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Vivek Ramaswamy Disingenuous About His Religion

Vivek God is Real

Guest Post by Troy

If you’ve seen parts of the first Republican Presidential debate, you likely noticed the brash young neophyte (and obnoxious) Vivek Ramaswamy. Not only is he a practicing Hindu, he’s also the highest caste in the Hindu religious system. So I found it interesting when he makes a list of “truths” (many of which are not or are nuanced to the point of not being a “truth”), the first being “God is real.” This does have a strategic value to him. He can stave off questions about his, let’s face it, alien religion and does so because his audience isn’t thinking about sacred cows and the non-person Hindu god Brahman. By doing this he can cauterize the political wound his religion will no doubt have on the evangelical base of the GOP. Americans are so unacquainted with Hinduism that at least for now he’ll likely get a free ride on his religion. There is no religious test to be President, but since he seems to be wearing his religion on his political sleeve, I think it is fair game. Ramaswamy also gets a free ride on the caste system which no doubt has been part of his success. While he is asked questions about American racism based on skin color, the media aren’t even primed to ask about the Hindu caste system that is based on societal traditions. I suppose one question that one might ask is this: Will American evangelicals tolerate a polytheistic Hindu so long as he kisses Trump’s keester? After all, Trump is not and never will be an evangelical. In addition, can Ramaswamy “hide” his Hinduism in plain site by proclaiming “God is Real dammit!”? For those of us who’d like to see less church in our state, I’m sorry to say Ramaswamy would be as bad as Trump or Pence. The best way to hide this deficit is to overcompensate–he will overtly and loudly be a cheerleader for evangelical church-state entanglements. Hopefully, it doesn’t get that far, but I’ll be interested to watch and we need to make sure the media is asking the right questions to take Ramaswamy to task.

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Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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    I’d love to see Nikki Haley and Vivek get into a catfight about religion. Nikki was born into a Sikh family and apparently converted in college. She claims to be Methodist now, IIRC. I’ve heard from Democratic friends here in SC that she’s still Sikh to her family and only Christian for politics and business.

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      Yes! That would definitely be worth the price of admission!
      Yes Nikki puts on a very convincing façade, even her name is engineered to sound “American”. I hadn’t heard about her still following her Sikh ways in private, but it makes sense. How nice it would be if it just didn’t matter… along the lines of George H.W. Bush not liking broccoli.

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        Jesus is the only way and all other religions are false is the religious rallying cry for evangelicals but it’s really only power that matters. So religious dogma can be twisted into any pretzel as long as it gives them power and anti- Christ Trump is the embodiment of this. Look at all of the ways they rationalize support for him. How easily are they manipulated

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    in my experience, it is a lot more likely for a hindu to say that the christian god is real, and mean it, than it is for a christian to say that a hindu god is real, and mean it.

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      That is because the Hindu religion is syncretic, which means it freely allows its adherents to believe other religions at the same time. So a Hindu man doesn’t have any issue with strict Christian beliefs, while the strict Christian would have many problems with the Hindu.

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      Yulya Sevelova

      I wish for America’s sake that Ramaswamy was a Dalit, instead of high- caste,as high version are mostly an insufferable lot who see compassion as a personal flaw. They really oppress the castes below THEM in India, so a Hindu Fundie is as bad as any other kind ! And Trump may select V.R. as his running mate. Precisely for that reason. That said, I saw the new Chinese territorial map unveiled this morning,it takes more Indian – claimed land than ever,which China calls ” Southern Tibet.” There could be war over this situation,so it matters. Yes, V.R. has that harshness that those upper- class families have, this will take America down the grimmest road yet,if Trump were to win. I’m looking into ” Project 2025″ right now. I heard about that on the Thom Hartman radio program. Some sort of Fascist blueprint.

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    MJ Lisbeth

    Because Hinduism is a syncretic religion and Vivek is from its highest caste, it’s not a stretch for him to express the belief that “God is real” and “there are two genders.” And he is of the more privileged one because, well, it was preordained—just like his status in the caste system.

    In other words, he fits right into the libertarian Calvinistic sector of the far right. He is where he is because God chose him. Or so he can believe.

    About Nikki Haley—Some will call me a racist or misogynist for saying what I about to say: In some ways, I have even less respect for her than I have for Vivek, Trump or De Santis. When it comes to them, you know that all they care about is power. But she plays an even more hypocritical game: She fools some into thinking that she’s not practicing identity politics when, in fact, she is playing that game even more than those whom she and others on the right accuse. She talks about her immigrant parents, growing up in the South, being denied a place in a beauty pageant because they didn’t know whether to classify her as white or black, etc, etc as evidence that her being where she is proves that we aren’t in a racist or sexist society. Oh, really? So why did it take a White racist slaughtering nine Black people in a church for her to take down the Confederate flag at the State capital—three years into her governorship? And why did she prostrate herself to the most xenophobic and transphobic—and, arguably, most misogynistic—President of our lifetimes?

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    Troy Heck

    As I look into him more, he has similarities to failing up like Elon Musk and promises but no delivery like Elizabeth Holmes. You can see his salesmanship on display. [From the Guardian:] He founded the biotechnology firm Roivant Sciences, which raised hundreds of millions of dollars with bold claims about an Alzheimer’s drug which, well, ultimately failed its clinical trial. Ramaswamy still got rich, though, taking out at least $200m (£159m) from the company,

    I can see him selling the snake oil to get people to invest in Roivant, then so sad too bad YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE LISTENED TO ME…Suckers!

