simply campaigning.

  • I think I (don’t care to) know what you think and, therefore, you are these past 8 months, on the common hot topics on the New Atheist and Alt-Right agendas, such as:

    (1) RACISM: “karlschneider … ‘Racism’ [is] the belief that blacks and other minorities should behave responsibly, follow rules, and obey laws. Racism [is] the idea that blacks should behave like civilized humans … Racist [is] a person who thinks minorities should obey laws, behave civilly and make an effort to adapt to the culture. And who dares to speak his mind. … If only [therefore, that] John Wilkes Booth had gone to Washington a year sooner. So many thugs, so few George Zimmermans [named after an American known for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012, then acquitted of all charges in Florida v. George Zimmerman on July 13, 2013]. D*mn. … So many f*lthy black thugs, so few George Zimmermans. Bah.”

  • I think I (don’t care to) know what you think and, therefore, you are these past 8 months, on the common hot topics on the New Atheist and Alt-Right agendas, such as:

    (2) CHRISTIANITY: “karlschneider … Science lets us build airplanes; religion makes us fly them into buildings. … Once we finally figure out whether religion is the cause…or the result…of insanity, we might be able to find a cure for both. … There are many amazing things in this world. One of the most astonishing is that … people who substitute faith for thinking don’t have much intellectual horsepower anyway. … Faith [is] a p*ss poor substitute for thought … Anyone who thinks the bible is a good book has never bothered to actually read it. … Christianism [therefore] was born when the first scammer bumped into the first gullible id*ot. … [Meanwhile] Jesus is still a very dead bronze age Jew who may have existed absent the ‘miraculous’ attributes.”

  • HAF puts on a progressive front in the US whilst advancing Hindutva revisionist history and whitewashing of casteism and Hindutva bigotry in India.

    Do you have any evidence for this?

  • And what’s the name of the worldview of a non-person who, having stated within these past 8 months that “Christianism was born when the first scammer bumped into the first gullible id*ot” – now, just 2 hours ago, practices plagiarism on oneself? VOILA:

    “Theism was born when the first scammer bumped into the first gullible dope.”

    WHO DOES THAT?!

  • Not “oped”, this. But a brilliant campaign manoeuver. RNS puffs her up. That, too, is brilliant. A potential GOP-Evicter is what TS is; I agree. It’s going to be a decent fight, come Election 2020. Trump’s still gonna win, though. Sorry.

  • You are neglecting U.S. history during this era. Religious bigotry was rife. Because of that the framers of the Constitution put in these protections. Many states ignored these for decades after. Also, religious bigotry is nearly universal and not unique to America.

    The title of this article should be: Religious Bigotry is Unconstitutional.

  • I have no idea on the legalities of what can’t or can’t be asked at these hearings.

    Questions:
    Can a judge have personal views that differ with current law? (Obviously they do).

    Is it valid to inquire the source of those views? Depending on the issues an atheist judge may oppose abortion or same-sex marriages for non-religious views but nonetheless his personal views.

    Since they all swear to uphold the Constitution shouldn’t this be enough?

    Something bothers me about asking someone if they will put the Constitution over their God’s law. I know we would never ask that question of a non-Christian nominee. What does that say.

  • A woman with ties to hindu nationalists trying to wipe out Muslims from India, who supported strict restrictions on Muslim refugees, pals around with bigots like adelson and bannon and demands Obama use the term Radical Islamic Terrorism but refuses to confemn radical Hindu terrorism in India Is now whining RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY???
    You can’t be this dumb and try to win the Democratic ticket! Try that crap in the Republic party or Russia, they love the stupid!

  • Indeed, because they are Catholic, despite the fact that the prospective judges – like Justice Scalia had done – testified that they respected stare decisis and therefore binding precedents like Roe v. Wade, and the senators are unable to point to a single case where a Catholic jurist decided on any basis except the law.

    So, it is religious test for office, pure and simple.

  • “I have no idea on the legalities of what can’t or can’t be asked at these hearings.”

    Basically anything.

    “Is it valid to inquire the source of those views?”

    It’s legal since there are no limits to the questions.

    “Since they all swear to uphold the Constitution shouldn’t this be enough?”

    Yes.

    And their records are in the senators’ hands.

    It makes it very clear that the Democrats do not like people with religious views which conflict with the Democratic Party Platform.

  • Liberal Muslims have spoken of the need to revive Ijtihad [Ref 1, Ref 2]. However, liberal Muslims have not had support in the US, UK, Israel, and India. May I request the Presidential candidates to give itjihad-proponents a boost? Your doing it in the US academia will have good consequences outside the US as well.

    Ref 1
    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jaipur-literature-festival-islam-in-india-influenced-by-sufism-bhakti-movement/article26105856.ece

    Ref 2
    http://www.organiser.org//Encyc/2019/1/14/Interview-Syed-Rizwan-Ahmed.html

  • Would be great if you take this chance to also condemn anti-Muslim Hindu nationalists. i supported how u condemned muslim extremist but how come i never seen you condemning violence against Muslims in India?

  • Read up on the first immigrants – the pilgrims! The First Americans; who were tossed out of Europe for their hateful bigotries….

  • Just don’t make laws based on religious beliefs – There are no gods….

    The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,

    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age, until writing was invented,

    and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.

    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin/creation stories, stories common to most primitive cultures.
    They were for entertainment (as in all migratory camp tribes),
    and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, as many were not chosen,
    [ There are more than just four Gospels but only these four were agreed on ],
    were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council,
    for his expressed purpose of conquest and
    control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.

    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bable’ book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any god(s) ….(or of any jesus…)

    It is a historical novel…Only!

  • Hinduism “fails” as religion….I can’t speak for other faiths, but in regards to your “reason” against Hindus, you “fail” in basic logic.
    Hinduism at its core is very simple. Its says “We are part of divine”. This is totally contradictory to Christian view of “We are born sinners”.

    Also Hinduism has many different schools of thoughts, like an Open source ecosystem. It dosen’t say you have to follow “one true faith/god/way”. For eg, “Path of Yoga” is about self-realization.

    People read about ancient “Egyptians”, while forgetting than Hindus are a 10,000+ year old continuing civilization.

  • Eventually the states fell in line (except for bans on atheists in a few states) and yes we should be proud of the religious freedom we offer. It just took awhile.

