Open Thread on Conversions, Christianity, Islam etc.
Dear All: I am opening this thread to provide a place to discuss all aspects related to Conversions, Christianity, Islam etc.
Please be sensitive in your comments. No personal abuse please. I will be deleting and editing comments that I feel have crossed the line. If you feel I have overlooked something, please alert me by leaving a comment here. Have a good discussion.
The last few comments from the RSS thread are reproduced below to help continue the discussion. Thanks.
*** Comments Begin (30th Dec onwards) ***
Comment by Aman:
1. In that case sir, I must quote to you what Gandhiji once told a fan of the Gita who was denouncing the Bible & wanting to convert.
Gandhiji thought a while and said: ‘I think you have not understood the Bible well. Since you are not a good Christian, how can you be a good Hindu?
It is therefore better that you first become a good Christian. If you succeed in doing this, you will become a good human being. And if you do so, then you will not only be a good Christian, but a good Hindu, a good Muslim and a good Jew as well. The walls of narrow, separate religions within your heart will then break away.’
This shows Gandhiji’s understanding of true religion, unity of all religions and his broad-mindedness.
Comment by Ashok:
Aman!!! It seems you are a full time paid propagandist for the holy church. I did not say I did not have time for this blog. I have less stime for meandering meandering logic like that of yours. I have some short takes for you.
If all relegion are equal ( as you benignly declare in contravention to the laid down core values of monolithic religions like christianity- thanks for that) then what is the meaning in cruel rituals like conversion. Why convert??/ Why Why Why??
Why cant the gospel of christ be taught alongside teaching of Krishna. To teach someone the Gospel why should you try and erase the teachings of Krishna
And you have quoted something from Gandhi. I dont know if he said that. He was too shrewd a politician and I wont be surprised if he said a thing like that. But he also said something to the effect that conversion is cruel; you wont have heard that ofcourse since you select history selectively.
And I want to ask you now; Aman!! have you read Bible?? And have you reflected on it or you have blindly beleived what ever your convertor has told you. If you read and reflect on each line and try and peep into the mind or most probable hired minds which have produced this document, you will be horrified
And I am really amused at your allusion that Hindu religion has something to do with narrowness of mind and wall and all that. A christian cannot even declare that people worshipping different Gods can reach heaven. The reall narrowness is here; right inside the Bible dear brother and you blame the most open religion of narrownes. Forgive him God for he does not know what he is saying.
I forgive you
Comment by Aman:
So you aren’t a man of your word.
Not surprising, considering the jokers you look up to are two faced themselves.
Anyway… here are some short takes for you.
- I don’t do propaganda. That will explain partly what I have against the rss.
- Conversion is a personal choice. Heard of free will? Nobody needs religion (or conversion) to find God, but some people believe it does. To each his own.
- It can be. It is in places. Knowledge is available all over. I was taught about Rama, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir, Kabir, Nanak, Moses & Muhammed. I guess I was lucky. Today if I encounter someone trying to influence my views, I change their funda.
- I am aware that you don’t know whether Gandhi said that. Which is why I told you!
To you Gandhi was a shrewd politician. To Tagore, he was a Mahatma.
He was against conversion or overt evangelism yes, but I don’t recall him calling it cruel.
If you think it is cruel, talk to the rss about their ghar-vapasi programme & lakshmiananda’s followers.
- I suggest you read the Bible when you’re not on lsd. Which line are you referring to as specifically horrifying?
- Where exactly is it implied that the religion commonly referred to as Hinduism is narrow minded??? Your comprehension is a problem. Which explains your views on everything.
Comment by Kaffir:
“- Conversion is a personal choice. Heard of free will? Nobody needs religion (or conversion) to find God, but some people believe it does. To each his own”
Wow, so all your hot passion turns into ice when it comes to conversion and calling a spade a spade? Conversion = intolerance of others, not accepting others as they are and they need to be like me. Tolerating such intolerance is not a virtue, more so after knowing that this belief of converting others has been historically used to kill and plunder others and destroy their cultures.
BTW, why not apply “free will” to many of your criticisms?
“I suggest you read the Bible when you’re not on lsd. Which line are you referring to as specifically horrifying?”
Leviticus 18 and 20, for example.
Comment by Aman:
My fire is reserved for things I can see wrong with. Does it work any other way?
