Religious diversity in Congress has been amped up a few notches by Hawaii. The island state just elected Hindu Tulsi Gabbard to the House and Buddhist Senator Mazie Hirono to the Senate, both of them Democrats.
When Gabbard takes her oath of office in January 2013, she'll be sworn in over the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism's sacred book. Hirono, as a Buddhist, was sworn in to Congress in 2007 with no book at all.
"I bring quadruple diversity to the Senate," said Senator-elect Hirono at a rally during her campaign. "I'm a woman. I'll be the first Asian woman ever to be elected to the US Senate. I am an immigrant. I am a Buddhist. When I said this at one of my gatherings, they said, 'Yes, but are you gay?' and I said, 'Nobody's perfect.'"
Almost all of Congress's 538 members are Christian or Jewish. Exceptions include Minnesota's Keith Ellison, who was sworn in over the Qu'ran, and Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) who is a Buddhist like Hirono. Rep. Pete Stark (D-California) is the only Congressperson to publicly state that he doesn't believe in a supreme being, and he lost his re-election fight in 2012.
@Neo_NtheMatrix No. And I don't agree with your initial premise that our society is filled with "takers".. Unless you are saying that they are trying to "take their share of the American Dream, and take their turn at electing people who will listen to them, and not " preach down to them"-----I'm all FOR that kind of "taking"!
@Sonny - I didn't see that in the article. I didn't see the word "best," I saw the word "first." Liberals are all about making history. Now with the president they reelected the nation will become history. Someday I hope it is recorded in history that we should let the best man or woman do the job, not the first of some ethic group.
@Neo_NtheMatrix "Tulsi Gabbard graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a degree in international business. Gabbard previously served as Hawaii's youngest state representative, elected in 2002, and was the youngest woman in the United States to be elected to a state legislature. She is currently a Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard, and has volunteered to serve on two deployments to the Middle East. She is also vice-president and co-founder of the environmental non-profit organization Healthy Hawaii Coalition." So, what keeps her from being the best? Is it the business degree? The service in Iraq? Too female? Not Christian enough?
@Dan_Tien - I never said she wasn't the best. But if indeed she is the best, why not highlight those accomplishments and not her religion, ethnicity, or any other trivial divisive qualification. Liberals claim to want unity yet always try to divide us into groups. The article should read that Hawaii elected an American to Congress.
See this is what the republican party is afraid of.....In a word.."Diversity". They know the country is now more diverse than ever before...And people like Bill O'Reilly (and now others) are really starting to openly voice their fear of all of the other ethnic groups, and other religions, and various cultures...Bill is afraid that "the white vote is now a minority group". And that just scares the hell out of him? I wonder why?----He needn't be afraid, Its just a great time in America that more and more varied voices are now being heard and (more importantly) getting elected to political office! Win another one for America!
I'm not afraid of diversity, I'm afraid of debt. I want to elect the best, not the first. Diversity is fine, but talent is better. We're focusing on all the wrong things in our society and this is precisely why America will be foreclosed on by China in the next four years. We've forgotten who we were and have become a bunch of soft, weak dependents of government. If the forefathers could see what America has become, they'd be sickened back to their graves. You know I'm right too.
I agree with Neo. ITS THE DEBT AND THE ECONOMY!!!! We can have complete and total exclusion of white people for all I care, get those deficits and taxes down or this magical concept of diversity is going to be short lived when the US Empire crashes because it can't pay its workers, soldiers, or bills.
@Neo_NtheMatrix Well Mr, Neo...this is the republican challenger she ran against and won......"David "Kawika" Crowley, born in 1952, was the Hawaii Republican nominee for the United States House of Representatives, 2nd congressional district in November 2012. He was a colorful and offbeat candidate who achieved notability as the "homeless handyman" running for Congress. He was the first homeless person in Hawaii — and perhaps any state — to be nominated for Congress on a major party ticket.---"....
So now what do you say about the best candidate in her election?!?!? Come on....you can't still think that your precious republican candidate was a better choice than her, now can you?
@RobertJHarsh Yeah, sure its the "debt & the economy"...Where were you guys (and so many like you) when we had a republican pres. running up the tab? And where were you when we had a republican vice pres. saying..."deficits don't matter"...And kept on spending and spending and spending.....Nobody is excluding any group---but until get turned around...we will simply have to live with this "debt". After all its the ONLY demand that is still driving whats left of our economy. So if you just make sever cut backs we will have NO demand at all,a and you know what that means!
