I’m off to a slow start with blogging in the new year, but have a couple of posts coming up tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s an interesting tidbit I came across while searching for a reference for an upcoming post. Apparently, there are two Buddhists among the new members of Congress who will soon be sworn in.
Representative-elect Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat who ousted Representative Cynthia McKinney in the Democratic primary, became a Buddhist decades ago, though his family does not share that faith. A spokesperson said that Mr. Johnson plans to use a Bible, citing tradition.
Besides, there is no book in Buddhism that’s equivalent to the Bible or the Koran, said Representative-elect Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat. She said she probably would not use any book, but that in the past, when she was sworn in as lieutenant governor, she used a friend’s family Bible.
Ms. Hirono does not practice daily, but she is influenced by Buddhist values. It is “characteristic of Buddhism that there is respect and tolerance for other religions,” she said.
It’s the first one that gave me pause. Hank Johnson, a black Buddhist, got elected in Georgia? The only thing I can guess is that he kept that on the down-low, while making the obligatory rounds to churches on Sunday. He must not have told anyone, because I can’t imagine that a majority of Georgians in almost any district would elect a non-Christian to office.
Then again, it’s Cynthia McKinney’s district, so it probably leans progressive anyway.
But still. That just kinda blew my mind for a minute.
Kudos to the congressman-elect, tho’.