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Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 4
ISKON has more than its share of wimpiness, but lets give credit where credit is due: they even preach in Pakistan!
AP engages pastors, parishoners about racism in US

By SHELIA BYRD, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 30 minutes ago

Jesse McGee points to trophies he won in local marathons. He mentions his work with youth and volunteer school programs. He praises his church's efforts to deliver scripture lessons to inmates.

For more than an hour, the 84-year-old church deacon, who is black, chats about his life, largely ignoring the subject at hand: racism.

It isn't until his wife, Warine, sheepishly shares that their son's wife is white that McGee offers a confession: He had been uncomfortable with the union for nearly 30 years — until his Bible study class offered enlightenment.

His story represents a snapshot of how America's racial landscape is navigated daily, often with religion as guidance.

The issue of race drew sharp focus as Barack Obama's contentious split with his longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, played out in a national glare. In response, the United Church of Christ and National Council of Churches USA called on 10,000 ministers to initiate a "sacred conversation on race."

"The realities of race have not been addressed adequately," says the Rev. John Thomas, president of the UCC. "Racism continues to demean and diminish human lives in this country."

To listen in on that conversation, Associated Press reporters across the nation engaged pastors and parishioners about their individual experiences with racism.

They talked with a choir soprano whose faith fueled her defiance of racist laws, and with members of an all-white congregation that took the risky move of hiring a black pastor. They interviewed ministers who act as a conduit between the alienated and those who would judge them.

They found personal stories, like McGee's, where religion can soothe a painfully sensitive dialogue and help summon mutual respect.

The conversation, which grew loud and rancorous around the Wright episode, started long before and continues afterward, but in softer tones that show the faithful want to be constructive, want to make progress, want their voices heard. Listen.


The picture on the fireplace mantel at McGee's home in Jackson, Miss., shows a young man whose cream-colored skin hints at his mixed-race heritage.

It is far more than the likeness of a grandson — the offspring of the union between McGee's black son and white daughter-in-law. For this grandfather, the picture also is a reflection of a black man's spiritual journey through the painful past of a Jim Crow society to acceptance and love that ended at a church altar.

It was 1972 when McGee's son, James Brooks, told him he had done something that was unfathomable in the older man's mind. Brooks had married a fellow graduate student at the University of Michigan — a native New Yorker, and she was white.

The young couple moved to Mississippi that year to teach at what is now Jackson State University. The campus had been the site of racial violence that left two black men dead in 1970.

From the beginning, McGee was beset with unease.

"I had to work on that one. I was raised here, and that was a no-no. I know what would happen to you here if you just looked at (a white woman)," McGee said. "I've gotten past that now. When we started studying about 'one blood' that was a big help."

At New Hope Baptist Church, Bible study classes have been reading about the concept that all God's people are connected. In small groups, hovering over Bibles, members were taught that mankind is descended from Adam and Eve and that blood shed by Jesus Christ is a means to salvation for everyone of every race.

The spiritual revelation has not, however, erased the root of McGee's concern.

"In the South, the white man and white woman have always had more freedom than the black man and the black woman," he said.

Jean Brooks understands her father-in-law's feelings. "He's a wonderful, remarkable human being. If you think of his life experiences: ... he's been to war in World War II as an African-American.

"He's had his share as a Mississippian with race. I think their concern about my race was mostly concern about their son. They didn't want their son to get injured by being seen with me," she says.

Racism "prevented him from having opportunities," James Brooks adds. "Racism is institutionalized in Mississippi."

The McGee family embraced Jean Brooks, and they began where differences should begin: with consideration and respect.


The victim was an unarmed black man shot 50 times on the eve of his wedding. The police detectives acquitted in the New York case: black, Hispanic and white. Like so many who questioned the outcome, the Rev. Gabriel Salguero wasn't surprised by an e-mail asking what he had to say about racial injustice.

His reply, profound in its brevity: "Love."

Salguero shared his response with the multiracial congregation he has served for nearly three years. His wife and co-pastor, Jeanette, translated his every word — periodically switching between English and Spanish as her husband did.

Another e-mail followed asking what the pastor meant.

"It means you are committed to sitting at the table to hear a different narrative," Salguero said. "Listen."


Salguero, who has relatives on the police force, negotiates the minefields of racial injustice and reconciliation with thoughtful diligence rooted in experience. He, too, has been stopped for "driving while brown."

Members of his Lamb's Manhattan Church of the Nazarene climb three flights of stairs in a building that once housed a library to hear the bilingual sermons, a feature introduced by the Salgueros. The diversity goes further: Salguero brought in Pastor Shih Fong Wu, who on the first floor simultaneously leads Sunday services in Mandarin to accommodate the large number of Chinese immigrants in the Lower East Side neighborhood.

Outreach ministries at the church, which catered mostly to the homeless when it was located in Times Square, now counsel a group that contends with legal, cultural and financial hardships and alienation daily.

"When we come to church, we do not ignore those realities," Salguero said in his sermon. "Justice demands that we recognize that people are oppressed and that the gospel is the liberating message."


When San Marino Congregational Church launched a search for a new pastor, it had only one requirement: The candidate needed to fill the pews. The 60-member California church had struggled to recruit new members and was losing some of its most steadfast congregants to old age.

San Marino Congregational needed a Moses. What it found was the Rev. Art Cribbs — a Baptist-raised pastor from South Central Los Angeles. He soon became the church's only black member and its spiritual leader.

It was an unorthodox choice for the Christian church, a tiny, all-white congregation tucked into the quiet, opulent Los Angeles suburb of San Marino — a move so risky, the selection committee polled the congregation about Cribbs by secret ballot despite the church's liberal reputation. The vote was unanimous.

"When we brought it to the congregation, we were definitely very concerned because we didn't know, we really didn't know," said Donald Shenk, a pastoral assistant who chaired the selection process. "Those race questions are often things that when people are given the chance to be anonymous about it, the truth comes out."

Before the 1960s, it was common for properties in San Marino to have a legal stipulation banning sales to blacks and Jews, and until 1989 the city was national headquarters to the ultraconservative, anti-communist John Birch Society.

Yet among the 145 applicants for the job, Cribbs could not be ignored. His audition tape was so powerful, it made Shenk cry.

"It just blew me out of the water. I was sitting there and I just remember thinking, 'Who is that?' I had never heard anybody talk like that," Shenk said. "He speaks from such a truthful place and such a completely heartfelt place."

In the year since he's been pastor, Cribbs has stretched the congregation on topics of social justice and race relations. That's something choir member Holly Ann Burns hoped for when she voted for Cribbs — and it's a perspective she feels will help her understand a hurtful story from her own past.

As a child, Burns' church youth group from the Cincinnati suburbs visited a youth group from an all-black church in the inner-city.

"I was all open and excited and the first thing out of this one girl's mouth was, 'Don't feel like you're doing us a favor by coming down here and visiting us and acting like you care,'" said Burns. "That put a stop to that conversation."

Burns, 56, still thinks of the experience.

"You're getting judged by what you look like," she said. "It really kicked me in the gut. I was really trying to make an effort to understand."

Cribbs doesn't shy from stories like Burns' and sometimes brings up his childhood spent in a housing development in Watts. San Marino's Bible study group is now called Soul Food, Cribbs wears an African jacket instead of vestments and the choir dances in the aisles.

And the congregation? It's grown by nine.


At age 11, Brandon Taylor Sides was caught between two conflicting visions of God.

He spent Sunday mornings with his great-grandmother at a fiercely traditional black church in Chicago that preached homosexuals would burn in hell. Most afternoons, his aunt took him to a church founded by black gays who believe heaven holds a place for them.

He recalls his confusion as he tried to reconcile the two beliefs.

"Somebody has to be wrong," he remembers thinking. "One of these two is wrong."

Taylor Sides, now 21, eventually embraced the message of acceptance that resonated as he discovered his own sexuality. Today, he serves as a deacon at a Christian church that celebrates black gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered parishioners.

Pillar of Love Fellowship Church was founded in 2003 by his aunt's partner, the Rev. Phyllis V. Pennese.

Sunday mornings find Taylor Sides transforming a room in Chicago's only gay community center into a sanctuary for the 40 to 120 members and visitors, many of whom fled churches that condemned their sexuality.

"A lot of people have long-term generational ministry; we're first generation," Pennese said. "We're still stuck on getting people to understand that God loves them the way they are."

Pennese, whose mother was black and father was an Italian immigrant, often preaches about race and oppression.

"My very creation was in order to be a bridge" uniting the races, she said.

During her sermon on race, Pennese called on her Christian congregation to speak the truth about their lives and not be silenced by those whites who hate them because of their race and those blacks who hate them because of their sexuality.

Taylor Sides has faced hostility from both groups: white high school students who called him the N-word and black pastors who railed against gays. Surrounded by a multiracial group of friends, he was able to shrug off the taunts and stereotypes, challenging those who ridiculed him: "Do you even know why you feel this way about me?"


Virginia Montague recalls the exchange with a police officer 20 years ago that left her shattered.

Richard, her husband of nearly a decade, didn't come home after working the night shift as a New York City cab driver. By midday, with no word, fear took hold and his wife went to her police precinct in Harlem. A white lieutenant was at the front desk.

"While I was explaining, his attitude was ... like, 'So what.' And he was very dismissive," she says, a tinge of anger still in her voice as she recalls his cold words: "Maybe he's with another woman, maybe he left ... there's nothing we can do about it."

She couldn't help but think that his reaction might have been more sympathetic if she and her husband were white.

Richard Montague was murdered. His wife's insistence that police launch a search in those frantic first days after he disappeared were ignored.

"It's always been in my mind that if he were white, would there have been more of an effort" to investigate, says Montague, now 66. "I don't know."

White victims seem to win more empathy — from the police and the media, she says.

The slaying, which remains unsolved, and her painful questions afterward about how race may have obstructed the urgency of an investigation, led Montague back to the religion she abandoned 20 years earlier.

She found friends and healing at Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The 212-year-old church offered sanctuary to escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad and it was where Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Paul Robeson found strength from the pulpit. The church has long addressed racial issues openly.

Montague and Versertile 'Versee' Simmons, who is also black, participated in a recent voter registration drive at Mother Zion, where Simmons, 71, was baptized and married. Their discussions naturally turned to the presidential campaign. Both are Obama supporters.

Montague doesn't believe racism will cease to exist in America if a black man were to ascend to the presidency.

Her friend, though, is more optimistic.

"Hopefully, when he becomes president," Simmons said, "the nation will see us in a different light and that we are as capable as (any white person) to hold any position."


The choir soprano glances up from her sheet music and scans the sanctuary.

The curved oak pews, hand-carved by former slaves. The vaulted ceiling, outlined by sturdy wooden beams and converging in the center to form a cross, a star and a circle. The stained glass panels in the pointed arch windows, illuminated by the glow of a setting sun.

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church is not just Jacqueline Bostic's church. It's home.

The history of the 142-year-old Antioch, the oldest black Baptist church in Houston, is intertwined with the history of Bostic's family. Her great-grandfather, Jack Yates, whose portrait hangs from a balcony, was the first pastor.

