After the recent GOP debates, Vivek Ramaswamy was a bull-in-the-China-shop, smashing through issues that the more cautious and mainstream Republicans would not dare to broach. CNN even called him a liar, bringing media sanctimony to a new height of hypocrisy. And Fox News avows that they can identify exactly what makes Ramaswamy so annoying.

How about telling the truth that no one else has the gumption to say?

He called Nikki Haley a neo-con, a corrupt paper diplomat who made millions through foreign defense contracts. She was caught like a deer in the headlights when he accused her of not even knowing the names of the provinces in Ukraine where she wants to send American equipment and soldiers. He accused her of being worse at wielding identity politics than Kamela Harris. “Just because you have two X chromosomes does not make you immune to criticism.”

He called climate change a religious cult; a phony hoax that will prove worse than Covid. And he correctly said that he is the only candidate on that stage who would state, flat-out, that January 6 was an inside job and that the 2020 election was stolen.

Further, he said that the 2016 election was, in a way, stolen from Trump because of the CNN-and MSM-promoted Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

He was no Trump cheerleader, but defended the incomplete efforts Trump made at draining the swamp. And he accused DeSantis of glad-handing Trump’s endorsement for governor when he was still president.

Vivek Ramaswamy is a Hindu, of the Brahmin caste. However, he was educated in the Catholic Jesuit high school of Francis Xavier in Cincinnati, and was valedictorian. There are two types of Jesuit schools: liberal ones and faithful ones. The Cincy school is a faithful one. VGR likely got his clear thinking and common sense from there, as well as from an evangelical music teacher, who steered him into conservative thinking.

Both Al Smith in 1928 and John Kennedy in 1960 were asked if they would bring their Catholic religion to the presidency. Smith gave the best answer: that he lived his faith and its moral values, and yes, they would be part of his actions as president.

In 2016, the Catholic World Report wrote:

[Smith] confronted the bigotry head-on. Calling the constitutional prohibition of a religious test for public office a “vital principle” of the American system, Smith said he knew of “no greater disaster to this country than to have the voters…divide upon religious lines.”

He fought back against his anti-Catholic critics, Smith said, “not only because I am a good Christian but because I am a good American.”

In September of 1960 another Catholic presidential candidate, John F. Kennedy, traveled to Houston to deliver a rebuttal to an audience of Protestant ministers. Kennedy declared that as president he wouldn’t let religion affect how he did his job, thus giving voice to the separation of faith from life has been called “one of the gravest errors of our time.”

Kennedy opened a door through which other self-identified Catholic politicians have rushed, supporting things like abortion and same-sex marriage. Which is one reason why it’s worth recalling a better model: a Happy Warrior named Al Smith.

But Ramaswamy needs to be asked a seemingly impertinent question. Few people understand the complexities of Hinduism: a bewildering number of gods and goddesses, some of which are frightening, others animal-like in their temple manifestations. Then there are their holy scriptures, a collection of eons of thought from polytheistic gurus, some of them profound and some incomprehensible. Christian historian Warren Carroll wrote that Hinduism is like swimming through a brilliant and colorful tropical coral reef, with amazing colors and dazzling anemones and fishes … and yet having hideous monsters and sinister eels lying in ambush.

Then there is Brahma, apparently the chief of the gods, whom many Hindus liken to the God of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Hinduism is pretty free about how many gods its adherents wish to worship.

But the overarching principle of Hinduism, which most people do know, is reincarnation. Unlike Buddhism, which offered the chance to short-cut your way to Nirvana at any given stage of the endless steps of reincarnation, Hinduism believes that the Brahmin Caste, to which Ramaswamy belongs, is on the cusp of spiritual perfection and an end of the reincarnation cycle.

What does this have to do with the American presidency? That’s easy. Religion is far more important than politics. It is a guide to the inner workings of a soul. Ramaswamy needs to give us either a Smith or a Kennedy answer. Hinduism does accept the Natural Law of right and wrong, otherwise there would be no consequences to their system of reward or punishment into the next reincarnation. I would like to hear what he says about his Hindu faith, his Jesuit education, his understanding of right and wrong – and how many gods within the Hindu parade of deities he has selected to worship.

