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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

VP Candidate Bobby Jindal: Catholic or Baptist??

If you don't know Bobby Jindal, he's the young, Indian-American, Republican Governor of Louisiana who has been touted as being on John McCain's VP short list. For several months now there has been much speculation that Jindal will be John McCain's choice for the Republican vice presidential nomination. This speculation was given a bit of fuel when Jindal met with McCain at his Arizona home on May 23.

Now here's the story:

According to outgoing SBC President Frank Page, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was "baptized and led to Christ by Tommy French," a well-known Southern Baptist who pastors Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This is an extremely interesting tidbit considering that based on numerous accounts Jindal remains a rather conservative Catholic.

Jindal is a Catholic convert from Hinduism. When Jindal was elected Governor of Louisiana in 2007 Catholic Online ran an article that described Jindal as a "pro-life Catholic" who became an active Catholic during his time as a student at Oxford University. Jindal has also been very outspoken about his Catholic faith. In a 1996 article on his Catholic faith, Jindal wrote:
"The same Catholic Church which infallibly determined the canon of the Bible must be trusted to interpret her handiwork; the alternative is to trust individual Christians, burdened with, as Calvin termed it, their 'utterly depraved' minds, to overcome their tendency to rationalize, their selfish desires, and other effects of original sin...The choice is between Catholicism's authoritative Magisterium and subjective interpretation which leads to anarchy and heresy."
During Jindal's campaign to be Governor, the Democratic Party attacked Jindal and his theology in a tv ad. Here is a description of that ad from the Washington Post:
According to a recent television ad run by the Louisiana Democratic Party, the leading Republican candidate for governor, Bobby Jindal, has "insulted thousands of Louisiana Protestants" by describing their beliefs as "scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical." Jindal, the attack goes on, "doubts the morals and questions the beliefs of Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Pentecostals and other Protestant religions."
So, is Bobby Jindal still a practicing Catholic? A Protestant? If Protestant, is he now attending a Baptist church? If we are to believe outgoing SBC President Frank Page, can we now assume that Gov. Jindal is now a member of Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge? If Jindal has left Rome for life as a Southern Baptist, that's a big news story that has yet to be covered.

Jindal's writings indicate that he was a believer. So, praytell, how was Jindal "led to Christ" by Jindal? So many questions...

With Jindal's name being seriously thrown around as John McCain's possible running mate, it seems that some religion reporter somewhere needs to follow up on this story.

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Blogger Kaylor said...

Here is my guess based on a piece Jindal wrote about his conversion (http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=10342). He says he had a Southern Baptist friend got him to read the Bible. He then says he talked a lot with a pastor before accepting Christ, but that it was two years later that he was baptized into the Catholic Church. Thus, I'm guessing that he was first converted and baptized by a Southern Baptist and then switched to Catholicism. Quite a journey from Hinduism.

3:51 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Yea, that's a decent guess.

But if that was the case, I find it odd that Frank Page said what he said in light of the fact that Jindal is now Catholic. This Baptist along with most other Baptists does not delight in the occasion when a fellow Baptist decides to leave Zion and make the journey to Rome!

Unless he was baptized recently by French, Jindal would have had to have been baptized during his teenage years living in Louisiana. According to the Washington Post, Jindal became a Catholic convert when he was a freshmen at Brown.

Every other source I've seen says Jindal went from Hinduism straight to Catholicism. This Southern Baptist/Tommy French chapter of his life has oddly been completely neglected by both Jindal and the media.

10:53 PM

Anonymous Howie Luvzus said...

Here's an interesting article:

9:21 AM

Blogger James H said...

Know and working on several campaigns for Bobby I can tell you that Bobby is a devout Catholic.

As to SOuthern Baptist and Evangelicals they were the ones that stood up against the horrible Know NOthing anti Catholic campaign against JIndal last year. Sadly the Bishops stayed silent

10:50 AM

Anonymous Howie Luvzus said...

Bobby Jindal Faith Healer article is here:

11:33 AM


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