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Well, last night I did look up that 2025 Project,under typing out ” 2025 project for dictatorship” and man, it’s worse than I knew. Trump could still be the nominee, still run and be installed. And, even if it was another hard- righter, the effect would be the same, because The Heritage Foundation is behind this thing, they already have a large brigade picked out. A ” Unitary Executive” is the new category for President. It involves dismantling the Constitution,and this is proclaimed on Trump’s Truth Social site. He doesn’t mince words. I was amazed at the reputable media sites that examine the project,and they DO sound the alarm over the dictatorial powers given to the presidential role. Congress will be silenced,all checks and balances removed. It’s times like this that people need reminding how Hitler got elected. Democracy dies with this project. Political brigades are nothing new to anyone from a Communist regime. The Heritage Foundation is obviously MORE than a think tank ! I had no idea they were that bad,and that these plans were worked on before Reagan himself became President. It sounds like it’s tied in with the Powell Memo of 1971. Which was drawn up under Nixon. Ugh ! People need to know what this is. Because the legal foundations for Fascism are already in place. Lots of research ahead !

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      The religious right USED to be able to win elections. Reagan still has coat tails. If you can’t win elections, the next step is to increase use of antidemocratic rules like gerrymandering, the filibuster, over representation of empty states in the Senate. When that fails the next step is a coup and Christofascism.

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    I wondered about Vivek Ramaswamy’s religion when he came out guns blazing “God is real”. I wanted to ask, which god? Evangelicals are too stupid to look into his meaning as long as they are fed their buzz word. I personally don’t give a shit about a candidate’s religion as long as they don’t try to force it on others.

    And don’t think that Himduism is all nice and sweet – India under Modi is currently a Hindu Nationalist state where people not Hindu are oppressed.

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    amy b

    MANY, many years ago, I was working at a grocery store, and I was asked to help an extraordinarily ignorant woman to her car (she had just yelled at a Spanish-speaking bagger and made her cry) and the first thing she told me was that if I’m a Muslim I’m not fit to carry her bags. Second thing she told me was that there were only three religions in the world, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and when I mentioned Buddhism and Hinduism she said they were the same as Christianity. I wonder how many Americans are as profoundly ignorant as her.

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    Interesting comment (it was in regard to proposed anti-caste discrimation bill in California) I found about Vivek and his caste and the snobbery I suspected of him :

    Comment by lmba03 on Slate

    Read this on a subreddit recently. Vivek makes a big deal that his parents “came to the US with no money”. Dad was an engineer and patent lawyer at GE – mom a geriatric psychiatrist. But it does provide a perspective on where his views about affirmative action, race etc. may have originated.
    [Link omitted]
    “The interesting cas(t)e of Vivek Ramaswamy
    So I am an Indian and still live in India. I maintain a surface level awareness of the political happenings in America. But I hadn’t heard about Vivek until one of my American clients brought him up in a conversation. He was a conservative and praised Vivek for upholding American values, which he said helped Vivek achieve the American dream even though his parents were poor when they immigrated to America.

    I would have forgotten about Vivek, but two things about him make him stand out in my mind. First, his parents were from Kerala, which is where I am from. See, this is odd. Because Kerala is primarily a left-leaning state. The right wing parties struggle to win more than even a couple of districts there. While there are conservative folks in Kerala, they are really rare. Secondly, ‘Ramaswamy’, Vivek’s last name, isn’t a Kerala name (or Malayali name to be precise. Malayalam is the language spoken in Kerala). It is more of a Tamil name (Tamil being the language of Kerala’s neighbour state).

    This bugged me. So I mentioned this to my friend who is also from Kerala. I also mentioned that Vivek is from Palakkad in Kerala. That’s when it hit him. Apparently, Palakkad has a settlement of Tamil Brahmins and Vivek is from there. I googled Vivek’s caste after the call and, voila, he IS a Brahmin.

    Now why I am saying all this and pointing out Vivek’s caste? Because of a couple of reasons. Vivek claims his parents came to the country poor and worked their way up. A lot of Americans don’t realise that immigration in India is an expensive affair. And the majority of the immigrants you guys received from India until a couple of decades ago were Brahmins and upper caste folks. Why? Because a very few from the marginalized castes could afford it.

    So when Vivek touts the same bullshit as Elon Musk and other rich guys, I hope you take it with a pinch of salt.

    Also, Tamil Brahmins are generally the worst of Brahmins. Many Brahmins in modern India are introspective about the atrocities of their caste in the past and shun the caste system. In fact, many of them abandoned their identity as a Brahmin. But not Tamil Brahmins. They wear it as a badge of honour. They go around calling themselves “Tam-Brahms” and still subscribe to the false sense of superiority and look down on others. They also strongly argue for removing ‘reservations”, which is Indian equivalent of affirmative action to uplift lower castes.

    Given all this, is there any surprise that Vivek will advocate for removal of all affirmative action, dismiss all discussions about inequality, and a return to the “good old days”?

    PS: Also, as more and more Indians enter your country, I really recommend that Americans familiarise themselves with the Caste system. It will help.”

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Bruce Gerencser