David Brody

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Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

Nikki Haley, the front runner to become the Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina has recently changed the language on her website to reflect a more Christian tone. The Brody File is NOT questioning her Christian beliefs at all but rather how the emphasis of her religious language seems to have evolved throughout her political career.

Haley was raised with the Sikh faith and just like President Obama has gone out of her way to make sure people know she is a Christian. Just like Obama in 2008, Haley has a “truth” section on her website to address the question, “Is Nikki Haley a Christian”? In April 2010, this is what the website said:

April 2010:
“Question: Is Nikki a Christian?
Truth: Nikki is a Christian. In her words: ‘I believe in the power and grace of Almighty God. I know, and have truly experienced, that with Him all things are possible. I have looked to Him for leadership throughout my career and will continue to do so as governor.
This is what it says now:

June 2010

Question: Is Nikki a Christian?
Truth: In Nikki’s words: “My faith in Christ has a profound impact on my daily life and I look to Him for guidance with every decision I make. God has blessed my family in so many ways and my faith in the Lord gives me great strength on a daily basis. Being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day.”
We contacted the Haley campaign and asked them why the website language was changed. Spokesman Tim Pearson told The Brody File the following:

“We are constantly changing our website.”

“Nikki is a proud Christian woman.  Like millions of others she found Christ early in her adult life and she has been dedicated to her Christian faith since the age of 24.  She, her husband, and their two children worship at one church - Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington, South Carolina. “

Nikki Haley’s had a whirlwind experience the last month or so. She is locked in a four-way battle for the Republican nomination for Governor of South Carolina. After being endorsed by Sarah Palin last month, her poll numbers skyrocketed but then came recent reports of alleged affairs. She has denied they ever happened and is blaming her opponents for peddling the stories and playing dirty politics. It has put Haley squarely in the national spotlight.

The fact that the Haley campaigned changed the wording on the website led The Brody File to do some digging. The Brody File has uncovered documents and details that show an emphasis on her Sikh faith and traditions in 2004 when she was running for the State Legislature (even though she became a Christian 7 years earlier).  Now that she’s running for Governor of the state, mentions of her Sikh faith are virtually non-existent. A legitimate question must be asked: After seeing how the faith issue hurt Mitt Romney and damaged Barack Obama to some extent as well, is Haley making a political decision by playing up her Christian faith (just like Obama did) and LOSING the Sikh emphasis?

Haley was born in South Carolina as “Nikki Randhawa, the daughter of Indian Punjabi immigrants and was raised with the Sikh faith. (Read more about Sikhism here) Her conversion story begins in 1997. (You can listen to her discuss that here.

In 2004, (seven years after becoming a Christian) she and her family were still attending Sikh Temples as well as their Methodist Church. In 2004, she was running for the State Legislature and she was quoted back then as saying, “I was born and raised with the Sikh faith, my husband and I were married in the Methodist Church, our children have been baptized in the Methodist Church, and currently we attend both.”
Her 2004 campaign played up her Sikh upbringing and faith saying that “Nikki was proudly raised with her Indian traditions” No mention that she’s a Christian. See below. (And click on the picture for a larger view)

As a matter of fact, newspapers at the time trumpeted the fact that Haley was “The First Member Of The Sikh Religion To Join A State Legislature In The United States.” One India newspaper wrote that, “She Did Not Hide The Fact That She Was Not A Christian And Regularly Attended Sikh Religious Services.”
 A project at Harvard University in 2006 refers to her as a, “Sikh woman.”

When asked if Haley currently attends Sikh services, Haley's spokesman Tim Pearson tells The Brody File:

“She attends Sikh services once or twice a year in respect for her family.”

“Like millions of others, she honors her mother and her father and has great respect for their faith and the way that she was raised.  Her faith in Christ guides her throughout her personal, professional, and public life, just as it has for many years.”
The bottom line: Haley and the Sikh faith were an important part of her storyline…back in 2004. But today there are no Sikh references are on her website or campaign literature. And that website language has become more overtly Christian.
 When asked to specifically address why Sikh references were more overt in 2004 than in 2010, Pearson didn't provide us with an answer to that question.






Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010 12:58 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

"The Brody File is NOT questioning her Christian beliefs at all"

...But that's exactly how this will be perceived. I don't see how it's productive to question her motives on this issue.

I suppose if her faith grows or changes in any way over time, the assumption is that there's a problem with that.

Would anyone be asking these questions if she didn't have brown skin?

Left by RightKlik on Jun 03, 2010 8:12 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

Yes it is very obvious that she is using Christianity to gain political success. She had realized long ago that it was easier to be a Christian politician in SC. But unfortunately South Carolina people are easily fooled.
Left by JREFF on Jun 04, 2010 2:37 AM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

Actually she started planning 13 years ago when she married a Christian man to get a Christian last name. She has been going to church for the last 15 years even though she did not have Christian faith inwardly.
Left by JREFF on Jun 04, 2010 7:53 AM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

I registered only to post this statement from the U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Section 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Take note of the "no religious test" language, Mr. Brody and then ask yourself if that isn't EXACTLY what you're doing.

I'm from Arizona and a dreaded Democrat, so I don't have a dog in this hunt. But it irritates me to no end that you're casting aspersions on a candidate because you question the depth of of her religious commitment. That's just wrong and that's not what the Founding Fathers wanted.

Oh, and by the way, Sikhs are not Muslims. And neither is President Obama.
Left by mirele on Jun 04, 2010 4:31 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

A political candidate being disingenuous about their Christian faith? Who would do such a thing? I'm shocked. Shocked. (sure)
Left by ajax on Jun 04, 2010 4:56 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

I am of Indian Origin but born and raised in an Indian family (Ironically my dad was a methodist minister in India...we represented only 3% of the population). The question should be asked if Nikki is aware of the persecution that Christians in rural India face..has she done anything about it? raised awareness? Reached out to the administration to see what pressure can be placed on the indian authorities to catch the persecutors..

I am not questioning her faith or judging her..but it is ironic how Bobby Jindal and her both converted the moment they had plans to enter politics.
Left by christianinbusiness on Jun 04, 2010 5:00 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

Wow JREFF, I don't know where to begin. There is nothing sinister about religious conversion. It appears she has evolved spiritually over the years. Good for her. Leaving Sikh or Islam actually puts one at risk of being murdered or maimed. By leaving her old religion, she risked being an outcast from her parents.
I converted to Christianity several years ago. My faith has evolved. Are you going to question my faith?
Hopefully JREFF you will become a Christian someday and you faith will evolve. Wackos like you are barking up the wrong tree.
Left by Michael on Jun 04, 2010 5:12 PM

# Does it matter?????????????

I never understand why people want to bring religion as an issue than other important things. Even if they are un-faithful to the religion, even if they abuse in a number of ways, we still believe religion is a key to make a choice. In administration, we need to find a person who can manage people's daily issues, like helping to create jobs, help in feeding families, enjoy a decent life. Must also be in a position to help others, but not fight about their religion but daily issues. More are less all religions believe in same thing (love, peace, unity, help)..
Left by Anand on Jun 04, 2010 7:42 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

I hope you and Nikki Haley prove me wrong.

I live in what is now an intensely populated neighborhood & city of Sikhs. Once a Sikh, always a Sikh. Sikhs are only here to exploit and take advantage of what America has to offer. Assimilation is not on their agenda. They don't flag the American flag at their Gurdwara's.

While Christianity is under attack in this country, putting Sikhism into state text books is perfectly acceptable. The Sikhs want you to believe that they built our transcontinental railroad too!

Sikhs are very savvy in politics--connected locally, state & nationally.The Sikh Coalition is their version of the ACLU. Do not under estimate this community.

Where I live they don't take "no" for an answer are apt to be violent toward those that oppose the. While they are shaking you hand & calling you friend & being very charismatic they are stabbing you in the back with Kirpan.

Read East Bay Express: Singh vs. Singh to learn more. Check out Vancouver BC Sikh community too.
Left by Living in a Sikh community on Jun 11, 2010 4:40 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

I converted to Christianity as a senior in college. My parents are Hindu. Let me tell you, no way is someone from that background going to convert unless it's for real - because of parental disapproval and social censure from the Indian community. It's not as bad as with Muslims - no death threats or anything like that. But you know your parents are upset, and for Indian kids, that's a big deal. Unlike many American kids, Indians are generally very close to their parents and care about parental approval.

Even after you convert, you occasionally go to a Hindu temple, because, for example, if your brother is being married there - well, there's no way you're going to miss your brother's wedding! Plus there are cultural and social reasons - you may want to see a performance of Indian dance that happens to be at the temple, for example.

None of this changes the sincerity of your conversion, and, in fact, these are opportunities to witness and show Christ's love.
Left by Shefali on Mar 22, 2011 3:53 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

BTW, re. the "is Nikki Haley a Christian" point - I don't know because I can't examine her soul. That is God's province.

I tend to think that Bobby Jindal's conversion is sincere whereas Haley's might be politically motivated... However, this is not without precedent - many leaders, including the Roman Emperor Constantine, have converted to Christianity for political reasons. In Constantine's case, it proved to be a good thing for Roman Christians as they ceased being used for lion chow.

Martin Luther (author of the Protestant Reformation) famously said he'd rather be ruled by a wise pagan than a foolish Christian. The Bible also says we should render to Cesar what is Cesar's... To me, it's more important that Haley be a competent Governor than that she wear her faith on her sleeve. Part of being a good Governor would mean, of course, showing concern for the unborn, defense of marriage, etc., but I don't feel the need to examine her soul. That is God's job, not mine.
Left by Shefali on Mar 22, 2011 5:31 PM

# RE: Nikki Haley Reflects More Christian Tone

She is still more of a politician. I asking her for a year now to talk to her about the bias in the SC family court system. She refused to talk to me.
Left by sparksfire on Dec 05, 2011 12:52 PM