  • Like the ban against TRAnspeople, from serving. WE already do, however we must hide our transness. What’s more the supreme court was created to uphold the constitution, Not violate it.

  • support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; including the government.

  • “Hinduism at its core is very simple. Its says ‘We are part of divine’.
    This is totally contradictory to Christian view of ‘We are born
    sinners’.”

    Pantheism is considered a religion.

  • Americans are entitled under the Constitution to “make laws based on religious beliefs”.

    What they are prohibited from doing is establishing religious tests for office, or establishing a State Church.

  • Mark/Bob does not mention the bishops’ long campaign to shrink women’s rights of conscience and religious liberty with regard to abortion and contraception or their drive to get government to force all taxpayers to support their private schools through vouchers and tax credits.

  • Mark/Bod is wrong as usual. There are many Catholic judges who respect church-state separation, like the late Justice William Brennan or Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

  • Except they would ask an atheist nominee his views on the same issues with a view to blocking him if it’s the wrong answer.

  • Religious bigotry is historically very American…but that doesn’t mean that it’s compatible with our higher values.

  • From the Democrat’s viewpoint being against abortion and same-sex marriages would the wrong answer.

  • You might want to actually take a look at some of the hearings.

    Not a single nominee took an anti-abortion position or an anti-same sex marriage position.

    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2019/01/28/anti-catholicism_lives_loudly_in_democrats_110207.html

    Instead the Democratic senators pointed out that some of the nominees belonged to – gasp! say it isn’t so! – Catholic organizatons and attended – Holy Religous Bigotry, Batman! – Catholic religious services.

    So, no answer would be sufficient unless and until they disavowed Catholicism.

  • Wrong – It is quite clear!!!! “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…,” Get the wording right First!!!

  • example – writing a law to put crap about gods in the schools IS establishing a religion in our schools and sponsoring their ‘god’….

    You don’t have to agree – that is what it does….in practice and in theory…..

  • Do you have ANY idea what that means?

    https://home.isi.org/understanding-first-amendment%E2%80%99s-religion-clauses

    “The nature of religious establishments in the history of Western civilization is clear and cannot be altered by any court.”

    “An establishment of religion is a declaration by a government, in a law, of a preference for one particular religion, which the law names. This declaration of a preference is substantial and not just nominal, because the establishment law grants the preferred religion some substantial benefit that government alone can confer. The establishment law confers the benefit on the identified religion only; the churches of other religions, and persons unaffiliated with any organized religion, are excluded from receiving it. Typically, the benefit bestowed is the privilege of receiving institutional support from public revenues or the privilege to vote and hold public office – sometimes a combination of both. No establishment of religion exists when a government treats the members of every faith equally, tolerates free, public expression of any religious faith, and enacts no establishment law bestowing a substantial governmental benefit on one religion to the exclusion of all others.”

  • You give one side’s opinion??!!

    It is quite clear!!
    Putting ‘IGWT’ in schools and court houses is – IS – an establishment of a religion!!!!

    And this especialloy does NOT treat the members of every faith equally, NOR does it tolerate free, public expression of any (all) religious faith (or lack of belief)

    It is an establishment of a state religion over others!!! [by the opinion of those ‘others’ – NOT the opinion of those who write these discrimionating laws….]

    Btw, there are no gods….(bring proof and all this goes away…)

  • IF “there is no verifiable evidence of Jesus”, THEN there’s none either for Ed Buck or Terry Bean in LGBT history; just as there’s none either for Neil deGrasse Tyson in Agnostic history; nor for David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss and Al Franken in Atheist history. Even if #MeToo victims all beg to differ, “there is no verifiable evidence”!

  • WHAT PART OF THIS STATEMENT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, USMAN AHMED?!

    “Both in India and here in the US, I have held meetings with members of both the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi] and the Congress Party. As a member of the US Congress, my interest is in helping produce a closer relationship between the United States and India, not just between the United States and one political party of India. I have no affiliation with the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological guardian of BJP]. Sometimes people on both sides, for their own purposes, try to say I somehow favor, or am part, of the BJP or take photos of me at Indian events and circulate them for their own promotional reasons. But the fact is, I’m not partial to BJP, the Congress Party, or any other particular political party in India.”
    – Tulsi Gabbard, March 2, 2016, Quartz India.

  • Childish – even as a deflection!

    Prove a god exists!!! Who cares about your jesus if there are no gods…

  • LGBT community forgives her:

    PINK NEWS: “Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard rejects anti-LGBT past in new apology”.

    OUT MAGAZINE: “Tulsi Gabbard Swears Her LGBTQ+ Views Have ‘Changed Significantly'”.

    JOE.MY.GOD.: “Dem Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes For Anti-LGBT Past: ‘My Views Have Since Changed Significantly’ [VIDEO]”.

    THE GAILY GRIND: “Presidential Hopeful Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes For Past Anti-LGBT Remarks, Work As Anti-LGBT Activist”.

  • WHAT PART OF THIS STATEMENT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, G.S.K. HERZAK?!

    “Both in India and here in the US, I have held meetings with members of both the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi] and the Congress Party. As a member of the US Congress, my interest is in helping produce a closer relationship between the United States and India, not just between the United States and one political party of India. I have no affiliation with the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological guardian of BJP]. Sometimes people on both sides, for their own purposes, try to say I somehow favor, or am part, of the BJP or take photos of me at Indian events and circulate them for their own promotional reasons. But the fact is, I’m not partial to BJP, the Congress Party, or any other particular political party in India.”
    – Tulsi Gabbard, March 2, 2016, Quartz India.

  • I have. At Friendly Atheist. Not gonna do it here for you. Because I couldn’t care less about you. God & Jesus couldn’t either.

  • —–
    Yep, y’all jest kip etin’ them thar smart pills…. ”ah done sayd that thar is uh gawd – so that there’s ma pruf…”.

  • Yep, y’all jest kip etin’ them thar smart pills…. ”ah done sayd that thar is uh gawd – so that there’s ma pruf…”.

    So – no gods here….

  • and no – you did no such thing on Friendly Atheist –

    You just vomited the same rhetorical crap about ‘eyewitnesses’, who were not there, (quoting people is not proof of a god)
    and ridiculous gossip from the loyal followers)
    – all hearsay!

