- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 12, 2024

Tulsi Gabbard, the former Hawaii congresswoman known for criticizing the Democratic Party, says Democratic elites have put themselves in the place of God and seek to erase the deity from American public life.

A former Democrat, Ms. Gabbard slammed the Biden-Harris administration for “using the tools of government [to target] different people, particularly Christians.”

“This is the fundamental precept of our country, this freedom of religion,” Ms. Gabbard said in a telephone interview before a multi-state book tour. “It’s important for voters to know and to understand what’s going on here and the dangerous mindset that’s driving it.”

She is promoting her new book, “For Love of Country: Leave the Democrat Party Behind.” 

“Many of those who are in great positions of power in the Democratic Party, whether they admit it or not, or realize it or not, they see themselves as God. They appoint themselves as the authority,” she said. “They view themselves as the ones who get to decide how we live our lives, what we’re allowed to say, who we’re allowed to hear from [and] how we get our information.”

“They’re most recently [decided] that things that are objectively true are not, such as the biological differences between men and women,” said Ms. Gabbard, the first Hindu and first Samoan-American to become a member of Congress in 2013.

She served as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2013 to 2016, and ran for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020. Ms. Gabbard left the party and declared herself a political independent in October 2022.

A chapter in her new book details a litany of Democrat-led attacks on people of faith, including then-Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Maize Hirono’s questions to Judge Brian Buescher when he was a U.S. District Court nominee in 2019.

Ms. Harris and Ms. Hirono questioned his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization that upholds church teachings, including opposition to abortion.

In her book, Ms. Gabbard recalls that Ms. Harris said Judge Buescher had been a member of “an all-male society composed primarily of Catholic men” since 1993 and that Ms. Hirono suggested he promise to resign from the Knights to avoid “any appearance of bias.”

Ms. Gabbard writes that both senators ignored the U.S. Constitution’s Article 6, which bars any religious test for public office.

“When you look at this foundational problem, it poses a direct threat to every American’s freedom, regardless of your politics, regardless of which party you may or may not belong to, or which candidate you may or may not like,” she said in the interview. “This threat to our freedom is undeniable and something that we all must come together around as Americans.”

In her book, Ms. Gabbard recalls the prejudice her father, Mike Gabbard, faced in 2004, when he ran as a Republican for Congress in Hawaii. His opponent, Democratic Rep. Ed Case, accused Mr. Gabbard of not being a “real Catholic” in an open letter.

“That pissed me off,” writes Ms. Gabbard.

“To say it was offensive puts it lightly,” she said in the interview. “There’s nothing more personal than one’s relationship with God and whatever you choose for that to be is between you and God, or if you choose not to have a relationship with God, that’s between you and God.”

Ms. Gabbard follows the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism but says she drew strength from Bible verses and Protestant and Catholic services while on deployment to Iraq as part of a field medical unit in the Hawaii Army National Guard.

When she served in Congress, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, then-chaplain of the House, “would come and check in and say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’” she recalled.

Ms. Gabbard said she appreciated Father Conroy’s words “and his efforts towards trying to keep the House focused on what was most important.”

Early on during her time in the House, she realized a need “to be very intentional and focused on remaining grounded in my spiritual practice in my purpose for being there,” the former four-term congresswoman said.

That purpose “was not to serve the Democrat party or to serve the Washington elite but to serve my constituents and the American people,” she said.

“My goal in life is to be pleasing to God, not to [former House speaker] Nancy Pelosi or some talking head on television,” Ms. Gabbard said.

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide