Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

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Arjun
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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Arjun » 10 Apr 2015 11:22

Proselytization needs to be regulated with clear dos and donts in the same manner that freedom of expression, advertising etc are regulated with clear dos and donts in every region of the world (including in that "bastion" of individual freedom - the US of A).

Don't know why its so hard for some folks to grasp this fairly simple concept.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 10 Apr 2015 11:27

Arjun wrote:Proselytization needs to be regulated with clear dos and donts in the same manner that freedom of expression, advertising etc are regulated with clear dos and donts in every region of the world (including in that "bastion" of individual freedom - the US of A).

Don't know why its so hard for some folks to grasp this fairly simple concept.


Simplisity is the mother of all.... akin to the arguments for 'Reasonableness of Christianity'

What are the dos and donts?
If I want to 'Ghar Wapsi' people what is and is not allowed?

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Arjun » 10 Apr 2015 11:45

Pulikeshi wrote:What are the dos and donts?
If I want to 'Ghar Wapsi' people what is and is not allowed?

Fairly standard set of regulations that are followed across most industries - one set of regulation on registration of "providers". Any organization intending to proseletyze needs to register itself with authorities - and every "salesman" for this organization would need to be vetted to ensure he / she is appropriately 'qualified'.

Secondly, regulations around the process of proselytization - no coercion, inducement, false claims, disparagement of competition, respect for local traditions to be maintained etc...

No differentiating between Ghar Wapsi and Abrahamic efforts. Anybody who satisfies these rules around process and qualification of providers pass through - others don't. We have to have to be fair as well as "seen to be fair" after all....

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby csaurabh » 10 Apr 2015 12:01

shiv wrote:Christianity muddled through this paradox by a series of wars in Europe after which they settled on two rule books - the Bible and a secular national constitution in which the powers and the reach of each rule book was decided by negotiation. Unfortunately when you mix Islam and Hindu dharma in this you get nonsense because the Bible is one rule book imposing one set of laws, Islam follows a different set of laws and Hindu dharma is a moral code that is trodden upon both by Christian and Islamic laws.


The word 'secular' has been so garbled and misinterpreted that it has become a nonsense word. To give an example:

I just read an article in a newspaper ( by an Indian Christian ) about how yoga is 'secular' and therefore people of other religions should be fine with practising it. On one level, this is a good thing . But I also get the feeling that he is missing the point.

You see, answering the question "Is yoga secular" falls into the trap of saying yes, yoga is secular, or no, yoga is not secular. But the real problem is that yoga ( like other aspects of 'Hindoo-ism' ) is something that cannot be fitted into the category of secular or religious ( or 'communal' - another totally nonsense word ).

It is only religions ( ie. book-followers ) who need to be convinced of whether yoga is 'secular' or 'non-secular'. Hindus should ideally be free of this nonsense. But because of our history and Macaulayite education, we are falling into the same trap of 'secularism'.

The real function of secularism as developed in Europe was to separate the 'State' from the 'Church'. What does it have to do with yoga?

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby csaurabh » 10 Apr 2015 12:07

We also need to explain why some Indian muslims/christian show interest in 'Hindu' philosophy. Is the Bhagwad Gita 'secular' now?

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/ ... 745400.ece

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby shiv » 10 Apr 2015 14:12

ShauryaT wrote:
shiv wrote:In fact a comment made by Prof Jakob at a meeting addressed by him and Balu was that they are working on a hypothesis that goes against a common sociological assumption. The hypothesis is that not all societies developed with laws. I would tend to agree with this. Hindu society developed without firm coercive laws and laws were laid down later by various rulers. The important thing here is that there is no "law-imposing God" waving his rulebook in Hindu tradition or literature.

This post is nit pick.
I would phrase it the following way based on my understanding. Hindu society developed with the help of law or dharma shastras. As per hindu tradition these laws or shastras have existed for as long as Hindu memory goes. These shastras were enforced and evolved with the evolution of society itself. These shastras or laws were sourced to eternal principles, values and objectives of Human life as expounded in works such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Jaina and Buddhist works etc. The seers who composed/understood these vedas and some other texts, had multiple approaches to the understanding of creator and creations. From a singular dimension to multi dimensional creator, to no creator or dimension of the creator or a silence about the creator.

The point is, I agree with the last sentence, there there was no "law-imposing God", however it would be wrong to say Hindu society developed without the help of firm laws. I would argue for the opposite. Hindu society is one of the most law/dharma abiding societies on earth, although our evolution, practices and implementation of these laws/shastras worked differently from the European experience. These differences can be sourced to its foundational differences, where one society got its laws from an all controlling creator and the other through observations in nature and deliberations and evolution of society.

It is, as you point out, a nit-pick, but an important nit pick.

What I said sounds more racist and more in sync with the accusation that "Hindus are not law abiding". What you said makes me feel better as a Hindu - your views are more warm-fuzzy generating . But I said what I said deliberately and I will try and explain.

By definition a "law" means that it imposes consequences and demands implementation by coercion or by some irresistible force . If there are no consequences it is not law, but a principle. I do understand that the principles of dharma are bound to cosmic consequences, or at the very least consequences to society and family if they are not followed, but they are still not laws because as they were given to us they did not come bound with any coercion. It was left to society to encourage dharma by means of stories and examples, or by leaders who imposed dharma by law enforcement systems. Note that if we do not impose dharma by enforcing it and imagine that it is law that will somehow be followed, we are making a grave error., Dharma is a set of ethical principles that should be followed and human leaders should impose those principles by making laws that impose dharma. There is a huge difference between laws that say that God will burn you or kill you for doing something and a principle that guides you.

That brings me to the question of why you say that "Indians are deeply law abiding" and why colonizers claimed that we are "lawless"

Both observations have a reason, but I will have to revert to something I had written earlier

If a man does not commit rape or adultery, is it because he is deeply moral, or is it because he is afraid of punishment? Both morality and laws try to achieve the goal of preventing rape and adultery. Morality seeks to achieve it by warning one of negative consequences, but morality alone cannot impose those consequences. Only a law (combined with an enforcement system) can impose behaviour by punishment and example.

Now imagine that a murder has taken place. The killer is found and secretly sentenced and executed but nobody knows about it. How would this case appear to the public, who know there has been a murder, but know nothing about the criminal having been caught and punished? The point that I am trying to make is that law enforcement demands that everyone is aware of the punishment for crime. Only that is supposed to deter crime (or unsocial behaviour). Morality, when ignored or destroyed, cannot deter. Morality is preventive before the act. Laws seek prevention by example after the act.

Indian society is a deeply moral society. It is not a deeply law abiding society because the morality has been inculcated by society and upbringing and not by imposition of punitive laws. In modern India law enforcement is so poor that petty crimes never lead to the criminal being pursued by police or conviction. Yet petty crimes are rare even when there is no law enforcement about simply because Indians are a deeply moral people. Indian ethics and morality did not come with coercive rules. That is why we do not kill someone for saying that the God I believe in is wrong. We do not burn the offices of a factory that prints Lord Ganesh's image on underwear. Indian morality exists at ground level in society even in the absence of a law enforcement apparatus.

