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Old 08-09-2019, 04:56 PM
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Tulsi Gabbard and the Science of Identity cult


Tulsi Gabbard grew up in a cult called "Science of Identity:, run by a guy named Chris Butler, who calls himself "Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa". They pretend to be Hindu, but in fact, the cult revolves around Butler and the members' worship of him. Gabbard went to SoI schools her entire life, and didn't leave the cult until she joined the Army. She is still a member, and her husband, eight years her junior, is a member. One of her campaign officials, whose campaign business cards don't list his position with the campaign organization, is the right hand man of Chris Butler. The cult is anti-gay and anti-Muslim, which explains a lot of Gabbard's policies.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/...-campaign.html
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:00 PM
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Which of Gabbard’s policies does it explain? Be specific.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:18 PM
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Which of Gabbardís policies does it explain? Be specific.
Her policy of being a total whackjob.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:29 PM
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Her policy of being a total whackjob.
Yeah...no. If this thread is going to be an actual discussion then Iím gonna need specifics. If itís just gonna be a circle jerk then just come out and say so.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:39 PM
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Yeah...no. If this thread is going to be an actual discussion then Iím gonna need specifics. If itís just gonna be a circle jerk then just come out and say so.
Already jerking it. I hope this has helped inform your decision on how to proceed.
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:47 AM
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Which of Gabbardís policies does it explain? Be specific.
Her anti-gay views, for one.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:18 PM
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There was a New Yorker article about this a while back. The detail I can't unsee is that cult members would eat Butler's toenail clippings in order to...absorb his holiness or something.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:52 PM
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There was a New Yorker article about this a while back. The detail I can't unsee is that cult members would eat Butler's toenail clippings in order to...absorb his holiness or something.
Eeeeeeew. Fingernail clipping I could get, but toenail clippings? That's just gross.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:36 AM
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There was a New Yorker article about this a while back. The detail I can't unsee is that cult members would eat Butler's toenail clippings in order to...absorb his holiness or something.
Is there a more effective way to absorb someone's holiness?
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:44 PM
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Yep. I’m out. Enjoy...whatever this is.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:57 PM
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I haven't bothered to read up on Gabbard. I'm pretty much "vote Blue no matter who" in 2020. In the unlikely event Gabbard gets the nomination, is she just a little better than Trump, or is even she a lot better than Trump?
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:18 AM
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I haven't bothered to read up on Gabbard. I'm pretty much "vote Blue no matter who" in 2020. In the unlikely event Gabbard gets the nomination, is she just a little better than Trump, or is even she a lot better than Trump?
Personally I find some very concerning signs that her strings are pulled by whoever is pulling Trump's (Russia and or Republicans).

First, there is her strange hesitance to criticize Assad, a Russian ally. The ostensible reason is her anti-interventionist stance. Russia is of course a beneficiary of that stance, but it's a reasonable stance in itself. However she seems strangely hesitant to call Assad a tyrant or a dictator or even an adversary.

Second, she seems to have gone all-in on Republican and Russian talking points regarding Russian interference. Consider this YouTube video where she hits these notes:
  • The Mueller report revealed no collusion
  • America needs to put it aside
  • It's good for America because a Trump indictment "could have led to a civil war"
  • "We must move beyond this divisive issue"
It's remarkable enough for a Democrat to repeat Republican Party talking points before the ink is dry on the Mueller report, but what really raised my eyebrows was the implied but very clear threat that indicting Trump could lead to a civil war. This echoes Russian propaganda floated by people like Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggesting that a vote against Trump is a vote for nuclear war. I mean, wow.

She does also thread the needle by suggesting America should see the report, that elections should be made secure against interference. This would seem to be anti-Republican/anti-Russian, but we all know this is a risk-free position given that the Republicans in power (Mitch McConnell, Bill Barr) are never going to let it happen.

If your concern with Trump is that he's a vulgar moronic narcissist, then Gabbard will be preferable to Trump. But looking past that superficial concern, Gabbard seems equally as dangerous as Trump. Perhaps more so, given that she's more poised and polished and would presumably have more bipartisan support.

If I were the party pulling Trump's strings, for 2020 I'd tweak my strategy and run my puppet to the center. Gabbard seems to fit that pattern for now.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:52 PM
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So much of this sounds like rumor & gossip about a politician with an unusual religious background.
I keep thinking, "How is this different from claiming that Ilhan Omar married her brother? Or that Barry Obama was part of Al Qaeda?"

