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Shock: Bobby Jindal Is Religious (Why is his Spiritual experience in college controversial?)
National Review ^ | 07/26/2012 | Katrina Trinko

Posted on 07/26/2012 7:12:49 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Does Bobby Jindal’s college experience of witnessing a friend’s “exorcism” doom his chances to become Mitt Romney’s running mate? If he were picked, would it overshadow everything else about him?

Robert Mann, a longtime staffer for Louisiana Democrats and now a communications professor at Louisiana State University, wrote a June blog post with the headline “Why Bobby Jindal won’t be Mitt Romney’s running mate, in one word: Exorcism.” Jindal, Mann wrote, “cannot exorcise the fact that he participated in a quirky religious ritual that — if he were on the ticket with Romney — would draw a great deal of negative and very unwelcome attention to Romney’s Mormon faith.”

As the buzz about Jindal’s chances of being second on the ticket has increased, Mann has been joined by others. Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza wondered in a post last week if Jindal had “too many known unknowns” in his past, including “his participation in what some have described as an exorcism during his college years.” Time’s Alex Altman mentioned the incident and wrote that “without casting any aspersions on Jindal’s beliefs, it’s safe to say that Romney — who has dealt with an undercurrent of bigotry toward his own faith — likely wants to avoid a protracted discussion of religious practices that would overshadow his focus on the economy.”

If Jindal is selected, his experience will no doubt be a focus, an obsessive one, among commentators on a certain cable channel. For most voters, however, Jindal’s views on the economy, spending, and other issues should trump any discomfort they feel about an incident he was involved in two decades ago.

“I don’t see it as anything other than exactly what the article purports to be, which is a description of somebody who was dealing with some aspect of a health issue and spiritual warfare,” comments one prominent conservative Christian, referring to Jindal’s 1994 article about the incident in the New Oxford Review. “It’s a fairly clinical description. He doesn’t really embrace any particular theology with regard to what happened, or come to any hard conclusions. I don’t view it as anything that would be a major issue in any campaign, much less a presidential general election in which he might be the vice-presidential nominee.”

For anyone who did try to make a big deal about the incident, the attempt “would backfire,” the source adds, comparing it to the media storm over Bob McDonnell’s master’s thesis in the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election. McDonnell weathered the uproar and won the election.

“I think he should just be very straightforward about it,” says Mark Corallo, a Republican communications adviser, who emphasizes that people are aware that the Catholic Church performs exorcisms.

Jindal doesn’t say that what he witnessed was an exorcism. He speculates instead that he might have seen “spiritual warfare.” (And, though he was already Catholic at the time of the incident, Jindal makes no mention of any Catholic priest being present.) In the article, Jindal writes about watching a close friend, whom he calls Susan, fall apart at a Christian prayer meeting. She “emitted some strange guttural sounds and fell to the floor” and “started thrashing about, as if in some sort of seizure.” Jindal, joining the students who remained with Susan, prayed some of the time and at other moments simply observed as she uttered profanities and cursed God. After a crucifix and a Bible were brought near her, she was suddenly relieved of whatever had been distressing her. Jindal concludes modestly, writing, “Did I witness spiritual warfare? I do not have the answers, but I do believe in the reality of spirits, angels, and other re­lated phenomena that I can neither touch nor see.”

In political discussions about Jindal’s article, over 5,000 words long, it is generally reduced to his “exorcism experience,” without any attention paid to his careful language and conclusion. Quin Hillyer, a Louisiana native who worked for Louisiana Republican congressman Robert Livingston in the Nineties, thinks that Jindal’s experience won’t be a problem if it is understood in its fuller context.

“Here is a guy who was (a) in college, (b) was not an instigator of this exorcism but was pulled in reluctantly and (c) was trying to help a very dear friend,” comments Hillyer, now a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom and a senior editor for The American Spectator. “And who, on top of that, wrote about it very sensitively. I think if the American people hear this story, and actually read what he wrote, they will say this is a very thoughtful, compassionate person.”

Still, Jindal hasn’t had to face significant media attention about the incident before. In Louisiana — a red state where many are religious — there has never been intense speculation about it.