It is high time we made and implemented laws to uphold the principles of dharma where the punishment is crystal clear. Humans are allowed to make laws appropriate for the crime, but the punishments due for a given crime/transgression never handed down to us in out texts. We were only told about right and wrong. It is up to us to recognize right and punish wrong by making laws. We cannot assume that "the laws are already there". They are not. The principles are there. Laws must be made from those principles. That means punishment in this life for not following those principles.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby shiv » 10 Apr 2015 17:11

The reason why Hindus have been unable to respond to proselytizing is that we realize that it is wrong to declare that only one God can exist and his word cannot be opposed. It is adharmic/unethical to promote such an attitude. Hindu principles that tell us what dharma is. But they do not tell us that we should impose some punishment on the person who makes such an adharmic claim. As Hindus we are not taught that a person who claims that "his God" is greater than others will be killed or sent to burn in hell in future or that we should pick up a stick and beat him. The fact that he is wrong is known, but there is no established mechanism to impose consequences. In other words there is no Hindu law to punish adharma of this sort. In fact if you look at Hindu texts that extol dharma - none tell you or compel you to impose punishment. Dharma consists of ethical principles - not a legal system to impose punishment for adharma.

Historically it was the duty of the ruler to impose punishment by creating laws to uphold dharma. Once the rulers stop imposing punishment for not upholding dharma by not making appropriate laws - dharma will die of its own accord.

The Indian constitution tells us that it is alright for a Christian proselytizer to insist that his God is the only God and that any other God is false. The constitution encourages adharma in the name of secularism. It is up to us an individuals to understand this and create the necessary action to oppose this idiocy. Conversion (of religion) is always an act of trying to impose one God or one belief over another. It is adharma to take such a dogmatic view and insult someone's belief. But recognizing adharma is not the same as upholding dharma. Upholding dharma requires some action. It is up to us to decide what that action ought to be

  • Some people have said "ban convesrions" - and I am quite happy with that suggestion.
  • Others said "regulate proselyitzation" - maybe allow two way conversion back and forth?
  • Another said "ghar wapsi". That is fine. It has been muddied by a silly rhetorical question that I can answer easily. "What caste does the reconverted Hindu belong to?". His caste is decided by his work. If he is a teacher, he is a Brahmin. If he is a surgeon dealing in blood and shit he has to be some fairly low caste. Of course the convert could choose to have no caste.

But dharma means ethical principles. Many principles of dharma are common to Hindus and people of some other religion. It is these crunch questions like conversion that we need to point out that Hindu ethics do not allow conversion or proselytizing. But Hindu principles allow Hindus to create new laws to deal with adharma. There is nothing that says Hindus must not react to adharma. If adharma has been awarded constitutional validity we have to use means within the constitution to uphold dharma
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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby A_Gupta » 10 Apr 2015 17:21

An article on proselytization:
http://www.the-american-interest.com/20 ... ytization/

1. Ideally, Hindu society would be strong and self-confident enough to not need protection of legislation.

2. However, when even commenters like Shiv are flirting with coercion and violence, matters have reached such a point that one must choose the least of the evils. Law is perhaps the least damaging version of coercion. (That is, I choose to support a anti-conversion bill out of pragmatism. If we can do without such a law, so much the better.)

3. We have other laws on the books, such as section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which are less than ideal, but it gives people a legal recourse to their feelings of insult to their religion instead of resorting to violence. I find it far preferable that e.g., the issue of Wendy Doniger's book be settled in the courts by section 295A, than by riots on the streets. But I truly want to sunset 295A, and for that Indian politics has to reach a higher level of maturity.

4. Arjun has outlined what anti-conversion legislation must look like.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby shiv » 10 Apr 2015 19:50

A_Gupta wrote:
1. Ideally, Hindu society would be strong and self-confident enough to not need protection of legislation.

I favour legislation as coercion because - as I interpret it, the demands of Hindu ethics (dharma) were, in the past, typically fulfilled by various means depending on the place and context. That means that violence may be the route taken by some. Others may take some other route to oppose proselytizing/conversion.

As an example, what would a person in India do if he found a neighbour making unwanted advances on his wife. File an FIR? Move house? File for divorce even though the wife is faithful? The neighbour's actions are adharmic and the law is not going to help you much.

Proselytizing is unethical from a Hindu viewpoint, but there is no written law that tells Hindus how to deal with it. Secular laws allow it. it is up to Hindus to come up with some solution. If tradition is followed any solution is allowable ranging from violence to gharwapsi. There is no law that there must be a single unified response from all Hindus. But Hindu will abide by a law set by the leadership - but the leadership need to acknowledge the fact that what is unethical for Hindus will only force Hindus to retaliate appropriately if an acceptable set of laws are not made to curb it. The multiplicity of responses is absolutely in consonance with the facts that
1. Proselytizing is recognized as unethical and offensive (adharmic by Hindu definition)
2. Hindus are free to respond as they see fit. There is no law telling them to do or not do anything specific.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby RamaY » 10 Apr 2015 20:09

A_Gupta wrote:3. We have other laws on the books, such as section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which are less than ideal, but it gives people a legal recourse to their feelings of insult to their religion instead of resorting to violence. I find it far preferable that e.g., the issue of Wendy Doniger's book be settled in the courts by section 295A, than by riots on the streets. But I truly want to sunset 295A, and for that Indian politics has to reach a higher level of maturity.


If they are any meaningful and purposeful, we wouldn't be having this discussion after 68Yrs of independence. We need to move away from this "original sin" mindset.

Section 295A of IPC says thus
295A. Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.— Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.


Now tell us why shouldn't Hindus go to courts seeking ban on Quran and Bible under section 295A? If not, tell us if this section is of any purpose to 80% Indians?

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 10 Apr 2015 20:42

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2006/12/fore_shame.html

Did the Vatican steal Jesus' foreskin so people would shut up about the savior's penis?

By David Farley
In 1983, as the residents of Calcata, a small town 30 miles north of Rome, prepared for their annual procession honoring a holy relic, a shocking announcement from the parish priest put a damper on festivities. "This year, the holy relic will not be exposed to the devotion of the faithful. It has vanished. Sacrilegious thieves have taken it from my home." Not since the Middle Ages, when lopped-off body parts of divine do-gooders were bought, sold, and traded, has relic theft been big news. But the mysterious disappearance of Calcata's beloved curio is different.

This wasn't just the residuum of any holy human—nor was it just any body part. It was the foreskin of Jesus Christ, the snipped-off tip of the savior's penis, the only piece of his body he supposedly left on earth.

Just what the holy foreskin was doing in the priest's house—in a shoebox at the back of his wardrobe, no less—and why and how it disappeared has been debated ever since the relic vanished. Some suspect the village priest sold it for a heavenly sum; others say it was stolen by thieves and ended up on the relics black market; some even suggest Satanists or neo-Nazis are responsible. But the most likely culprit is an unlikely one: the Vatican.

And why not? Protestant doubt ("They couldn't let Christ's body go without keeping a piece," John Calvin quipped) and the scientific revolution, which changed our thinking from superstitious to skeptical, have taken their toll on a relic that once rested high atop the pious pecking order of blessed body parts. It's understandable that the 20th-century church began feeling a bit bashful about the idea of its flock fawning over the 2,000-year-old tip of the redeemer's manhood. Still, when I arrived in Calcata six months ago, the idea of a Vatican theft of Jesus' foreskin sounded more like a ganja-induced brainstorming session with Dan Brown and Danielle Steele. But some transplanted bohemians, a deathbed confession, and a little historical context have convinced me otherwise.