And the strength of Antioch's founders, nine freed blacks who started the church just seven months after slaves were emancipated in Texas, is a strength running deep in this 70-year-old woman. Raised in a segregated Houston, she refused to bow to segregation's rules.

As a young woman, Bostic balked at sitting in the back of city buses and sat where she pleased. On a trip to Birmingham, Ala., she once defiantly strode up bus steps labeled "white," much to the dismay of the driver. No words passed between them, but she could read exasperation on his face.

"I felt this should not be, so why is everybody accepting that?" Bostic recalls, with a look that says she would do it all again. "It was not going to be something I accepted for the rest of my life."

The source of her assurance? Family and faith.

Antioch, she says, is "a very special place to be, to be able to worship God in spirit and truth and shut out other things we were confronted with. It reaffirmed my belief that no matter what your challenges are, God gives you the ability to get through it."

One of those challenges was breaking racial barriers during a 32-year career in the U.S. Postal Service.

In 1960, when Bostic first joined the postal service, African-Americans and women were not allowed to rise above entry-level positions. Determined to vanquish those rules, Bostic applied for — and got — higher-level jobs, opening the door for others. She retired in 1992 as a postmaster.

Today, Bostic looks at her four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and hopes they will live in a world where they will be judged by their character, not their color.

But, she fears that may never happen. "I'm afraid they will be subject to the same kinds of things I was subjected to. But I always want to have hope that at some point people will accept each other regardless of ethnicity, religious background, or what country they're from, that we will see that we are all people who are blessed to share the earth."

Until then, she will worship — in prayer and in song.


Contributing to this story are Associated Press writers Tania Fuentez in New York, Gillian Flaccus in San Marino, Calif., Karen Hawkins in Chicago, and Monica Rhor in Houston.


Ashok V. Chowgule


1.1 Shri Arun Shourie's book Missionaries in India - Continuities, Changes, Dilemmas (ASA Publications, New Delhi) has created quite a stir, particularly amongst the missionaries in India. He was invited by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India "to give the Hindu perception of the work of Christian missionaries in India" (p ix). The occasion, called the Pune Consultation, was the celebration of fifty years of the existence of the CBCI, and the meeting was held in January 1994 "to review the work of the Church in India" (p ix). He says, "That lecture and the discussion which followed forms the scaffolding of this book" (p ix). Quite a few of the missionaries have written about it. Some lay Christians have also commented upon them. A common feature of all these writings is that they have, for all practical purpose, condemned Shri Shourie.

1.2 While there must be many more articles written on the subject, for the purpose of this note the following are used as a representative of what has appeared:

(a) "Christianity and Conversion", by Fr R H Lesser, an assessment in The Examiner (July 30 and August 6, 1994.) Established in 1850 in Bombay this is the oldest Catholic publication. It identifies itself as "the Catholic paper for every Catholic home". Fr Lesser is based near Udaipur in the Rajasthan state. Fr Lesser's assessment also appeared in The Statesman, August 1, published from Calcutta and New Delhi. He reviewed the book for The Times of India, August 7, 1994, which is printed from Bombay, Delhi, and a few other places in India. This review is a summary of The Examiner assessment.

(b) Six articles by Dr Augustine Kanjamala that appeared in Maharashtra Herald, an English daily from Pune, Maharashtra. They appeared on July 13, 20, 27, August 3, 17 and 24, 1994. Dr Kanjamala is the secretary of the CBCI and was the convener of the Pune Consultation.

© Shri Sarto Esteves wrote two articles in Herald, September 8 and 9, 1994. Herald is an English daily published from Panaji, Goa. Shri Esteves says that the articles "may help those who may like to know our views in brief on at least some of the issues raised in the book." Who 'our' is, viz Shri Esteves or a group, is not clarified. Shri Esteves' background is not known to me.

(d) Excerpts of an interview with Dr Kanjamala that appeared in Indian Currents, September 12, 1994, a Catholic publication from Delhi.

1.3 There have been reviews/article written by people like Shri Kushwant Singh and Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar. Shri Shourie had anticipated their reaction when he wrote, "Had I urged the themes of this lecture to our 'secularists', they would have denounced them as 'communal', 'chauvinist-fascist', and having labelled them, they would have exempted themselves from considering what being said" (p xi). He also dwelt on the subject in a similar vein on pp 159-60. On account of this, the writings of such people is not being considered for the purpose of this note.

2.1 All the Christian writers make essentially the same points. That Shri Shourie has quoted old sources, written by "British civil servants .... and some scholars and Protestant persons, all of whom in one way or another were providing soothing music to the ears of colonial masters ...." (Esteves, September 8). That a large part of the book consists of quotes from such people. That Shri Shourie has shown no appreciation of the work done by the missionaries in the field of education, health, and other social issues. Dr Kanjamala alleges that even Mother Theresa has been attacked (Maharashtra Herald, July 13). That Shri Shourie has not recognised that the prime objective of the missionaries today is social justice and not conversions. In any case, conversion is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India. That things are very different today after the promulgation of Vatican II. That the lower castes' desire to change their religion is because of their persecution by the upper caste Hindus. That lumping of all missionaries as one monolithic whole does not do justice to at least some of them. That the various government appointed committees on the activities of the missionaries in mid-19509 were headed by anti-Christian people. In addition, Shri Shourie has not looked at the answers given in "Truth Shall Prevail", edited by Aloysius Soares and brought out by the Church in India. That it is false to allege that conversions were by inducements, since the Christian population in India is less than 4%. That tribals and others are animists, and therefore not Hindus. That Shri Shourie has not done his homework properly.

2.2 It is also alleged that Shri Shourie has a hidden agenda, unconnected with informing the people about the missionaries. It is well known that Shri Shourie is a critical votary of Hindutva, and has come out in support of issues like the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. etc. Thus, we have Indian Current terming Shri Shourie's criticism as biased, and identifying him as being 'antagonistic to missionary activities'. Dr Kanjamala in the interview goes so far as to say that Shri Shourie's book 'can ignite communal tension', and that it 'does not make any positive contribution'. At the same time, Dr Kanjamala appreciates Shri Shourie's 'honesty and forthrightness', and Fr Lesser has 'a great respect for the courage, intelligence and journalistic skills of Shri Shourie'.

2.3 Out of the above, the one point which can be said to have some force is the fact that Shri Shourie has not considered the reply by the missionaries given to the government commissions. However, Shri Shourie clearly mentions that he does not find much difference between the attitudes of the missionaries today and that of the past. "The reader familiar with the conversations which missionaries had with Gandhiji will be struck how what these worthy men were saying now corresponded almost to the word to the questions that they used to ask sixty-seventy years ago of Gandhiji. And of course he would be reminded of how apt the answers Gandhiji gave then are to this very day." (Shourie, p 237.)


3.1 This note will consider all missionaries as one monolithic whole, since they all believe in the same prophet and the same book. The basic difference is that different groups have different ultimate controlling authority, and have different interpreters of what the book is supposed to say. In the paper, "Trends and Issues in Evangelisation in India", submitted at the Pune Consultation by Dr Kanjamala, the figures for the Christian population does not distinguish between the various sects of Christianity.

3.2 Going back in history, Shri Shourie gives another reason why one would not be too much off the mark if all the missionaries are considered together. "'Can you state to the (Select Committee on Indian Territories, 1853),' the Right Reverend T Carr was asked, 'how far the different agents and missionaries of the various Protestant communions in India agree, generally speaking with each other, in prosecuting their common work, without disturbing each other?' Reverend Carr was categorical: In all missionary work,' he said, 'the missionaries labour in harmony, and, generally speaking, adopt one system"' (p 131).

4.1 Like Shri Shourie, it is necessary to dwell into the past to understand why the missionaries are seen all over the world. As per their interpretation of what Jesus Christ is supposed to have said, they claim that they have been commanded by God to do so. This evolves from the basic tenet of Christianity which is that one has to believe in Jesus Christ as the only son of God to obtain an entry into heaven. on this basis, all other religions are false, and, therefore, inferior. Thus, to save the souls of all such unfortunate people, it is necessary to convert them into Christianity.

4.2 The growth of Christianity has been through state patronage, almost from its inception. <b>When the world was being aggressively colonised, the Pope divided it into spheres of influence of Spain and Portugal, so that there was no unhealthy competition between the two, in the larger interest of converting the maximum number of people. </b>For the rulers, a 'loyal' population made their task easier. Shri Shourie has quoted extensively from those who clearly stated that conversions would achieve both the objectives. And the reason he has quoted extensively is because "(t)he point is brought out better by the texts themselves than by any commentary that I could set out, and the texts are such an education, and in one case so electrifying a thing to read that it is best to read them in full" (p x).

4.3 It is highly debatable that if the missionaries did not have conversion as the prime objective, whether they would have moved out of their own countries. The question of social justice is only a guise to convert, and today is used as a justification for continuing their activities.


5.1 When asked this question today, the standard answer is that Article 25 of the Constitution permits the missionaries to do so, and therefore it is not a fair question. The part that is often quoted is "freely to profess, practice and propagate religion" (Esteves, September 8). The full text of Article 25 is, "Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part (which sets out the fundamental rights) all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion." The first portion of this article has been addressed by Shri Shourie in his book (pp 231-2). He asks, "In a secular country, why should the right to practice and propagate religion not be subjected to the same sorts of perimeters as apply to other secular rights (like the freedom of speech)?"

5.2 In this respect, it is very pertinent to read what Mahatma Gandhi said during his time. "If instead of confining themselves purely to humanitarian work such as education, medical services to the poor and the like, they would use these activities of their for the purpose of proselytising, I would certainly like them to withdraw. Every nation considers its own faith to be as good as that of any other. Certainly the great faiths held by the people of India are Adequate for her people. India stands in no need of conversion from one faith to another." (M. K. Gandhi, "Foreign Missionaries," Young India, April 23, 1931, p.83.)

5.3 At the same time, he was quite clear in his mind that there will be no legal restriction for the missionaries to proselytise. "In India under Swaraj I have no doubt that foreign missionaries will be at liberty to do their proselytising, as I would say, in the wrong way; but they would be expected to bear with those who like me, may point out that in their opinion the way is wrong." (M K Gandhi, Foreign Missionaries Again, Young India, May 7, 1931, p 102.) Now there is Shri Shourie to point out, in his opinion, that the missionaries are wrong.

5.4 It was not only the Hindus who were agitated with the proselytising activities of the missionaries. "When two young Parsees, who attended the school of Rev Dr John Wilson, the most outstanding of the missionaries, converted to Christianity in 1839 under his influence, a storm of indignation arose among the Parsees. They tried to win back the two converts with threats of violence and immense money offers. The Panchayat in vain - filed a suit before the High Court and threatened the British government in a petition that 'if Government would not help there would be a terrible uprising in the country, and the results would be disastrous.' (This is the first and only time that the otherwise completely loyal Parsees express these kinds of threats.) The number of pupils in Dr Wilson's school (primarily Parsees) sank from 500 to 60-70." In the footnote, we see a most interesting remark. "The Parsees' embitterment was so great that Dadabhai Naoroji could not accept Sir Erskine Perry's offer of going to England to study in 1845 because the community feared Naoroji's conversion." (The Parsees in India, Eckehard Kulke, Vikas Publishing, Delhi p 94.)

