Congress: Fighting, but not about religion

In much of the world, it would be sheer fantasy to think hundreds of Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus could serve together in peace. On Capitol Hill, it is par for the course.

Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, will be the first Hindu in the US House.

According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, the incoming Congress will be the most religiously diverse in US history. The House of Representatives will welcome its first Hindu, Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard. She will take the seat now held by fellow Democrat Mazie K. Hirono, who will become the first Buddhist to serve as a US senator. Two other Buddhists are returning to seats in the House. So are two Muslims. There will be 15 Mormons in the 113th Congress, as well as 32 Jews, 5 Orthodox Christians, and 161 Catholics.

It’s safe to say the members of Congress sworn in early next month will find many reasons to quarrel with each other. That religious doctrine won’t be one of them is a remarkable achievement that an increasingly diverse society should celebrate.