Even before its disappearance, the relic had a strange history. It was discovered in Calcata in 1557, and a series of miracles soon followed (freak storms, perfumed mists engulfing the village). The church gave the finding a seal of approval by offering a 10-year indulgence to those who came to venerate. Lines of pilgrims stretched from the church doors to beyond the walls of the fortress town. Nuns and monks from nearby villages and monasteries made candlelit processions. Calcata was a must-see destination on the pilgrimage map.

That is, until 1900. Facing increasing criticism after the "rediscovery" of a holy foreskin in France, the Vatican decreed that anyone who wrote about or spoke the name of the holy foreskin would face excommunication. And 54 years later, when a monk wanted to include Calcata in a pilgrimage tour guide, Vatican officials didn't just reject the proposal (after much debate). They upped the punishment: Now, anyone uttering its name would face the harshest form of excommunication—"infamous and to be avoided"—even as they concluded that Calcata's holy foreskin was more legit than other claimants'.

But that wasn't the end of the holy foreskin. In the late 1960s, government officials, worried that crumbling cliffs and threatening earthquakes might doom the village, decided to build a new town. Hippies discovered the newly abandoned town, which was awaiting a government wrecking crew, and squatted in, then legally purchased, the vacated buildings. Some of the bohemian transplants were intrigued by Calcata's relic, which was now only shown to the public during the village's annual New Year's Day procession (even though the Vatican II reforms removed the Day of the Holy Circumcision from the church calendar). The new residents began writing about the quirky event and relic for newspapers in and around Rome, and Calcata's scandalous prepuce was isolated no more. And the church took notice.

Was this the reason Dario Magnoni, the local priest, brought the relic from the church to his home? Who knows. Magnoni refuses to speak about the relic, citing the 1954 threat of excommunication. Magnoni's predecessor, Mario Mastrocola, didn't want to talk about the relic, either, but when asked if he was surprised to hear it had been stolen, he shook his head. When pressed, he said, "The relic would not have been taken away from Calcata if I were still the priest there."

Mastrocola's ambiguous words—while not directly incriminating anyone—hinted at underhanded church dealings (interview requests with the Vatican went unanswered). And later, I found myself sitting in a wine cellar halfway up the hill between the old and new villages of Calcata. Capellone, the cellar's owner and a lifelong Calcatese, told me about his close relationship with a former local bishop, Roberto Massimiliani. Ailing in bed, the bishop told Capellone that when he was gone, so too would be the relic. Bishop Massimiliani passed away soon after, in 1975. Eight years after that, the relic disappeared. "To me, it almost felt like a confession," said Capellone. "Like he needed to tell someone before he died."

Could the "sacrilegious thieves" Magnoni mentioned in his 1983 announcement about the relic's disappearance actually have been Vatican emissaries? The thought of masked, black-clad Vatican agents on a mission to steal Jesus' foreskin does sound alluring. But for residents like Capellone, who swear the Vatican now has the relic, the thief could be Magnoni himself. Some locals claim they saw him go to Rome the day before he made the announcement, generating speculation that the Vatican asked for it and Magnoni not only failed to stand up to them, he delivered the relic himself.

Sold, stolen, or delivered to the Vatican—or even all three—the holy foreskin of Calcata is probably gone for good, even as some residents persist in the hope that it will return. And the church is certainly breathing a sigh of relief. While most of the other copies of the relic were destroyed during the Reformation and the French Revolution, Calcata's holy foreskin lived long past its expiration date, like a dinosaur surviving the meteoric blast of the scientific revolution.

But if it had survived, it would have been only a matter of time before someone wanted to clone it. And that could have given the Second Coming an entirely new meaning.


This report gives an idea about the monstrous cult we are up against.And learned forumites think EJs are the problem.Its a monstrous cult not for worshipping the foreskin but its cleverness in setting and adapting to the white agenda of the time.
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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 10 Apr 2015 20:57

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Prepuce

Charlemagne gave it to Pope Leo III when the latter crowned the former Emperor. Charlemagne claimed that it had been brought to him by an angel while he prayed at the Holy Sepulchre, although a more prosaic report says it was a wedding gift from the Byzantine Empress Irene. Pope Leo III placed it into the Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran basilica in Rome with other relics.[3] Its authenticity was later considered to be confirmed by a vision of Saint Bridget of Sweden.[4] David Farley says the foreskin was then looted during the Sack of Rome in 1527. The German soldier who stole it was captured in the village of Calcata, 47 km north of Rome, later the same year. Thrown into prison, he hid the jeweled reliquary in his cell, where it remained until its rediscovery in 1557. Many miracles (freak storms and perfumed fog overwhelming the village) are claimed to have followed.[3] Housed in Calcata, it was venerated from that time onwards, with the Church approving the authenticity by offering a ten-year indulgence to pilgrims.[3] Pilgrims, nuns and monks flocked to the church, and "Calcata [became] a must-see destination on the pilgrimage map." The foreskin was reported stolen by a local priest in 1983.[3]

According to David Farley, "Depending on what you read, there were eight, twelve, fourteen, or even 18 different holy foreskins in various European towns during the Middle Ages."[3] In addition to the Holy Foreskin of Rome (later Calcata), other claimants included the Cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay, Santiago de Compostela, the city of Antwerp, Coulombs in the diocese of Chartres, as well as Chartres itself, and churches in Besançon, Metz, Hildesheim, Charroux, Conques, Langres, Fécamp, Stoke-on-Trent[citation needed], Calcata, and two in Auvergne.[3]

One of the most famous prepuces arrived in Antwerp in the Brabant in 1100 as a gift from king Baldwin I of Jerusalem, who purchased it in Palestine in the course of the first crusade. This prepuce became famous when the bishop of Cambray, during the celebration of the Mass, saw three drops of blood blotting the linens of the altar. A special chapel was constructed and processions organised in honour of the miraculous relic, which became the goal of pilgrimages. In 1426 a brotherhood was founded in the cathedral "van der heiliger Besnidenissen ons liefs Heeren Jhesu Cristi in onser liever Vrouwen Kercke t' Antwerpen"; its 24 members were all abbots and prominent laymen. The relic disappeared in 1566, but the chapel still exists, decorated by two stained glass windows donated by king Henry VII of England and his wife Elizabeth of York in 1503.

The abbey of Charroux claimed the Holy Foreskin was presented to the monks by Charlemagne. In the early 12th century, it was taken in procession to Rome where it was presented before Pope Innocent III, who was asked to rule on its authenticity. The Pope declined the opportunity. At some point, however, the relic went missing, and remained lost until 1856 when a workman repairing the abbey claimed to have found a reliquary hidden inside a wall, containing the missing foreskin. The rediscovery, however, led to a theological clash with the established Holy Prepuce of Calcata, which had been officially venerated by the Church for hundreds of years.

According to David Farley, in 1900, the Roman Catholic Church resolved the dilemma by ruling that anyone thenceforward writing or speaking of the Holy Prepuce would be excommunicated.[3] Again, according to Farley, in 1954, after much debate, the punishment was changed to the harsher degree of excommunication, vitandi (shunned);[3] Farley also says that the Second Vatican Council later removed the Day of the Holy Circumcision from the Latin church calendar, although Eastern Catholics and Traditional Roman Catholics still celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord on January 1.[3][5] In reality, it was more than two years before 11 October 1962, the date when the Second Vatican Council began, that a 25 July 1960 decree of Pope John XXIII[6] enacted a wide-ranging revision of the General Roman Calendar, which included changing the name of the 1 January feast from "Circumcision of the Lord and Octave of the Nativity" to "Octave of the Nativity", with no change of the Gospel reading about the circumcision of the child Jesus.[7]

Modern practicesEdit

Most of the Holy Prepuces were lost or destroyed during the Reformation and the French Revolution.[3]

The Holy Prepuce of Calcata is worthy of special mention, as the reliquary containing the Holy Foreskin was paraded through the streets of this Italian village as recently as 1983 on the Feast of the Circumcision, which was formerly marked by the Roman Catholic Church around the world on January 1 each year.


