Is Religious Expression Over? American Teen Shares What His Hindu Faith Means

Religious freedom has been a distinguishing feature of American culture since its early days. But an onslaught of negativity from the media and educational institutions seems to have taken a toll on religious freedom. With the increase of safe spaces and regulation on university campuses and throughout the public square, religion is being pushed to the sidelines of American society.

Such attacks on religious freedom are nothing new, but they may have reached a new level of intensity. A survey conducted by Amicus in 2015 found 58 percent of millennials agreed with the statement that religion “is personal and should not play a significant role in society.”

In other words, 58 percent of millennials believe you can be religious, just as long as no one knows. Glenn responded to these findings with a call to return to a Constitution-based foundation.

“We need to find ways to shore up the Constitution and start teaching the Constitution,” he said, adding that educating the next generation with these fundamental freedoms is essential. “They will not rise up to protect or defend something [when] they don’t even know what it is.”

So what does the Constitution have to say about religion?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Then what do young people have to say?

We interviewed Rajesh, a millennial from the Dallas-Fort Worth area (who asked us to change his name), to get his perspective on religious expression as a young, Hindu American. His responses were eye-opening.

Meet Rajesh

A frisbee throwing, trombone playing, 18-year-old, Rajesh was recently accepted at the University of Illinois where he plans to study computer science. It's his dream to enter the field of bio informatics or artificial intelligence.

Outside of sports, studies and musical pursuits, Rajesh can occasionally be found at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hindu temple.

Ornate architecture at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hindu Temple. Photo from DFW Hindu Temple Society Facebook page.

Born in New Jersey, Rajesh moved to Texas when he was a toddler. He said his religion makes up some of his earliest memories and was an important part of his life growing up. His parents, who were both born and raised in India, taught him many aspects of the Hindu faith, which he continues to practice today.

"Like many people know, there are a ton of deities and there a ton of different ceremonies and rituals," Rajesh said.

Although not highly devout, Rajesh said he enjoys participating in the rituals and traditions, because it allows him to unite with friends and family.

"I still go to the temple with my family, occasionally on Sunday," he said. "My mom still has me do puja in our puja room in our house occasionally. I go to some religious ceremonies."

Puja is most easily explained as a prayer session. Some of the ceremonies he described involve festivals with chariots, fireworks and color-throwing. He also described some of his religious dietary practices.

"One minor thing is that I don’t eat any meat. Mondays and Thursdays, in particular, are considered to be 'auspicious' days. So as it is we don’t eat pork, but on those days we don’t eat chicken, eggs or fish," Rajesh said.

Ceremonial items at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hindu Temple. Photo from DFW Hindu Temple Society Facebook page.

When asked how he feels about the importance of such festivals and practices, Rashesh said it's "not a huge deal."

"I think they’re important to the culture that’s associated with India and Hinduism itself," he said. "But I personally don’t really care if it stays or not. I think for my mom and my dad it’s pretty important to them, but for me and my brothers, it’s not a huge deal."

Rajesh said he, like many Hindu people, considers Mahatma Gandhi a role model who inspires him in many ways. Admitting he'd never experienced the type of opposition Gandhi did, Rajesh seemed fine with allowing people to exercise religion freely, so long is it does not interfere with the basic rights of others.

Regarding his future religious practice, he said, "I don’t care too much for the small everyday things, but I do like the things like Diwali, Holi and when we go to the temple, when you see all these families coming together. I do like that and probably will carry that on."

Conclusion

As the political divide deepens in America, it's important we allow ourselves to be exposed to new cultures, practices and traditions. Our nation needs healing. The more love, empathy and understanding we can show towards others, the less divided we will be.

It's time to return to the Constitution of our nation. No longer can we urge people to hold back on living their religion due to risks of offense and discrimination. Regulation and indifference are strangling the life out of our culture.

In a takeaway from the survey on religion among millennials, Emily Hardman, president of Amicus Communications, emphasized religion is more than an institution:

It is linked to the very core of their human dignity, that religious belief above any other right is what makes us human, that ability to seek truth, to embrace truth and to express that truth is score to what it means to be human.

Because faith is more than just a thought, the exercise of religion must be tolerated as it is what holds the fabric of this nation together.

