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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:50 AM

Buddhist, Hindu Make History With Elections To Congress

Source: huffington post/ap

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Tuesday's elections brought two historic firsts for religion in American politics: A Buddhist senator and a Hindu representative -- both from Hawaii -- will join Congress.

Democrat Mazie Hirono beat former Gov. Linda Lingle (R), making Hirono the first Buddhist in the Senate. In Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard defeated Republican opponent Kawika Crowley, making Gabbard the first Hindu in Congress.

Both elections were cheered by Hindu and Buddhist Americans, members of two faiths that share a common history that traces back to ancient India.

"These are all signs of dharmic communities being accepted in the country," said Anju Bhargava, founder of Hindu American Seva Charities. "It's all about inclusion and acceptance. The feeling that my faith and my people are accepted. Ultimately, politics comes down to 'how does it impact me?' or 'how am I included?' It will mean so much for the upcoming generations of Hindus and Buddhists."

Hirono, who was born in Japan, practices the Jodo Shinshu tradition of Buddhism. She was first elected to Congress in 2007 to represent Hawaii's 2nd District, the seat that Gabbard won Tuesday. Prior to that, Hirono served 14 years in the Hawaii state legislature and was the state’s lieutenant governor for eight years. She is also the first Asian-American woman senator and the first senator born in Japan.

“I certainly believe in the precepts of Buddhism and that of tolerance of other religions and integrity and honesty," she said when she first joined Congress.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/buddhist-hindu-congress-mazie-hirono-tulsi-gabbard_n_2088939.html



20 replies, 3146 views

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Reply Buddhist, Hindu Make History With Elections To Congress (Original post)
trailmonkee Nov 2012 OP
Iliyah Nov 2012 #1
Seedersandleechers Nov 2012 #2
colorado_ufo Nov 2012 #11
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #16
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #3
dmallind Nov 2012 #4
loudsue Nov 2012 #7
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #12
dmallind Nov 2012 #13
Retrograde Nov 2012 #20
wrath of medusa Nov 2012 #18
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #5
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #6
KauaiK Nov 2012 #8
Pachamama Nov 2012 #9
JonathanBrowne Nov 2012 #10
loudsue Nov 2012 #14
Qutzupalotl Nov 2012 #15
malexand Nov 2012 #17
snooper2 Nov 2012 #19

Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:40 AM

1. OH NOES, the war on Christianity

has commenced. ummmmmmmm. NO.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:46 AM

2. Hear me.

I'm an atheist, however, Buddhism and Hinduism just seems so much more reasonable then Christianity.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:01 PM

11. Buddhism is essentially a philosophy

and is thus agnostic. A person can be an atheist, a Christian, Hindu, etc. and also be a Buddhist. That being said, some Buddhist sects have adopted and integrated deities and beliefs of religions and interwoven them with their "brand" of Buddhism.

Buddha was Enlightened and taught the road to Enlightenment.

We can all become buddhas.

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Response to colorado_ufo (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:06 PM

16. I consider myself a Buddhist Atheist.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:08 AM

3. Are they going to inspire the same ridiculous tantrums that Ellison did, I wonder? (nt)

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:19 AM

4. It's good for some

Meanwhile the only elected official of a minority religious viewpoint that is many times larger in the US than either of these, was kicked out yesterday.

...By a fellow Dem.

....BECAUSE of his religious views.

So forgive me if gleefully trumpeting our wonderful Democratic devotion to pluralism of belief rings a bit fucking hollow at best, and stunningly hypocritical at most likely.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:36 AM

7. Who are you referring to? n/t

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Response to loudsue (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:06 PM

12. Kyrsten Sinema unseated an athiest

But I think we'll be all right:

But nonbelievers will not remain unrepresented in the Capitol. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, a former Arizona state senator, Mormon-turned-nontheist and a bisexual, has narrowly won her pitch for a House seat by 2,000 votes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/kyrsten-sinema-arizona-democrat-atheist-in-congress_n_2091164.html

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:31 PM

13. No - a believer replaced Pete Stark - BECAUSE he is an atheist. nt

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Response to dmallind (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:39 PM

20. It was a Dem vs Dem race

Because of California's new "top 2 go to the finals" primary system, Stark's district selected 2 Democrats last June. The challenger won, not because he's a theist, I suspect, but because Stark's been getting cranky.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:52 PM

18. Totally agree

Nearly 20 percent of this country has no religion, and yet we have almost no representatives that acknowledge our existence. We're at best an afterthought; at worst we're demonized and deeply hated by a majority of our fellow citizens. Not something to cheer about.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:25 AM

5. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, trailmonkee.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:18 AM

6. kick

I would have sworn HI already sent a Buddhist to congress a few years back...Maybe that guy just ran and didn't win...

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:25 PM

8. I am so proud to have Maize and Tulsi represent me in Congress!!!

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Response to KauaiK (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:45 PM

9. Im proud to have contributed to both their campaigns and see them win....

It wasnt much, only $20. But when I got some emails and learned more about them, I felt that like Elizabeth Warren, these women needed to be backed and to be in Congress and the Senate.

I see this as a victory for our country on many levels.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:51 PM

10. Great News

Buddhist and Hindu beliefs are very philosophically powerful.

These two will bring some very new and interesting perspectives into the political discourse.

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Response to JonathanBrowne (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:32 PM

14. I hope so!

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:39 PM

15. Gabbard will be sworn in using a copy of the Bhagavad Gita

according to Rachel Maddow. What will Hirono use? Or is the concept of swearing in irrelevant to Buddhists? I should know this, as I lean in that direction.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:30 PM

17. "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." - His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

It's great news that Hawaii voters elected the first Buddhist and Hindu members of Congress.

But it is hard to believe that it has taken this long for it to happen. Maybe there will be room for more religious tolerance and diversity in future elections (including atheists and agnostics).

We can all learn from His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:06 PM

19. Is there a such thing as a fundie Buddhist?

question just popped in my head LOL...

I wouldn't think so-

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