Christianity was founded as Roman imperial syncretic cult.Its the 'greatest achievement' of Western civilisation until enlightenment.Eastern Orthodoxy was the official religion of Eastern Roman Empire where much of the synthesis took place.Around 600 AD,the western roman empire collapse and the schism started developing between the original 'unified myths' of Xism.The New Testament is a beautiful literary document which has enriched the English language(part of our intellectual equipment).Xism draws from the Old Testament and Gnosticism too.

But from a Hindu national perspective,Catholicism,Anglicism and Southern Baptists are enemy cults which developed during foreign rule with foreign support.Ofcourse,we need sensitive and nuanced policies in Mizoram and Nagaland.Hindus realise we cannot use same yardsticks for all issues.

EJs are our least problems.These rice christians can be taken back anytime.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 10 Apr 2015 21:41

Evangelism in Jesus' Hometown

Nazareth Elite, a sleepy Jewish town in Galilee adjacent to the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth, found itself at the center of controversy over alleged “missionary activity.”

Residents woke up one morning to find the town covered with posters, headlined: “Love Has Returned to Our Family,” “God Corrects All of My Mistakes” and “Teens Need God.” The posters included a toll free number to call for a free booklet, including testimonies of those who had been helped by God. The posters were in Russian, targeting the town’s large population of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Nazareth Elite Mayor Shimon Gabso immediately had the posters removed on grounds that encouraging Jews to convert to Christianity is illegal. “This is clearly a case of missionary activity,” Gabso said. “It is offensive to the Jewish population of Nazareth [Elite], which is a Jewish Israeli town. We don’t allow proselytizing.”

A Messianic Jew named Alex, who initiated the campaign, said that if anyone is on the wrong side of the law, it’s the mayor. “What Gabso did is actually illegal,” he said. “We live in a democratic society and we have freedom of speech and of religion.”

Alex said the poster campaign cannot be described as proselytizing because Christians are not even involved. “We believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” he said. “We have a right to express and share our faith.”

Ultra-Orthodox residents in the town were outraged. “They are snatching Jewish souls,” said one of them. “What the Nazis failed to accomplish during the Holocaust, the missionaries are trying to achieve now.” Ironically, ultra-Orthodox Jews routinely post their beliefs in similar posters. As for secular residents, many said it’s much ado about nothing.

“If it helps people, why not?” one person told Israel Today.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 10 Apr 2015 21:47

http://www.firstministry.kerala.gov.in/pdf/bills/Reports/tmple_arsn.pdf

The full link to the police report on christians burning sabarimala

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 11 Apr 2015 07:46

A_Gupta wrote:1. Ideally, Hindu society would be strong and self-confident enough to not need protection of legislation.

Hindu society is not and should not be static. There is really no good option but this one if you get what I mean.
The key is there are several strong ideas to enable this and even make more folks follow the path of Dharma.
Laziness and appeals to authority (in this case Govt and Constitution) without understanding innate strength or the drawback of such an action from esteemed, well read folks here on BRF is frankly disappointing!

A_Gupta wrote:2. However, when even commenters like Shiv are flirting with coercion and violence, matters have reached such a point that one must choose the least of the evils. Law is perhaps the least damaging version of coercion. (That is, I choose to support a anti-conversion bill out of pragmatism. If we can do without such a law, so much the better.)

This is basically begging to put Hinduism on life support of the nation-state of India. Look at what happened to the Malay population when they went down the path of protection.... perhaps so when law codes enshrining not killing Brahmins - caused them to become fat and lazy, not that it is the best example, but what millennia could not do to Sanathana Dharma is being done with good intentions. Very saddening that it has come to this brain damaged state of affairs.

A_Gupta wrote:3. We have other laws on the books, such as section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which are less than ideal, but it gives people a legal recourse to their feelings of insult to their religion instead of resorting to violence. I find it far preferable that e.g., the issue of Wendy Doniger's book be settled in the courts by section 295A, than by riots on the streets. But I truly want to sunset 295A, and for that Indian politics has to reach a higher level of maturity.

Ahimsa is paramo Dharma -> highest, but not the only. While banning and burning or petty violence is not the answer. I find the criminal gets passed away as defense and this has to be condemned. However, violence to prevent eviction and extinction as in the case of Kashmiri Pandits, etc. is the duty or every citizen. It is better to invite Wendy and rubbish her and write articles and setup journals (is there one for Hindus ever?)... there are a million ideas, but there is only apathy, laziness and quick fix solution of legislation. Ironically, the proponents do not realize they are subscribing to what is innate in them - they are begging for the new Smrithi, but the version they see now is Ambedkar's Smrithi to fix their current plight - truly pathetic!

A_Gupta wrote:4. Arjun has outlined what anti-conversion legislation must look like.


Arjun says, "Fairly standard set of regulations that are followed across most industries..." India has some whoppers for laws - 295A is a good one - but it is truly bizarre to think that one can come up with a crisp law for this industry. One woman, with a belief, is sufficient to start the quest to convert others to her belief. By this law will Buddha be asked to register himself as a neophyte? Will he need to be regulated to talk about his 8 fold path? The government will decide who is and is not capable of free speech and who is and who is not a religion and continue the mess it currently is in? Buddha will be vetted and as a salesman for his newbie organization be found 'qualified' or not - in any case I find all inducement of moksha to be coercion. After all, it is a final product that remains untested by the buyer till it is too late to tell.

If I have come off harshly in my criticism - I do not apologize. Hinduism survived because intelligent folks had the testicular fortitude to stand against the fashions of the times - be it Buddha's ideas or be it Islam or Christianity. Our ancestors did this with knowledge, economics and violence if necessary - no apologize for this!
I shudder to see the scholars of yore and sages of the past cringe at this pusillanimity!

No, they did not wait for legislation to protect their way -
to requote Law & Order "Woman has only those rights that she can defend"

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby chetak » 11 Apr 2015 08:01

saars,

what I don't understand is how and why a Saint Bridget of Sweden would have visions of any prepuce at all, let alone a holy one.

is the veneration of the relic not idol worship??

would this relic pass the float test as administered by EJs in India, that the cross floats on water and so it is the true god given whereas the Hindu stone idol sinks therefore it is false

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby shiv » 11 Apr 2015 08:23

chetak wrote:
is the veneration of the relic not idol worship??

No insult intended, but this question is called cognitive dissonance or a "Hindu duh moment"

What Hindus do is wrong. When someone of another religion worships an icon or idol it is not idol worship. It has taken 68 years years after independence for Hindus to increasingly have such "Duh" moments. That is the depth to which we have been pushed into considering "us" as wrong and "other" as right.

That apart the Protestant-Catholic fight is in part an accusation that Catholics are idol worshippers but Protestants are not. Protestants also gave themselves extra points for being "rational" and not believing in miracles except miracles associated with Christ which are exempted and placed in "reserved category"

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 11 Apr 2015 08:50

I believe Protestant christianity did throw out a challenge to Hindu India.This has been acknowledged by Vivekananda,MK Gandhi etc.Were not Buddhism,Lingayatism,Sikhism,Ramanujas 'charismatic' leadership reform movements.

