GOP Presidential candidate attacked for being a Hindu, defended by Democratic Lawmakers

Vivek Ramaswamy, candidate for US President in 2024 on Fox News with Tucker Carlson Feb. 21, 2023. Photo videograb Twitter @VivekRamaswamy

Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican candidate running for US President, was recently attacked over his Hindu faith by Lord of Hosts Church Pastor, Hank Kunneman of Omaha, Nebraska, a supporter of former President Donald Trump,

Indian-American Democratic lawmakers, Ro Khanna (D-California), and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Chicago), throwing aside party-loyalty, rose to Ramaswamy’s defense on grounds of religious freedom and the promise of the American Constitution. Both Congressmen belong to the Hindu faith.

On Tuesday, July 18, both Ramaswamy and Kunneman were on FlashPoint hosted by Gene Bailey. During the program when Ramaswamy was questioned about religious freedom and views on Christianity, he responded, “It’s true that the United States of America is founded on Judeo-Christian values. This is a fact. And it also a fact that I was not raised in a Christian household. I am a Hindu. I was born in the house of faith, and we raised our two sons in the same tradition.”

“I think the reality is that we share the same values, those of Judeo-Christian values in common. I am not running for pastor-in-chief. I am running for commander-in-chief, President of the United States,” he added.

Following the FlashPoint program, during a Sunday service on July 23, Kunneman proclaimed, “We are in danger as a country. And listen to me, Generation Z, listen to me, Millennials, those of you that are watching, that you like this new young guy [Vivek Ramaswamy]. If he does not serve the Lord Jesus Christ and stand primarily for Judeo-Christian principles, you will have a fight with God,” adding “What are we doing even entertaining the fact, you can have some dude put his hand on something other than the Bible? You are going to let him put all his strange Gods up in the White House that we are supposed to blink because he understands policies.”

Kunneman told the gathering, after the Tuesday program, he had heard from God on Wednesday at two o’clock in the morning stating authoritatively, “I am the Lord God, I am a jealous God. Thou shall have no other Gods before me,” and that he told God “As your voice, I will say that to the people and remind them.” Kunneman further said “No, you’re not bringing your idols into our country.”

Khanna, Co-chair of India Caucus, told News India Times on July 27, “In America there is no religious test for political office. People should not attack Vivek for his Hindu faith, but debate the merits of the issues,” when asked about his reaction to the latest attack on Ramaswamy, who has recently gained traction among the Republican primary voters.

Noting that he had “spirited disagreements” with Ramaswamy, Khanna tweeted following Kunneman’s statement, “This is a disgusting and anti-American attack on his faith. We are a nation of many faiths and the fact that so many Christian American Republicans are willing to support Vivek speaks to that ideal.”

House Ranking Member of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, Congressman Krishnamoorthi in his tweet said “I don’t agree with Vivek Ramaswamy on much, but one thing is certain: all political parties in America should welcome individuals of all faiths, including Hindus. I condemn the bigoted remarks directed toward Ramaswamy…”

Ramaswamy’s candidacy has been received positively in some quarters of the Republican Party, and some polls show he is on par with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis among primary voters. Kaplan Strategies released its recent poll numbers on July 20, noting, “Vivek Ramaswamy, biotech investor, has made significant strides in his political journey, tying with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the latest national GOP poll. Both candidates claimed the support of 12 per cent of likely GOP voters, coming second to President Donald Trump, who maintains a dominant 48 percent lead.”



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