    Certainly not any proof of any gods…..(which of course deletes your jesus myth from being a god anyway…)

  • That was not “one side’s opinion”, that was a college text based on the plain text of the Amendment and the cases which followed.

    The oddball opinions of outfits like the Foundation for Freedom From Religion, Americans United, and indviduals like yourself be damned.

    If a citizen believes Hillary is an Iranian agent, or that Trump is the Cosmic Muffin, or that the sun revolves around the earth, she or he have every right to have those beliefs in mind in voting, in lobbying, in supporting this or that law. That includes making “laws based on religious beliefs”.

    What they can’t do is support Church A with tax monies in preference to Churches B and C or non-churches, compel you to attend Church A, compel you NOT to attend Church A, all of which establish religion or irreligion.

  • Why have all political office holders up until recently put their hand on the bible and not the Koran or the bhagavad gita? Swearing on the Bible and swearing on the Koran are completely contradictory activities. The reason we have always used the bible is because such an act commits one to speak “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God,” which presupposes the means by which the Bible describes truth. In contrast swearing on the Koran for example in accord with the Muslim doctrine of taqqiya, is to practice “precautionary dissimulation.” Taqqiya not only serves to protect Muslims from persecution but also encourages them to lie to “advance the cause of Islam—in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.” The bible was presumed to describe a basis of truth whether you were Catholic, Protestant, JW, Mormon, or even Deist.

  • Why have all political office holders placed their hand on the bible and witnesses appearing in court put their hand on the bible and no other book?

  • One of the most astonishing things is that there are people who use straw man arguments (logical fallacies) to try to demean a book that was assembled over a period of over 2000 years that is internally consistent, logically coherent, and experientially relevant despite having some 35 human authors.

  • “People’s religion should play no part in their qualification to serve our country in any capacity. When John F. Kennedy ran for president, his political opponents attacked him for being Catholic, insinuating that he would be loyal to the pope and the Catholic Church rather than to our Constitution.” In other words, one’s faith cannot extend beyond one’s nose according to the author which over against our Founders would be utter rubbish. Everyone has a faith in something, or belief system that informs and animates one’s views of reality. he Declaration of Independence presupposes a personal creator God, which Hinduism and Islam both reject. All religions have mutually exclusive claims and in fact the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, left Hinduism rejecting it to start Buddhism. Recently elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib went against the long standing practice in our country of placing her hand on the Koran rather than the Bible. By swearing on the Koran, Tlaib was in effect promoting the Islamic doctrine of taqqiya, which serves to protect Muslims from persecution, but also encourages them to lie to advance the cause of Islam—in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them. In other words, Biblically-based law (that employs the use of objective truth) and Sharia law (the lie) are irreconcilable. One cannot reconcile two completely different “moral” systems without introducing at the highest level a totally chaotic and irrational basis for our nation’s governing principles. As much as many herein want to whitewash all religions as having no place in the public square, some belief system of some kind will always fill the void. The question is which one?

  • “By swearing on the Koran, Tlaib was in effect promoting the Islamic doctrine of taqqiya, which serves to protect Muslims from persecution, but also encourages them to lie to advance the cause of Islam—in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.”
    Do you think that is really Tlaib’s motivation? Members of Congress have to swear to uphold and defend the Constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic.

  • How many muslim or hindu congressmen or women have we had so far? Perhaps as congress gets more diverse we will have more instances of other religious books being used. Swearing on a religious book is a symbolic act.

  • The adoption of law based on values which voters and lawmakers obtain from a variety of sources, including religious ones, is the very essence of American political belief.

  • Catholics, Catholic bishops and clergy, Anglo-Catholics, Anglo-Catholic bishops and clergy, Southern Baptists, Southern Baptist ministers, Orthodox Christians, Orthodox bishops and clergy, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Missouri Synod Lutheran bishops and clergy, and so on and on an may enter the public square and advocate for and lobby for laws which uphold human dignity and oppose valuing some lives over others for religious or any other reasons, including simple recognition of where that sort of erroneous thinking leads;

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7241463_Human_dignity_in_the_Nazi_era_Implications_for_contemporary_bioethics

    There is no “right of conscience” or “religious liberty” at issue except their right to express themselves as guaranteed in the First Amendment as it was written, not as it is imagined by Americans United, Freedom from Religion Foundation, and the other zanies you love to associate with and whose ideas you promote.

    The Supreme Court of these United States has repeatedly upheld the constitutionality of non-sectarian aid to private schools – including books, transportation, safety equipment, and more – since the parents and students of those schools are American citizens guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause, the very same Clause which led to Brown v. the Board of Education.

    The government does not exist to advance the private agendae of anti-Catholics or anti-religionists.

  • 1 against 100s Friendly Atheists, that was. And not a single Friendly Atheist could produce a single ancient-time, reliable counter-eyewitness against Luke’s dual proof: (1) λόγον or logon, and (2) διήγησιν or dieegeesin. GO AHEAD, PRODUCE ONE YOURSELF. I give you 48 hours.

  • Mark/Bob is so wrong n so many issues. He and other aspiring theocrats want government to impose on all women their narrow and goofy idea that embryos and pre-28 week fetuses are persons. The strong majority of Americans disagree and regard this as an attack on women’s rights of conscience. The theocrats may express their opinions all they like, but sensible Americans are not buying their message.

    As for diversion of public funds to mostly church-run private schools, American voters in 28 state referenda from coast to coast from 1966 to 2018 have voted no by 2 to 1. And from 1947 until 2002 the SCOTUS agreed with them. Then the GOP justices thumbed their noses at the wisdom of Jefferson and Madison and the other Founders.

    Most Catholics agree with me n these issues, not with the pseudonymous Connelly/Arnzen.

    Edd Doerr

  • “Americans are entitled under the Constitution to “make laws based on religious beliefs”.”

    If you mean individual citizens exercising their right to vote for those who represent their religiously-based views, then I agree.

  • Oh, and ALSO legislators. Every citizen is entitled to make laws based on religious beliefs.

    There is no official Vulcan mind meld to determine what internal motivation, thoughts, and beliefs went into voting.

    The courts only look at the results, which are the only discernible and measurable facts to which the law can be applied.

    If a law is passed exempting Catholics and only Catholics from paying Federal income taxes, that is a problem.

    If a law is passed giving only schools associated with Missouri Lutheran Synod textbooks, that is a problem.