That said, I did find one piece on Medium by someone who claims to have been in Butler's cult:
https://medium.com/@lalitamann/an-in...uru-e2650f0d09
Quote:
From a young child I remember one of the main features of my life was the lectures that were sent to us via tape for us to listen to. Basically these were 1 hour long sessions of Chris talking about his beliefs – how evil and out of control gay people were, how women were inferior and sub human and should be controlled by their husbands, how messed up and evil the outside world was, and how his relationship with God was so special, only he could lead you back to Godhead (Heaven) and that he had so much control over his existence on earth, he could choose the moment of his death. We worshipped him, loved him even. Another part of his teachings was that all life is an illusion, and because of that all relationships were an illusion. We were encouraged to not invest in any relationships other than with him, so we were in effect isolated from our parents who did their best to not love us as per his recommendation, and instead looked at him like a surrogate father/messiah figure. He was this imposing force in our life that we weren’t supposed to offend, which is frankly terrifying when you’re a small child.

<snip>

Not only would [Gabbard] she lose support for the position she holds, but she would lose her family, all of her friends, and this messiah/father figure if she opposed Chris Butler. She would be outcast from the only existence she has ever known. That’s a hugely powerful reason to continue to please Chris Butler without question.

I truly feel for Tulsi. Hers is not an enviable position. I know because I spoke out about Chris Butler a few years ago, and my family cut off all contact from me. This has happened to every other person I know of who got out. I hope one day Tulsi does reject Chris and finds her own voice. She has done amazing things and it makes me sad to think that another victim who was been abused and manipulated her whole life isn’t able to have the career she’s worked so hard for, free and clear of Chris’s toxic influence. Maybe one day she will, but while he is her guru, his influence over her makes her dangerous and unreliable, because Chris is dangerous and unpredictable.
So, yes, that's scary if true.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:49 AM
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So much of this sounds like rumor & gossip about a politician with an unusual religious background.
No, it is 100% true. Tulsi Gabbard grew up in the cult 'Science of Identity', which is a rogue splinter of Hare Krisha, headed by a charismatic leader named Chris Butler. His followers call him Jagad Guru, or "teacher of the world." Sect members describe remembering him thus:
Quote:
Everyone I spoke to who was raised in the group described, as children, hearing Butler call men ďfaggotsĒ and women ďcunts.Ē
Gabbard has in the past opposed LGBT rights and abortion. I've read reports that she has fallen in line with Democrats on this, at least as far as policy and legislation, but she's never personally repudiated her cult's anti-gay views.
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Old 08-10-2019, 01:28 AM
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Her past anti-gay views.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:08 AM
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Gabbard is at best an eccentric candidate of maybe some entertainment value. But if she was a serious candidate then ... meh.

Her disqualifications are what her views are, how she would govern (badly), and her lack of electability, not what religion she was raised in or even currently practices.

You can find very very odd things in every religion.

She would perhaps be the closest to being Trump bad (still not there) but not because of this.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:41 AM
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Gabbard is at best an eccentric candidate of maybe some entertainment value. But if she was a serious candidate then ... meh.

Her disqualifications are what her views are, how she would govern (badly), and her lack of electability, not what religion she was raised in or even currently practices.

You can find very very odd things in every religion.

She would perhaps be the closest to being Trump bad (still not there) but not because of this.
Like you, I don't give her any odds of making very far into the primary season, but she's dangerous in the sense that she could linger around just long enough to be noticed. One problem with the gargantuan Democratic field isn't the sheer number of candidates themselves; it's the possibility for the field to fragment into different little camps with very myopically-focused, obsessive, almost cult-like followers who refuse to vote for anyone outside of their political sect. We obviously have that danger with Bernie Sanders, but we could apply that to Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard as well. It's not necessarily clear how committed to beating Trump some of these voters really are. I suspect there still exists a not-so-insignificant "Screw the system, they all suck! Burn it all down" contingent.

Sorry for the thread-creep

Last edited by asahi; 08-10-2019 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:58 AM
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Oh those people are there Iíve no doubt. But are they there any more or less because of the presence of these sorts of candidates? Or do more of them merely divide them up more into different camps?

Iíd suspect that come the general election and a Warren, Biden, or Harris as the nominee, the same fraction will either stay home or vote against Trump whether there have been three screw the system primary candidates or one ...
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:14 AM
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The antiwar candidate will always be slandered. It has been true for the entire history of the United States.

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Old 08-12-2019, 10:44 AM
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The antiwar candidate will always be slandered. It has been true for the entire history of the United States.
It isn't slander if it is true. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:31 AM
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It isn't slander if it is true. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?
Do I have evidence she isnít weird, odd, or scary?
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:33 AM
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Do I have evidence she isnít weird, odd, or scary?
Is that the question I asked?
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:09 PM
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Is that the question I asked?
Yes. Thatís how she is being slandered.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:03 PM
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The antiwar candidate will always be slandered. It has been true for the entire history of the United States.
This thread is about Gabbard's background and her membership in various organizations. This thread is not about which candidate is antiwar or not antiwar. Drop the war related hijack.