What about you?

We believe many members of Glenn's audience have stories worth sharing with the potential to touch people's lives and influence the world for good. If you'd like to share your story and have it featured on GlennBeck.com, let us know in the comments section below.

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DECODING the Democrats' EXTENSIVE ties to 'Big Tech'

Annie Spratt/Unsplash

The Democrats' ties to "Big Tech" and the entertainment industry have placed them in the perfect position to influence both public policy and our nation's culture. It's impossible to unweave the entire web of Democrat operatives and sleeper cells, but here are a few of the current ties between the Dems and an industry that arguably has more influence on our day-to-day lives than any other.

Twitter Executives

Jack Dorsey, CEO

Omid Kordestani, Director, Executive Chairman

Ned Segal, CFO

Evan Williams, Former Twitter CEO, Current Board Member

Bridget Coyne, Public Policy Director

  • In charge of government/election partnerships with leading global government and political publishers including content strategy for Twitter
  • Intern and Press Secretary for multiple Democrat politicians, plus Rachel Maddow Show

Nicholas Pacilio, Senior Communications Manager, former Communications Manager

Carlos Monje, former Director of Public Policy

Brandon Borrman, VP Global Communications

Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer

Andy Stone, Policy Communications Director

Anna Makanju, Global Policy Manager

Brian Rice, Director of Public Policy

Probir Mehta, Global Public Policy

Jessica Hertz, Former Director and Associate General Counsel

    When I first talked about all the problems with mail-in voting two months ago, I said the last thing we want to see is voting rules getting changed so close to an election. Yet, that is exactly what is happening right now across the nation.

    And in almost every case, Democrats are fighting to get rid of simple, common sense safeguards like requiring a witness signature, or requiring that a voter's signature on a mail-in ballot matches their signature on file. It's really an insane effort to change the rules in the middle of the game. And the effort is still going strong even though we're less than three weeks from Election Day.

    Remember how mail-in voting is supposed to save the Republic? If that doesn't sit well with you or make sense to you, you are not alone. Start the video below at the 2:04 mark and see what reassurances Abrams shares.

    "We must adapt to how we conduct our elections?!" That's practically been the Democrats' motto for 2020. Don't like the results you get from regular old-fashioned elections? Let's just create some new "norms" for voting. I mean it's been on their to-do list forever anyway and COVID is the perfect opportunity to finally get it done.

    So, how is that "adapting to new norms" thing going? Well, I'm glad I asked. Because it's the perfect time to welcome you to the inaugural Chaoscar Awards, recognizing achievements in mail-in voting chaos.

    For example, the "Every Vote Matters" Chaoscar award goes to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania where the FBI found nine discarded military ballots in a dumpster.

    The Letter from U.S. Attorney David Freed to the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections says:

    The FBI has recovered a number of documents relating to military ballots that had been improperly opened by your elections staff, and had the ballots removed and discarded…

    The FBI also found additional absentee ballot envelopes that were empty, so who knows where those ballots went.

    But wait, Stacey Abrams told us mail-in voting is safe and secure! Secure? Well, maybe not if you're in the military and sending your ballot to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

    The "It Takes Two to Tango" Chaoscar goes to Fairfax County, Virginia for mailing duplicate absentee ballots to 1,400 voters.

    But don't worry, election officials have it all under control. They say only one of the ballots will be counted — unless you're a Democrat. Okay, they didn't really say that, but they were probably thinking it. Officials blamed a printer problem and said people should destroy their duplicate ballot. Or, they could just send it to our next Chaoscar winner — Texas mayoral candidate Zul Mohamed.

    He was arrested last week on voter fraud charges after applying for 84 absentee ballots and having them sent to a P.O. box that allegedly belongs to a nursing home.

    Nice try.

    Next, the "You've Got No Mail" Chaoscar goes to Outagamie County, Wisconsin. Three trays of mail, which included multiple absentee ballots, were discovered in a ditch along a state highway.

    Does no one bury anything anymore? If you want to get rid of ballots, why are you using dumpsters and ditches?

    New York City wins the "G.I. Schmo" Chaoscar for sending voters mail-in ballots marked for military use.