    If a law is passed restricting abortions, that is not a problem despite the constant assertions of some our commenters who – using ESP, crystal balls, and other imaginary means – think they KNOW what was on the legislators’ minds.

    Perhaps the Shadow knows, but they do not.

  • Last things first:

    If 99.9% of Catholics agree with Edd, it is irrelevant.

    Under the Constitution of the United States private schools may be aided.

    If the SCOTUS in Edd’s opinion “thumbed their noses at the wisdom of Jefferson and Madison” – of course as Mr. Doerr reads them – it is irrelevant.

    Those decisions bind and form a body of stare decisis.

    The word “persons” is also irrelevant. A “person” under law is whatever a particular law says a person is. Once Indians and Blacks were not persons.

    The relevant definition is the definition of human life, and that’s settled science.

    Valuing some human lives more than others invariably leads to catastrophe:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7241463_Human_dignity_in_the_Nazi_era_Implications_for_contemporary_bioethics

    As Edd completes his ninth decade, the last six of which have provided zip towards his program to rewrite the Constitution by jawboning, one would think he would have better things to do with his remaining years than continue this howling at the moon to no effect.

  • No, the bible is simply the dominant holy book in our part of the world, and swearing an oath on it is simply custom. It has nothing to do with truth whatsoever, else there wouldn’t be a crime called perjury, nor would so many office holders and Christians, having sworn on the bible, have proven themselves faithless.
    but thank you for underlining, however unintentionally, why swearing on a bible is wrong, apart from the fact that it is proscribed several times in the new testament, and by no less a person than Jesus himself. An oath is only as good as the word of the person swearing it. It is why when I have been called to jury duty, I will not swear on a bible, because that book holds no truth, no morality, no goodness, and no authority for me. When I give my word, the only thing holding me to it is me, same as the person who swears on a bible.
    And that is why I keep my word.

  • Nope – does not work that way –

    You all claim the gods – you all have the onus of proving that claim [your pathetic deflections do not work any more…]

  • Never have I “smeared” Catholics.

    My “narrow views” happen to be those of the Supreme Court, and the Constitution, while yours happen to be … yours.

  • Of course swearing on a Bible is not wrong.

    It happens to be something you disdain.

    Your particular tastes do not rise to the level of a morality no matter how often you suggest they do.

  • not true. the constitution allows a person to swear or affirm to tell the truth or uphold the constitution. It can be on a bible doesn’t have to be, it’s probably the most available and pushed on most people. Recent house of representatives who were sworn in used a variety of books including law books, quarans, and hindu books.

  • it was the states that separated church and state starting in 1776 and the last two in 1833. But the states still had some leeway. In 1878 reynolds v utah used the first amendment to decide that case. Now most states have separation laws that are stricter than the first amendment.

  • it’s under attack now. states are passing laws now that would never stand a couple of years ago, now with the evangelical supreme court?

  • People can swear on whatever they want or nothing at all. the constitution requires nothing in particular. courts seem to keep the bible more handy, but it is just as legal to affirm to tell the truth.

  • Dear Congresswoman,

    Hindus or Hinduism has no association with Hindu Nationalism. You are supported by Rashtriya Swayam Sangh (RSS) and you also support RSS, which is not only a Hindu Nationalist group, this organization has also become a “Hindutva terrorism” group as evidenced by religious hatred driven activities of RSS and its sister or affiliated organizations. . RSS doesn’t follow Hinduism. All most all Hindus follow Hinduism, which is one of the oldest and most tolerant religion in the world. RSS follows Hindutva, which teaches religious hatred, Hindutva supremacy, Fascism and even raping enemies women for defeating enemies. RSS couldn’t even get the support of 1% Hindus among 900 million Hindus in India. RSS is the only organization in India who had direct relationship with fascist regimes of Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler). RSS supports Nazism and glorifies Hitler. RSS has adopted several Fascist and Nazi policies or methods. The ultimate goal of RSS is to form Hindutva based Hindu Rashtra.

    Prime Minister Modi is from RSS and he has appointed RSS supporters or sympathizers as head of major government organizations, institutes, educational organizations and Universities. Bigotry and atrocities against Muslims, Christians and Dalits have significantly increased after Narendra Modi became the PM of India. There are hundreds of reports are available from India’s leading newspapers and other online media reports

    If you see online discussions groups, you could feel the extreme anti-Muslim and anti-Christian hatred by RSS supporters, who spread fake news, fabricated facts and propagandas ( similar to Nazis).

    Following few comments by leaders of RSS or BJP or RSS affiliated organizations and these comments reflects the religious hatred associated with RSS and other organizations.

    “Gods live in temples, not churches or mosques,” Dr. Subramanian Swamy, BJP MP

    “In this land Hindus have been the owners, Parsis and Jews the guests, and Muslims and Christians the dacoits.” M. S. Golwalkar,

    “Anybody living in India is a Hindu,”.-
    RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

    “…. If given a chance, we will install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganeshand Nandi ” — Hindu deities — “in every mosque.” Yogi Adityanath.

    “If They Kill Even One Hindu, We Will Kill 100!’ –
    Yogi Adityanath.

    “Behead in public, the people who kill mother cow,” –
    Sadhvi Saraswati,VHP leader k

    Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary said Muslims and Christians will have to convert to Hinduism if they want to stay in this country.. DJS will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021.

    “…Stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment –not even citizens’ rights.”
    – Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Madhav Sadashiv Gowalkar

    “The population of Muslims and Christians is growing day by day. To rein in this, Centre will have to impose emergency, and Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilisation so that they can’t increase their numbers.”
    – All-India Hindu Mahasabha vice-president Sadhvi Deva Thakur

    Yogi Adityanath’s speaker asks to rape muslim women by taking them out of graves –
    The Siasat Daily. May 2018

    “Muslims have been given their share (of land). They should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan” – BJP Rajya Sabha Member Vinay Katiyar

    “India Will Become ‘Hindu Rashtra’ By 2024, Asks Muslims To Leave Or Follow Hinduism” – UP BJP MLA Surendra Singh

    “Women wearing burqa should not be seen near my office. Muslims have not voted for me. Only Hindus have elected me. Therefore, only Hindus will be allowed in my office,” – BJP MLA Yatnal

    “The prime minister is a pracharak of the RSS. So, if you peel off his exterior it is all Hindutva. I don’t believe there is anything fake about him. But he was sold an idea that you must now expand.” Dr. Subramanian Swamy, BJP MP

    “And that is where we articulated this Hindutva—of uniting the Hindus and dividing the minorities. That was a reversal of the Congress Party [strategy] of dividing the Hindus and uniting the minorities.” Dr. Subramanian Swamy, BJP MP

    “We spend one lakh for mobile phone. Buy a 1,000 rupee sword too for our girls to kill the love jihadis.” –
    Sadhvi Saraswati, VHP leader

  • Following are few news headlines:

    1. INDIA Uttar Pradesh: Hindus want Christmas banned in Catholic schools, claim it lures Hindu students to Christianity. Asia News December 2017!
    2. Hindu nationalists warn Christian missionary schools they celebrate Christmas ‘at their own risk’. Telegraph. December 2017
    3. Attack on Christmas Carols: Rhythm of Hatred is all that RSS knows | India Resists. January 2018
    4. RSS members allegedly vandalise prayer hall in Coimbatore decked up for Christmas | The News Minute. December 2017
    5. Church attacked in Kolhapur ahead of Christmas – India Today, December 2018
    6. War on Christmas: Hindutva is now targeting Indian Christians by attacking their biggest festival. Scroll. December 2017
    7. Church attacked in Kolhapur ahead of Christmas – India Today, December 2018
    8. INDIA Rajasthan, 20 Carol singing Catholics beaten for “forced conversions”. Asia News December 2016

    Following are few interesting reports on Modi by foreign press:

    1. Narendra Modi’s Double Standards On Terrorism | HuffPost India. March 2015
    2. Will Modi stop India’s cow terrorists from killing Muslims? Washington Post July 2018
    3.BJP crows on ‘saffron terror’. The Telegraph India April 2018
    3. Hindutva Terrorists Roam Free and Human Rights Activists Jailed: Story of Modi’s Bharat | NewsClick. August 2018!
    4. Trump should figure out a deal to protect Christians in India | TheHill. June 2017
    5. Christmas violence and arrests shake Indian Christians | World news | The Guardian. December 2017
    6. Narendra Modi blamed in rise of India’s Christian persecution – Washington Times. March 2018
    7. Religious persecution the new normal in India- La Croix International. May 2018
    Report Shows It’s Increasingly Dangerous To Be A Christian In Many Countries : NPR. January 2018
    8. Christians, Sikhs Being Persecuted In India, Believe British MPs; To Take It Up With Modi During Commonwealth Meet. Outlook India. March 2018
    9. Indian leader boasts of tolerance amid growing persecution – Persecution – WORLD. May 2017
    10. US Congress Urges India’s Modi to Protect Christians, Condemn Attacks on Minorities. August 2018
    11. Modi’s party stokes anti-Muslim violence in India, report says | South China Morning Post. June 2017
    12. Violence Against Christians in India: A Decade After Kandhamal | The Diplomat. August 2018
    13. Christians In India Continue To Live In Fear, Despite Modi’s Promises Of Equality | HuffPost. December 2017
    14. Attacks against Muslims, Dalits grew sharply in India under Modi: US report – India Today December 2017
    15. Christian enclave in India fears violence as Hindus press for conversions – The Washington Post. December 2014
    16. Modi’s Cash Crackdown Failed, Indian Bank Data Shows. New York Times August 2018

  • “My meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s democratically elected leader, have been highlighted as “proof” of this and portrayed as somehow being out of the ordinary or somehow suspect, even though President Obama, Secretary Clinton, President Trump and many of my colleagues in Congress have met with and worked with him. India is one of America’s closest allies in Asia and is a country of growing importance in a critical region of the world.”

    She does not anywhere mention to the American audience about Indian Prime Minister Modi’s anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, in Gujarat. When he was the Chief Minister of state of Gujarat. Around 5000-10,000 Muslims were murdered and burned alive, and their women were raped by the state sponsored sword-wielding Hindu mob. Obama or Clinton would never have advanced the Hindutva agenda in USA, or into that part of the region, just like you are defending your discreet bigotry.

    My military service has shaped who I am today. While in the Middle East, I saw how quickly religious sectarianism and bigotry can lead to the disintegration of a country — how leaders manipulate people to fear others who are different, who look different or who have different beliefs.

    This is coming from someone whose fellow coreligionists in India (the ruling Hindutva-extremist party, of whose Modi is the leader) have been creating the religious bigotry, aimed at the non-Hindus (especially Muslims, Christians, Dalits). Don’t say the Middle East, because you only served in Iraq, and for time being, in neighbouring Kuwait.

  • You are an ignorant. She is criticised for supporting a ruling radical Hindutva party in so-called secular & largest democracy of India, where the minority is lynched for wishing to eat cow-beef. And where the leaders from the ruling Hindutva party, have been advocating the religious bigotry, and non-Hindu free India.

    She is being funded by the pro-Hindutva, to advance their agenda. Look up ‘RSS’ on the internet, to whom she is defending. RSS is a fascist Hindutva party, which is based on the Nazi ideology — one of whose member, Nathuram Godse, had assassinated Gandhi for showing tolerance to the minority Muslims.

  • The First Amendment prohibited an establishment of religion.

    Infelicitously a comment by Jefferson was inserted into the dicta of a case decided by the Supreme Court roughly 150 years later, but it is important to note that THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOES USE THE WORDS “SEPARATION” OR “STATE” nor the phrase “separation of church and state”.

    States more or less did their own thing until the First Amendment was “incorporated” – interpreted to bind BOTH the Federal Government AND the states.

    Incorporation has a long history. Some of states, particularly in the South, had independently held they were bound by the Bill of Rights early in the 19th century.

    Many (not most) states – Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia – have laws known generically as “Blaine Amendments”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaine_Amendment#Amendments_to_state_constitutions

    which are gradually being defanged by the courts or repealed by the electorate.

    These laws are not comparable to the First Amendment. They were adopted in a wave of anti-Catholicism in the mid-1800s.

    The Native American Party, renamed the American Party in 1855 and known as the Know Nothing movement, was an American nativist political party that operated nationally in the mid-1850s. It was primarily anti-Catholic, xenophobic, and hostile to immigration, starting originally as a secret society.