[/moderating]
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:51 AM
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Yes, but we're talking about the pro-war candidate here.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:32 AM
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Yes, but we're talking about the pro-war candidate here.
No that would be Biden and Harris along with other lower polling hawks.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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No that would be Biden and Harris along with other lower polling hawks.
Biden is polling low? What polls do you have that put Gabbard over Biden?
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:00 AM
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I'm sure he meant "Biden, Harris and other hawks (who are polling lower than Biden and Harris)"
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:55 PM
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The whole thing was slander, the headline of the article was pure bigotry, but of course that is how US media deals with antiwar candidates.
Aside from "strange", what in the article was slander? It appeared to me to be mostly factual reporting.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:01 PM
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Aside from "strange", what in the article was slander? It appeared to me to be mostly factual reporting.
This poster is very fond of using the term “slanderous” to describe many Americans’ criticisms of Gabbard. As s/he uses it, the sense of the word seems to be “people don’t like her and I think they should.” Unfortunately, I doubt you will get much further edification asking questions about what Actual Slander has taken place.

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Old 08-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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From the Medium link earlier up above:
"I hope one day Tulsi does reject Chris and finds her own voice."

So, she's a Chrisian then?
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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Gabbard has literally described herself as a hawk, and she's the only Democratic candidate who has done so. She has stated multiple times that we should significantly step up our military efforts against Muslims, when all of the other Democrats are looking for ways to make peace.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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Isn't Tulsi Gabbard the "anti-war pacifist" that took off two weeks from the campaign for National Guard duty? I know her name gets lots of play on Fox News, and she had a pleasant interview with Tucker Carlson...and if Tucker Carlson gives you a pleasant interview you might want to rethink your value system.

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Old 08-12-2019, 02:17 PM
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I'm not a Gabbard fan, but being a reformed crazy wackjob who came to their senses when presented with better information earns my respect far more than some crazy whackjob who happened to be fed correct information and therefore isn't as obviously crazy.

The fact that she discarded those insane beliefs means she is a rational person who will adopt the best answer based on available information rather than cling to ignorance/insanity/arrogance like most other candidates would. Remember, just because someone happens to be right doesn't mean they're right for the right reason. And a rational person can be completely wrong and seemingly insane if they have all bad premises/data to work from. This is a demonstration that she can and will change even deep seeded beliefs that are demonstrated to be wrong... and that's an excellent quality to have.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:24 PM
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I'm not a Gabbard fan, but being a reformed crazy wackjob who came to their senses when presented with better information earns my respect far more than some crazy whackjob who happened to be fed correct information and therefore isn't as obviously crazy.

The fact that she discarded those insane beliefs means she is a rational person who will adopt the best answer based on available information rather than cling to ignorance/insanity/arrogance like most other candidates would. Remember, just because someone happens to be right doesn't mean they're right for the right reason. And a rational person can be completely wrong and seemingly insane if they have all bad premises/data to work from. This is a demonstration that she can and will change even deep seeded beliefs that are demonstrated to be wrong... and that's an excellent quality to have.
One of the members of her campaign staff is the second in command of the cult. Her husband is a member of the cult. Where has it been established that she has come to her senses and has discarded those beliefs?
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:40 PM
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The fact that she discarded those insane beliefs means she is a rational person who will adopt the best answer based on available information rather than cling to ignorance/insanity/arrogance like most other candidates would.
Except... she never said any of this. She announced she was running for president and that she was no longer anti-LGBTQ. She has given no insight into why she made this decision or how her personal beliefs have changed. She's never repudiated Science of Identity or said she was no longer affiliated with them.

The simplest explanation is that she's still in the cult, she's avoiding damage to her presidential run, and she's a liar about LGBTQ issues.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:07 PM
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Except... she never said any of this. She announced she was running for president and that she was no longer anti-LGBTQ. She has given no insight into why she made this decision or how her personal beliefs have changed. She's never repudiated Science of Identity or said she was no longer affiliated with them.

The simplest explanation is that she's still in the cult, she's avoiding damage to her presidential run, and she's a liar about LGBTQ issues.
That's a silly stance to take. She did something stupid nearly 30 years ago when she was under the thumb of her parents, and that's how we're supposed to interpret every action she takes forever more?

Are you beholden to the beliefs you learned as a teenager?

