Wednesday, September 24, 2003

(Piyush) Bobby Jindal for Governor?

I usually am the first to champion causes for South Asian's in America, but I gotta question blind support for Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana born Desi, who was in the Bush administration, and who is now running for Governor of Louisiana. I know that his winning would be a great symbolic step for South Asian-Americans, but I really doubt he would champion the cause, and I actually think many of his policy leanings are contrary to the viewpoints of many immigrants.

Many in the Desi community are upset with Jindal's conversion to Christianity, despite his parents remaining practicing Hindus. I am not one of them. Religion is a personal thing, and if he finds greater peace personally from religion, than good for him. I hope individually we all can find the same kind of peace. And because religion is such a personal, individual thing, I don't understand Mr. Jindal's views favoring a greater relationship between the state and the church.

If you want to read Jindal's views on church and state, click here to go to his policy platform website . I for one am scared of any candidate who wants a greater collaboration between church and state. But go to his website and read for yourself. I am also replicating some of his points below:

Closely regulate abortion providers
Ban human cloning
Create offices of faith-based and community initiatives in the governor’s office and large granting offices in state government.
Appoint a faith community advisory council

At one point Mr. Jindal writes, "The arguments of those who oppose the President’s faith-based initiative all boil down to a latent fear of faith, a fear of all things religious, as if somehow faith and religion are corrosive or corrupting influences in people’s lives. We should reject the arguments of those who look down their noses and scoff at the efforts of the faith-based community, preferring the secularism of traditional government programs. They have no reason to feel threatened by people of faith."

I am not scared of religion, but rather fearful that the loss of secularism from the U.S. government not only goes against our constitution, but has the potential to create a huge divide and rift among the American people, a people who follow many different faiths. Faith-based anythings sponsored by the government can lead to something that could be viewed as a government sponsored church, a trend that the American forefathers were seemingly against.

Also, here is a link to the Badmash comic strip-- that many desis will find amusing--specifically discussing some of the intricacies of the Jindal campaign.


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