Sunday, January 06, 2013

First Hindu Congresswoman sworn in, not with a Bible, but on the Bhagavad Gita. Now that's progress!

Courtesy of Deccan Herald:  

Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii has created history by not only becoming the first Hindu ever to be sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives, but also being the first ever US lawmaker to have taken oath of office on the sacred Bhagavad Gita. 

Tulsi, 31, was administered the oath of office by the John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

"I chose to take the oath of office with my personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita because its teachings have inspired me to strive to be a servant-leader, dedicating my life in the service of others and to my country," Gabbard said after the swearing in ceremony yesterday. 

"My Gita has been a tremendous source of inner peace and strength through many tough challenges in life, including being in the midst of death and turmoil while serving our country in the Middle East," she said explaining the reasons for taking the oath of office on Gita. 

"I was raised in a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-faith family. My mother is Hindu; my father is a Catholic lector in his church who also practices mantra meditation. I began to grapple with questions of spirituality as a teenager," Gabbard said. 

"Over time, I came to believe that, at its essence, religion gives us a deeper purpose in life than just living for ourselves. Since I was a teenager, I have embraced this spiritual journey through the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita.

Okay well obviously as an Atheist, I  disagree with Congresswoman Gabbard's contention that religion provides a "deeper purpose in life," but having said that I LOVE everything about this!

In my opinion it is embarrassing for America that with such a disparity within our religious communities that THIS is the first Hindu in the House. Our Representatives should be as colorful and diverse in their religious and cultural points of view as the people themselves.

One of the scariest times that this country has gone through during my lifetime was the rise of the Moral Majority. When all of the sudden there was a narrowly defined litmus test provided for choosing political candidates, or which legislation should be passed, it sent chills up and down my spine. (The name of this blog was chosen in response to that fear.)

So while I give no more credence to Congresswoman Gabbard's religious choice than I do say Mitt Romney's, Joe Lieberman's, or Michele Backmann's, I DO see it as a very important and progressive step forward for a country that needs to move away from the kind of uber religiosity that has so negatively impacted the nation for the last forty years.

May Lord Ganesha bless her and keep her safe.


  1. A. J. Billings7:09 AM

    She's a very brave woman to risk the vicious wrath of the Teaparty for dissing the bible.

    No doubt the Teavangelicals will start a super pac to defeat her next election cycle.

    Real Americans only swear on the bible

    Only a demon possessed apostate anti christ would dare to ignore the Word, and go with some satanic ravings written thousands of years ago /s

    She's going to be attacked mercilessly for this on Fox. I'm sure we'll hear from others about this too, like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh.

    Once Bryan Fischer hears about this, he'll be apoplectic, and probably will put a hit out on her or at least issue a Fatwa.

    Fischer is about the most savagely ignorant and prejudiced christian supremacist out there.

    His hateful and nasty blog is here, in case you
    have never heard of his brand of vicious religious spewage

    1. Anonymous12:25 PM

      You can bet that Romney would have been sworn in on the Book of Mormon. They believe that their own religious text is far more important than the bible. I wonder what the old Fischer would have said about that one and thank dog we do not have to deal with it.

  2. That's hot. Cue the bible thumpers in 3,2,1...

  3. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Diane Sawyer To Interview Gabby Giffords On Anniversary Of Tucson Shooting

  4. Anonymous7:30 AM

    This is AwesOMe!!!
    Wanna bet all the christians were apoplectic?

    From Wiki about Hinduism:

    Hinduism is the predominant spiritual following of the Indian subcontinent, and one of its indigenous faiths. Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Śrauta among numerous other traditions. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs.

    Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder.[4] Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India and, as such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion or the "oldest living major religion" in the world.

    One orthodox classification of Hindu texts is to divide into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, rituals and temple building among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas, Upanishads, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Bhagavad Gītā and Āgamas.

    Hinduism, with about one billion followers, is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.
    So WE call it a religion but it is a series of teachings.
    Very beautiful.
    I subscribe to Yoga journal and all the christians are always writing in afraid to get sucked in to that "Religion"! Its teachings
    I don't consider these "Religion" as we have here. These are holy books with teachings. As well as the Koran.
    The xtians are just"my way or the highway", and their way is full of holes and lies.
    Again awsOMe about Tulsi Gabbard! I bet she is named after the "holy Basil plant" they call Tulsi! How beautiful!

    1. WakeUpAmerica10:10 AM

      What I find incredibly ignorant among "christians" is the belief that God only spoke to them. They also seem to believe that when Christ said, "Above all else, love one another," he meant " only Christians." That's why I don't follow a particular religion; I try to follow the teachings of Christ and anyone else who taught love, tolerance, and non-violence. Is Christ the son of God? I have no idea, but he was a good man with wonderful advice worth emulating.

      I'm glad you posted the info about Hinduism. It's very interesting.

    2. Anonymous11:09 AM

      Thank you! I feel the same as you.

  5. Anonymous7:36 AM

    The teabaggers will just yelp that she's not eligible to serve in Congress, being from Hawaii which (as we all know) isn't part of "rill 'Merica" being as it's also too allegedly the birthplace of the Kenyan Muslin socialist commie pretender in the Whitehouse, dontcha know?

  6. More productive still might be the removal of people's various superstitions from the political process. When I'm sworn in to the office I will most likely be elected to, I think Alice in Wonderland, or perhaps The Importance of Being Ernest might be good swear-in tomes.

    1. Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot by Al Franken?

      Amen (yea, yea, it shall be so) Gryphen.

    2. Anonymous12:27 PM

      I'd be sworn in on a copy of Dune, myself.