For there is only one God. All others are false, imaginary, or imposters.

A person who believes in reincarnation might – or might not – be very casual about the existence of another human being. Hinduism, in many circles, is known to be quite indifferent about human life because, well, we’re all coming back in some form anyway, and karma will determine how. Yet VGR is unquestionably welded to prolife principles. Was this from Hinduism or Christianity?

Inquiring minds need to know.

I do not expect a perfect man to ever be president. I only want to know if I can vote for him.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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OPINION: What role does Hinduism play in Vivek Ramaswamy’s politics?

Bob Bird
Bob Bird ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and 2008. He is a past president of Alaska Right to Life, a 47-year Alaska resident and a retired public school teacher. He has a passion for studying and teaching Alaska and U.S. constitutional history. He lives on the Kenai Peninsula and is currently a daily radio talk-show host for The Talk of the Kenai, on KSRM 920 AM from 3-5 pm and heard online


  • James "JD" Duncan says:

    Dr. Bird, thanks for the insight into Ramaswamy’s spiritual walk. I hope that he flushes out his spiritual world view especially as it pertains to the value of life. He reminds me a little of Ross Perot and could have the same kind of influence on the election.

    • TrueWisdom says:

      So many denominations aka castes for the so-called “one true god” and you are talking about a societal structure im Hindus of which you have no idea. That is a great disservice to your intellect sire.
      Also, the myth of Soros link has been busted. You need to catch up on that. Reincarnation is primarily done to atone for the sins performed in one’s life. According to the church that authored the Bible, you will end up in the netherworld. According to Hinduism, one’s soul would go to hell for the sins, receive the punishment and then get a chance, through reincarnation, to bear the consequences and correct for those sins. Anyhow, you are not equipped to understand it given your black and white notion of heaven/hell.

      • Matthew myers says:

        Your understanding of hinduism is clearly shallow and your gullibility leads you to a political understanding that is even more so.

      • Lobo says:

        Perhaps, change your Name. “TrueWisdom”,.. to.. “MisInformed”… Then… turn the TV off.. Also,.. the church did not author the Bible.. Another display of “uneducated atheism”… Or, is it agnosticism ?

  • John J Otness says:

    Yes ty very insightful to this brilliant speaker and political tactician… Yes his connection to Soros and thee WEF have been coming out also the Hindu aspect
    where the mainstay of the religion is the Caste system becoming more evident in the way American have and have nots are treated especially in the Justice system. Reincarnation to the Hindu is vital to greed as the life of the untouchables cannot be altered or helped as that would affect their next life so basically you stay suffering and those above remain guiltless to their zero empathy… An absolute antithesis to CHRISTS teaching… I know this Nation is in free fall but are we ready to become that cold? We already slaughter millions of unborn now do we adopt I got mine how the heck you doin?

  • Faith first says:

    How can we trust vivek not to hand over the US to the Hindu pope if elected ?

  • Lucinda says:

    Oh the arrogance of Christians and especially Bob Bird.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Here’s a thought: maybe Ramaswamey was put in there to tell the truths that the deep state won’t let President Trump tell the public? Maybe he is not really trying to get the seat of president? Just a thought. I could be totally wrong, but he sure gives President Trump a lot of support!

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    Those of above a certain age remember when JFK was the first Catholic Presidential nominee, and many people feared that he would be beholden to the Vatican if elected. Those fears were unfounded, of course, but it just goes to show the level anti-Catholic sentiment at the time. As for Mr. Ramaswamy, I’m no fan. He seems ALMOST as arrogant and narcissistic as Donald Trump. But I really don’t care what religion he clings to. I would certainly NEVER vote for someone who thinks in apocalyptic terms, who clings wistfully to the notion that we’re living in the so-called “End Times.”

  • Steve Peterson says:

    Vivek says many good things, but his association with Soros and the Hinduism aspect (among other things) makes me very uneasy. I admire him more than I do the others, because, like Trump, he is fearless. But there are things he needs to come clean about.