A Louisiana Republican political veteran says that when Jindal ran for governor in 2003, the matter was discussed at the “political-chattering-class bubbling level.” But he doesn’t recall it being covered by the local mainstream media, although he thinks it may have received minor coverage when Jindal was preparing for his 2007 gubernatorial race. “So it never really came up, except, I guess, toward the end of campaigns. You know how you see everybody throws their oppo book at you at the last minute when they’re already dying. It came out then. [It] really wasn’t talked about that much. [The Jindal campaign] did an effective job of just sort of ignoring it and not giving it oxygen.”

Lanny Keller, an editorial writer for the Baton Rogue Advocate, points out that scrutiny of the incident by the national media will be a new experience for Jindal, who, he says, “has had really a very soft time in Louisiana in terms of negative press.” (Keller, for his part, has publicly written about his disagreements with Jindal’s policies.)

Jindal’s reputation in Louisiana, Keller adds, is of someone who cares and thinks about religion. “He has always had a lively personal interest in theology,” Keller remarks, noting that evangelical friends have told him that Jindal comes off as “very knowledgeable” when discussing theological matters. “In other words, in light of his past career, was this article as oddball as it sounds? Not really.”

It is likely that, no matter how the experience ultimately plays, there will be a media firestorm about it initially if Jindal becomes Romney’s running mate. But Corallo, while conceding that the “secular Left” might assume “they could make an issue of it,” doubts Jindal would be hurt by scrutiny of the matter.

“I don’t think the average American is going to think twice about it,” he says. “They’re going to look at a guy who has been one of the best, if not the best, governor[s] Louisiana has had in the modern era.”

— Katrina Trinko is an NRO reporter.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bobbyjindal; catholic; exorcism; exorcist; ineligible; irrelevent; jindal; noteligible; whocares

1 posted on 07/26/2012 7:12:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

My congressman is a Baptist minister. You should hear the steady screech coming from liberals in the district. LOL


2 posted on 07/26/2012 7:21:41 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama: cocaine, communism, documented lies, unqualified for office = OKAY!

Jindal: in the room with what may have been an exorcism = DISQUALIFIED!


3 posted on 07/26/2012 7:22:20 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Real men are not threatened by strong women." -- Sarah Palin)
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To: SeekAndFind

He could exorcise the White Hut, for starters...


4 posted on 07/26/2012 7:27:38 AM PDT by StAnDeliver (2008 + IN, NC, FL, VA, OH, NV o/r IA = 271EV)
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To: SeekAndFind
Think of what Jindal could accomplish if he publicly stated,

"I'd like to put these VP nomination rumors to rest once and for all. While serving as VP would be a great honor,
I'd not be able to accept the office as I am not a Natural Born Citizen.
My parents became US Citizens after my birth so by the eligibility requirements specified in Article. II. Section. 1. I'm not eligible.

The fact that the CommiecRAT Party lied about their usurper Obama's status doesn't change the Constitutional Natural Born Citizen requirement."

5 posted on 07/26/2012 7:33:46 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. De Vattel)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, even Jesus Christ wouldn’t be allowed as qualified by the libs.


6 posted on 07/26/2012 7:39:07 AM PDT by Twinkie (Obama; fundamentally turning America into Sodom & Gomorrah one EO at a time.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is only “controversial” among some Hindus I know who are hurt that he abandoned his parents’ faith and dropped his original Hindu name, Piyush.


7 posted on 07/26/2012 7:45:58 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

I don’t know why converting to Christianity would be considered “controversial”. There are MILLIONS of Indians who are Christians living in India with Christian/Hebrew names like — Samuel, Nathan, John, etc.

No big deal over there really.

BTW, didn’t George Harrison of Beatles fame convert to Hinduism? Why no big fuss about that?


8 posted on 07/26/2012 7:52:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
Chris Cillizza wondered in a post last week if Jindal had “too many known unknowns” in his past

Now, thats funny. Others can post the long list of documents that are off-limits with O, the man who never was, the man with no resume whose life is a virtual unknown.

I do believe in the reality of spirits, angels, and other re­lated phenomena that I can neither touch nor see.”