  • Hindus or Hinduism is not the problem. You are supported by Rashtriya Swayam Sangh (RSS) and you also support RSS, which is not only a Hindu Nationalist group, this organization has also become a “Hindutva terrorism” group as evidenced by religious hatred driven activities of RSS and its sister or affiliated organizations. . RSS doesn’t follow Hinduism. All most all Hindus follow Hinduism, which is one of the oldest and most tolerant religion in the world. RSS follows Hindutva, which teaches religious hatred, Hindutva supremacy, Fascism and even raping enemies women for defeating enemies. RSS couldn’t even get the support of 1% Hindus among 900 million Hindus in India. RSS is the only organization in India who had direct relationship with fascist regimes of Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler). RSS supports Nazism and glorifies Hitler. RSS has adopted several Fascist and Nazi policies or methods. The ultimate goal of RSS is to form Hindutva based Hindu Rashtra.

    Prime Minister Modi is from RSS and he has appointed RSS supporters or sympathizers as head of major government organizations, institutes, educational organizations and Universities. Atrocities against Muslims, Christians and Dalits have significantly increased after Narendra Modi became the PM of India. There are hundreds of reports are available from India’s leading newspapers and other online media reports

  • Following are few comments from Hindutva leaders from groups like RSS:

    “Gods live in temples, not churches or mosques,” Dr. Subramanian Swamy, BJP MP

    “In this land Hindus have been the owners, Parsis and Jews the guests, and Muslims and Christians the dacoits.” M. S. Golwalkar,

    “Anybody living in India is a Hindu,”.-
    RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

    “…. If given a chance, we will install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganeshand Nandi ” — Hindu deities — “in every mosque.” Yogi Adityanath.

    Behead in public, the people who kill mother cow,” –
    Sadhvi Saraswati,VHP leader k

    Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary said Muslims and Christians will have to convert to Hinduism if they want to stay in this country.. DJS will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021.

    “…Stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment –not even citizens’ rights.”
    – Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Madhav Sadashiv Gowalkar

  • You have been very critical of Catholics who do not agree with you. I line up more closely to the SCOTUS on religious issues than you do.

  • A skin cell is human life but not a person. Person is defined in the 14th Amendment. Scientists regard personhood as not possible before 28-32 weeks of gestation. The SCOTUS has wobbled all over on aid to church schools, but more so under Repubs.

    The pseudonymous sure likes to snoop on other people.

  • WHAT DOES SHE SAY HERE THAT YOU JUST DON’T GET, TMJ?!

    “Both in India and here in the US, I have held meetings with members of both the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi] and the Congress Party. As a member of the US Congress, my interest is in helping produce a closer relationship between the United States and India, not just between the United States and one political party of India. I have no affiliation with the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological guardian of BJP]. Sometimes people on both sides, for their own purposes, try to say I somehow favor, or am part, of the BJP or take photos of me at Indian events and circulate them for their own promotional reasons. But the fact is, I’m not partial to BJP, the Congress Party, or any other particular political party in India.”
    – Tulsi Gabbard, March 2, 2016, Quartz India.

  • You all claim the gods – you all have the onus of proving that claim [your pathetic deflections do not work any more…]

    Obviously – we won’t see any proof of any gods from this delusionist who thinks he and his religions still make the rules….

  • Start giving us our freedoms as per the Constitution – We have the right to be free from the dictates and rules of these arrogant religions…
    {they have their rights but they do not get the privilege of cramming their god crap on all others….}

  • Last things first:

    The story of how a good Catholic boy with a good Catholic family and good Catholic parents and good Catholic education wound up something else is not only worth telling, it explains a lot of the bizarre takes, twists, and spins that former good Catholic boy puts on things to the detriment of good sense, the Constitution, and facts.

    The word “person” is irrelevant. No, the Fourteen Amendment does not define it:

    “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    What it says is that born persons meeting certain requirements are citizens. It then provides certain rights to citizens, and certain rights to persons – which remains undefined.

    So, a “person” is whatever the law in a particular place at a particular says it is. Scientists are silent about “persons”.

    The relevant definition is “human life”, which has a scientific definition.

    And I am glad to see you acknowledge your take on aid to public schools, and the take of the branch of the government whose job is to interpret the Constitution, do not line up.

  • I am critical of:

    1 – BS;

    2 – People who call themselves things for which they do not meet the definition;

    3 – Illogical claptrap from ideologues.

    No, you do not line up more closely to the SCOTUS.

    We have been through a number of times.

    I cite the actual SCOTUS decisions. You cite what you think it ought to rule, and then attribute any differences to “Republican justices”.

  • >>Around 5000-10,000 Muslims were murdered and burned alive, and their women were raped by the state sponsored sword-wielding Hindu mob.

    While you are at it why don’t you make it 50000 or 100000? It was not a anti-muslim pogrom by the Gujarat government. It was a religious riot by the Hindu population sparked by burning alive of 58 Hindu pilgrims by a Muslim mob. About 1/4th of the people killed in the riots were Hindus and 3/4ths were Muslims. About 200 police personnel were also killed. It was not for lack of trying but when the whole population is upset, governments can’t do much, but only control (for ex LA riots which took 6 days to control compared to Gujarat riots which was substantially controlled in 3 days even though they were in multiple cities, towns and villages)

    >> have been creating the religious bigotry, aimed at the non-Hindus (especially Muslims, Christians, Dalits).

    When did dalits become non-Hindus? And can you identify any policy of Modi government which is against other religions? The Supreme Court of India just ruled against Hindu traditions in Sabarimala? Did the Modi government do something against the ruling if you claim they were doing something for Hindus

    Only by making unsubstantiated claims like this, you and your ilk (the leftists, so called secularists and similar) not only lose credibility but also make people who are uninterested or in the middle support Modi more

  • You have the right not to attend a particular church, or any church.

    Beyond that the Constitution is silent.

  • Then you, obviously, have neither understanding of the Constitution nor of the writings of the ‘writers’/the Nation’s Founders of our Constitution…..
    They constantly wrote that religion is a danger to a civilised democratic Republic.

    Keep your lies of gods away from our children – That is child abuse!!!

  • I explained on a Boston talk show years ago, some people are able to grow within a single tradition, and some find that they much change traditions. The Catholic monsignor who was the other guest on the show agree — and that was that.

    Scientists are not silent. 165 eminent scientists, including 12 Nobel laureates, signed a brief to the SCOTUS that I helped write. And many more have written and spoken out on this issue.