5.5 Such a reaction continues in modern times in various forms. we see a violent form in countries like Iran. In "Martyred for his Faith" (The Times, London, February 15, 1994), Shri Bernard Levin has written about the torture and murder of Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr, a "leading figure of the Christian community in Iran". He also mentions that the government there forced the non-Muslim faiths to sign a declaration that they were not persecuted for religious reasons, and "(t)hey also had to declare that they would not proselytise Muslims". Shri Levin adds, "Almost all the representatives of the non-Muslim churches signed the document."

5.6 The Christians also dislike their members embracing other religions. Shri Steven Gelberg of ISKCON, USA, has lucidly brought out this attitude in his article in the book Hindu-Christian Dialogue (Harold Coward, ed.). "ISKCON summer festivals in the streets and parks of major cities-have provoked the ire of evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, who have come out to heckle from the sidelines with imposing banners proclaiming Get Smart, Get Saved!' and 'Turn or Burn!"' (p 139).

5.7 The following methods were suggested to wean the converts back to Christianity: "Parents wishing to extricate their adult offspring from the anti-Christian context' of an organization like ISKCON can - if they've first exhausted all legal options, considered the risks and consulted with their pastor - perform Christian civil disobedience': disregard whatever laws (for example, kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault and battery) stand in the way, and rescue their son or daughter from the clutches of such a false, non-scriptural religion". (Coward p 145, from "The Commission on Organizations: The 'New Religions', Brainwashing and Deprogramming," St. Louis: The Commission on Organizations, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, n.d., pp 4-5.)

5.8 Conversion in religion is not the same as conversion in politics. It does cause a tremendous amount of social tensions, and tends to make people feel ashamed of their past. In an article in a Christian monthly from Bombay, The Secular Citizen (June 94), entitled "Christian tribals of Gujarat - A grim picture" Prof Arvind Macwan says, "For people who have followed (a) way of life for centuries adapting to the new Christian way of life is very difficult." Many of the converts in the North-East think that before the advent of Christianity, their ancestors were merely head-hunters.

5.9 In his interview in Indian Currents, Dr Kanjamala says, "(Through) the process of Sanskritisation/Hinduisation, people of scheduled castes and tribes took the way to Sanskritisation in which socio-economic factors were powerful motives. Why can't the same be permitted when they want to become Christians and undergo the process of Christianisation?" He makes an assumption that the scheduled castes and tribes were not Hindus in the first place. This issue has been dealt with by Shri Shourie when he discusses the difficulty that the British had in defining Animism in the Indian context (pp 186-96). Dr Kanjamala's statement reinforces the view that there is a deliberate attempt to propagate a social system that did not exist to give a justification for the conversion activity of the missionaries.

5.10 More importantly, Shri M N Srinivas, who coined the word Sanskritisation', was talking within the context of Hinduism, and has clearly shown that the caste system was not as rigid as it is made out to be. He said, "The tendency of the lower castes to imitate the higher has been a powerful factor in the spread of Sanskritic ritual and customs, and in the achievements of a certain amount of cultural uniformity not only throughout the caste scale, but over the entire length and breadth of India." (Rudolph and Rudolph, The Modernity of Tradition, p 114. Quoted in Claude Alvares, Decolonising History, p 190.)


6.1 It is argued that the lower castes have converted to Christianity only because the missionaries took up their case of social justice in terms of being exploited, particularly in land matters. It is also argued that if there was any material inducements used then the number of converts would have been much higher than the 4% that is seen in the country. The first argument has been dealt with when the basic objectives of the missionaries was discussed above. At best one can say that the achievement of bringing about social justice was accidental. Lack of social justice shows a failure of governance, and should be dealt with as such. The use of missionaries of some Hindu scriptures justifying the rigidity of caste system clearly shows their plan of vilification of Hindus. It completely ignores the tremendous efforts made by many Hindu reformists who also held Hinduism in high esteem.

6.2 In Christian Missions, Mahatma Gandhi said, "So far as I am concerned with the untouchability question, it is one of life and death of Hinduism. As I have said repeatedly, if untouchability lives, Hinduism perishes, and even India perishes; but if untouchability is eradicated from Hindu heart root and branch, then Hinduism has a definite message for the world.... (U)untouchability is a hideous untruth. My motive in launching the untouchability campaign is clear. What I am aiming at is not every Hindu touching an 'untouchable', but every touchable Hindu driving untouchability from his heart, going through a complete change of heart, (P 92).

6.3 The social justice argument hides the fact that the missionaries went about converting the lower castes only when they found that they had no success in their efforts. Dr Kanjamala (July 20) and Fr Lesser (July 30) admit to the failure in converting the higher castes. In her book The Attitudes of. British Protestant Missionaries Towards Nationalism in India, Smt Elizabeth Susan Alexander, pointed out that the Missionaries first concentrated on the higher castes, whose conversion would automatically 'encourage' others to follow suit (p7). That this did not happen is a historical fact. The Missionaries realised that the higher castes were in fact impediments to their conversion activity, because of the strong reformist and nationalist trend in them (p67). When the urban orientation did not yield the result, concentration was on the rural areas (p79, fn57). This strategy of converting the opinion makers was successfully implemented in many other, countries.

6.4 The 4% argument can be made to stand on its head, because it can also be said that there is no desperate need for social justice. This would not be entirely correct, just as what the missionaries say is not correct. But what the argument does not reveal is that these 4% are concentrated in a few areas, which also have social, political and security tensions. When some participants of the Consultation objected to the accusation of creating political unrest, Shri Shourie said, "(A)ssume that the charge is unfair. The way to meet it is to be in the forefront of combating secessionism and violence in that area. Is the Church active on that count?" (p 235.)

6.5 The Church has to address a few more issues when it talks about social justice. If Christianity is an egalitarian system, then why do we see problems in Christian countries all over the world? Why is there tension in the Church in India with the so-called Dalit Christians? A related issue is why is there decline in attendance to the Church in the developed countries? And why is the Church not able to attract sufficient people to join their seminaries in these countries? How much of the Church funding comes from within India? Lack of social justice is a secular problem, not a religious one.

6.6 The propagation of social justice and social service is not a monopoly of the missionaries. Hindu organisations have been at it much before the missionaries came to India. Because of a lack of a centralised authority, the Hindus do not keep statistics of the work done by the whole society. The myth that the Hindus do nothing for their less fortunate brethren has to be discarded. In fact, one can say that the missionaries in India have not succeeded in their true objective is primarily because of the positive actions of the Hindu society.

6.7 It should also be recognised that many of the institutes run by the missionaries, like Mother Theresa's, receive substantial funds from the Hindus and the government. Similarly, the government also gives assistance to the schools and colleges run by, the missionaries. It is to the credit of the Hindus that they recognise good work when it is done. The agitation against conversion is mainly due to the manner in which it is being done, particularly the mass activity in the tribal areas, where tensions are created.


7.1 Shri Shourie is accused of flogging a dead horse by quoting from the past, and that he does not recognise the changes that have taken place, particularly since Vatican II, which was proclaimed in the 1960s. (A similar accusation can also be made against the missionaries, when they keep on harping on the evils of the caste system. The Hindu society has accepted a system which makes untouchability illegal. That the practice continues today has nothing to do with the essence of Hinduism.) It is necessary to understand what has changed and what has not.

7.2 The basic tenet of Christianity that the route to salvation is only through Jesus Christ has not changed. The Church does not reject "what is true and holy in these religions" (Vatican Council II, Austin Flannery, General Editor, St Paul's Publications, Bombay, p 654). Not rejecting is qualitatively different from accepting. What is more important to notice is that the Church's infallibility cannot be disputed. "Yet she proclaims and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (in 14:6). In him, in whom God reconciled all things to himself (2Cor 5:18-19), men find the fullness of their religious life" (!bid, p 654). A similar sentiment was expressed by the Anglican Church in England when Prince Charles wanted to be protectors of all faiths. Lord Coggan, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, said, "If he is saying Christianity is equal with other religions, we should differ profoundly from him. As men we are all equal before God, but are you talking about religions and saying one is as good as another? I hope he is not saying that" (Sunday Times, London, June 26, 1994).

7.3 The Vatican II repeats from the Bible that Jesus Christ "sent the apostles into the whole world, commanding them: 'Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you' (Mt 28:19 ff); 'Go into the whole world, preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe, shall be condemned' (Mk 16:15 ff)" (Vatican Council II, p 719). The original objectives of missionaries, viz to save the soul, still finds official sanction.

7.4 It is explicitly stated that "...the reason for missionary activity lies in the will of God 'who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, himself a man, Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all' (1 Tim 2:4-5), 'neither is their salvation in any other' (Acts 4:12). Everyone, therefore, ought to be converted to Christ, who is known through preaching of the Church, and they ought, by baptism, become ' incorporated into him, and into the Church which is his body" (ibid, p 722).

7.5 So what has changed? The methods have changed. When asked by the efforts made to convert him and his family when they went to missionary schools, Shri Shourie says in his book, "... no missionary would have been so imprudent to calumnise Hinduism the way missionaries used to do two generations earlier, even in the early fifties; no missionary organisation functioning in a metropolitan city would have thought it prudent to attempt conversions overtly" (p 233). The important question is whether this change has been of heart or strategy.

7.6 The propaganda of institutes like the Pandita Rambai Mukti Mission also makes one wonder if things are really different. After the earthquake tragedy in Latur, Maharashtra, in 1993, they sent out a pamphlet to the United States for the purpose of fund raising. The relevant section says, "The Mission sent a medical team. and staff to the devastated areas shortly after the earthquake occurred. Returning from the first trip, they met three men, who then travelled with them. While they made no commitments, the men were uncharacteristically open to the claims of Christ. Pray there will be increasing openness and a great spiritual harvest following this tragedy .... Pray that God will bring whomever he desires to Mukti." It is uncanny how close these words are in similar instances in the past when certain areas were struck with natural calamities. At Latur, the missionaries tried to distribute Bible and other religious material. But, due to the controversy that it created, such activity has been kept at a low level. Contrast this with the work done by the Hindu organisations in similar situations.

7.7 The India Bible Literature, Madras, publishes a series of Students Work Book for Children's Bible Schools. In one of them it says that since the Christian population in India is only 4%, it means that 96% of the people do not know the true god. In another it has a drawing with a caption', "Paul is preaching about the real God to those who are worshiping artificial Gods." Interestingly, the picture shows Paul with a group of tribals, and the artificial Gods are those depicted in the normal Hindu scriptures. The disturbing part is that such statements appear only in the Indian language books, and not in the English version.

7.8 When asked by the missionaries what should be done, "Gandhi's advice was fivefold, and it remains as pertinent today. The best thing of course is that you give up conversion altogether, he said .... Second, if you must, direct your efforts to those who are in a position to assess these matters; do not make the poor and illiterate and desperate the targets of your campaign.... Third, even for (conversions), Gandhiji said, it would be better for non-Indian missionaries to return to their countries and attend to problems there .... Fourth, in doing any kind of work among the people, Gandhiji counseled the missionaries, compliment the faith of the people, do not undermine it. Do not denationalise them .... Finally, instead of the life of the Church, live the life of Jesus, of piety, of the Sermon on the Mount. Let that life, that example persuade people to embrace Christianity if they will, not these vending machines." (Shourie, pp 37-9. )

7.9 Similarly, Shri Shourie has also identified five conditions which will convince the people that things have changed. "First, we will know that the Church has truly changed when it undertakes and disseminates an honest accounting of the calumnies it heaped on India and on Hinduism .... The second thing to look for would be the extent to which the Church acquaints in India as well as the groups it is aiming at with the results of scholarly work on the two central claims of the Church - that the Bible is the revealed word of God, that it is wholly free of error; and that the Church, in particular the Pope is infallible .... The third bit of litmus would be: what is the extent to which the Church in India is disseminating information among its flock and its target groups about the consequences of (the scientific) developments have for its basic premises? ... The fourth bit of litmus would be the extent to which the Church overcomes its present tremulous anxieties regarding dialogue and the opening up to other faiths .... Finally, of course there is the question of conversions. In view of the fact, now proclaimed by the Church, that salvation is possible in each religion, what is the ground for converting people to Christianity, in particular by the sorts of means which we saw are in use in the North-East to this day?" (Shourie, pp 229-30).

7.10 Will the Church repudiate, by name, all those who have calumnised Hinduism? This should not be difficult to do, since all the Christian writers admit that things in the past were not in a happy state. This repudiation will send a signal to the Hindus that the Church does not associate itself with the calumnies of the past, in the same way that the Germans do not with respect to the Nazis. In his article, "The 500th year: A time of rediscovery and rededication" (The Examiner, January 16, 1993), Shri Briston Fernandes says, "Celebrating the Quincentenary presents a moral as well as a spiritual dilemma. Extolling the virtues of Columbus' feat without understanding the tragedies visited upon Native American people, and African slaves snatched from their homeland to be exploited for European enrichment would be an outrage. The consequences of the native people who inhabited the conquered lands were catastrophic..... (The) system of exploitation was also justified on the basis of religion. The power of the Church was called upon to undertake the legitimating task."


8.1 One of the beneficial effect of missionaries on Hinduism is that it spurred the reforms within the society. The reformists took due note of the criticism made by the missionaries and set about to make the necessary corrections from within. That this was successful is also one of the reasons why the missionaries have been able to convert only a small percentage of the population in India. But, reform movements in Hinduism have been the rule rather than exception. In some cases, it was due to some external pressures, while in other cases it was due to an internal churning and recognition of the wrongs being done. Hinduism has also assimilated various influences from those who came here peacefully and those who came here by force. Invaders like Shuka and Huns have been thoroughly merged in the mainstream. Others like the Jews and the Parsis are able to live to live side-by-side with the Hindus with no antagonism from either side.

8.2 What was the reaction of the missionaries to these reform movements? When Mahatma Gandhi undertook his programme of doing justice to the Harijans, the missionaries complained to him. "Your anti-untouchability campaign has disturbed some of our missionary friends, Gandhiji was told, it 'is taking away from the Missionary's popularity.' 'I see what you mean,' Gandhiji said, 'but I do not know why it should disturb you. We are not traders trenching on one another's province .... (M)y trouble is that the Missionary friends do not bring to bear on their work a, purely humanitarian spirit. Their objective is to add more numbers to their fold, and that is why they are disturbed."' (Shourie, pp 203-4.)

8.3 It is for this reason that Shri Shourie commented that "(i)n chasing numbers the missionaries, to use Gandhiji's words, became 'just vendors of goods'. And they came to adopt the usual techniques of vendors: the exaggerations common in advertising wares, targeting the sections that would be most susceptible, targeting them at times when they would be most vulnerable, or receptive if you will, using not just dialogue but allurement and violence" (p 15).

8.4 That this attitude continues even today can be seen from The Thailand Report on Hindus, prepared by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation, after a meeting at Pattaya in June 1980. "The missionary vision of some Hindus is posing a threat to Christian evangelistic activities." This feeling is prevalent in almost all missionary organisations in India today.

8.5 The efforts of the government also receive similar treatment. "(W)hile they were not able to prevent the Government from extending medical, educational and other measures to the tribal areas, those who have been projecting the point of view of the missionaries have aimed at discrediting such efforts in these areas of non-official agencies which would come in the way of conversions" (Shourie, p 205).

<b>9. DIALOGUE</b>

9.1 Shri Shourie was invited to give a Hindu perception. To the question in Indian Currents, "Knowing well that Shri Shourie is antagonistic to missionary activities why did you invite him?", Dr Kanjamala replied, "It is easy to get speakers who appreciate us. Christianity has grown well enough to take criticism. So we need people who also challenge us. Only encounter with such can make us really enter into practical/real dialogue in the pluri-religious context of India." (The rest of the interview does not reflect these sentiments, nor do the writings of the other writers.)

9.2 In The Thailand Report, the manner of conducting an inter-religious dialogue has been unambiguously stated. "The use of dialogue in reaching people has to be carefully considered.... It must lead to proclaiming Christ as Lord.... The purpose of dialogue should be carefully and constantly borne in mind. it should not end in dialogue." Cardinal Arinze, president of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians, in the opening lines of the latest official declaration on "Urgency of Dialogue with Non-Christians" said, "Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made man, is our saviour .... He ascended to heaven but not before he had carefully prepared his apostles to bring salvation to all men, of all times, in all places .... Inter-religious dialogue would be unnecessary if all men believed in Jesus Christ and practiced only the religion which he established." (Origins, pp 641-50, Quoted in Coward, p 267.)

9.3 Shri Esteves says, "One of the truths of Vatican II has clarified is that all those who believe that Christ is the Son of God and Redeemer of Mankind, and strive to live according to the plan unfolded by him, will be saved even if they have been practicing a religion other than Christianity, but have had the desire to know the Redeemer and do his will. In other words, if they have had what is popularly known as the baptism of desire" (September 8). Shri Shourie has already dealt with an identical issue in his book (pp 216-7). It is quite clear that the Vatican II believes that salvation cannot be achieved if one does not believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God, irrespective of his belief in say Lord Ram. But what happens to one to whom the message of Jesus Christ has not reached? And what happens to one to whom the message has reached, but does not do Christ's will to proselytise? It would appear that both such people will not be saved.

9.4 The sustained campaign to denigrate Shri Shourie creates suspicion about the motives of the missionaries. He had received a letter from Dr Kanjamala in which the latter expressed "thanks in the warmest words.... 'Your talk was scholarly as well as challenging. The fact that the audience wanted to continue the discussion after you had spent nearly two hours with them shows the keen interest the audience had in the subject and your critique of the Christian mission. May I request you to give the presentation in writing. I intend to publish the talks of various speakers of this Consultation........" (p xii).

9.5 Shri Shourie concludes his book such: "'It has been a feast,' said Dr P Ramchandran, formerly of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, who had been presiding over the session, as he wound up the exchange. As we dispersed for tea the exchanges continued, as did the banter: 'He knows more about Christianity than your students,' Archbishop Mathias of Bangalore told Bishop Valeran D'Souza of Pune, teasing him and me. 'He knows more about Christianity,' said the latter who oversees one of the best seminaries in our country, 'than many of our professors!'....The things I had been saying were hardly the things that the Archbishop, the Bishops and the scholars assembled there agreed with, they were certainly not the things that they would find agreeable. But, as I recalled at the beginning, they heard me out in pin-drop silence, and with unbroken patience. They told me unambiguously that they did not agree with what I had said. Several of their observations left no doubt that they were put out buy what I had said. But they pasted no motive. They were courteous and the very models of dignity and decorum throughout. I left feeling I had been among friends. If only we could learn at least this one thing from them: if we could only learn how to disagree. How much better off our country would be." (Emphasis added, pp 241-2.)

9.6 With the treatment that he is now receiving from the writers, Shri Shourie must have changed his opinion by now! Fr Lesser regrets that he has used his courage, intelligence and journalistic skills to "bite the hand that fed him" (The Examiner, July 30). Dr Kanjamala said that Shri Shourie was 'critical, forthright but sober' at the Pune Consultation, implying that he was not sober in the book. In the same interview, he said, "Except that it can ignite communal tension, this book does not make any positive contribution." (Indian Currents.)

9.7 The manner in which the missionaries have handled the issues raised in the book, makes one wonder if they have any intention to have a real dialogue in India. Much of what has been written by the above authors has been dealt With by Shri Shourie in his book. They are free to disagree with him. But instead of repeating the same points, they should have gone forward from where Shri Shourie left, and say why they disagree with him. Otherwise, we will be at the same position as before the book was written. This ! is not progress.

9.8 Shri Shourie predicted how the 'secularists' would react. I have dealt with this in 1.3 above. "The reaction of the Bishops, senior clergy and scholars gathered at Pune was the exact opposite. The listened with unwavering attention. They told me clearly that they did not agree with much of what I had said. They spelled out their reasons. But then they listened with the same attention to what I had to say in return" (p xi). One has to wonder in the change in the attitude when the book came out.

9.9 It also makes one wonder why is it that they are afraid? Is it that if the true tenets of Christianity and its methods are explicitly stated, they will find themselves in the same predicament in India as in the developed countries? or is the intention to 'warn' the Christians that their religion is under attack by the Hindu 'communalists', and if they do not come more closely under the umbrella of the Church, they will be in grave danger?

September 94.
On the weekend, in the morning, while I was sleeping late, a missionary sort (white lady) had come with her son to our door. Shrimati opened the door (I learnt when I woke up), and almost converted the white kid to Hindu Dharma. The mother thanked her for her time and whisked the kid away before any further damage could happen to the little one's ticket to "heaven", I suppose..

Heh! And my wife does not know nearly as much as we do here about Xtianity. Now I have directed her to christian aggression. Next soul harvester who knocks our door is in for a treat. (And a bigger treat if I open the door)..

I dont want to go into details, @sud I was brought up in chennai, but my grandpa hails from rajamundhry and my aunts still live there. My dad’s sisters family there in rajamundhry converted to x-tianity during the rule of N Janardhan reddy in the early 90’s. (janardhan reddy himself was a convert), i know the troubled they went thru in my family and outside and they converted back to hindusim in 99. I will just finish by saying that under any political scene, their current population in andhra which is 1.55% will never go above 3-4%. That is my take, wait for the next census if u want. If these people are neo converts, then they dont want to say they are x-tian becos they want quota, they leave hindu culture for money. Then they betray both religions, so in my opinion such people dont count at all, all they want is money and benefits both at the same time.


Psyched too much, eh? Well, i hope so. Sadly, I don’t think it is just paranoia. I’m from coastal andhra. Every single village (pally, we call them in Telugu) has at least one church now. The hills around Vijaywada are painted with crosses. The amount of money, study, organization pouring into this massive social re-engineering project are nothing I would easily scoff at.

Why don’t they call themselves xtian? Because there are benefits (under reservations) to registering as yindoo in sarkari records. But they are xtian, have no doubt.

