Vivek Ramaswamy’s Hindu faith 'major stumbling block' for evangelical 'Christian nationalists': report

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Hindu faith 'major stumbling block' for evangelical 'Christian nationalists': report

Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who is seeking the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, says a lot of things that fellow MAGA Republicans like. He is a far-right social conservative — not a libertarian — is vehemently anti-abortion, rails against "wokeness," proposes using the U.S. military against Mexican drug cartels, and favors abolishing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Education.

Ramaswamy also favors raising the voting age to 25, much to the disdain of Generation X.

But journalist Tim Dickinson, in a report published by Rolling Stone on July 28, emphasizes that the Indian-American candidate has a "major stumbling block" when it comes to winning over the evangelical Religious Right: he is a practicing Hindu.

READ MORE: Right of Trump': Longshot GOP presidential hopeful wants to abolish the FBI, the IRS and the Education Dept.

"He's been on a charm offensive with these evangelical audiences," Dickinson explains, "but the outreach appears to be backfiring, at least among the Christian nationalist set."

There are millions of practicing Christians — both Mainline Protestants (Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians) and Catholics — who have no problem with candidates practicing a religion other than Christianity. But far-right evangelicals have a very different viewpoint. As the Religious Right and Christian nationalists see it, only evangelical fundamentalists should hold public office in the United States.

One such fundamentalist is Trump supporter Hank Kunneman, who recently said of Ramaswamy, "If he does not serve the Lord Jesus Christ, you will have a fight with God…. I don't care how good someone's policies are or how good they sound if they don't profess the name of Yeshua."

Ramaswamy, however, is trying to convince white evangelicals that a Hindu can be a far-right culture warrior and recently said, "The real divide in our country is not between people of Hindu faith and Christian faith and Jewish faith. It's the people who believe in a one true God, and those who have replaced that vacuum with new secular religions instead."

Dickinson reports that "Christian nationalists" are "growing louder in casting" Ramaswamy "as a religious and ethnic outsider."

READ MORE: Fringe GOP presidential candidate wants to unconstitutionally raise voting age to 25

"Leaders of Pastors For Trump — the top evangelical group boosting Trump's 2024 bid — also painted Ramaswamy's religion as a non-starter during a prayer call this past Sunday," the Rolling Stone reporter explains. "Jackson Lahmeyer, the Tulsa-based preacher and founder of Pastors for Trump, marveled at the rise of 'a Hindu guy, that's like 35 years old' who somehow was now 'tied for second place with Ron DeSantis.'"

Dickinson adds, "Another Oklahoma pastor on the call, John Bennett, bantered with Layhmeyer, insisting that Trump is 'doing the Lord's work. And no one else can stand up next to him.' Bennett then swiped at Ramaswamy, whose parents are immigrants from India, as 'this Indonesian guy.'"

READ MORE: Jake Tapper slams Vivek Ramaswamy over 'frankly, unhinged' Federal Reserve theory

Rolling Stone's full report is available at this link (subscription required).

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