    And will you ever acknowledge that Ameican voters have repeatedly come down on my side of the aod issue by 2 to 1.

  • Your comment reflects as if we are reading a comment from a RSS supporter. The reason is RSS considers Muslims, Christians, and communists are their great enemies. Christian evangelists in US are not DNC supporters. I don’t think communists in India have any interest at all in US politics, especially bringing Republicans and Democrats together. Do you think anyone can bring them together? Your comment is an great example yo show how RSS and other Hindutva groups tweak religious hatred wherever it is possible. It is visible if we read any random comments by RSS followers, including RSS members who live in Christian or Muslim dominated countries, in various social media platforms.

    RSS has adopted propaganda machinery that were used by Hitler and Mussolini. This is not surprising because RSS is the only organization in India who had direct relationship with fascist regimes of Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler).

  • Google search using “Tulsi Gabbard Hindu Nationalist” in my phone showed Following search results (starting from top hits):
    Jacobin, News 18, Religion News Service, Scroll, Haaretz, The Intercept, Hindustan Times, QZ, RT(dot)com, World Region News, Wikipedia, The Guardian, Vote Tulsi, Free Beacon, Facebook, international Business Times.. Except Jacobin, how many are left leaning organizations?

    One can find more information through Google searches using following keywords:

    “RSS AND attacks AND (muslims OR christians)”
    “Hindutva AND Fascism”
    “Modi AND Muslims”
    “Modi AND Christians”
    “Hindu nationalism AND fascism
    “RSS AND terrorism”

  • That’s is valid argument. In that case, Tulsi Gabbard must not have any association with Hindu Nationalist RSS and Narendra Modi, who want to establish a RSS Hindutva based Fascist Hindu Rashtra. Any kind of association with any Hindutva right-wing groups may be a real challenge for Tulsi Gabbard. What kinds of support RSS got from or through Tulsi Gabbard will be raised? For this reason, Tuldi Gabbard should consider cutting all ties with Hindutva groups. She could approach other Indian organizations like AIA etc.

    In 2015, a Sikh group in India approach NY Federal court to declare RSS as a terrorist organization. However, US Dept of State has interfered in this this case. What kind of DNC lobbying, if any, is involved in this case is still unknown to public.

  • The interesting story is why someone changes “traditions” as you call them, and the sometimes zany ideas that either cause them to do so or they develop after doing so.

    According to science in the mammalian species life is a continuum from conception to death. The relevant issue is life, not birth.

    To make birth the relevant issue we need to adopt the “tradition” of the Magical Birth Canal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNgwsT295G8

    Americans used to come down on the side of slavery.

    What you refuse to accept is that, like slavery, this anti-private school – really anti-Catholic school – position is being undermined by the Supreme Court on one side, and the electorate on the other.

    The electorate is being motivated by a number of things, not the least of which is the continuing deterioration of the public schools as a result of unions and Federal judges.

  • As several posts, a few mine, have pointed out it is you who fails to understand the Constitution.

    There are only two things which bind: the Constitution, and the decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting it.

    As to “the ‘writers’/the Nation’s Founders of our Constitution”, there were 27 delegates to the Convention that wrote it.

    They did not all see it the same way.

  • “The 116th class of Congress is one of the most diverse to serve the United States — and nowhere is that more evident than in this viral photo showing the books used during.”

    “Thursday’s swearing-in ceremonies.
    More than a dozen documents and books — including the US Constitution, Eastern Orthodox Bible and Quran — were used to swear in officials of various ethnic and religious backgrounds.”

    Source: Muslim and Jewish holy books among many used to swear-in Congress – CNN. January 3, 2019

  • About 1/3 of all Americans have changed their religious affiliations. So?

    US taxpayers should not be compelled to support any sectarian school — Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Scientologist, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. — ans US voters have agreed with me in 30 state referenda. And your attack on our underfunded public schools is unfair — 40 years of Gallup educational polls have shown that 70% of Americans give an A or B to the public school attended by their oldest child.

  • If you had not left a trail Dr. Watson could follow since 1966, your protestations might be taken at face value.

    As an NEA union man, an anti-religionist when it comes to the First Amendment, a tap dancer when it comes to supporting your interpretation of the First Amendment, and maker of statements that fly in the face of facts and commonsense, you’ll forgive me if I look askance at them.

  • You have an opinion – based on your agenda!

    Example of one founder’s opinion:
    Jefferson WAS against religion in government. As many politicians do, he placated some religious people by attending religious functions some of the time.

    More on Jefferson:
    1. He created the part of the Virginia constitution which separates church and state before he introduced the idea to the federal government.
    2. He was a Deist, not a Christian.
    3. He produced his own Bible, cutting out the miracles of Jesus.
    4. He said “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”
    5. He said “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. … But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding….” >>

    Your opinion is just that an opinion; commonsense and intelligent logic along with observation of what religion has done, and is still doing – it is quite obvious to all of its dangers to society!!

  • Speaking of having an opinion based on an agenda: the relevant portion of the Constitution for this discussion is the First Amendment, one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    You and Edd Doerr have recently been waving Thomas Jefferson’s personal opinions around like they bind someone.

    Problem 1 – Thomas Jefferson DID NOT ATTEND the Constitutional Convention. He was in Europe.

    Problem 2 – Thomas Jefferson DID NOT COMPOSE the First Amendment. James Madison did.

    Problem 3 – What was inside anyone’s head when it was composed is not a matter of record. What is of record is the plain words of the Amendment and the deliberations of the states’ which approved it. It draws its binding authority from the ratification by the states, not real imagined musings by scribes.

    In short, you have an opinion based on an agenda. It is poorly supported.

  • In short – you are exemplifying precisely why we need to keep religions out of all governments – You are attempting to force your belief systems onto others….and that was the opinion of the majority whether you choose to see it or not….

    Btw, has anyone ever proven the existence of any gods….
    Do that and you can have your religion interfering in others’ lives….

    [“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…” means: NO laws, absolutely NO Laws in respect to a religion shall be made by Congress….]

  • In shorter, you’re wrong.

    Btw, the text is “respecting an establishment”, not “in respect to”.

    It makes lots of laws in respect to religion.

  • 250 years ago – in the colloquial, that is exactly what it meant!!
    Keep the religions out of government and vice versa.