    That's right, New Yorkers who have never served in the military have received the ballot, which says "Official Military Absentee Ballot."

    Maybe there was supposed to be a slash between the words "military" and "absentee," but voters are obviously confused and concerned about whether they're supposed to go ahead and use the ballot even though they're not in the military.

    Over 520,000 ballots have already been sent out and the New York Elections Board does not know how many of those have the error.

    The 'Every Vote Matters' Chaoscar goes to...

    We hop over to New Jersey for our next award — the "Dumpster Diver" Chaoscar goes to a mailman who has been arrested for allegedly tossing 1,875 of pieces of mail — including 99 election ballots — into a dumpster.

    What was that Stacey Abrams? I forgot...

    Next, New York City wins its second Chaoscar of the night — it's the "You Had One Job" award for sending out 140,000 absentee ballots to Brooklyn voters with the wrong names and addresses.

    These voters are supposed to complete their ballot and put it inside the official absentee ballot envelope, then sign the outside of the envelope and send it in. But these return envelopes have the wrong name and address, so voters cannot sign them unless they want their ballot to be voided.

    Many voters do not even have the right name on the ballot itself.

    And this is great — the New York Board of Elections says a "printing error" is responsible for the bad ballots. Wow — really, a printing error? Gee, how did they ever solve that mystery?

    One report on this said:

    It was unclear exactly how the city planned to handle voters who had already mailed their completed ballot back in the provided envelopes.

    That is a huge red flag, because it's exactly the kind of issue that will help fuel chaos and endless litigation all over America after Election Day.

    Next, the "I See Dead People Voting" Chaoscar goes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for its new temporary rules allowing dead people's votes to count.

    Before this year, Massachusetts allowed early voting to start ten days before the election. If you voted early and died before Election Day, sorry, your vote would not count.

    But Massachusetts changed the rules this year because of the pandemic. Now early voting starts 30 days before Election Day. And if you cast your vote during this early window, and then kick the bucket before November 3, you can rest in total peace knowing your vote will still count!

    America — land of opportunity, even after you're dead.

    Our final Chaoscar of the night is the "It's So Crazy It Just Might Work" special achievement award, which goes to Houston, Texas. This is for an alleged ballot harvesting and voter fraud operation that — if the allegations prove to be true — dwarfs any election-related fraud we've seen anywhere so far this year.

    Two private investigators — one a former FBI agent, the other a former Houston police captain — filed sworn affidavits with the Texas Supreme Court as part of a class-action lawsuit against Harris County.

    This is a copy of the lawsuit and I want to quote directly from it, so you understand what the specific allegations are:

    Licensed Private Investigators... have been investigating ballot harvesting in Harris County for many months...
    The organization and operation of the illegal harvesting program is being used to commit fraud in the November 3, 2020 election...

    According to the investigators, witnesses have identified Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis... and Texas State Senator Borris Miles as leading the organization tasked with harvesting ballots. The investigators further state that witnesses have identified Houston businessman Gerald Womack and political consultant Dallas Jones as lieutenants working directly under Commissioner Ellis and Senator Miles.

    By the way, in September, Dallas Jones was hired by the Joe Biden campaign to be its Texas Political Director.

    This is a copy of the affidavit from one of the private investigators, Mark Aguirre. He says:

    I have in my possession video-taped interviews of witnesses attesting to the aforementioned people having groups of people completing thousands of absentee and mail-in ballots, including completing ballots for deceased individuals; illegally going into nursing homes, with the complicity of the nursing home staff, and filling out and forging the signatures of nursing home residents; signing up homeless individuals to vote using the ballot harvester's address then completing the ballot and forging the homeless individual's signature.

    And this is from the affidavit of the second private investigator. He says:

    [One] witness stated to me that an employee of Commissioner Ellis, Tyler James, has bragged that he could guarantee that the illegal ballot harvesting operation, with the help of mass mail-in ballots, could harvest 700,000 illegal ballots.

    Democrats successfully created chaos and now they're working overtime to change voting rules across the nation, taking advantage of friendly courts and judges to legislate from the bench. It's all about election insurance, tweaking the state voting systems to make Joe Biden's path to victory easier, including — in many states — rigging the ballot.