If I see injustice, I will breathe fire. If I see conversion at gunpoint or knifepoint, I will cry foul. If I see societal corecion at work in conversions, I will cry foul. If I see economic incentives at work, I will disapprove. But I will not decry someone trying to spread their message. If someone comes to me believing that it is in human interest to spread the message of Krishna/Buddha/Moses/Christ/Muhammed, I will not stop them. There is good in those messages.
Ashoka sent evangelists all over India. His children Sanghamitra & Mahinda were evangelists that spread Buddishm to Sri Lanka.
Adi Shankaracharya travelled all over India attempting & effecting a revival of the ancient Vedic faith.
Dayananda Saraswati not only evangelised but also actively converted & reconverted into the revivalist Arya Samaj fold.
Vivekananda did the same but he was probably more apologist then revivalist. He was also an evangelist.
Why should I object?
Conversion is not = to intolerance. Conversion is preaching & finding acceptance for one’s ideas. You can evangelize religious philosophy, economic theory, forms of Govt., Gavaskar’s greatness, anything you feel like. And if people come round to your point of view, there’s no harm really. If you have a compelling enough argument why not? In fact often it is important to get people to think differently. For example, those who claim that Border was greater than Gavaskar need to be spoken to! If they don’t listen, that is up to their free will.
And just because you use a sword do kill doesn’t mean steel is evil. Similarly if people use religion of evangelising it for evil purposes doesn’t mean that they’re evil. Those who use them for bad purposes are bad! And no culture has really been destroyed by conversion. There are a lot of factors at play. I wonder what happened to the ancient Harrappan culture…?
Once you understand the ancient history of conversions in India, you’ll be a little more tolerant of conversions today I guess. For example, how did ancient tribal customs give way to the Vedic way of life? How did their ancient gods get replaced by Hindu gods? Did this have royal patronage as well? Read up a little, think about it a little. Come back. I’m certain you will chase me around the web a little while longer.
As for applying free will to my criticisms, I’m not sure what you mean; but if you mean why do I not let things & people be, then you don’t understand free will. Free will means having the freedom to choose. The freedom to express & the freedom to argue I guess. I don’t force anyone to follow my path. I exercise my freedom to express my views. And even that I am doing lesser & lesser of. Partly out of respect for free will of course. One can only take the horse to the water; one can’t make him drink.
And what is so horrifying about Leviticus 18 & 20?
Comment by Rohit:
My fire is reserved for things I can see wrong with.
Here are some of the places where you can gospel: SWAT, FATA, KASHMIR, UIGHUR… I am sure you will get rousing reception.
Free Will… Why should I object?
The other way around is also free will; i.e., opposing mullahs and baptistos so go and talk to your mullas and baptistos, especially mulla omar who is in your lovely Pakistan or Afghanistan… Border is porous and you can meet him easily… Take Zakir Naik also along with yourself.
Once you understand the ancient history of conversions in India, you’ll be a little more tolerant of conversions today I guess. For example, how did ancient tribal customs give way to the Vedic way of life? How did their ancient gods get replaced by Hindu gods? Did this have royal patronage as well? Read up a little, think about it a little.
You think and research about the conversions about gulf and the nomads and their limited gibberishes. Why they copied the same stuff again and again… It will be more fruitful. And also think why no non muslim or non christian was left where ever the good sword people went with cheap copies of Judaism.
Comment by Ashok:
Thank God you( a Gandhian as you call yourself) accepted atleast one thing that your own ideal was against conversion.
What do I find horrifying in Bible?? It will take volumes and annoy the blog owner. Please google and read ‘ proving bible is repulsvie’ on the net. There is great dea of information on it from western source;not from the RSS. I am sure you will find some more queer logic to circumvent this information andt the logic
And who told you I will not vis this site. You by logic tried to impose it on me. It was your wish not mine. I do not know who has a comprehension problem. And calling me not a man of my word ; a word which I have not given. Queer.
Reading your post remind me how the church trapped and tormented Copernicus merely for saying that the earth is round and is not the centre of the universe. you must read about this too; the formal case by the church against Copernicus and how he was brought to his knees by the church
If you have read bible and find nothing repulsive in it I am really amazed. How can people tell lies not only to others but to themselve. Shall get back with the data later
Pl. continue to share your thoughts below.