    {you need proof of a god to continue this god crap….}

  • No, what it meant in plain English was what they brought from England.

    And establishment of religion was state endorsement or negation of religious belief, i.e., the Church of England, a state church.

    Just as you mistakenly cite Jefferson, you’re screwing up the plain text to “prove” it does not mean what it plainly states.

  • All you still have is an opinion – subject to change as the courts change….The founders knew to keep the vagaries of the lying religions out of governments…..

    [did you even prove your god yet in order to have a god even mentioned??!!! – that is the ultimate issue after all……]

  • Here are the two conflicting views preceding the First Amendment explained, which makes crystal clear why the insertion of dicta about Thomas Jefferson’s personal musings about the meaning of the First Amendment was blatantly silly, the arguments and debates during its drafting by the various parties, and the meaning of it as it finally was drafted and ratified:

    https://law.upenn.edu/journals/conlaw/articles/volume8/issue4/Munoz8U.Pa.J.Const.L.585(2006).pdf

    The very next post from you to me with an exclamation point in it, or which lacks some coherent reference to some authoritative source beyond what you apparently derived from Americans United and/or comic books, and you’re blocked.

    https://help.disqus.com/commenting/user-blocking

  • Typical cowardly action by one who has been challenged to try to prove his god…:

    ”The very next post from you to me with an exclamation point in it, or which lacks some coherent reference to some authoritative source beyond what you apparently derived from Americans United and/or comic books, and you’re blocked.”

  • Typical – Can’t handle the fact that you cannot prove your gods?!! so you resort to threats!!!

    Yeah – you can see where this is going {the founders did not have the courage to outright deny the lies about gods in those days!!!}
    We can and we do now; and that is precisely what the founders were trying to do – regardless of your opinions attitudes or beliefs (as mistaken as they are…)

    Obviously no gods will be proven here….!!!!

  • ”The very next post from you to me with an exclamation point in it, or which lacks some coherent reference to some authoritative source beyond what you apparently derived from Americans United and/or comic books, and you’re blocked.

    https://help.disqus.com/com…”

    !!!!!!!!

    •Reply•Share ›

    Avatar
    Brien Mark Connelly • a few seconds ago
    Typical – Can’t handle the fact that you cannot prove your gods?!! so you resort to threats!!!

    Yeah – you can see where this is going {the founders did not have the courage to outright deny the lies about gods in those days!!!}
    We can and we do now; and that is precisely what the founders were trying to do – regardless of your opinions attitudes or beliefs (as mistaken as they are…)

    Obviously no gods will be proven here….!!!!

    !!!!!

  • Really?~=!
    Blocking?! when the theists don’t like the answer?? or when they are told to prove their gods…?!!!

  • Where is your evidence to prove your gods??~!!

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4173112/?fbclid=IwAR3I9qs-NJYyWhtuvAXn4gehdGoBPS-AzZM8efJoti-LDSk6n_qQp5GIpts

    Religious delusions are common and are considered to be particularly difficult to treat.

    ——

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cogs.12138

    ”…exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”

    Keep the Lies about gods away from children!

  • Nope – sounds like he is replying to the generations of bigotry that humans have had to suffer under the lies of the religions…..!!

  • as is ‘animism’!
    Spirits in rocks etc…
    All are religions… ie gods….!!

    We went from Animism, to Poly-theism, then to monotheism – then finally to ‘a’-theism….

    There are no gods….

  • “Not true”. Then why was it done by every office holder for 200 years? Are you people simply unable to understand reality or history?

  • Christianity brought the world rights for women, education for girls, orphanages, hospitals, nursing homes, the abolition of slavery, free enterprise, marriage, and the rise of science. Western culture was promoted for one reason – it was superior to all others.

  • I don’t know what her ultimate motivation is but it is clear what the Koran demands of its adherents – it is the exact opposite of the Bible.

  • Christianityfought against the rights of women, against education for girls, for savagery and slavery, against science. This is all historically documented and inescapably true. Christians killed other Christians for being the wrong sort of Christian for hundreds of years until secular society put a stop to it. World War I was fought primarily by Christians against other Christians. 1900 years of officially sanctioned Jew hatred brought us the death of 6 million Jews, and 200,000 gay people as an afterthought. Germany was officially Christian before, during, and after the holocaust.

    What actually happened during your mythical golden years was that the society was Christian, composed of good Christians who promoted peace and understanding, and bad Christians who didn’t. Also inescapably historical.

  • In fact Christianity fought for the rights of women, as historically documented and inescapably true.

    Pagans fought against pagans, semites against semites, and Christians against Christians because humans fight against other humans. This does not make pagans, semites, Christians, or Germans per se evil.

  • Her religion is abhorrent. It allows for untouchables and the starvation of THOUSANDS of children. Gabbard is human vermin, just like though are

  • No better catholic child molesting vermin than DEAD catholic child molesting vermin.

  • No betterJews, Christians, muslims, Hindus, and any other religious vermin than the DEAD ones.

  • Religion is a scourge. Its willful ignorance and self delusion. Humanity will never progress until we rid of of the pernicious harmful nature of ALL RELIGION.

  • The bible is full of child rape… it’s no better or worse than the koran…. both idiotic beliefs for idiots.

  • It will or we anti religionists will simply enforce the destruction of your idiotic religions and all adherants at the end if a bomb or firearm. You’ll make America greater for ever dead body of religious vermin created.

  • ALL the more reason to simply exterminate you and your verminous brats. DEAD CATHOMIC CHILDREN MAKE AMERICA GREATER THAN ITS EVER BEEN.

  • Then so are the LGBTs as per:

    PINK NEWS: “Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard rejects anti-LGBT past in new apology”.

    OUT MAGAZINE: “Tulsi Gabbard Swears Her LGBTQ+ Views Have ‘Changed Significantly'”.

    JOE.MY.GOD.: “Dem Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes For Anti-LGBT Past: ‘My Views Have Since Changed Significantly’ [VIDEO]”.

    THE GAILY GRIND: “Presidential Hopeful Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes For Past Anti-LGBT Remarks, Work As Anti-LGBT Activist”.

  • actually they asked that of Kennedy when he was running for president, would he obey the pope or the constitution. Judges put their hand on the bible (IF they choose) and swear to uphold the constitution, not the other way around. The republican platform says they want the bible to be the law on social and moral issues, that would be unconstitutional.

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