    While Big Tech, the Democrats and the media insist mail-in voting is safe and secure, it's already going off the rails in many states and uncovers the left-wing forces behind the massive litigation war being waged by Democrats to permanently change the way you vote.


    Democrats are freaked out about Amy Coney Barrett joining the Supreme Court. But don't let their fretting fool you, because as Glenn Beck reveals, the Left is doing just fine in the federal and state courts. In fact, the Left is thriving.

    Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT, Glenn shows how Democrats successfully created chaos with their massive push for mail-in voting. Now they're working overtime to change voting rules across the nation, taking advantage of friendly courts and judges to legislate from the bench. It's all about election insurance, tweaking the state voting systems to make Joe Biden's path to victory easier – including, in many states, rigging the ballot.

    While Big Tech, Democrats, and the media insist mail-in voting is trustworthy and there's nothing to see here, Glenn exposes how mail-in voting is already going off the rails in many states and uncovers the left-wing forces behind the massive litigation war being waged by Democrats to permanently change the way you vote.

    Because the content of this show is sure to set off the Big tech censors, the full episode will only be available on Blaze TV. Start your free trial to watch it tonight, and save $20 off a one-year subscription with code SAVEOURELECTION.

    Watch a preview of the show below:

    Want more from Glenn Beck?

    To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

    The left learned their lesson from 2016 and are working overtime to stack the deck against President Trump and will do whatever it takes this time around. On tonight's special, we will expose how they are tweaking the state voting systems to make sure Joe Biden's path to victory is easier, including many states — I believe — rigging the ballot.

    Tonight, we're going to show you how mail-in voting is already going off the rails in many states and in three weeks, you can bet the argument will be: "There was voter fraud on the right!"

    FULL EPISODE ON BLAZETV: Election Hijacking: How the Left Is Ensuring Your Vote Doesn't Count

    And they're going to be fighting in every swing state, with courts. With the hanging, pregnant or dangling chads.

    All of it.

    The Washington Post reported in August, that more than half a million ballots were rejected in the primaries, because of ballots that arrived too late or had voter errors. So no matter who you vote for, it's going to be a mess if you vote by mail.

    Twitter announced it's going to expand its crackdown on misinformation surrounding the election and mail-in voting, according to the New York Post. Here's an excerpt:

    Jack Dorsey, the company's CEO, said in an appearance on "The Daily" podcast last week that Twitter will "continue to evolve our policy to protect the integrity of the conversation around elections." That includes, he said, suspending any accounts that might engage in "particular egregious aspects of violations of the terms of service," even if it belongs to the President of the United States. "We won't hesitate to take action on the accounts and use every tool that we have together with that," Dorsey said.

    If a social media channel belonging to Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Mark Levin or myself gets "fact-checked" by Big Tech, the consequences could include a hard-strike, resulting in demonetization or the complete shutdown of the channel.

    But it's not about the money. It's a warning shot.

    First they take the revenue, which we use to help pay for our research and to get our voices to the masses. And then they take the platform entirely. It's a way to curtail the kind of content that we put out that they don't approve of because of an opinion disagreement.

    Since Big Tech is so anxious for any reason to silence us, tonight's special will not be available on any other platforms and will air exclusively on BlazeTV for subscribers. If you are not already a subscriber, I urge you to join today. Use the promo code SAVEOURELECTION for 20% off.

    FULL EPISODE ON BLAZETV: Election Hijacking: How the Left Is Ensuring Your Vote Doesn't Count

    If you aren't able to subscribe at this time, please sign up for my free newsletter to make sure you and I are not cut off from each other. Signing up is simple and easy, just enter your email address and we'll make sure you're up to date on everything you need to know for these crazy times.

    To stand up to these Tech Tyrants and continue to fight for freedom and liberty, we need your help to spread the message far and wide. To win this battle, you'll need to arm yourself with information but make no mistake about it, this election is not the end of the road.

    In fact, it's just the beginning.

