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Gabbard Elaborates On Hindu Faith

It’s been well-noted this year, particularly since the primary election in August, that Tulsi Gabbard has a chance to become the first Hindu elected to Congress. But it hasn’t been much of an issue on the campaign.

One recent reference you might have seen was the CNN profile on Gabbard’s general election opponent, homeless Republican Kawika Crowley. In it, the author notes that Crowley “made a bigoted remark about Gabbard’s Hindu religion, saying it doesn’t align with the constitutional foundation of the U.S. government.”

Now, the Washington-based Religion News Service has a closer look at Gabbard’s faith that was picked up by the Washington Post's website.

The piece is accompanied by a photo of Gabbard in traditional Hindu garb at the Houston home of a Hindu supporter who threw a fundraiser for her this week.

It also points out that the name Tulsi refers to a sacred tree, includes her favorite passages from the Bhagavad Gita and says she “follows the Vaishnava branch that believes in the Supreme Lord Vishnu, and his 10 primary incarnations.”

What role will her religion play in Congress?

“It is clear that there needs to be a closer working relationship between the United States and India. How can we have a close relationship if decision-makers in Washington know very little, if anything, about the religious beliefs, values, and practices of India’s 800 million Hindus?” Gabbard is quoted in the article.

“Hopefully the presence in Congress of an American who happens to be Hindu will increase America’s understanding of India as well as India’s understanding of America.”

— Michael Levine

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