Whats wrong in accepting that reform impulses came from Protestant Xism which itself was tied to the indvidualism and industrialisation in Western Europe.The greatest impetus was the printing press and the teaching of Martin Luther in German and bringing the Scriptures to the common man.

This is 'exactly' what Buddha,Aazhwars,Basava,Guru Nanak,Jnanadeva,Sankaradeva did.'Religion' can never be divorced from political power and society.

Catholicism arose to cement a crumbling Roman Empire.The modern Hindutva movement is a political movement to manufacture Hindu unity.In the 80s when it arose in North India,the Cong was ambivalent towards it.The Brahminical Congress was aware of the issues in Cashmere,Punjab,TN,NE but was not enthusiastic about an emotional Ram Mandir issue.Yet even then,perceptive hindus had realised given the nature of Hindu diversity and the mischief of innumerable forces,a Hindutva narrative was necessary for securing Indian unity.But hindutva arose as a reaction than a positive identity.

The murder of Rajiv Gandhi made the choice easy for PVNR who promoted stealth Hindutva.Yet the BJP esssentially was a North Indian party and in many states outside the Hindi cow belt,the stronger identity was the regional identity-not the manufactured Hindu identity.

Thats why it has taken so long for a BJP majority on its own.Its important we understand ourselves before we know whom we are fighting and what we are fighting for.The christian threat within is not the primary threat.Centrifugal forces are part and parcel of Hindu polity.One should not conflate Hindu civilisational interests with the current fads of the nation state and the various sub nationalisms-the most dominant of which is the loosely defined Hindutva(as a political ideology) with its epicentre in UP,Rajasthan,MP,Haryana and Gujarat.

The Church is a threat because it brings its whitey world view to create and widen fault lines in India.The EJs try to hive off the lowest who are already sort of 'detached' to the mainbody.This detached segment has to be integrated.There are two issues here-economic and social.When theres scarcity and competition,grand social themes take the back seat.Also,every society has its under class.Theres reason that our dalits position deteoirated over centuries due to many reasons.It will take time for the community at large to find its feet.Much has been done for them.Theres some way to go.

The concessions to EJs(after due diligence on standards) is only a temperory measure to get social investment.Anyway the major investment is over.There has to be a simultaneous attack on the origins and ideology of Xism and its power structure inherited from colonial rule.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby vishvak » 11 Apr 2015 09:10

Ahimsa is paramo Dharma

This should be limited to dharmic people only. We need to stop offering blanket trust on demand, without verifying, considering ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir, or for that matter, murder of Hindutva members of RSS in a few states like Keral. If some people have ability to stay dormant for a few hundred years only to invite barbarians across when convenient, we need to do poorva-paksha on that too.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 11 Apr 2015 09:11

Please enjoy this grand pubah of WU: California proposal to legalize killing gays hard to stop
What joyous mind cooks this abomination: “Sodomite Suppression Act”

Vishvak - no disagreements...

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 11 Apr 2015 10:58

Vatican Refuses to Accept Gay French Ambassador

The Vatican is refusing to accept France's nomination for new ambassador to the country because he is gay.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Vatican is blocking the nomination of the French ambassador to the country due to the fact that he is gay, French media reported.

Laurent Stefanini was nominated by President Francois Hollande on January 5. According to the media, it usually takes about a month for the Vatican to approve the new envoy, but the Holy See has not made a decision yet. The Vatican reportedly does not issue rejections explicitly, but the prolonged "period of silence" could be interpreted as a rejection.

The media claims that the reason for Pope Francis not approving Stefanini is that the nominated ambassador is gay. Stefanini has been described in the media as the perfect candidate for the role.





This is interesting.The Vatican theocracy against the 'liberals'/gay lobby of US/West.

OTOH one has to 'laud' the decision of France,the land of the most dedicated ultramontanes and jesuits.France supplied the most devout of catholics and yet the modern republic was born there.Two cheers to the Fifth republic.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby ShauryaT » 11 Apr 2015 16:17

I think the trick here is to be able to restrict outside influence of wealth and power, where additional legislation and rules can help. Especially in areas involved with funding of churches and other evangelical organizations. This will require some fundamental readjustment of the discourse and understanding of our systems and the negation of equality between Hinduism and religions. Protection of the national interest - in the interests of all is a legitimate pursuit.

At the same time, Hindu society and institutions need to be strengthened and people educated. Laws need to be made to promote a hindu way of life with principles, values, goals and objectives that have backing in law - where ALL who live in these lands participate, integrate and take pride in the ways of their lands, regardless of their faith.

If done so, the ball is then on Hindus to ensure that there is NO coercion through law or otherwise or a feeling of victim hood and marginalization of a minority, in the name of their faith. Quite frankly, the right to propagate is nothing but an exposition of a right to speech, which is not free but bound by some rules in India.

The current debate on anti-conversion bills, ghar wapsi et al sounds like a losers whine. A loser unable to do the tough things required and then goes on to talk about whipping a marginal minority using brute majority. Democracy, bereft of protections for a minority, will be reduced to the tyranny of the majority and the victimization of a minority. It would be shameful for India to take such a regressive step. No wonder the PM, makes one apologetic speech after another to assure all that his government will protect the rights of all.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby A_Gupta » 11 Apr 2015 17:13

I think people feel that abjuring violence is like fighting with one hand tied behind the back.

But promoting violence within India is like urinating all over your own house.

Pulikeshi wrote:However, violence to prevent eviction and extinction as in the case of Kashmiri Pandits, etc. is the duty or every citizen.


Demanding and supporting state action is the duty of every citizen; I doubt that violence is the duty of every citizen.

Unless we change the dispensation under which we live, the state has the legal monopoly on violence; we do not want a million militant groups operating with varying degrees of state license, like Pakistan has, do we?

If we want to change the rules, so that there is say, a citizens' militia, that can e.g., go to Srinagar and exert due violence against the people who expelled the Kashmiri Pandits, I don't know how that would work, can you explain?

Why would a proposed law that allows citizens' militias be any better than 295A or better than an anti-proselytization law? How would this proposed law allow only the militias we favor, and not the militias we don't like, e.g., an Indian Taliban or a Khalistan liberation army?

Please, no sneers about the Ambedkarite Smriti. If it is to be dismantled, those who would dismantle it should specify what they want to replace it with. It is the height of intellectual laziness to want all kinds of change, but not to be able to specify what that change looks like. "Anything will be better than what we have now" is snake oil.
Last edited by A_Gupta on 11 Apr 2015 17:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby A_Gupta » 11 Apr 2015 17:25

vishvak wrote:
Ahimsa is paramo Dharma

This should be limited to dharmic people only. We need to stop offering blanket trust on demand, without verifying, considering ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir, or for that matter, murder of Hindutva members of RSS in a few states like Keral. If some people have ability to stay dormant for a few hundred years only to invite barbarians across when convenient, we need to do poorva-paksha on that too.


It is like free speech, the speech that needs protection is the speech that you most dislike.

If "Ahimsa paramo dharmah" is a principle of dharmic people, then if they deviate from that, do they cease to be dharmic? Or is being dharmic a state of belief, like asserting "Laillahaillah" makes one Mussalman, asserting "ahimsa paramo dharmah" makes one a member of a select dharmic club, that gives a license to walk about with a lathi or AK-47 and chase off people who are not members of this club? How does one identify dharmic people?

