The Candid Eye

April 12, 2010

I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI : Richard Dawkins

RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

Richard Dawkins : Image Courtesy - Times Online

The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.

The Pope was embroiled in new controversy this weekend over a letter he signed arguing that the “good of the universal church” should be considered against the defrocking of an American priest who committed sex offences against two boys. It was dated 1985, when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases.

Benedict will be in Britain between September 16 and 19, visiting London, Glasgow and Coventry, where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian.

Dawkins and Hitchens believe the Pope would be unable to claim diplomatic immunity from arrest because, although his tour is categorised as a state visit, he is not the head of a state recognised by the United Nations.

Pope Benedict XVI

They have commissioned the barrister Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens, a solicitor, to present a justification for legal action.The lawyers believe they can ask the Crown Prosecution Service to initiate criminal proceedings against the Pope, launch their own civil action against him or refer his case to the International Criminal Court.

Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said: “This is a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence.”

Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great, said: “This man is not above or outside the law. The institutionalised concealment of child rape is a crime under any law and demands not private ceremonies of repentance or church-funded payoffs, but justice and punishment.”

Last year pro-Palestinian activists persuaded a British judge to issue an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni, the Israeli politician, for offences allegedly committed during the 2008-09 conflict in Gaza. The warrant was withdrawn after Livni cancelled her planned trip to the UK.

“There is every possibility of legal action against the Pope occurring,” said Stephens. “Geoffrey and I have both come to the view that the Vatican is not actually a state in international law. It is not recognised by the UN, it does not have borders that are policed and its relations are not of a full diplomatic nature.”

Source: Times Online

March 30, 2010

Missionaries: the good, the bad, and the ugly

An excellent article by Professor and Hindu Monk Ramdas Lamb.

Q: Is there a problem with proselytism overseas by U.S. religious groups? Isn’t sharing one’s faith part of religious freedom? When does it cross the line into manipulation and coercion?

Missionary proselytization has been an integral part of the two main prophetic religions, Christianity and Islam, since early on in the formation of each. It is precisely the reason they are the two largest religions in the world. It is also one of the darkest and most sinister aspects of religion and one of the main reasons so many people have a negative view of anything to do with religion. The basis and justification for proselytization is an extremely narrow minded and arrogant assumption: “My religion is the only right one, I have the only truth, all other religions are wrong, and it is my duty to get others to think and believe like me.” This belief has been used by Christians and Muslims for more than a millennium to justify the seduction, coercion, torture, and even murder of countless individuals in trying to get them to convert.

This does not mean that missionaries as a group have not done many good things for people over the millennia, and some continue to have positive impacts in the lives of the poor and needy. Examples of this can be seen currently in both Haiti and Chile. However, the negative actions of those who focus is proselytization far outweigh the positive.

Monk Ramdas Lamb : Image Courtesy - http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/

Religion is simultaneously one of the best as well as one of the most destructive of human creations. Religions have inspired people like Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King to selflessly serve others and work to make the world a better place. Religions have also given rise to an ideology of hatred and have provided justification for the kinds of evils perpetuated by the likes of Aurangzeb, Hitler, and bin Laden.

Proselytizers are fundamentalists whose ideology divides the world into “believers” and “non-believers.” The latter comprise all those who are different, those perceived as the “other.” One of the biggest difficulties that we face in this world is our distrust of others, a feeling that leads to fear, hate, and violence. In his 1991 documentary entitled “Beyond Hate,” Bill Moyers addresses concepts such as “insider and outsider,” “us and other,” etc. and the pivotal role this bifurcated view plays in justifying hatred and violence. Proselytizers thrive on these distinctions, these divisions, drawing sharp lines between their own beliefs and those of everyone else. Non-believers are seen as lesser, sometimes even as evil, and clearly in need to either being changed or, in the extreme, annihilated.

More wars have been fought because of narrow religious doctrine and beliefs than for any other reason, and Christians and Muslims have been at the forefront. Both their histories are punctuated with wars against people of other religions, and the paths they have followed are riddled with the bodies of millions of innocent victims. One of the more extreme examples is the case of Timur, the 14th-century Muslim conqueror. In December, 1398, he overthrow the reigning Muslim ruler in Delhi. His justification was that the ruling dynasty was too tolerant of Hindus and did not convert them. Timur happily recounts in his memoirs that in the process of taking over, his army slaughtered 100,000 Hindus in a single day.

Forced conversions continue, as is evident by events in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Egypt. Even in the Gaza strip, two western newsman were recently forced to convert at gunpoint. Just last week, two young Sikh men were kidnapped and beheaded by members of the Taliban in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam. While such actions clearly do not represent the vast majority of Muslims, they have been condoned and even justified by fundamentalist Muslim leaders, and very few Muslims speak out in opposition, often out of fear. A recent and welcome exception is Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, an influential Pakistani Muslim scholar, who just released a 600-page fatwa (religious edict) condemning Muslim terrorism and suicide bombings. Although it is a powerful and needed statement, it is a rarity, and Dr. ul-Qadri has unfortunately put his own life in danger in the process. Fundamentalists, irrespective of their chosen ideology, find disagreement difficult to allow, and violence has increasingly become a common reaction.

