The faith of Kamala Harris

Kamala

Yonat Shimron has some initial reporting on Joe Biden’s running mate at Religion News Service. A taste:

Few, if any, vice presidential candidates have had as much exposure to the world’s religions as Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old senator from California whom Joe Biden just picked as his running mate.

Harris’ ethnic, racial and cultural biography represents a slice of the U.S. population that is becoming ascendant but that has never been represented in the nation’s second-highest office.

Here are five faith facts about Harris:

She was raised on Hinduism and Christianity.

Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was from Chennai, India; her father, Donald Harris, from Jamaica. The two met as graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her name, Kamala, means “lotus” in Sanskrit, and is another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. She visited India multiple times as a girl and got to know her relatives there.

But because her parents divorced when she was 7, she also grew up in Oakland and Berkeley attending predominantly Black churches. Her downstairs neighbor, Regina Shelton, often took Kamala and her sister, Maya, to Oakland’s 23rd Avenue Church of God in Oakland. Harris now considers herself a Black Baptist.

Read the rest here.