To me "Ahimsa paramo dharmah" means that one cannot initiate violence. Non-violent aggression (e.g., proselytization) cannot be met with violence. While undertaking violent self-defense in the face of violent aggression, one has to consider if there is an effective non-violent method of protecting oneself. Further, when retaliatory violence is necessary, it is nevertheless bound by rules, it is not unlimited violence.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby A_Gupta » 11 Apr 2015 17:28

Pulikeshi wrote:If I have come off harshly in my criticism - I do not apologize. Hinduism survived because intelligent folks had the testicular fortitude to stand against the fashions of the times - be it Buddha's ideas or be it Islam or Christianity. Our ancestors did this with knowledge, economics and violence if necessary - no apologize for this!

I shudder to see the scholars of yore and sages of the past cringe at this pusillanimity!

No, they did not wait for legislation to protect their way -
to requote Law & Order "Woman has only those rights that she can defend"


But I do not detect that intelligence here. If that is harsh, I do not apologize.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Tuvaluan » 11 Apr 2015 18:59

Not sure what all this philosophical waxing about dharma etc. has to do with the threat to social cohesion.
If christianity and islam did not bring about a bunch of people who start pushing their own unjust methods while decrying the unjust methods of the majority, then it would not be a problem. But the entire edifice of proselytization is to replace one set of bad ideas with another set of bad ideas, and given enough time, that is just setting up the stage for conflict down the line, and must be avoided.

There are only consitutional and democratic means of stopping divisive actions of a subsection of the population, not withstanding what was written about dharma in some historic script no one knows about, making all of that irrelevant, and nothing more than idle philosophical chitchat. India today is bound together by allegicance to the constitution so any methods of "coercion" in the form of laws or any other schemes that involves laws passed in the democratic framework is the only way to get larger public acceptance which is central to remaining as an Union -- philosophical debates about dharma are irrelevant even it is all highly intellectual and dharmic.

Repercussions of proselytization are in the form of outside influence on a huge section of the populace that has consequences on the interests of the overall public -- that alone is reason enough. Even people who were given responsibilities in the armed forces and other jobs in securing the public are more than willing to lie about the state of affairs to protect their religion's need to proselytize. That does not bode well for anyone in the long run. OTOH, there are far worse problems that plague India right now, and proselytization is probably way down that list...so, whatever.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Muns » 11 Apr 2015 23:15

3 points that come to mind as i'm going through the thread. Taught in guru parampara fashion,through a lineage of gurus from Swami Dayananda Saraswati down to his disciples :

1) Ahimsa Paramo Dharma : Not NON violence at all, but a way to live one-life with the LEAST harm to all those around you. To act with non violence is simply not possible as any action, (Karma) give some Dhrista (seen effect) and Adhrishta (unseen) effect which may cause some harm.

2) Dharma Yuddha : A war in which not to fight causes greater harm to the community as a whole. The Mahabharat and the Ramayan echo the definition of a yudh, if not fought would have greater harm and suffering to the people as a whole. Think of of the suffering of the people of bharat living under tyrants of Duryodhan or Ravan. In known history, World War 2, may be another example of a Dharma Yudh....not to fight such a war would have caused in imaginable suffering to whole populations. Our fight against Pakistan and violence inflicted by Islam/Christianity is a Dharma Yudh, that if not fought, will cause greater harm and suffering to Indians as a whole.

3) Avatar : Any action (Karma) gives a seen action (Dhrista) and unseen action (Adhrista). Imagine the violence created by the Abrahamic religions on India through past history that to this day continues. In extreme graves times the suffering of the people and the action of mass prayer serves as a action in itself, that cannot go unanswered. The Lord of the Cosmos himself is moved to assume human form to alleviate the suffering of the people. Not that we should endure such violence in waiting for avatar, as this is the extreme of circumstances.

Please realize the law of Karma is not the only principle guiding our lives, but it is thought to have some effect. The guiding factor, of course in our lives is our own free will.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 11 Apr 2015 23:20

A_Gupta wrote:But I do not detect that intelligence here. If that is harsh, I do not apologize.


It takes one to know one - no apology needed :P

On a serious note - I find your posts very valuable, but your disagreements even more so...
None of this is personal on my part. Hope it is the same for you as well

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby shiv » 12 Apr 2015 07:42

Tuvaluan wrote:Not sure what all this philosophical waxing about dharma etc. has to do with the threat to social cohesion.

Part of the problem as I see it among Indians is the relegation of any Hindu concept to the realms of philosophy, a word that is used in association with a bunch of freaks who have little connection with reality. Reality is the way the first Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was renamed "H.P. and the Sorceror's Stone" because it was felt that the word "Philosopher" would put American viewers off.

We no longer consider the word dharma as something to be mentioned in modern company. As I see it the reason is that Hindus by and large have failed to understand that "Dharma" is "Hindu ethics". SN Balagangadhara waxes eloquent on the European concept of the word "ought" - "You ought to do this" or "you ought not do this". "ought" is possibly a corruption of "owe it" . Ought is an obligation. A moral requirement. Balu has wondered about the absence of that in Hindu culture. But I think he is wrong. Hindu culture has moral obligations too, and those moral obligations come under the term "dharma"

i think we should not shy away from discussing Hindu ideas of ethics and morality and there is no escaping the fact that the word dharma describes Hindu moral obligations. If you are a Vishnu worshipper and I am a Shiva worshipper, I do not say that you are wrong or try and kill you, and vice versa. The philosophy here is the deeper meaning of why we behave in this way. But on the surface the we have a moral obligation not to punish you for your beliefs. That is dharma. At least, if we don't want to use that word for whatever reason - we could at least recall that Hindus have some moral guidelines that dictate our behaviour towards others. We expect the same treatment and the excuse that the other guy does not give a rat's ass about what we expect is something that we have to fight about rather than bowing our heads and hiding behind words like secularism and liberalism.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Apr 2015 09:35

shiv wrote:We no longer consider the word dharma as something to be mentioned in modern company. As I see it the reason is that Hindus by and large have failed to understand that "Dharma" is "Hindu ethics".
Again, a slightly different way to say the same. Dharma is a way of life, based on righteous action. Ethics forms the foundations of these actions.

But, what is extremely irritating is when Dharma these days is used only to mean against Christians and Muslims. It is such a travesty to largely restrict the use of Dharma in that manner inviting charges of bigotry and worse displaying its weaknesses. Can Dharma not be made strong enough to withstand the charges of other civilizations? It is one thing asking for the state to strengthen Dharma and its practices in the country another to target the beliefs of a minority that has imported its faith systems. It is one thing to restrict the ill effects of these external ideologies another to brand entire communities in a certain way. It would have been tolerable, if Dharma was used to serve as a demarker with other civilizations but to try and target a minority and your neighbors in this manner and heap shame on the concerns expressed by many, who have served their nation well is shameful.

As soon as one talks about the values of Dharma it becomes philosophy! :evil: Shows the disconnect that its practitioners have with its theory.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 12 Apr 2015 09:43

A_Gupta wrote:I think people feel that abjuring violence is like fighting with one hand tied behind the back.
But promoting violence within India is like urinating all over your own house.

Demanding and supporting state action is the duty of every citizen; I doubt that violence is the duty of every citizen.
Unless we change the dispensation under which we live, the state has the legal monopoly on violence; we do not want a million militant groups operating with varying degrees of state license, like Pakistan has, do we?
If we want to change the rules, so that there is say, a citizens' militia, that can e.g., go to Srinagar and exert due violence against the people who expelled the Kashmiri Pandits, I don't know how that would work, can you explain?