Christian missionaries in the past were not much better. In addition to the violence in the name of Christianity that was perpetuated during the Crusades and the Inquisitions, a look at the early proselytization efforts in India, the Americas, and the Pacific makes it clear that many missionaries found relatively easy justification for the torture and execution of those who refused to become Christian or who challenged their beliefs. Although nowadays most Christian proselytizers have renounced such violence, groups like the Manmasi National Christian Army in Assam, India, continue to use threats to force conversion.

Most European and American Christian missionaries during the last two centuries in Asia have found offers of food, work, education, and health care to be better methods for gaining converts. In the late 1700s, missionaries followed on the heels of the British East India Company and began a concerted effort to take over the Indian soul. Once the British government took control the country, proselytizers had a relatively free reign to pursue their objectives. Again, some missionaries did good works, but those focused on proselytization showed little actual concern for the well being of those they sought to convert.

Many Hindus had hoped that Indian Independence would help curtail the more underhanded activities of the missionaries, but this did not happen. Less than a decade after Independence, a government study conducted in central India known as the Niyogi Report brought to light many of the underhanded and cynical methods that Christian missionaries were continuing to use. The Indian government did little about it, and as a consequence, many of the same tactics remain prevalent.

Currently, Americans donate millions of dollars annually to Christian organizations that advertise charity work they do around the world. While it is true that some organizations do help many people, the assistance of many such groups comes with a price for the people being helped. That is because the real focus of most missionaries is on their proselytization efforts, for which a significant portion of the money is used. Far too often, their activities have absolutely nothing to do with spirituality or real charity, and everything to do with getting names and numbers of converts, so the missionaries can go back to their funding agencies and supporters and ask for continued finances for their claimed “successes.”

In India, missionaries tell their supporters in the U.S. that they provide free or inexpensive services to the needy. However, once initial assistance is given, then conditions are often added for subsequent help. If free education is provided, conversion may then be a requirement for its continuance past a certain point. If aid is in the form of health care, then the quality of care or type of medicine and treatment available may be determined by one’s willingness to convert. This becomes a serious and difficult issue for parents who bring a sick or injured child to a missionary hospital. They may be told that the necessary care is only given to Christians, or that the required medicines “will only work” on Christians. For those who do convert in order to receive needed care, they may well be pressured to then convert other family members or else lose whatever aid they are receiving. I have seen families torn apart by such missionary activities in Central India where I conduct research. Again, this is not what all missionaries do, but these are fairly common occurrences.

In early 2009, Pope Benedict XVI met the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and agreed to stop all conversion attempts directed at Jews. A month later, Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran, president of Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, visited India and was asked while there if he would offer Hindus the same respect. He refused. There is a degree to narrow mindedness in every religious tradition, but when that is coupled with fundamentalist arrogance and powerful backing, nothing good can come from it.

In his “Seeds of Contemplation,” the late Catholic Trappist monk and mystic Thomas Merton warns about those with spiritual pride who think of themselves as having the truth and humility while others do not, who think they are suffering for God’s sake but deep inside are becoming full of pride in their supposed sanctity, who think that everyone else must adhere to their truth. Merton writes that when such an individual thinks that “he is messenger of God or a man with a mission to reform the world. . . He is capable of destroying religion and making the name of God odious to men.”

I am a strong supporter of freedom of religion. Most proselytizers are not. They want the freedom to coerce vulnerable and gullible individuals into converting, and they can justify many nefarious methods to accomplish their goal. No matter how well intentioned, any attempts to push a religious belief or denomination on someone ultimately benefits no one and demeans the religion in the process. If missionaries actually have something of genuine worth and value, why do they need to seduce, coerce, or threaten people to get them to accept it? Maybe their methods suggest that what they have to offer is not that worthwhile.

March 29, 2010

Lord Ram temple demolished by Secular Christians!!

It was very shocking when I read this news on this site. When Churches in Karnataka were attacked, all news channels were busy 24×7 broadcasting the news saying BJP led Karnataka government let loose all the culprits who were responsible for this act.The anti-Hindu campaign has been so much so that even in the recently held BBMP election campaigns, this was blown out of proportion by the Congress party to hoodwink people of Karnataka just to get the votes to loot further.

Where are these secular media and newspapers and English speaking  elitists? None of the English channels have given any hint on this most criminal offence.When the media is very busy in  highlighting  “Advani celebrated when Babri came down”.”Modi deserved this treatment.”, they simply ignored this piece of information just because the perpetrators belong to Sonia Gandhi’s religion.

English Media in India has lost all its credibility among the common man.When Churches and Mosques are protected by our government, temples are not.When Christians and Muslims are protected by Law, Hindus and their place worships are not.Hindus are required to pay their taxes to send the Muslims and Christians to Mecca and Jerusalem.The poor Hindus will be kicked out if they ask even a temporary shelter in Amarnath.

Please note that though the FIR is submitted, NO ACTION has been taken so far.Compare this with the hue and cry this peace loving church and Christians would make if similar incident happen to them.