    3. Anonymous1:06 PM

      I think something from Will Rogers would be just about right.

    4. Dune? That's freaking awesome. Fact: did you know that Frank Herbert got the idea for the Dune series when he was visiting the Oregon dunes? We really needs us the spice.

  7. Smirnonn7:55 AM

    Now if we could only get an atheist congressman/woman to get sworn in on the dictionary or the constitution. Or a David Sedaris book. THAT would be hilarious!

  8. Anonymous7:59 AM

    The important thing is that for HER, her religious search inspired her to actually serve others, rather than just mouthing the words. I've found that most Christianists should actually be called Paulists, because that's whose teachings they follow, not Jesus'. If anything, Jesus was a nice observant Jewish boy whose attributed sayings are more like Buddhist koans than anything else. Bodhisattva, anyone?

    1. fromthediagonal2:30 PM

      Oh, Anon @ 7:59, you have studied and arrived at your own conclusions.
      To evolve if we have to be willing to let go of early learnings and grow into independent adults.
      Keep growing...

  9. Sally in MI8:00 AM

    Funny how much credence the GOP puts on swearing over their Bibles, when most of them haven't even bothered to read them, and they will leave the ceremony and then go vote for more wars, more guns, and fewer rights for women or food for kids. Then they will have lunch with their lobbyists, take money to vote to destroy the planet, vote for fewer safety regulations in industry, and vote against anything that could be perceived as a Christianly thing to do. All the while they insist this is a Christian nation, while wrapping themselves in the flag. wonder they are confused!

  10. Anonymous8:01 AM

    Most of the time your typos just make me giggle - but this one - repeated twice in your comments - grates like nails on a chalkboard... please Gryphen - the ladies name is gAbbard - not gUbbard.

    The post otherwise is great and I appreciated the information as it was not talked about AT ALL in my local news. Shame on the media - this should have been shouted from rooftops everywhere.

    1. Oops sorry about that. Not sure why I did that.

      Fixed now.


  11. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Sarah your heart out

    Tulsi is a combat vet and way hotter looking.

  12. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Read "Republican Gomorrah" for the full story of the religious right.

    1. WakeUpAmerica9:59 AM

      No kidding! They're charletons who use religion as a tool to gain power and wealth. Religion should be PERSONAL and PRIVATE and not a part of politics. People should be given the respect to believe or not believe whatever they want without persecution. I'm loving the diversity of our country while hating the "christian" bullies who try to deny others a place here.

  13. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Thank you Gryph, for recognizing there are many faiths that aren't just there to enrich their church. I respect those faiths.

    ~A sworn atheist

  14. Anonymous9:58 AM

    She will unfailingly take the side of Hindus no matter what in her position in goverenment. And if she doesn't then they will have her killed. That's not to post jesse, it's to clue you in to life in the big world around you.

    1. Anonymous9:58 AM MUST be a dumbass Palin! Only a hillbilly from the compound of Dead Lake Lucille would say such stupid shit as this!

      Thanks for the Sunday morning laugh Palin ass licking troll! LOL!!

    2. Anonymous11:25 AM

      9:58 AM Do you mean like Curtis Menard, Dar Miller, and many of Todd Palin's prostitutes were killed in Alaska? That is where the 'RILL' Criminals reside, Wasilla, Alaska. The
      Palin Compound of UNWED TEEN MOTHERS, High School Dropouts, and Property Vandalism. How's that VALLEY GIRLS GANG treatin' ya?

    3. Anonymous11:26 AM

      What a maroon! Where did you get your crystal ball? I want one of those. Just because you are a dedicated bigot doesn't mean most people are. Now toddle on over to Limpball's blog. We expect a certain amount of intelligence to post here.

    4. Anonymous1:53 PM

      Yes 9:58am, everyone knows the Hindus are a major majority here in the good old USA! Nice to see they will finally have the representation they deserve! It's a Hindu Cabal for sure and you'd better just keep your eye on that or they might come for you next. I'd suggest replacing your tinfoil hat with a stronger one made from hammered aluminum.

      English not first language or retarded?

    5. Anita Winecooler7:05 PM

      I love this part-

      "that's not to post jesse"

      They're afraid the asylum they escaped from might be reading their comments.

      Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!!!!

  15. WakeUpAmerica10:11 AM

    I hope you post Limpballs's apoplectic response. It should be hilarious since he is such a hypocrite extraordinaire!

  16. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Non-believers on rise in Congress

    The number of members of Congress who don’t identify with any particular religion is on the rise, according to an analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

    In the 96th Congress (1979-80), not a single member of the House or Senate said they didn’t belong to any particular faith, didn’t know or refused to disclose their religion. But in the new 113th Congress, 10 members fall under that category.

    That’s twice as many as in the 111th Congress (2009-10).

  17. Hawaii should be proud for electing such a representative. May she do them proud.

    Now, when may we expect our first Buddhist?

  18. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Senator Mazie Hirono is Buddhist. Prior to her election to the Senate, she served in the House.

  19. Anita Winecooler6:58 PM

    Well, as firsts go, this is HUGE! A female, Republican, Hindu being sworn in (not at) by John Boehner!!

    When will we get our first Muslim or Agnostic Congress person?

    Not it my lifetime.

    1. Anonymous10:05 PM

      It's already happened. Newly elected Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is a nontheist. Rep. Keith Ellison is a Muslim and has served since 2007. In 2008, Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) became the second Muslim elected. In 2008, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a Buddhist, also joined Congress, making him and Hirono the first Buddhists to be elected to Congress. And there is a 2nd Hindu - Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), whose election was not called until 11/15.

    2. I think we already have our first Muslim. I seem to recall someone being sworn in using a Koran.


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