    As the results most likely will not be known for days, weeks or quite possibly even months, I'm putting together a running list of stories that fall into three categories:

    1. Voter Fraud/Potential Fraud
    2. Mail-In Ballot Chaos
    3. Election Litigation/Court Decisions

    Voter Fraud/Potential Fraud

    October 2020

    • Federal Agents Raid Home of Pittsburgh-Area Mail Carrier, Collect Bags of Suspected Undelivered Mail (KDKA-TV)
    • 'I thought it was somebody playing a prank': Man finds dozens of ballots in California trash (Washington Examiner)
    • Carrollton Mayoral Candidate Zul Mirza Mohamed Arrested, Charged With 100+ Counts of Voter Fraud (CBS DFW)
    • NJ mailman allegedly tossed 99 election ballots into dumpster (New York Post)
    • USPS collection boxes broken into in multiple Virginia counties, sparking fears of missing ballots (TheBlaze)
    • Florida man who requested mail-in ballot for dead wife hit with voter fraud charge (FOX News)

    September 2020

    August 2020

    • Confessions of a voter fraud: I was a master at fixing mail-in ballots (New York Post)

    July 2020

    • Four Plead to Voter Fraud Scheme on Skid Row (LADA)
    • Former congressman indicted on voter fraud, bribery charges (Politico)

    1982 – Present

    Mail-in Ballot Chaos

    October 2020

    • Pennsylvania's Rejection of 372,000 Ballot Applications Bewilders Voters and Strains Election Staff (Propublica)
    • Utah: County Mails Over 13,000 Ballots with Missing Signature Line (Breitbart)
    • California elections officials order GOP to immediately remove unofficial ballot boxes (Los Angeles Times)
    • 50,000 Ohio Voters to Receive New Absentee Ballots After Error Found (NPR)
    • New Jersey residents receiving ballots for out-of-state voters, dead people; election officials confident in anti-fraud measures: reports (FOX News)

    September 2020

    • Reports: Nearly 1,400 Virginia voters got two ballots in the mail (FOX 5 DC)
    • NYC voters are wrongly receiving mail-in ballots marked for military use (New York Post)
    • Brooklyn Voters Receive Absentee Ballot Envelopes with Wrong Voter Names and Addresses (Gothamist)
    • Pennsylvania election officials sound alarm over 'naked ballot' ruling, warning it could jeopardize 100,000 votes (FOX News)

    Election Litigation/Court Decisions

    October 2020

    • Pennsylvania's Rejection of 372,000 Ballot Applications Bewilders Voters and Strains Election Staff (Propublica)
    • The Courts Can't Decide How Many Ballot Drop Boxes Ohio Needs, and Now Everyone Else Is Confused Too (Reason)
    • Key battleground states don't require signature-matching on mail-in ballots (Just the News)
    • Lawsuit calls for voter registration extension in Virginia following online portal shutdown (WTOP News)
    • Federal judge upholds Minnesota's extended ballot counting (FOX News)
    • A legal fight over how to fix ballot errors in North Carolina (The Washington Post)Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan Denies GOP Efforts to Halt Mail-In Voting in Montana (Daily Caller)
    • NJ federal judge rejects Trump campaign's challenge to state's mail-in voting plans (FOX News)
    • Massachusetts' new voting rules will allow the state to count dead people's votes this year. Don't worry – it's 'temporary' (TheBlaze)
    • Federal judge orders Arizona to extend voter registration deadline until Oct. 23 (AZ Central)

    September 2020

    • Court upholds Wisconsin ballot extension, hands Dems a win (ABC News)
    • Federal Judge in Ohio Rules Changing Signature-Matching Process This Late in the Election Would be 'Damaging' (Daily Caller)
    • Michigan judge says ballots received within 14 days of election should count if postmarked on time (FOX News)
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court extends state mail ballot deadline to 3 days after election (FOX News)
    • The Green Party's presidential candidate is off the ballot in a big win for Pennsylvania Democrats (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Green Party bid for Ballot Access (PBS News Hour)

    August 2020

    • Dems get Green Party kicked off ballot after pressuring petition-signers; 'voter suppression' alleged (FOX News)

    We'll continue to update this list as additional stories come in. If you see stories that you think we should add to the list, let us know in the comments section below, or email them to me here.

    We need you standing with us as we stand with you. As Ben Franklin said, we all better "hang together," or we certainly will "hang separately."