The maoist/naxal movement in our tribal areas seems to curiously precede the move-in by the church, in case anyone’s noticed. This has been evident all over our tribal areas - from Jharkhand to Orissa to Chattisgarh. Nepal, a landlocked country where the maoist movement started in 1996 in the remote Rolpa distt is now in the hands of the maoists. MI6 agents were involved in arms-dropping for the maoists (anyone recall the Purulia airdrop case in 1995?). And the churchists are now running the show with their purse-strings there too.

Hey, maybe I’ve gone off the deep end. Maybe I am being hypersensitive and sensational. The Lawd knows, I would dearly love to be wrong on this one. But something tells me I am not. I am totally open to evidence that the Maoists are not supported by a foreign power(s). Any evidence that says the Maoists target churches as much as they do temples and govt property in our tribal areas. Any evidence that the targets for xtian conversion are our SC and ST population groups. Anything at all.


CBN has seen the light.
Its not the muslims in Ap who figure highest in his calculations.

It the neo-converts to xtianity. Their numbers are huge and don’t show up in the census poll. Like BJP in KT, their influence in Ap wasn’t built overnight. Its been in the making for yrs now, plenty of $$$ and propaganda has gone in. YSR himself is a xtian convert, btw. And there’s reason why US pressured/ cajoled India for a new US consulate in Hyd.

AP is almost a lost cause, seems like. The caste coalition there wont favor the BJP. The first xtian state in mainstream India is on its way. Perhaps.



<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Confiscate the properties of Vatican in India- Catholic Laymen's Association</b>

Kerala: Catholic Bishops are the biggest fraudsters in India and all their activities, sources of income should be investigated demanded Vincent Mathew, State President of Catholic Laymen's Association.

Catholic Bishops are administering various institutions and holding huge assets as representatives of Vatican . How can a Foreign nation hold this much assets in India ,asked Vincent Mathew.

He said an immediate investigation should be conducted on the assets and government should take over properties in excess of that is allowed for a foreign country to keep in custody in India , said Vincent Mathew.


...and then...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Intelligence to probe Christian evangelists assets case</b>

A special team of intelligence officials are in the State to probe into the wealth of the Christian evangelists operating in the State. The team would also probe whether any anti-national activities are being carried out by these self-styled god men.

The team is focusing its attention primarily on Bishop KP Yohannan and Br KC John who have amassed millions in the name of charity and other services.

Both the evangelists are based out of the State and the intelligence is checking on the operations in some countries, which are of interest to the international intelligence agencies.

KP Yohannan is primarily focused on his close contacts and operations in Myanmar and some parts of Sri Lanka. The intelligence is probing whether the Christian evangelist is sourcing money in the name of any anti-national activities carried out under the cover of his evangelism. The newly opened channel, Power vision, controlled by KC John and the amount of funding it has received in the short duration of time is also being probed seriously by the investigating team of agencies.

Sources told The Pioneer that the team has unearthed some valuable documents related to the deals of Yohannan and wants to cross verify this with its diplomatic channels in South Asian countries.

There are also reports that both the evangelists were involved in massive conversion operations across the country and that most of the funds received from foreign countries were used for this purpose. The Department of Revenue intelligence is also trying to ascertain whether there are any major violation of the money transfer act is conducted by the evangelists.

While KC John is a pastor with international links, he is also the president of the Indian Pentacostal Church, based in Kerala, which is a prestigious post in the pentacostal community. The probe is mainly centred around the activities of his Powervision channel and the funds sourced for it.



...and the result of the investigation? Who knows! Probably...<!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Sikhs reached by contextualizing gospel</b>

By Kari Wynn, Baptist Press

Within the large halls of the gurdwara, the congregation stands or sits together with heads covered and feet bare. Their hands are folded in prayer. They face the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures, and listen as one member recites the congregational prayers. Every so often, they murmur together in Punjabi “Waheguru,” or “Wonderful lord.”

“The Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the center on a raised area,” explained Irene Wayne*, the Southern Baptist strategy coordinator for the Jatt Sikh people group in India.

“There is a canopy over it, and someone waves a feathered fan over it to keep flies from falling on it and ‘contaminating’ it.”

At the end of the prayers, each member of the congregation bows with his head touching the floor in reverence to the Guru Granth Sahib. The service ends with the words of the common Sikh greeting, “Sat Sri Akal,” which means, “God is truth.”

To the followers of Sikhism, religion is all about the search for truth. Sikhs believe in one god, and that he is the supreme creator and embodiment of truth. To reach god, Sikhs believe a person must live a life of intense devotion and self-discipline.

Guru Nanak Dev founded Sikhism in the 15th century. Sikhs revere Guru Nanak, as well as the nine gurus who followed him. They treat the gurus’ writings, compiled in a book that Sikhs consider the final and “living guru,” as their sacred scripture. They call these texts the Guru Granth Sahib.

Devout Sikhs will devote part of each day to reciting portions from the Guru Granth Sahib.

“There are set portions of the Sikh scriptures that can be read, and each has to be read in full at one time,” Wayne said. “They are kind of like chapters. Some are longer than others.”

Sikhs also have special scripture readings on the eve of a significant event in hopes that the Guru Granth Sahib will bless the occasion.

<b>For a Sikh, Christianity is a foreign religion and Christ is a foreign guru (teacher). Indian Christians working among the Sikhs, especially the Jatt Sikhs, are beginning to see how much of a barrier this is to reaching them with the gospel.</b>

<b>Historically, Sikhs who have accepted the gospel have relinquished much of their culture to join the “Christian” culture.</b>

“Many are completely ‘Christianized’ and don’t look any different from most Christians,” Wayne said. “Unfortunately, this is a barrier to the Jatts.”

In an effort to reach the Sikh culture for Christ, <b>some Indian Christians have begun conducting church services in the style of a Sikh worship service</b>. These services meet in believers’ homes and have all of the characteristics of a church, but also have a culturally contextualized style. The congregation sits with a leader and discusses portions of scripture.

“Some people are now using the satsang style of worship and trying to contextualize more so that they can maintain their culture while forsaking the false beliefs,” Wayne said. “Satsang style uses music similar to the Sikh singing. <b>The leader would likely sit rather than stand, and some people are using contextualized terms like ‘Sat Guru’ (True Teacher) for Jesus.”</b>

Satsang, which literally means “true company,” is a congregationally led worship. Often one teacher will sit and read a passage from the Bible, and the congregation will meditate on it and discuss it.

<b>In this way, Sikh-background Christians can match their style of worship to the culture to which they are accustomed, while remaining devoted to following and sharing Christ.</b>

Evangelisation of Punjab @
Crazy Korean Christians make children crazy <b>(online video)</b>
They are creating a new generation of mental slaves who will even be ready to die for the causes fo their church.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>TTD Board Chairman meets Sonia Gandhi </b>
Special Correspondent

TIRUPATI: TTD Trust Board Chairperson B. Karunakar Reddy on Tuesday called on UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi about the various schemes the TTD has been taking up with a ‘social slant’.

TTD sources said that in the meeting with Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Reddy sought to showcase to her what the TTD claims as its ‘path-breaking’ programmes such as the ‘Dalita Govindam’, ‘Masthya Govindam’ ‘Girijana Govindam’ Kalyanamasthu and such other programmes aimed at teaching rudiments of temple rituals to those serving as priests in the Dalitwadas and tribal colonies. He also reportedly briefed her about the series of spiritual programmes which the TTD launched in recent times to take the deity to the doorsteps of the ‘aam admi’. He is said to have cited in this context the ‘Bhakti Chaithanya Yathralu’, ‘Srivari Kalyanam’ and so on.

Mr. Reddy also took the occasion to apprise the UPA chief about the TTD launching its own television channel -- ‘Sri Venkateswara Bhakthi Channel’ (SVBC), to telecast the various rituals, fairs and festivals conducted in the temple of Lord Venkateswara and other TTD-controlled temples in and around Tirupati.

To meet President

Mr Reddy accompanied by the TTD’s Executive Officer, K.V. Ramanachary, is expected to call on President Pratibha Patil. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Couple caught having sex in church confession box! </b>

London: A couple has been caught having sex in a cathedral confession box during a 7 am mass.

After learning of the activities through worshippers, the stunned bishop informed the police.

Cops pulled back a curtain and found two goths in their 30s engaged in a sex act in Cesena, Italy.

“One of them was kneeling but neither was praying,” The Sun quoted a source, as saying.

The couple, who were booked for indecency, claimed they were atheists and that having sex in a church was no different to anywhere else.

The 700-year-old cathedral will have to be purified to “restore its sanctity”, officials said. 



I have always said that these 'confession' boxes in catholic churches should be put to better use. Well...seems like they have. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

On a serious note, the church has been defiling sacred places of other faiths for centuries, throughout the world, with complete and utmost disrespect and contempt, after labelling these beliefs as 'devil' worship. Well, the moral of this story is...what you do comes back around to you!

Beside, the couple were not doing anything that the catholic priests haven't already done inside the church. The difference is what this couple have done is a legitimate act - two consensual adults having sex. What the priests have done for centuries in the church, on the other hand, is totally illegal, and highly immoral and perverted, by any culture's sense of morality - by having sex with children. I don't see any large scale purification being done in the churches throughout the world for the priests' heinous acts !
Interesting account. It had always been my opinion that Bobby Jindal's conversion has been one of political convenience and ambition, coupled with strong desire to assimilate in a predominantly christian society. Seems like that is becoming more and more obvious.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>"Bobby" Jindal: The Story They Don't Want You to Read  </b>

(This account of "Bobby" Jindal's political and, as it were, religious formation during the 1990s is required reading for those who desire to understand how and why this conflicted human being has ensconced himself behind an infinite regression of masks. In the interest of full disclosure, the only party with whom LAMediaWatch collaborated when researching and preparing this essay was me. No other person, group or organization is responsible for the content of this text. - promoted by pointecoupeedemocrat)

<b>Background:  </b>

When the Louisiana Democratic Party announced their intentions to air a series of television commercials about gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal, the Jindal campaign immediately went into damage control mode. Tim Teepell, Jindal’s campaign manager, rushed out an e-mail claiming that Democrats would be launching an ad that “attacks Bobby for his Christian Faith (sp).” WAFB initially reported that one of the ads concerned Jindal’s published account of an exorcism he witnessed (and arguably, participated in) while an undergraduate at Brown  University. The Louisiana Democratic Party later clarified that the commercial did not concern Jindal’s “exorcism” story.

Ironically, the preemptive damage control efforts by Mr. Teepell have unintentionally piqued interest in this story.  Currently, a Google search for “Bobby Jindal exorcism” yields over 300 results from both newspapers and blogs.


Before addressing the specifics of the story, one must account for its relevance and significance. A handful of conservatives are now uncharacteristically claiming that Jindal’s faith should not be an issue. Of course, when the tables are turned, faith always seems to be an issue. A few months ago, Fox News ran an erroneous story about Barack Obama’s elementary school, implying Obama attended some sort of training school for young Muslim terrorists, and although the story is bogus and has since been retracted, some conservatives continue to argue that Obama is actually a Muslim.