Max Weber - monopoly of state power is a tired old argument.... The fear of becoming a Pakisatan is another.
Citizens have a duty to not endure tyranny, imposed by the governments or otherwise, they have a duty (if absolutely necessary) to even resort to violence (if absolutely necessary) to overthrow or reestablish legitimate governments. We have reached an age of - plaint populations - that will resort to giving governments more controls than they deserve, again due to intellectual laziness. Kashmiri Pandits have a legitimate grouse with failed governments historically, they had every right to resort to violence if necessary, it is to their credit (or detriment) that they did not. You may not like what I say, but to say that citizens should never indulge in violence and the state is the only legitimate wielder of that power is actually alien to Hindu culture. The state cannot become a 'protection racket' that citizens pay up to live their lives... I prefer the states to be afraid of citizens and Jatis, etc, in the case of India.

A_Gupta wrote:Why would a proposed law that allows citizens' militias be any better than 295A or better than an anti-proselytization law? How would this proposed law allow only the militias we favor, and not the militias we don't like, e.g., an Indian Taliban or a Khalistan liberation army?

Please, no sneers about the Ambedkarite Smriti. If it is to be dismantled, those who would dismantle it should specify what they want to replace it with. It is the height of intellectual laziness to want all kinds of change, but not to be able to specify what that change looks like. "Anything will be better than what we have now" is snake oil.


I never pushed for citizens militias, I merely want that citizens recognize their rights and duties in a democratic state and understand the strengths and when to limit or reestablish state power.... If the state fails Kashmiri Pandits or other such groups, the groups have no option but to take up arms or concede defeat. We know which path they took. So you are really either setting up a strawman or at best misunderstanding my point.

Again, I never sneered at Ambedkar Smrithi, I sneered at 'edumacated' Indias that were craving for a Smrithi, to protect their Hindu identities. Without understanding this, they were instead appealing to the current incarnation, ie. the Ambedkar Smrithi. Ironically, I am happy for the most part with the Ambedkar Smrithi, warts and all. I really do not care to pursue Common Civil code in India as well, but that is different topic. Either I have poorly conveyed the subtleties of my arguments, or you have been very poor in understanding them.

Finally, if you want to understand my point it is this - If you hang the fate of a civilization such as Hinduism to be under the 'protection racket' of the nation-state of India, then you risk destroying the very civilization. Nations last lesser time that Civilizations do, this is the Hindu learning from Itihasa... Look back at history, all state sponsored religions or civilizations have perished under the sword of Islam or Christianity. We survived because, destroying any state did not destroy Hinduism as a whole, other states popped and fought back. The longevity of the civilization of Hinduism is all I care about... in this yes, I am Hindu first.

If any of you want to protect India from demographic change and I agree with you, but choose another way than this stupidity of legislating against proselytization, do not make Hinduism a casualty in the process of trying to protect it...

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Apr 2015 09:57

Pulikeshi wrote:
Finally, if you want to understand my point it is this - If you hang the fate of a civilization such as Hinduism to be under the 'protection racket' of the nation-state of India, then you risk destroying the very civilization. Nations last lesser time that Civilizations do, this is the Hindu learning from Itihasa... Look back at history, all state sponsored religions or civilizations have perished under the sword of Islam or Christianity. We survived because, destroying any state did not destroy Hinduism as a whole, other states popped and fought back. The longevity of the civilization of Hinduism is all I care about... in this yes, I am Hindu first..
Your argument has a disconnect in my eyes. You have in the past argued for the lack of scale or what I term as organization, yet you are so easily willing to give up on the strongest asset this civilization has today, by way of organization and it is the nation-state. Using this tool to serve the interests of its peoples based on its civilizational experiences should be a legitimate pursuit. I do not think anyone here is arguing for a people to become victims, if the state has failed to protect. The question here is what is the best option today, for a 1000 communities to arm themselves or for the state to become more functional and do its part?

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby shiv » 12 Apr 2015 10:01

ShauryaT wrote:But, what is extremely irritating is when Dharma these days is used only to mean against Christians and Muslims. It is such a travesty to largely restrict the use of Dharma in that manner inviting charges of bigotry and worse displaying its weaknesses. Can Dharma not be made strong enough to withstand the charges of other civilizations?

It is a mistake that we make when we fail to see that many Christian and Islamic ideas of ethics and morality are perfectly in consonance with dharma. Marriage, family, fidelity etc are common stream of thought. Conflicts arise in terms of worship and God and who or what cannot be hurt, hunted or killed.

Secularists have, for very long acknowledged the commonality between precepts of Hindu dharma and Christian morality. The reason why dharma comes up so often as being "against" some religion is that Hindus are not simply fighting the religious biases against them - they are fighting secularists who accept the moral commonality between Hindu dharma and Christian and Muslims, but fail to address the differences and try and pass the differences off as a necessary sacrifice for secularism.

Dharma and the morality of the Abrahamic religions do have some meeting points. In fact - within these meeting points there is some commonality of thought in opposing easy divorce, placing the individual over family, breaking up families and in not actively encouraging homosexuality as normal behavior.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 12 Apr 2015 10:18

I will jump into this discussion.
shivji,
I think you are misunderstanding Tuvaluans position.If I take the liberty of seeing where Tuv is coming from,its the tamizh intellectual's view which is weary of hindutva etc but at the same time has zero taste for Islam and christianity.In a way we are looking at Xism from our regional view.

I think you are giving far too much importance to a modern writer like Balagangadhara.As ShauryaTji and Tigermaneji have pointed out again,there were dharma shaastras of old which were enforced by rajas.Dharma shaastras were always supplemented by lokaachara(local traditions).Large parts of 'Hindu' society were not regulated by Manu,but there were also communities which swore by Manu,Apasthamba,Bodhayana.The orthodox brahmanas swore by orthodox texts,but rajas and sections of vyaapari vaishyas too accepted this worldview.In states like TN,the vellala community had awareness of this worldview though they didnt follow it 'in toto'.

The brahmanic worldview becomes important particularly for kshatriyas who held great powr to control others.One of the great issues of modern polity is who are the kshatriyas and how are they chosen?

VP Singhs great revolt was because he detested vyaapari vaishyas becoming the new nabobs/moghuls.The regional satraps(andhras,jutt sikhs,marathas) were ok with rent.Karunanidhi was rent asunder by the conflict between his pseudo-social justice instincts and his desire to be a kshatrapa who wanted levy from North Indian business magnates.

I remember Arunji saying that in one of the groups he is a member,they briefly considered the idea whether an Indian state is essential for regeneration of India but they didnt explore it further.It cannot be explored because Hindu unity and stability is paramount for forseeable future.

What people who actually run a state have to consider is whether theres a trust between all sections of society.A Congress secular idea of India was being challenged on caste,regional,sikh,linguistic basis.Yet all them drew from British machination and christist mischief.It was extremely painful for Congress brahmanas to stomach the fact that poor muslims were being targeted in Ram Janmabhumi movement.But that does not negate the fact Islamism and Christism have preyed on Hindu lands.Muslims show no mercy towards the pathetic hindus of Thar Desert or the BD hindus.

Hindu nationalism is necessary to confront the two cults and their franchisees in India.The muslim franchisees were down and out in 1989,not now.They have benefited immensely from the leverage they got after mandal.

