WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) strongly condemned the egregious and bigoted remarks by Texas Governor Rick Perry, wherein he said 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 November 5, 2006, said he concurred with Rev. John Hagee'scomment during the sermon, in which Rev. Hagee said, ?If you live your life and don'tconfess 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: ?In my faith, that'swhat 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'sshocking that a high-level elected government official should abuse the state'spodium by using it as a pulpit to spread contempt for non-Christians.?
The Governor'sremarks are not the first to be considered an affront to religious minorities under his governance. In 2005, the 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. Aseem Shukla, member of the HAF Board of Directors said, ?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.? (FOC)