Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hindu American Foundation Press Release: HAF Condemns Texas Governor's Religious Bigotry

nov 15th, 2006

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hindu American Foundation
Date: Nov 11, 2006 1:12 PM
Subject: Hindu American Foundation Press Release: HAF Condemns Texas Governor's Religious Bigotry


HAF Condemns Texas Governor's Religious Bigotry

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 9, 2006) – The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) strongly condemned the egregious and bigoted remarks by Texas Governor Rick Perry wherein he said that non-Christians are doomed and condemned to go to hell.

According to The Dallas Morning News (November 6, 2006), Gov. Rick Perry, after attending a sermon with nearly 60 Republican candidates on Sunday, November 5, 2006 said that he concurred with the Rev. John Hagee's comment during the sermon, in which Rev. Hagee said, "If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God almighty through the authority of Christ and his blood, I'm going to say this very plainly, you're going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket." The Governor told reporters that, "In my faith, that's what it says, and I'm a believer of that."

He is later said to have remarked, "Before we get into Buddha and all the others, I get a little confused there. But the fact is that we live in a pluralistic world but our faith is real personal. And my Christian faith teaches that the way is through Jesus Christ."

"Such remarks are not only divisive but silly," said Ramesh Rao, HAF Executive Council Member. "In times when interracial and interfaith dialogue are imperative, it's shocking that a high-level elected government official should abuse the state's podium by using it as a pulpit to spread contempt for non-Christians."

The Governor's remarks are not the first to be considered an affront to religious minorities under his governance. In 2005, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) spearheaded the filing of an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief with the United States Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Gov. Perry, a case involving the State of Texas defending its placement and management of a permanent monument of the Ten Commandments on government property.

HAF also expressed deep concern at the Governor's efforts in organizing the Texas Restoration Project, in which ministers are encouraged to get their congregants politically involved in their communities. "It is unfortunate that Governor Perry has not learned from the mistake of his predecessor governor, George W. Bush, who was roundly criticized for his 1993 statement that 'those who do not accept Jesus as their personal savior cannot get to heaven'," said Aseem Shukla, member of the HAF Board of Directors. "We hope now that the mid-term elections are over, and the results are in, better sense will prevail among religious fundamentalists in the United States. We are a multi-faith, diverse nation, and we believe that people will not countenance such bigotry, especially from those who hold high office."

The Hindu American Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism.
  Contact HAF at 1-877-281-2838 or on the web at



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