In Mr. Jindal’s case, however, the facts are clear. Mr. Jindal wrote the story himself, and when he was a Rhodes Scholar, his story, “Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare,” was published in the December 1994 edition of the New Oxford Review. As a two-time candidate for Louisiana Governor, Mr. Jindal should certainly understand that his published writing, particularly an essay published in an esteemed journal, is relevant for discussion. However, judging by his campaign’s response, he is clearly embarrassed or unwilling to speak about an experience that, only thirteen years prior, he enthusiastically shared with the readership of the New Oxford Review.

Faith may be personal, but it is intellectually dishonest for anyone to suggest that the voters of Louisiana do not have the right to read and question a published essay written by Mr. Jindal, a candidate for governor. The Jindal campaign’s hard-line approach against those who question this essay is also troubling. They have attempted to suggest that Mr. Jindal’s published essay about an exorcism is inherently off-limits because it concerns his “personal faith.” Yet, on the campaign trail, Mr. Jindal frequently speaks about his personal faith, and he would certainly admit that his faith guides his legislative decisions. One must assume, therefore, that Mr. Jindal believes his faith can only be discussed when it is politically expedient. Otherwise, questions about his faith are off-limits, even if they concern his own published work.

<b>Jindal’s Conversion: </b>

While attending Brown University and later Oxford University, Bobby Jindal wrote often about the struggle of converting to Catholicism. Jindal was born and raised as a Hindu. His father, Raj, and mother, Amar, are first-generation immigrants from Punjab,  India. Mr. Jindal claims that Hinduism provided “moral guidance and spiritual comfort” during his formative years. When he was a teenager, Mr. Jindal was prompted to read the Bible after a friend told him that he and his parents would be “going to hell” if they did not convert. Mr. Jindal began studying Christianity in an attempt to prove otherwise. From INDOlink’s “Living in America! The Agony and Ecstasy of Bobby Jindal”:

“My journey from Hinduism to Christianity was a gradual and painful one,” Bobby Jindal acknowledged in a 1993 article that he wrote while he was a graduate student at Oxford.

As Jindal readily confessed in that article, “it never occurred to me that I should consider any other religion; to be a Hindu was an aspect of my Indian identity.” Thus, when a childhood friend, intent on converting the world, first introduced him to Christianity by warning him “you and your parents are going to hell,” he recalls that he “was hardly convinced.” Jindal was also “angered by the arrogance of my Southern Baptist friend who claimed his faith was the one true path to God.” That’s because he realized that his friend sought to “deny the experience of billions of people who have never seen a copy of the Bible.” 

Nevertheless the event did succeed in motivating him to “examine Hinduism on its own merits and doctrines” even as he was “searching for an objectively true faith that would lead me to God.” Simultaneously he began reading the Bible “to disprove the Christian faith I was learning both to admire and despise.” That was also a time when he “was touched by the love and simplicity of a Christian girl who dreamt of becoming a Supreme Court justice so she could stop her country from “killing unborn babies.”

As he delved deeper into the Bible, says Jindal, “I saw myself in many of the parables and felt as if the Bible had been written especially for me. After reading every book I could find on the historical accuracy of the Bible and Christianity, I was convinced that the Bible had remained unaltered throughout the centuries and that circumstances surrounding Christ’s death led to the conversions of thousands.” 

Jindal admits that up to that point his perspective remained intellectual and not spiritual.

The next decisive event in Jindal’s spiritual quest came in the form of a short, black and white film depicting the crucifixion of Christ. As he recalled, “For the first time I actually imagined what it meant for the Son of God to be humiliated and even killed for my sake. Although the movie did not convince me that anything was true, it did force me to wonder if Christians were right. I realized that if the Gospel stories were true, if Christ really was the Son of God, it was arrogant of me to reject Him and question the gift of salvation.” 

It required many hours of discussion with a pastor before he was “ready to take that leap of faith and accept Christ into my life.” It would be another two years before he would be baptized into the Catholic faith. But in deference to his parent’s wishes Jindal reveals that he chose to have the ceremony in Providence rather than in Baton Rouge.

Interestingly, Mr. Jindal explains that one of the reasons he considered conversion was due to the simple “compassion” of a young girl who dreamt of being appointed to the United States Supreme Court so that she could overturn Roe v. Wade. From an early age, Mr. Jindal was impressed by this young Christian’s political aspirations, and when reviewing the early life of Mr. Jindal, it is difficult not to recognize the same brand of political ambition. 

Mr. Jindal’s decision to convert to Catholicism created tension at home. For his parents, his conversion represented more than simply a rejection of Hinduism; it was also a rejection of “tradition.” Quoting again from “Living in America! The Agony and Ecstasy of Bobby Jindal”:

As Jindal explains, “My parents went through different phases of anger and disappointment. They blamed themselves for being bad parents, blamed me for being a bad son and blamed evangelists for spreading dissension. There were heated discussions, many of them invoking family loyalty and national identity.” 

He elaborates: “My parents have never truly accepted my conversion and still see my faith as a negative that overshadows my accomplishments. They were hurt and felt I was rejecting them by accepting Christianity.” According to Jindal, his parents resorted to “ethnic loyalty” to counter his new faith.

In an article published in Jesuit Magazine, Jindal states, “New converts often treasure their Catholic faith because of the painful and deliberate process through which they accepted Christ. If Christianity is worth risking family and friends, it is worth practicing on a daily basis.” In 1994, the national Catholic weekly magazine America published another Jindal article entitled “Choosing Between Church and Family: The Spiritual Journey of Converts.” He writes: 

My parents requested that I never mention my faith to my brother or try to evangelize others. I replied that I could not promise such things, but would voluntarily refrain from such activities for now to please them. I also noted that I would never lie to my brother if directly asked about my Christian faith. I reserved the right to answer questions and assist those already seeking Christianity. My parents were concerned that my zeal would lead me to force them, my brother and others to accept my newfound faith. They did not want other parents to experience their pain and were afraid of losing their other son. Though I refused to violate certain principles {I was ready to move out rather than reject my Christian faith, and I insisted on a firm deadline for my baptism}, my flexibility on certain other issues convinced my parents that I truly cared for them and was trying to compromise without sacrificing my integrity.

During the early 1990s, Mr. Jindal wrote prolifically about his conversion to Catholicism. His work was published nationally and internationally. For Catholic publications, Mr. Jindal must have appeared to be a shining star—a young and ambitious Hindu who ostensibly converted to Catholicism for all of the right reasons. 

<b>Jindal’s Rise:  </b>

In many ways, Mr. Jindal’s sudden ascendance into political prominence is partly because of his conversion to Catholicism. This is not to insult Mr. Jindal, but it is merely to suggest that due to his numerous published essays and articles on his own conversion and his work on religious conversion as a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Jindal made a name for himself at a young age. 

Consider, if you will, the political climate of the early 1990s, the time in which Mr. Jindal wrote about his conversion. In 1994, Newt Gingrich and the GOP ushered in what they called “The Republican Revolution,” and the Republicans became in control of the House for the first time in nearly forty years. Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal, after finishing Oxford, was working for McKinsey and Company, a multi-billion dollar “management consulting firm.” 

In 1996, here in Louisiana, Mike Foster, a Republican, was elected governor. For some odd reason, Governor Foster appointed a young and inexperienced kid from a management consulting firm as Secretary of Louisiana’s Health and Hospitals. At 24 years old, Bobby Jindal became Secretary Jindal. Only six years before, Mr. Jindal was a Hindu teenager living with his parents in Baton Rouge. 

Mr. Jindal’s early and sudden rise into political prominence has raised many eyebrows. His ambition is unquestionable, but the ways in which he has gained prominence are worthy of attention and suspicion. Despite the fact that Louisiana’s national healthcare ranking dropped into last place during his tenure, Secretary Jindal, at the age of 27, became President Jindal after he was appointed President of the University of Louisiana system. Two years later, he found a better gig with the Bush Administration. He became Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. Then he ran for Governor. Then he ran for Congress. Now he is running for Governor again.

Bobby Jindal has spent practically all of his professional life in politics, and his political career primarily consists of appointments. He was appointed, appointed again, appointed again, appointed again, and then appointed again. No, I am not counting his years in Congress as an “appointment,” though Jindal, who had to move into the district to qualify, was essentially coroneted by David Vitter and the Republican Party.

If you are looking for Bobby Jindal before politics, the only thing you will find is a series of essays he wrote about converting from Hinduism to Catholicism. But don’t worry. The essays are actually fascinating and revealing, which is probably why Mr. Jindal does not want you to read at least one of them. 

<b>“Beating a Demon”: </b>

Of the Collected Works of Bobby Jindal, one story, in particular, has been the subject of intense scrutiny. The story concerns Mr. Jindal, as an undergraduate, participating in a strange type of exorcism ceremony. This experience, claims Mr. Jindal, helped to underscore his nascent Catholic faith.

This, in a truncated and paraphrased form, is the now-famous exorcism story:

When Bobby Jindal was attending Brown University, he had a friend named “Susan.” Susan and Bobby were very close friends. Some people even thought the two were an item, but they never were. One day, Susan and Bobby attended a Christian concert, and in the middle of the show, Susan got up and left. Bobby knew something was wrong. He followed her outside, and she was sobbing. Bobby tried to console her. A female friend showed up and gave Susan a hug. Bobby knew the problem would not go away with a hug, and he offered to walk her back to her dorm room. Once they were in the room, Susan confessed why she was upset. She said she had cancer. Skin cancer. Bobby promised to stand by her forever. He sat next to her in bed and distracted her with “fairy tales.” Susan calmed down. 

The next time they were supposed to meet for dinner, Susan was late. She refused to apologize, so Bobby refused to speak with her for a week. But they quickly resolved everything when Susan opened up about her nightmares and the strange, unknown odors emanating from her dorm room. Bobby attributed the odor to the devil, because it smelled like sulfur. Susan also told Bobby about speaking in tongues and visions she had. Bobby became worried and scared. Bobby had heard a priest claim that “angels, spirits, and other such apparitions” were not meant for literal interpretation. Still, he wanted to believe Susan. 

When Susan was telling Bobby this, he excused himself and left the room. Then, he made the sign of the cross and prayed to God for help. When he walked back into the room, Susan “angrily lashed out” at Bobby, and he thought, “Gee. Thanks God. So much for prayer.”

The next day, when Susan went for another set of tests, Bobby and his friends in the University Christian Fellowship club (UCF) organized a prayer meeting for Susan later that evening. Bobby asked Susan if she wanted him to attend the meeting. At first she said no, but she quickly changed her mind.

The UCF prayer meeting was held in a classroom. A group of people, including Bobby, Susan, and Susan’s sister, sat in a circle on the floor and sang songs and prayed together. Suddenly, right after a group prayer, Susan “emitted some strange guttural sounds.” Bobby thought she may be having a seizure. Susan’s sister told everyone to place their hands on Susan’s body. Bobby “refused” and “froze in horror.” Susan began to scream Bobby’s name. She yelled, “Bobby, you cannot even love Susan.” Bobby thought it was funny she referred to herself in the third person. Bobby walked to the back of the room, and Susan began insulting every person in the room, revealing private information and embarrassing secrets. 