Furthermore, it's fairly easy to spot a fake. Mike Pence, when he deigns to imply he doesn't hate gays with a fiery passion, is an obvious fake when it comes to tolerance. Same as most conservative, christian adults. The evidence against them, especially in terms of policy proposals and political efforts, is insurmountable. You're accusing her of being a fake. Do you have any evidence to support this claim?
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:36 PM
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That's a silly stance to take. She did something stupid nearly 30 years ago when she was under the thumb of her parents, and that's how we're supposed to interpret every action she takes forever more?

Are you beholden to the beliefs you learned as a teenager?
She was making documented homophobic statements as recently as 2004, when she was 22 years old and an adult, so we can dispense with the 30 years nonsense, thank you.

She has acknowledged and publicly apologized for those statements, saying that her views on LGBTQ people have "evolved" - it's up to each person to decide if they believe her or not.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:57 PM
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She was making documented homophobic statements as recently as 2004, when she was 22 years old and an adult, so we can dispense with the 30 years nonsense, thank you.

She has acknowledged and publicly apologized for those statements, saying that her views on LGBTQ people have "evolved" - it's up to each person to decide if they believe her or not.
To throw a bone to the pro-Gabbard folks that was 15 years and ~40% of her lifetime ago. So sure, I can believe hers views have evolved.

To take it back again in 2016 she said her personal views haven't changed, she just now believes legislating morality is wrong. So in my opinion they haven't evolved enough for my comfort.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:37 PM
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Are you beholden to the beliefs you learned as a teenager?
Yes, you should assume that I hold all of my teenage beliefs, unless I tell you I changed my beliefs and I give you a convincing explanation why. Gabbard hasn't explained anything.

Quote:
You're accusing her of being a fake. Do you have any evidence to support this claim?
I'm gonna read your own words back to you here:

Quote:
Remember, just because someone happens to be right doesn't mean they're right for the right reason
Did Gabbard give a reason for why she's on the right side now? No. Did she repudiate the cult that taught her the wrong beliefs? No. I don't believe she's changed because she's given me no reason to believe her.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:12 PM
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Yes, you should assume that I hold all of my teenage beliefs, unless I tell you I changed my beliefs and I give you a convincing explanation why. Gabbard hasn't explained anything.
That's a rather ridiculous standard. People are full of silly beliefs instilled by their parents until they get out in the world and learn for themselves. That's ostensibly what college is for.

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Did Gabbard give a reason for why she's on the right side now? No. Did she repudiate the cult that taught her the wrong beliefs? No. I don't believe she's changed because she's given me no reason to believe her.
You expect far too much from an individual you have no personal relationship with, and who isn't in the limelight to pursue the issue you want her to talk about. If she were an LGBT+ activist, I suspect she'd take the time to focus on that. She's not. She's running for president. She doesn't have time or the media bandwidth to spend on the issue. She publicly repudiated her stance and has done nothing since then to support the claim that it was a false repudiation.

But look, my very first statement was "I'm not a Gabbard fan." I'm not going to waste time defending someone I don't care all that much about. My point was not to get overly attached to the past religious beliefs of an individual when said individual is willing to say they were wrong.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:36 PM
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Wasn't she arguing as recently as last year that people should be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals if they really wanted to they said their religion required them to discriminate?
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:55 PM
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What's her objective?
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:07 PM
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What's her objective?
So far as I can tell? Become president. I suppose it's possible she has some nefarious ulterior motive but... I don't really have a substantial reason to believe that.....
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:36 AM
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So far as I can tell? Become president. I suppose it's possible she has some nefarious ulterior motive but... I don't really have a substantial reason to believe that.....
I wasn't suggesting a nefarious motive, just that the presidency isn't a particularly realistic objective. You're saying she's got to hold her evangelical "base"? She has to win a primary before she wins the presidency. The evangelical bloc isn't the strongest card.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:22 AM
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To most mainlanders, "aloha" is just the Hawaiian word for "hello" and "goodbye". To the extent that any thought is given, it's just thinking that it's an amusing oddity that the same word is used for both. I happen to know that the literal meaning is "love", and that already puts me at more knowledge than the vast majority. And I'm still missing out on all of that nuance you mention.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:11 AM
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If delivered with a sweet smile, it can mean "Fuck off".
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:17 AM
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FWIW, she's taking two weeks off the campaign trail this summer for service with the Hawaii National Guard. She criticizes Assad in this article: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tulsi-g...ational-guard/
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
FWIW, she's taking two weeks off the campaign trail this summer for service with the Hawaii National Guard. She criticizes Assad in this article: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tulsi-g...ational-guard/
So, what job in the National Guard does this anti-war pacifist do?
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:09 PM
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So, what job in the National Guard does this anti-war pacifist do?
I don't back her candidacy, but I believe one can be anti-war without being a pacifist, especially given the US military's experiences since 2001. Here's Wiki on her military record; looks like she's primarily a military police officer and trainer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_...litary_service
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