Nikki Haley: 'No One Is Going to Fight For You But You'
Hey there it's Paula Farris and welcome to journeys of faith. Our next guest is widely expected to run for president in twenty twenty four. We're talking to Nikki. Haley former governor of South Carolina and United States Ambassador to the UN on this episode. Haley whose parents are from India talks about being raised in in a Sikh family in rural South Carolina. She reveals what she loves about the Sikh faith but also why she converted to Christianity Haley also dives lives into the confederate flag. Debate those rumors about her replacing Mike Pence on the ticket and she opens up like never before about a possible run for president. Here's Nikki Haley. Nikki Haley welcome into the studio for the journeys of Faith podcast. Last time I saw you on the sidelines of the National Championship Chip College Football Championship game. When Clemson was beating Alabama? Such a good time had an amazing program. I'm really three National Championships. UNSHIPPED four years. We're proud Davo. Were proud of that team or product. Schoon yeah you are and you went to Clemson just for all of those listening out there. You graduated from Clemson and I'm not GonNa date you and say when which are very young well I graduated from Clemson met my husband my first weekend at Clemson got engaged at Clemson and our daughter daughter is now at Clemson's who were a bit clemson obsessed what I really love about your history. Your faith history. You're raised in a seekonk so tell me uh-huh maybe some of the tenants the main tenants of the Sikh faith. Well you know it's interesting because we were the only Indian family in a small southern town probably less the one percent of the population in South Carolina's Indian. And then you go when you look at the Sikhs in the area I mean it was just small. Every third Sunday Sunday seek families would get together at someone's home in the state to have to have prayers and so it was probably no more than one hundred people people that we would get together with but the faith itself is a very kind peaceful faith. It's one that's all accepting mm-hmm they believe in one God and what was so interesting was even though I would go every third Sunday with my family somewhere My parents made us go to different churches. Methodist Baptist Catholic Yummy. You name it. They go so my mom would say I want you to respect everyone and how they do their prayers but you understand. There's one guide but everyone has has their own pathway. And as long as you have your relationship with God the new will be okay and so they just wanted us one to respect other religions but to to understand and see the relationship people have with God and so it was really important because I talk about how and why I converted converted when I would go to a good war or temple for prayers. I would feel it. I would feel God in the room but I couldn't understand understand it because I didn't I didn't know the religion I didn't know the language and so when I started dating my husband and we started going more and more to his church and he was methodist. I immediately could relate I immediately. You found a connection of a sudden there was not just the feeling but it was the words that I could relate to. That really meant something to me. And that was really when I knew if I wanted to grow deeper in my faith if I wanted to have a stronger relationship tip I needed to have something that spoke to me and so that was that was how it happened so your husband was methodist when you met him. Yeah you're seek and you had a multi-denominational wedding you celebrated the methodist traditions and the Sikh traditions girl my family obviously wanted to see me have an Indian ceremony so I did. So that was for all of their friends and family and then we had a Christian ceremony for Michael's friends and family so in the end we got married twice. Were doubly. Okay yes you're deli okay. I know you just touched on it. But what made you convert to Christianity from the Sikh faith a faith that your parents still adhere adhere to it really was when you grow your faith you have to be able to talk to God and you have to be able to go to a service service and feel it and if you don't understand the language you're not hearing it and it's harder and harder to feel it and so the the language that they're speaking is just to clarify Punjabi. Yes was what they were speaking at the time. But you know you have to have that connection and when you're sitting thing in service and you feel it that's one it's so important you know I always say My faith has grown over time. Because you know I you have a faith because your appearance teach you to have a strong faith then you start to grow when you get married because you have faith together with your husband and then when you have children it takes you to a whole new level because Michael always said that our children if we could teach them a faith and a conscience everything else would be okay and so all of a sudden it gets deeper and then as I went through challenges in my life it just went to another level I mean obviously when we dealt with the Charleston shooting. I think that was a huge turning point for me because it was so painful and it was so hard that there was no one or nothing that was going to get me through that but God and I I mean that's when I started to believe in and just recite Joshua one nine be strong and be courageous. Do not be afraid you know or the Lord. Your God is with you wherever God with you wherever you go and I think that was you know when you when you feel that and you and it speaks to you you look more for how else it can speak to you and how you can grow your faith. Hey I want to touch on the Charleston shooting in just a moment which you write about in yearbook. That's out with all due respect it was released in two thousand nineteen but just going back to the Sikh faith. I know you have converted to Christianity. Your parents are still seek. Are there parts of the faith. The tradition practices that you still implement into to your daily life that you still hold dear. I think you know more than that. It's just respect for parents. Respect for family Love of all people MHM Respect for all people and you know in the Sikh faith it acknowledges other religions so it doesn't say you have to be secret nothing else. It acknowledges analogize other religions it acknowledges Jesus it acknowledges you know that Jesus was the son of God you and so there's different things that they had more than that what I take from it is the is the respect and the peaceful side of the Sikh faith which is respect everyone and in everything you do in your life should lead to peace and the best way to appreciate your blessings is to give back. Those were the things that I took away from what my parents parents taught us. And when the Sikh faith taught us and so then when I converted to Christianity those are all things that you can still go and build on and carry it forward right but I I you know. I can't give enough credit to my parents for how they raised us. And how much emphasis put on the respect of other religions and I think that's that's what made for me and easier transition and they have never had a problem with the fact that I've converted and I want to talk about your book. Yes called with all due respect out. Now congratulations thank you a lot of fun to write very therapeutic. I can imagine but in one of the sections. I know you talk about your faith in the book but in one of the sections you talk about the Charleston shooting which you just mentioned in how much you relied on your faith to get you through that you also made the decision to take down the confederate flag can at the State House grounds. And you said at the time that it because of the connection in the connotation to hatred and racism At I know recently you WanNa Glenn Back and you said that you caused a little controversy in that interview. You said that some saw the confederate flag is service and sacrifice and heritage. And that Dylann unroofed. The gunmen hijacked it. Some people felt that this was a reversal. Because in two thousand fifteen you say that it's deeply offensive symbol of brutally oppressive past. I was at a reversal. So telling of how toxic politics has gotten literally the same words I said in Glen on the Glenn Beck Show are the same words. I said in twenty-fifty if you go back and read my speech where I'm asking for the flag to come down. I talk about how some some people in the state saw the flag and related to service and heritage and talk about the other people in the state that saw all the flag and felt pain. And what I said was. We don't want anyone in our state to feel pain when they see that flag and I went on onto say not to judge either side as a governor. That's not your job. You Represent All people what it was was. I need all of you to come together. You can have respect for the confederate flag. But we're going to move it to a museum because it is a living breathing symbol. That does not represent. Is that all of the people in the state and went on to talk about. How if it causes any child pain when they passed that Nate House? There's something wrong and and we needed to pull it down. Had I gone and said that half the state was racist. That flag would never have come