“I’m Hindu. I’m not Christian, and we are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values. But here’s what I can say with confidence: I share those same values in common,” Ramaswamy said Monday night during a town hall hosted by NewsNation. “I believe I live by those values more so than many self-proclaimed Christian politicians.”
The 38-year-old entrepreneur said if he wins the race for the White House, he will defend religious liberties in the U.S.
“I think that I stand for religious liberty with such ardence (sic) that in many ways I’m going to be a better protector of religious liberties than many of the Christian right politicians, or else we wouldn’t see the assault on religious liberties that we see today. And the best part is, nobody is going to accuse me of being a Christian nationalist as I do it,” Ramaswamy told moderator Leland Vittert.
As patriotism has declined in importance to some Americans, Ramaswamy said he wants to make concepts such as faith, family and patriotism “cool again” for the next generation.
“I’m a member of a different generation. I want to use that to our advantage – to pass on those ideals to the next generation. That’s an opportunity,” Ramaswamy said. “And yes, it might take somebody who’s just a little bit different to revive that which we lack.”
The GOP hopeful does not believe there’s a divide among people of traditional faith systems.
“The real divide in this country, as I see it, even on the front of religion, is not between those who are members of different traditional religions, from Judaism to Christianity to Hinduism to otherwise. It is actually between those who have adopted traditional religion and those who pledge allegiance to a new religion of secularism, woke-ism, transgender-ism, climate-ism, COVID-ism,” Ramaswamy said. “These are new secular religions that have become a substitute for traditional religion.”
As for his own beliefs, Ramaswamy said he’s not running for “pastor-in-chief” and will never pretend to be something he’s not.
Once considered a longshot candidate, Ramaswamy is now rapidly rising in the polls. He initially registered at 0%, but some recent surveys have shown him in third place for the GOP presidential nomination behind frontrunner former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. A Morning Consult poll places Ramaswamy at 8%, with Trump at 59% and DeSantis at 16%.