Susan’s sister and a woman named “Louise,” who Bobby says was “a member of a charismatic church,” pinned Susan down and prayed loudly and desperately. They yelled things like, “Satan, I command you to leave this woman” and commanded “(all) demons to leave in the name of Christ.” Susan continued shouting. Bobby tried to remain calm, though at one point, he thought he could be having a stroke. Bobby considered calling the campus priest, but he also thought that Catholicism could actually be bogus. He was having questions about his faith. Instead, the students in the UCF meeting continued to pray for Susan. Bobby tried praying, but he became exhausted.... 

(<i>the remainder of the account of this event can be found at...</i>)

slightly longer version of the same article in the Dallas Morning News. I am posting the full article below for those who have difficulty in accessing the link below:

Christine Wicker: The great evangelical decline

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, June 1, 2008

<i>Christine Wicker is the author of "The Fall of the Evangelical Nation: The Surprising Crisis Inside the Church." Her e-mail address is christine@christinewicker.com.</i>

What Baptist leaders have known for years is finally public: The Southern Baptist Convention is a denomination in decline. <b>Half of the SBC's 43,000 churches will have shut their doors by 2030 if current trends continue</b>.

And unless God provides a miracle, the trends will continue. They are longstanding and deeply rooted. The denomination's growth rate has been declining since the 1950s. <b>The conservative/fundamentalist takeover 30 years ago was supposed to turn the trend around; it didn't make a bit of difference.</b>

Leaders said it did. Reporters and politicians believed it did. But <b>the numbers kept going down until, finally, they have become obvious to everyone.</b>

Evangelical faith has been dropping since 1900, when 42 percent of the U.S. claimed that distinction. <b>Every year, Religious Right evangelicals, such as those who lead the Southern Baptists, are a smaller proportion of the country.</b> Every year, their core values are violated more flagrantly by the media, scientific discovery and mainstream behavior. Every election, politicians promise to serve them and then don't because evangelicals lack the power to make them.

<b>What all this means is that we were duped. All the hype proclaiming an evangelical resurgence was merely that – hype, a furious shout from a faith losing its grip, manipulation by a relatively small group of dedicated, focused, political power-seekers.</b>

The long decline of Southern Baptist faith is critical to the entire evangelical movement because the Southern Baptist Convention, which claims 16 million members, is the biggest evangelical denomination in the country, almost six times as large as the next biggest predominately white evangelical denomination.

The second-largest evangelical group, the National Association of Evangelicals, has claimed 30 million members. Their churches actually have 7.6 million, tops. <b>Most of those are having the same problems the Baptists are having.</b>

As the true picture of evangelicals' problems has developed, panicked leaders are splitting into camps. Some say that the church is lax, soft, sold out. That what's needed is an even bigger dose of the medicine that the SBC fundamentalist takeover delivered. More authority, more strict interpretations of the Bible, more sermons about sin and suffering and sacrifice, more rigor about who is and who isn't getting to go to heaven. They argue that Christianity-lite is the problem. Get back to the Bible, they say, which means proclaiming more confidently that the only interpretation is Truth, and anyone who doesn't agree with it will surely go to hell.

A growing number of dedicated Southern Baptists believe the Bible's truth is a Calvinist one. They reject the traditional Baptist idea that any human can choose to be saved in favor of predestination, the idea that only those whose names are already written in the Book of the Lamb will go to heaven. Kick out the unregenerates, they say. That will fix the problem.

Still others say the problem is image. Evangelicals have been seen as mean-spirited and narrow. Caring about the environment and giving more attention to the poor and needy will turn it around. Get out of politics, they say. Play down abortion and gay rights. That will fix the problem.

But <b>none of these ideas will halt the increasing irrelevance of evangelical faith to the great majority of the U.S. population. Evangelical faith is being attacked inside and outside its churches by forces that won't be stopped</b> by new biblical rigor or an image makeover.

I'll give you just <b>three of those many forces</b>.

<b>One</b> is Alcoholics Anonymous and all its 12-step offspring – the creation of two Christian men who wanted to help alcoholics. They modeled AA on the teachings of Jesus and the ideas of philosopher William James. Instead of asking alcoholics to be saved, they asked them to call on a god of their own understanding. Sometimes leaders illustrated the freedom of that definition by saying, "That door knob over there might be your god."

They included 12 steps based on Christian principles that are never identified as Christian and include no Bible verses. They eschewed guilt and any talk of sinfulness. Repentance was directed at specific people who had been harmed. <b>There was no doctrine, no institution, no demand for monetary support.

Tens of millions of addicts and other troubled people used this "door knob god" to build new lives. They learned that they didn't have to read the Bible, attend church or follow a preacher's rules to engage a divine power that could heal them.

Nothing like that kind of open-ended faith had ever been experienced before. And so the role of the church as interpreter of God's truth and the Bible as its sole repository lost power with millions</b>.

The <b>second</b> attack came within the church as <b>American evangelicals themselves became less willing to proclaim that they are the only ones saved. That idea had seemed reasonable when people lived in fairly homogeneous groups. "The other" was unknown, seemed inferior and appeared unlikely to have God's blessing. Since few people had much to do with foreigners – except in times of war, when they were trying to kill them, or from behind a tourist's camera, when they were making souvenirs of them – "our way is the only way" seemed reasonable.

But international travel, business and communication have changed that. So have huge waves of immigration. Now "the other" is likely to be your son-in-law or grandchild.</b>

<b>The idea that only one little part of one kind of religion has the only way to God has begun to seem more and more unlikely. It has begun to seem rude. Un-Christian, even. And evangelicals, who don't like being boorish any more than anyone else, have become less and less willing to relegate their neighbors to hell.</b>

So we have a completely formless god of great power and instant accessibility romping around, rescuing millions whom everyone else had given up on. Then we have <b>more Christians getting squeamish about proclaiming hegemony over heaven</b>.

And along comes <b>The Pill. It's merely one of the insidious attacks science has launched against traditional religious faith, but it is surely the most successful. Nothing in history has changed human relations as much as that little white pill.
The curse God laid on Eve wasn't quite so ironclad anymore. Skip forward a few decades, and couples started delaying marriage until their late 20s, 30s or even 40s. But that pill meant there was less pressure to abstain from sex until the wedding.

So hardly anyone did. Some single couples who slept together or lived together and simply kept quiet about it kept coming to church, but millions of others slept in Sunday mornings. Evangelical leaders resolutely hewed to the abstinence standard at least formally, resulting in little more than extra hypocrisy.

That didn't matter much. Hypocrisy has always flourished, and it hasn't killed the church yet. But evangelicals' failure to grapple with change meant the church was no help in a world where people were expected to sleep together long before marriage and desperately sought guidance about when and with whom.

Evangelical leaders defend their stance by claiming that God doesn't change and that neither does sin. But sin does change. Slavery wasn't sin once. Now it is. Taking a wife and a concubine wasn't sin once. Now it is.

And God – or our understanding of what God is, which is all we actually have – changes, too. When societies change, their interpretations of God change. Their readings of the Scripture shift. Human understandings are remolded so that faith can remain vital and effective during new times.

Whether evangelical intransigence is pleasing to God isn't anything that humans can ever be absolutely sure of. If it is pleasing to him, God may send a great revival that will sweep the country and restore them to their place of predominance.

Such revivals have happened before. They could happen again.

But I've named only three of the ways that evangelical faith has come to seem less useful, necessary and vital to those who might benefit from its teachings. <b>Evangelical faith is failing in so many other ways that a growing number of Christians believe a New Reformation is needed.</b>

If they are correct, the Southern Baptist Convention is unlikely to lead that reformation. Let's hope it is at least around to participate.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hit and run caught on tape in Hartford Connecticut</b>

Police released audio tapes of two 911 calls made shortly after a 78-year-old man was struck by a car and then left in a Hartford, Connecticut, street by passing motorists and pedestrians.

The tapes were released two days after police Chief Daryl Roberts publicized a surveillance video of a car striking Angel Arce Torres and leaving him paralyzed in the busy street.

The video showed cars zooming past and bystanders staring at Torres from the sidewalk.

No one in the video stepped forward to help Torres, prompting Roberts to declare, "We no longer have a moral compass." Watch the impact and idle bystanders »
The video shows two cars veer across the center line and one of the cars striking Torres. Both cars then dart down a side street.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Indian classical music to popularise foreign God!</b>
26/12/2007 13:39:10  HK Correspondent

India’s, particularly Kerala’s pseudo-secular media, always keeps doing something new to please their beloved minorities.

So, there was nothing surprising for media watchers to find a Christian ‘padri’ in his long white gown giving a South Indian classical vocal recital last night on Amrita TV’s ‘Sruthilayam’ programme. Predictably, the keerthanam began thus: “Yesu natha, moksha dayaka”!

The Padri took care not to wear any tilak on his forehead, as in common with Carnatic musicians. The accompanying artists on the mridangam, violin and ghatam (all with sandal and sindoor on their foreheads) did their job quietly. But, by the look on their faces, it was clear that they were uncomfortable with Jesus Christ.

While calling Jesus ‘moksha dayaka’, the padri conveniently forgot that there is no concept of moksham or liberation form the cycle of birth and death in Christianity. But, the Padri must have thought, since most Hindus are gullible fools, who will point this out?

The padri’s attempt to use Indian music to popularise a foreign god is understandable, though not appreciable. But why did Amrita TV, owned by a Hindu ashram, allow such a program to be made and broadcast? The channel owes Hindus an explanation.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Read the comments. The first one after the article is by a christian (Jose Mejo on 01/03/2008) who declares that Carnatic Music is "Indian culture" <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> And that it is therefore part of his culture <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Like I said. Appropriation -> inculturation -> claiming it was theirs in the first place (as they do with Hindu temples too: openly and violently steal the temples like during christoportuguese times and turn them into churches, then centuries later claim they had always been churches and do away with the temple rubble evidence.)

Two of the comments on the above article (at the bottom of linked page):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sk 27/12/2007 03:44:20
-Pithave Ayaal paadunnathenthennu ayaal ariyunnilla..

I'm sure he wouldn't be knowing the meaning of what he's singing. But anyway it is irritating to see such stunts in media. <b>One of the xian channels regularly telecasts Bharatanatyam like dance with "edited" lyrics.</b> The good thing on watching is it will certainly re assure us about or rich cultural heritage which no one else in the world can claim.

(Red bit: this Hindu has started saying it is "cultural heritage" as well. My goodness, has he forgotten the source of Hindu arts?)