Jindal believes in God. O believes in Marx.

9 posted on 07/26/2012 8:00:24 AM PDT by marron
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To: SeekAndFind
If he were picked, would it overshadow everything else about him?

Yes, it would. Jindal seems to be a very smart and effective administrator with a great understanding of economics. But the exorcism issue would quickly become the main topic of the campaign, driving the real issues (the economy, public debt and Obamacare) off the agenda and providing a great diversion for the Obama campaign. Jindal needs to continue doing real work in Louisiana.
10 posted on 07/26/2012 8:06:32 AM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: ASA Vet

Think of what Jindal could accomplish if he publicly stated,

“I’d like to put these VP nomination rumors to rest once and for all. While serving as VP would be a great honor,
I’d not be able to accept the office as I am not a Natural Born Citizen.
My parents became US Citizens after my birth so by the eligibility requirements specified in Article. II. Section. 1. I’m not eligible.

I love that idea! Plus it could short circuit Rubio though if that be a plus or minus...


11 posted on 07/26/2012 8:11:04 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: Albion Wilde

Obama: cocaine, communism, documented lies, unqualified for office = OKAY!

Jindal: in the room with what may have been an exorcism = DISQUALIFIED!

............................................................
Howz about we perform an exorcism on Jug Ears, wounder what or who would pop-out...


12 posted on 07/26/2012 8:12:27 AM PDT by Rumplemeyer (The GOP should stand its ground - and fix Bayonets)
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To: Rumplemeyer
wounder what or who would pop-out...

Their name is Legion, for they are many ...

13 posted on 07/26/2012 8:17:15 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: SeekAndFind
There are MILLIONS of Indians who are Christians living in India with Christian/Hebrew names like — Samuel, Nathan, John, etc.

Indian Christians believe that Christianity was brought there by Thomas and the church there goes back to the first century.

Supposedly when the first Portuguese explorers arrived they found native churches already in place.

14 posted on 07/26/2012 8:47:03 AM PDT by marron
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To: cripplecreek

It cannot be any worse than the liberals and newspaper idiots who write about our 6th cengressional district congresswoman, Michele Bachmann! She’s such a target, yet she remains popular with the folks around here, and we simply laugh off the negative headlines the paper makes whenever writing about Michele.


15 posted on 07/26/2012 9:33:59 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: Gumdrop

Michele Bachmann has been a good ally to Tim Walberg. (MI-7)

Their stances on issues are almost identical.


16 posted on 07/26/2012 9:36:36 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: marron

There’s no “supposedly” about it, the Portuguese found indigenous Christian churches in India. Parts of India were Christianized by the Apostle Thomas (according to the uniform tradition of all the Eastern Churches, Orthodox, monophysite or Nestorian). During its early history the Indian church was under the (Nestorian) Church of the East, centered in what is now Iraq. After the rise of Islam cut them off from their mother church, they eventually reestablished contact with Christians in the Levant, somewhat bizarrely completely switching Christology in the process and are now in full communion with the monophysites (Copts, Ethiopians, Syrian Jacobites, and Armenians), well other than the ones who, under Portuguese blandishments, became Uniates, keeping their native liturgies and entering communion with Rome.


17 posted on 07/26/2012 9:57:21 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: SeekAndFind

It isn’t like the Liberals have no religion of their own, because they do. Their god is Satan and their prophet was Marx. Moreover, they have a crackpot theology. Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves.


18 posted on 07/26/2012 10:50:22 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: TexasRepublic

First-time poster: You are so right: I was in New Orleans and the local ABC affiliate did a story on these left-coast filmmakers who did a short film Ivy League Exorcist that mocks Governor Jindal’s religion. And these people wonder why people of faith overwhelmingly vote Republican.


19 posted on 07/26/2012 12:25:29 PM PDT by LanceC
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To: GraceG
Jindal and Rubio should do a joint news conference where they Make the same statement.
20 posted on 07/26/2012 9:00:12 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. De Vattel)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Piyush >>

never knew his original first name.


21 posted on 11/25/2012 5:44:44 PM PST by Coleus
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