Christianity,  Politics

Bobby Jindal’s Conversion

Don’t miss Robert Costa’s piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Rebel With a Cause: Bobby Jindal’s Spiritual Journey.” Bobby Jindal is the governor of my home state of Louisiana. And though he was born into a Hindu family, he converted to Roman Catholicism when he was in high school.

Jindal describes his journey to Christian faith as a long process. But one passage from the Journal article describes a breaking point.

As a teenager, Mr. Jindal said he sought out chaplains at nearby Louisiana State University as he grasped for a religious identity to call his own. During a youth group’s Easter season musical production in 1987 at LSU’s campus chapel, a black-and-white video of the Passion played during intermission. “I don’t know why I was struck so hard at that moment,” said Mr. Jindal. “There was nothing fascinating about this particular video. . . . But watching this depiction of an actor playing Jesus on the cross, it just hit me, harder than I’d ever been hit before,” he said. “If that was really the son of God, and he really died for me, then I felt compelled to get on my knees and worship him.”

“It was liberating,” said Mr. Jindal about his moment. “Up until that point, my prayer life was like a child talking to Santa Claus — making deals with God saying ‘I’ll be good, but this is what I want in return.'” Soon after, Mr. Jindal began to pray and fervently read the Bible, principally parables in the New Testament. “It was like the words were jumping out of the page. It was literally as if it had been written just for me,” he said.

Here’s the rest:

“Rebel With a Cause: Bobby Jindal’s Spiritual Journey” – by Robert Costa (Wall Street Journal)


  • Big Daddy Weave

    6 minutes into the “Election of Officers” video from the Wednesday Morning Session of the 2008 SBC, you’ll hear Frank Page tell a brief story about how when he was in the White House meeting with Bush, he was introduced to Jindal. Jindal asks Frank Page, “Do you know Tommy French?” Page says, “Yessir, I do, he’s a wonderful man.” Jindal responds, “Well, he baptized me and led me to Christ”

    For those not familiar with Tommy French, he’s a long-time Southern Baptist pastor located in Baton Rouge.

    If Jindal was telling the truth to Frank Page and assuming Frank Page got the story correct, why haven’t we heard about Jindal’s baptism in presumably a Southern Baptist church? Being “led to Christ” by a Southern Baptist minister before converting to Catholicism is a big detail for Jindal’s biographers to leave out….

  • Paul

    I thought you Southern Baptist types thought Catholocism was almost as evil as Islam?

    Why a bright and sunny post about someone presumably worshipping a false god?

    Moral relativism rears its ugly head once again.

  • Ferg

    I’m not a southern baptist type, but I do believe Catholocism is the biggest cult in the world. I’ve seen the chaos and destruction is has caused in my country as a result of it’s heretical doctrines.
    I’m surprised this post is here.

  • Darius

    Just because Roman Catholicism has huge errors doesn’t mean that there aren’t Catholic Christians. Catholic traditions have some significant problems in theology, but I know plenty of Catholics who don’t adhere to those doctrines and are living born-again lives.

  • Ferg

    “Just because Roman Catholicism has huge errors doesn’t mean that there aren’t Catholic Christians”
    I agree with this.

    “Catholic traditions have some significant problems in theology”, it’s just traditions that are problematic; it’s their fundamentals too.

  • Denny Burk

    Dear All,

    Here is an article that Jindal wrote about 15 years ago in which he describes his conversion in some detail:

    According to this article, a “baptist friend” and a “pastor” influenced his initial conversion to Christianity. Two years after his “conversion,” he went into the Catholic church.

    One of the reasons I posted this article is because his “conversion” story has an evangelical ring to it. That is surprising coming from a Roman Catholic. But it makes more sense now, given the background.


  • Chris

    His conversion story definitely has an evangelical ring to it. He made a profession of faith in high school and then converted to Roman Catholicism while at Brown University. His testimony was honed as he went to countless evangelical and pentecostal churches all over Louisiana and “gave his testimony” during the run up to his election last year. His conversion to Catholicism was of course conveniently left out. (One of the explanations given for his close loss in 2003 was that many rural whites who would have normally voted Republican did not vote for Jindal, ostensibly because he was perceived as a foreigner.) When he came to my home town to “give his testimony” mere months after being sworn in as a Congressman in 2005 it was obvious he was preparing for another gubernatorial run since the church he was visiting that day was about 3 hours away from his district. I told him to his face that it was too bad he apparently didn’t give consideration to the Reformed faith before crossing the Tiber and he responded that “all that matters is that you love Jesus.” (BTW I have more recently become convinced that the Baptist faith is more biblical than the Reformed faith, especially on baptism and church government.)

    The cynicism of the Jindal campaign in disingenuously “giving his testimony” in what he apparently believes are false churches (unless he’s changed his views) is bad enough but I place greater blame on the pastors and leaders who allowed their congregations to be used in this way. Does anyone think the Catholics would invite a Baptist candidate into their pulpits to “give his testimony?”

  • Mat Rane

    This response is to Ferg who says “I do believe Catholocism is the biggest cult in the world”.—–>
    I have seldom seen catholics blaming protestants in videos and internet even in my native country where catholics are majority. But here in US, it is sad to see protestants making all these kinds of blames.
    The biggest enemy to America is Islam. They are taking all churches including protestant churches in the pretext of starting schools etc… it is time to join hands with all denominations…. if you and your pastor is still diverting venom at catholics he and you have no clue what is happening around you in US and around the world.

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