27/12/2007 01:33:57
<b>Indian classical music to popularise foreign God!</b>
This is hardly surprising. As a Bharata Natyam performer and Guru, I have noticed in the past few years, a very dangerous trend in this Divine artform where several Tamil schools are using BharataNatyam as a medium to popularise Jesus and his Bible stories.<b>BharataNatyam & Yoga along with all our classical artforms & music are deeply rich in Hindu legends and folklore where foreign Abrahamic religions find no place at all within them since Lord Shiva is the root and end of all our great spiritual arts and beliefs.</b> Many organisations have been taken over in the South by Christians and it is time our artistes woke up and took some action against this heinous crime.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Thank goodness someone said it.
Ishvara (Shiva) is well-known as the origin of Hindu Dance, Grammar and Martial Arts in Bharatam (in Japan he is the Lord of various forms of Martial Arts too). He is worshipped in these particular forms in the temples dedicated to those manifestations in the South of India and probably in similar temples all over the boundaries of Ancient India. For example, the Nataraja, Lord of Chitsabha, in Chidambaram Kovil - where he is in his spectacular form as the Cosmic Dancer.
He is also known as the lord of the Rudra Veena and of the percussion, as the primordial Guru - that is, the Guru of Gurus, and as the ultimate Yogi. Hindus of course know all this.
(Not to forget that Saraswati is the mother of Hindu music, of all Hindu instruments, of literacy and Hindu wisdom.)

To falsely present Bharatanatyam, the sacred Hindu dance that originated in Shiva - and other similar sacred Hindu dances - as merely "Indian culture" is just the usual christian way of accusing our religion of "false gods" all over again. That is why christianism resorts to its usual thievery because "heathen religions don't count". It does the same in Africa with the Africans' sacred rites and dances. Christianism's rules have always been Mow 'Em Over And Take Over Their Stuff.

Similarly Carnatic music is a very Hindu art form. It is not - never was nor ever will be - a mere Indian cultural expression. It is HINDU religious expression.
Xtians are a 1000 times more devious and dangerous than Muslims. At least the latter are straightforward with their hatred of Hindus. They tried to change the name of the district Kanyakumari to Kannimary. This motion was blocked thanks to the efforts of the Hindu Munnani.

Nothing has changed in 2000 years. The Divine Emperor Julian complains in the same way, of Xtians borrowing (stealing) heavily from the Mithraic/Eleusinian mysteries. Xtians, being followers of a desert cult, have no culture to speak of.
<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Jun 7 2008, 04:41 PM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Jun 7 2008, 04:41 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->They tried to change the name of the district Kanyakumari to Kannimary.[right][snapback]82473[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> Kanyakumari is a Hindu Goddess.

I read in HaindavaKeralam how christos tried to take over Shabari Malai Temple in the 1960s or 70s. And that they still keep trying such scams. And there's of course their more recent indecent advances on Thirupathi of Venkatachalapathi.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nothing has changed in 2000 years. The Divine Emperor Julian complains in the same way, of Xtians borrowing (stealing) heavily from the Mithraic/Eleusinian mysteries. Xtians, being followers of a desert cult, have no culture to speak of.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->More Hindus have to learn about Julian including his observations about christianism, and his efforts and plans to combat that terrorist threat. I really think he knew christianism so intimately (he was brought up in its oppressive sphere and loathed it since he was a child) that he had figured out exactly how to stop it.

http://freetruth.50webs.org/Appendix1.htm - this whole page is on Constantine and mentions Julian now and again.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Constantine's son: Constantius II Christian Roman Emperor 337 - 361 CE:
...had both of his uncles and seven cousins murdered to rise to power. Only two other cousins, twelve year old Gallus, and seven year old Julian, who was to become the last pagan emperor, survived this butchery in the first Christian dynasty.[DA401]

[DA] Abermals krähte der Hahn, by Karlheinz Deschner.
Link, from Christian Heritage<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(Constantine's life-story and that of his son Constantius II recounted on that page read like a horror novel about sociopaths.)

Whenever the opportunity arises, spread what you wrote (like what Julian said about the appropriation of Mithraic and Eleusinian mysteries) to your family and Hindu friends. You never know what great good your efforts will have. Creating awareness amongst Hindus of the great fraud perpetrated on mankind is the first step, and the most difficult one. Once that is set in motion, the rest will easily fall in place as people always oppose frauds once these have been exposed.

We will overcome this one day.
Continued from the above post.

We need to study what arguments the ancient Greeks and Romans gave against christianism, where they made headway. We know why they failed: because the empire was taken over by the christian megalomaniac. And then the arguments of the "pagans" were destroyed by the villainous victor christianism.

Some of the following stuff I already posted once before on the history of christianism thread, but I'm including it here because the rest of the quoteblocks feel more connected with them included.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The educated Romans disliked the religion. Some of them wrote books refuting Christianity, like the Epicurean Kelsos in his Alethes Logos, the last pagan emperor Julian in his Kata Christianon, and Porphyry's Against the Christians. The Church, unable to sufficiently counter their well-reasoned arguments (which it occasionally attempted), "won" the debate by destroying these works when it finally got into power. Even so, some scanty ancient literature against Christianity remains, pieced together from the unsuccessful attempts at responding by Christian Church fathers.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->IIRC, elsewhere I read more recently that there were indications that quite a number of books were written against the terrorist faith, but that most of them (including Julian's Kata Christianion) were destroyed by the anti-human church. That Kata Christianon existed is known because others mentioned it long ago by name.

First link goes to:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->According to Roman sources, the Christians ...in Rome ...were considered a small, uneducated group of religious troublemakers from the lowest social classes, operating in the shadowy sides of society.
http://www.bandoli.no/tolerance.htm<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->"Religious troublemakers" and "operating in the shadowy sides of society" - things have not changed.

Same page - nobody liked christianism even back then:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->According to the last great Roman Emperor Julian (a pagan, unlike his predecessor), Christianity was the destroyer of the civilization it grew up in. According to historian Gibbon, the wise Stoic (pagan) Emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius was of the same opinion. The other Stoic emperors did not have a much better opinion:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>All the Stoic Emperors detested Christianity as a mean superstition</b> and an anti-social philosophy. The Empire was laboring, and a sect which cut off its members from civic and imperial life deserved no indulgence.
-- The Story of Religious Controversy, by Joseph McCabe, historian and former Franciscan monk<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The pluralistic and tolerant Julian was proven right: he was assassinated. Since that time until today, the suspects have been Christians, dedicated as the Church was to re-establishing its stranglehold on Rome. Christian soldiers in the Roman army pierced Julian during a battle with the Persians. They had <b>already attempted the assassination before</b>.
The cherished Christian version of the murder was that Bishop Basil of Caesarea supposedly had a prophetic dream, wherein Julian "the Apostate"'s death was ordered by Jesus Christ himself and executed by St. Mercurius (the Roman God Mercury turned into a Christian Saint by the usual methods). Of course, the murder "miraculously" took place as foretold in Bishop Basil's dream. In reality this is merely the way the early Church denoted the covert assassination - with a "Persian spear" - of the pagan Emperor. <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->The bold bit above links to:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rome's last pagan Emperor, Julian, who reigned after Constantius II from 361 CE:

There was a striking contrast between the reign of [Christian Emperor] Constantius and that of his pagan successor. Julian decreed universal tolerance. No Christian was visited with punishment on account of his religion. The only means he employed to combat the growing superstition was to write against it, and throughout his short but beneficent reign he afforded convincing proof of the superiority of his Paganism to the Christianity of his predecessors. His temper and his philosophy were so humane that he pardoned <b>a band of Christian soldiers who conspired to assassinate him</b>, and he forgave the people of Antioch for an insult such as the pious Theodosius avenged at Thessalonica by a wholesale massacre.
-- Crimes of Christianity, by G W Foote and J M Wheeler
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Celsus and his True Word</b>
The Epicurean Kelsos (Celsus) of the 2nd century CE wrote the Alethes Logos ("True Word"). It was a criticism of Christianity wherein Celsus explained that he wrote it not just to refute the "false word" of Christianity but also to explain why the religion had to be suppressed. Roman intellectuals were much impressed by the work, such that it greatly impeded Christianity's spread among the educated classes. So much so in fact, that only the greatest intellectual in Christianity could attempt to reply to it. Only 80 years later could such a man be found among the Christian ranks: Origen of Alexandria.

And yet, the Church later on considered Origen himself to be a heretic. Of course, Celsus did not have a chance to make a rebuttal of his own, since Origen's attempts to refute his criticism took place long after he had died.
Christian emperors had done away with all other writings of Celsus, and even Alethes Logos only managed to survive in pieces: those parts of it that were used by Origen in his attempted refutation titled Contra Celsus.
In the 2nd century, Celsus refuted Christianity's claims with arguments that are still employed today and remain unsatisfactorily answered.

See the book: On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians by Celsus. Celsus' True Word has been pieced together and translated.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Turns out that Celsus in the 2nd century seriously doubted alleged jeebus' existence and his ever-changing "life-story" too:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Celsus (Epicurean, 2nd Century A.D., writes in his True Word, a critique of Christianity):
"I could continue along these lines, suggesting a good deal about the affairs of Jesus' life that does not appear in your own records. Indeed, what I know to be the case and what the disciples tell are two very different stories... [for example] the nonsensical idea that Jesus foresaw everything that was to happen to him (an obvious attempt to conceal the humiliating facts)."
"The men who fabricated this geneaology [of Jesus] were insistent on the point that Jesus was descended from the first man and from the king of the Jews [David]. The poor carpenter's wife seems not to have known she had such a distinguished bunch of ancestors."

"What an absurdity! Clearly the christians have used the myths of Danae and the Melanippe, or of the Auge and the Antiope in fabricating the story of Jesus' virgin birth."

"After all, the old myths of the greeks that attribute a divine birth to Perseus, Amphion, Aeacus and Minos are equally good evidence of their wondrous works on behalf of mankind- and are certainly no less lacking in plausibility than the stories of your followers."

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To say nothing of the hundred and fifty thousand various readings of the Greek Testament, it is an undisputed fact that passages have been knowingly interpolated in the canonical Gospels. The famous Trinitarian text in the first Epistle of St. John (5:7) has been almost universally recognised as a forgery since the days of Porson; and the public is now informed in the margin of our Revised Bible that the second half of the last chapter of Mark, from the ninth to the twentieth verses, does not exist in the oldest manuscripts, while some manuscripts give a different ending altogether. The author of the second Epistle to the Thessalonians appears to indicate that shameless forgeries were already rife, and expresses apprehension lest his own name should be attached to such frauds (2:2; 3:17). <b>Other instances might be given, but these will suffice to elucidate the complaint of Celsus, in the second century, that the Christians were perpetually correcting and altering their Gospels. </b>
-- Crimes of Christianity, by G W Foote and J M Wheeler<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Julian was Caesar for 5 years (all that time restricted in power by his cousin Constantius) and Emperor (Augustus) for only 3 years of which considerable time was spent in the Persian campaign. If he had stayed to see through the proper implementation of his edicts (instead of fighting in Persia against Sapor), there might have been some hope for Hellenism. I think he was far too tolerant of Xtians. While we might think of that tolerance as some great virtue, all the miseries that the world has endured as a result of Xtianity could have been prevented if he had just wiped them out. Xtians at this time were still a minority in the Roman Empire. The Roman military was largely Mithraic. I wish it had been done.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We know why they failed: because the empire was taken over by the christian megalomaniac. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Don't forget tolerance and sickularism. That crap never works against desert cults. All Julian did was promote equality and tolerance of all faiths, and he got assassinated.

Xtians celebrate his death.

<img src='http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Saint_Mercurius_killing_Iulian.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Nothing has changed in so many years.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes.
"Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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