Via: The Sikh Press Association
Sikh orgs and individuals spoke out against a claim by US politician Nikki Haley that Sikhi “acknowledges Jesus as the son of God”, in a recent podcast interview.
The former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations, formerly known as Nimrata Randhawa, was born into a Sikh family and converted to Christianity when she met her husband. She made the comments in the Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris, of the ABC News network.
On the podcast Haley said “[Sikhi teaches] respect for parents and for family, love and respect for all people,” she said when asked about her Sikh upbringing, before adding that “the Sikh faith acknowledges other religions”.
“It acknowledges Jesus, it acknowledges that Jesus was the son of God.”
Haley explained that she grew up in South Carolina where the Sikh population was very small and during her childhood, Sikh families across the state would meet every month to pray, and the congregation would only number around 100 people.
She said that whenever she would go the Gurdwara, she would feel “God’s presence”, but due to her lack of Punjabi knowledge, she could not understand the teachings of Sikhi.
The comment has caused dismay from sections of the Sikh community. A statement from Sikh educational outlet Basics of Sikhi, which provides videos explaining the teachings of Sikhi in English, stated:
“Nikki Haley grew up at a time when Sikhi education was not readily available in English. However, her assertion that “Sikhi acknowledges Jesus was the son of God” has no basis in Gurbani.”
The charity’s founder, Bhai Jagraj Singh Ji, addressed the Sikh view on Christianity in some of his videos. Speaking about Jesus’ crucifixion, he explained that according to Christian teachings, “the blood of Christ is the price Jesus paid to forgive everybody’s sins”.
He said that when Sikh Gurus Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji sacrificed their own lives, it was not to forgive our sins but to inspire us.
“This concept that you give some blood as an offering to God is very pagan in nature, and is not a concept that we agree with,” he said. “The question from a Sikh perspective is: Why does God need blood in order to forgive sins?”