Is Hindu nationalism enough to paper over differences? No,it is not.But atleast it gives a framework to negotiate and arrive at some stability.It was Hindu civilisational 'unity' that created India in the first place.Secularism will pry/prey on Hindu 'faultlines'.

There are tamizh writers like Vairamuthu who say Indian nation's boundaries created by sword arm of british are fraying as linguistic sentiments etc are gaining ground.This is the 'real threat'-Indias internal diversity but we do not want the confusing noise of two cults in the picture.
Last edited by svenkat on 12 Apr 2015 15:53, edited 5 times in total.

Pulikeshi
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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 12 Apr 2015 10:20

ShauryaT wrote:Your argument has a disconnect in my eyes. You have in the past argued for the lack of scale or what I term as organization, yet you are so easily willing to give up on the strongest asset this civilization has today, by way of organization and it is the nation-state.


Whose responsibility is it to protect Hinduism? Whose responsibility is it to protect the demograhic mix of India?
What is the ideal mix? 75% Hindu and 25% others and no more? or is it 100% Hindu?

That said, my points on scaling is much more detailed, but for now - even Hinduism is not immune to it. All declarative systems fail on massive scale.
Christianity and Islam will suffer this as well in civilizational time frames.... you see this in the West already...
Only those systems that mix conventions with declarations successfully have a better chance of success. Historically, Hinduism had done a decent job, but with advent of Islam and Christianity, it has evolved away from equilibrium. Conventions are breaking down and declaration forgotten and out-sourced to the state.

ShauryaT wrote:The question here is what is the best option today, for a 1000 communities to arm themselves or for the state to become more functional and do its part?

This is a false 'strawman' argument... the choice is not between 1000 communities organizing themselves into militias versus a functioning state - the choice is between Hindus who are willing to use their brain, their hard earned pesos and their brawn if absolutely necessary versus those that want to outsource the work to the state.
Dharma is Sanathana, if one protects it, the healthy states will come and go on that substrate...

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Apr 2015 10:25

svenkat wrote:Hindu nationalism is necessary to confront the two cults and their franchisees in India.The muslim franchisees were down and out in 1989,not now.They have benefited immensely from the leverage they got after mandal.
Can you expand on the latter. How did Mandal help?

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Apr 2015 11:00

Pulikeshi wrote:
Whose responsibility is it to protect Hinduism? Whose responsibility is it to protect the demograhic mix of India?
What is the ideal mix? 75% Hindu and 25% others and no more? or is it 100% Hindu?
There is no single entity responsible. It is all of society and its organs. The collective needs to attain the objective to ensure that the way of life and its values are protected. To me, the prime responsibility is of the Brahmins. But to understand that concept it will require another thread, so some other time - same for rest of your points in the passage.

ShauryaT wrote:Dharma is Sanathana, if one protects it, the healthy states will come and go on that substrate...
I will rephrase and end. Dharma maybe Sanathana but its practice is applicable only if protected by those following it. The best tool in hand for its protection today is the state and it should be the state's duty to protect assaults on it - especially from outsiders. Yet, at the same time, Dharma's values, goals and objectives needs to form the state's substrate -or its soft constitution. This soft constitution is not the responsibility of any single entity and cannot be "outsourced" to the state only.

As an anecdote, A route to crack the evangelical issues in India is found, when a Christian names their child Vivek and not John. But for Dharma's sake, the route to such an end result is not through coercive laws or violence.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby svenkat » 12 Apr 2015 11:02

The Cong devised a master plan for North India(outside Punjab) and Deccan.

The Cong vote bank consisted of brahmanas,thakurs,kayasths,khatris,vyaapari vaishyas,dalits and muslims.Peasant castes benefited by govt policies,empowerment,franchise,education.

Dalits started moving up but muslims were progressively impoverished.They were frightened into becoming a cheap vote bank for Congress.BJP upset the applecart by RJB agitation.The mohammedan who had been kicked and ground down could not take it any more.Mandal meant brahmanas could not so easily bypass the peasant castes to get the dalit vote with their Nehruvian claims.The thakurs were already impatient.

Muslim vote was now eagerly sought by Congress and Lohiites.Others(Ahirs,Jats,Dalits) were getting their own parties.An exclusive muslim party is not feasible in North India.The sure muslim vote bank of Cong deserted after 1992 and muslim vote became crucial and sought after.As an aside,it was almost divine retribution for Cong duplicity during RJB .

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby Pulikeshi » 12 Apr 2015 11:26

ShauryaT wrote:There is no single entity responsible. It is all of society and its organs. The collective needs to attain the objective to ensure that the way of life and its values are protected. To me, the prime responsibility is of the Brahmins. But to understand that concept it will require another thread, so some other time - same for rest of your points in the passage.


Collective or Brahmins? Perhaps point a thread and we can discuss... How can one Varna do the job for the whole?

ShauryaT wrote:The best tool in hand for its protection today is the state and it should be the state's duty to protect assaults on it - especially from outsiders.

As an anecdote, A route to crack the evangelical issues in India is found, when a Christian names their child Vivek and not John. But for Dharma's sake, the route to such an end result is not through coercive laws or violence.


Whose protection? If 'it' is Hinduism above... no! the state has no business protecting Hinduism, just as it has no business protecting Sunni Islam or Lutheran Christianity... or Pulikeshi's personal flavor of Koolaidism. :mrgreen:
It is not because they are all equivalents, it is because the state has no apparatus or interest in arbitrating 'truth claims' - Hinduism does have an interest in evaluating 'truth claims' and has the devises to formally do so.
I have no qualms if the state exhibited characteristics and sympathies lie with Hinduism, but specific 'truth claim' or market for 'truth claims' should be overtly supported or defended.

I may be in a minority opinion here, but I just cannot agree to state sponsored Hinduism -
Such a move dilutes the former and weakens the latter. Weakening the latter is a sure fire way to have a weak nation-state.

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Re: Christianity, Evangelism & its geopolitical impact

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Apr 2015 12:31

Pulikeshi wrote:Collective or Brahmins? Perhaps point a thread and we can discuss... How can one Varna do the job for the whole?
The Brahmins need to lead. It starts with a fundamental redefinition of who is a Brahmin. BRF needs a thread for it, without bringing in christians, the church or islam, muslims or pakistan or "secularism" into this picture to have a meaningful discussion. I do not think we have such a thread.

I have no qualms if the state exhibited characteristics and sympathies lie with Hinduism, but specific 'truth claim' or market for 'truth claims' should be overtly supported or defended.
I may be in a minority opinion here, but I just cannot agree to state sponsored Hinduism -
Such a move dilutes the former and weakens the latter. Weakening the latter is a sure fire way to have a weak nation-state.
Dharma is more than the debate with other civilizations about truth claims and I agree the state largely has no role here, except to let this debate be free of coercion. However to me, separating the state from a role to preserve the "living" systems of this civilization is a self goal and what we have adopted by way of a secular framework is part of those self goals. I find myself locked between a rock and hard place in this debate. I ask for a change in the frameworks of our polity, especially as it relates to a secular polity et al, yet I cringe at the "Hindutva" political forces, who seem to be possessed with opposing everything not invented here. Many feel, just by opposing the outside influences, it is enough or the first step needed, I differ here with many. I think we are in a crisis with Dharma as a living system, as a value system and its restoration requires some serious organized activity, the state has a role to play here. Anyways, I am going OT, so will stop.


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