Friday, March 1, 2013

Spiritual Diversity in Congress Grows


The United States Congress became a bit more spiritually diverse in 2013 as the newly-elected representatives took their oaths in January. In the November elections, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard became the first Hindu-American elected to the House for Hawaii's 2nd District. The 31 year old woman was the first to take the oath of office with her hand on the Bhagavad Gita, the holy scripture of Vaishnava Hindus.

Also in Hawaii, Mazie Hirono, (also a Democrat) was elected to become the first Buddhist in the Senate. Hirono was born in Japan and practices Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Two Muslims also serve in the U.S. House. Historically, the election of these women adds to the Jews, Mormons and Sikhs who have served in Congress before them and reflects the evolving nature of our country's religious makeup.

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