@Sonny Easy answer. He wasn't a Republican...he was a NEOCON. The last Republican president in office was George H.W. Bush, his daddy,...and he was only half-republican. He at least promoted conservative ideas and only hit the increase tax button sparingly. Bush II economic outlook lead to the catastrophe we are in now. Which has been exploited by Obama to create a majority underclass that will keep him and other Democrats increasing their numbers in government for years to come. In two election cycles, they'll own the House and increase in the Senate.
Interesting. She is a Buddhist but is being sworn in on a copy of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. Just as long as she is sworn in on a religious tome, even if she doesn't believe it? Why is it even necessary to swear on a religious book at all? Why not swear on a copy of the US Constitution, maybe over the part that says the government shall not endorse or promote any religion?
My mistake, the story is about both a Hindu and a Buddhist, and the Hindu will be sworn in on the Bhagavad Gita. The quick juxtaposition of the two in the story went past me. Still, why religious books? Must be optional, I suppose, since the first admitted atheist was sworn in as a Congressman in CA.
I'm sorry but there is nothing special about electing the first Hindu in a country with freedom of religion. maybe it would be cool if we elected something cool, like a robot. Nothing new happened here, just another politician pulling up to the trough
@Fishbone345 well as a nation founded and primarily comprised of christians, it would be expected that the majority of representatives would reflect the majority of the represented. Thankfully we can squeeze some weird different people in here and there to feel good about ourselves. the religion or absence of religion does not matter
@Neo_NtheMatrix Ha ha! The only thing great about christianity is that many Christian groups give their time and money to help others in need, albeit it with proselytizing attached. But that's the least they can do after centuries of senseless slaughter and continuing intolerance. Being Christian doesn't make anyone "better".
@Neo_NtheMatrix You're funny! Hey I thought it was beer and guns that made us the awesomest. We are a great country, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, Hinduism, or any other religion.
If she can do the job I'm all for her in office. Also perhaps that diversity may bring new ideas to the table that can help her state prosper as well as others who may wish to follow suit. I say congratulations congresswoman!
Not hardly! "One nation under God" Not under not Brahman. Put your hand on the Holy Bible and take your oath, or pack up and move back to where ever you came from. Is that close minded? Absolutely! Given America away, and people just walk around saying, La, La, La lolli pops and candy canes. I would laugh about it, but I know sooner than later we will tell stories about a once great nation called America. All because we wanted to show how nice, free and open to new ideas we are. People turned on Americas ways just to be rebellious, they make fun of us that hold to tradition and the American dream. You know there is a reason India, or Russia, or China, or anybody else was first to land on the moon, There is a reason they all come to America. But things are changing, hell , it's getting so bad now that some illegals from Mexico are starting to run south across our boards. How is it that they can see the changes and Americans can not. I already know, I am terrible, and just further dividing America, yea right! Wake up, America is divided already. I am just affirming what side I am on when the fhit hits the shan
@Thegrif "pack up and move back to where ever you came from". Isn't this what the Native Americans have been saying to you Bible packing Europeans ever since you slaughtered most of them and stole the Americas from them? Pretty whiney now that the shoes on the other foot, aren't you?
@MIDutch ok, but here we say one nation under God and that was my point. I imagine the pledge of allegiance is soon to be on the chopping block. Oh and that was just my view of the topic. I am sure plenty disagree with me, as I do some of them. I just know there was a time when swearing on anything except a Holy Bible would have drove Americans wild, I like, and prefer, those times. As far as I am concerned the congresswomen might as well swore in on a copy of Archie and Jughead comics. Not that swearing in on the Holy Bible really means the person is telling the truth or anything. To me it is the fact that some just got to break tradition, and do even the most basic of things in a way that may, or in my case did, raise my eyebrow. If it really is not a Big deal, then why not just stay with the bible to ensure no conflict, so it must be important to her. Look it dont matter to no one, I knew that when I typed my response.
@Thegrif The phrase "under god" was not put into the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954. Swearing an oath of office on the Bible has NEVER been a requirement in the United States. Swearing an oath of office on the Bible may be a VERY big deal to someone who is NOT a Christian, such as the Hindu and Buddhist congresswomen.
@MIDutch ok, so you are saying the Under God part was added later and therefore not really important. See, I see at as, if it was added later it is obviously important, important enough to change or add it. The people of 1954 realized that. Up until 1954 it was probably understood and known America was a God fearing nation, at least by the vast majority. To me, and maybe some others, swearing in on the Holy Bible means something. Maybe it ain't a requirement, but the guy sure shows up and ask a person to put their right hand on it and swear to it. To me that means something.
@MIDutch so you are saying the fact that is a big deal to swear in on a holy bible to some who are not Christians, then Christians need to change. America has always been called a ChristIn nation, I hate to see that go. I always said, America had taken its rights and freedoms to far. Moving the boundaries outward to stay popular