On the historic Election Night of 2012, Hawaii elected Tulsi Gabbard to represent Hawaii’s second Congressional district, making Gabbard the first Hindu-American Representative in American history. In a powerful statement in favour of America’s religious diversity, Gabbard made history that night and joined Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono (also out of Hawaii, and whose vacated House seat Gabbard is filling), the first Asian American woman and the first Buddhist elected to Congress.
Again underscoring the impact of America’s growing diversity, Gabbard will take her oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita, an important spiritual text in the Hindu faith, reports Jezebel. The Huffington Post reports that Gabbard cites the following as her favourite passages out of the Bhagavad Gita:
— “That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.” (2:17)
— “The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”(2.23)
One can only marvel at how Gabbard’s decision stands in stark contrast to the Republican Party’s post-Election lamenting over the changing face of America, wherein they are both surprised and dismayed to find that Brown people 1) exist, and 2) have a vote. To wit, Bill O’Reilly:
One can only hope that America continues to evolve in its understanding that not every American is a White Christian man. And, Gabbard’s choice to be sworn in over the Bhagavad Gita only serves to strengthen that message.