Excerpts start here

Sources: 1) Andhra Jyothy, March 18, 2010

http://www.andhrajyothy.com/tabloids/2010/mar/18/wgd/wgd%20page05.pdf

2) FIR submitted by a villager

——– Translation of the Newspaper article ———————–

Temple demolished in MangalaGunta Palem Narasapuram rural: March 17: A few people (Christians) belonging to the Managalagunta palem have demolished a temple. It has been found that the incident happened on Tuesday night. This temple has a 100 year history. According to some villagers the demolition is part of a conspiracy. The Tehsildhar of the village Jawaharlal Nehru visited the place after he came to know about the incident. Police have taken precautionary measures to prevent disturbances. Tehsildhar mentioned that inquiry is going on to identify the culprits and the underlying reasons.

——- Translation of the FIR submitted to police (no action was taken so far ——-

To

The Superintendent of police, West Godavari Dist,

The report submitted by

Bandela RamaChandra Rao, Narasapuram, West Godavari Dist on 17-March-2010

Sir,

We belong to Mangala Gunta Palem Village in Kustubada Panchayati. There is a 100 year old Ramalayam (Rama’s temple) in the Harijan (Dalit) area in our village. In this temple, for the last 100 years festivals such as Nandi puja, Sri Rama Navami etc were celebrated grandly.

For sometime Christians belonging to our village have been trying to demolish this temple and create communal disturbances. During many such attempts earlier, we protected Hindus and this Sri Rama temple from these militants.

We have been planning and making arrangements to celebrate Sri Rama Navami from 24-March-2010 5:00 PM onwards. After looking at these arrangements, the Christian anti social elements decided to stop the same at any cost. On 16-March-2010 7:30 PM the following Christians named

1. Gorinkala Vijaya Prasad S/O Adam

2. Bandela Venkataratnam S/O Gnana Rao

3. Gorinkala Sharmila W/O VijayaPrasad

4. Kollabothula Appa Rao S/O Yesu Dasu

5. Kona Ratnam Raju S/O Satyanarayana

6. Kollabothula Sundara Rao S/O Vanamayya

demolished the Sri Rama Temple and destroyed the idols of Sri Rama etc. This is an anti-Hindu extremist activity.

As soon as the news of the attack to came to the notice of the villagers, members belonging to the Harijan (Dalit) Ramalaya protection committee and temple protection committee visited the place. The following members of the committee were attacked by the Christian extremists.

1. Vangala Jagannadha Krishna Kishore

2. Desetti Satyanarayana

3. Boosim Sankar

4. Koppada Harinath

5. Boodida Venkateswara Rao

6. Sangani Venkateswara Rao

Excerpts end here

February 17, 2010

Pastor held for detaining three Manipuri kids

Pastor Albert Karunagaran of Purasaiwalkam was arrested by the CB-CID on Wednesday for helping Immanuel — from whose unregistered NGO, Reach Home Children Foundation, the police rescued 16 Manipuri children on January 21 — keep three Manipuri children in hiding for more than 10 days.

When the police rescued the 16 children, three were reportedly hidden in a cupboard in the house. Later, the three were shifted to different houses, including Karunagaran’s, before they were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on February 4, the police said.

Child Trafficking

Karunagaran had also helped Immanuel shift the children to other houses in Pammal. Two other pastors, Sam Yesudoss and Paul, are said have assisted Immanuel, who had been operating from his hideout and made a bid to send back the three children to Manipur clandestinely through Esther, a former warden of his home.

According to Esther, who now works as a receptionist at a hotel in Lucknow, Immanuel called her over the phone on January 22. He asked her to rush to Chennai and take back the three children she had brought with her in 2008.

Child Trafficking

When she reached the city on January 26, a representative of Immanuel received her and took her to a house, where she saw the three malnourished children, Esther said. Immanuel told her that he was in trouble, gave her Rs 15,000 and asked her to take the children to Manipur secretly. “At that time, I was not aware of the earlier developments,” she said.

Esther had worked as a warden at the children’s home in 2006 for a year before returning to Manipur. She got a call from Immanuel in 2008, who told her that he had received more funds and could help some more children pursue their education. So she brought the three children to the NGO.

In 2006, he had been running another home in Madavaram with 60 children, which he closed down subsequently, she said.A senior officer from the CB-CID said Immanuel has links with several pastors in Andhra Pradesh, Bangalore and Tirunelveli.

Source: Express Buzz

February 12, 2010

Kerala Christians Denigrating National Flag and National Anthem

Source: HK

After denigrating Hindus and Hinduism , Missionaries had gone a step further now they ridicules our National Flag and National Anthem. If Jihadis are blunt in their game plan Missionaries are more wicked and crooked and stabs you from back, when given a chance.

Following two Videos clearly exposes their true colours. In the first video Christian Pentacost Pastor K A Abraham from Sharon Fellowship Church in Thiruvalla denigrates the National flag. According to this clown’s interpretation Saffron stands for violence, Green colour to neo rich (Refering to Rich Muslims in Kerala following gulf boom) and finally he boasts that the white colour in the Tricolour denotes Christianity for its peaceful nature.And for the entertainment of the traitors sitting there he continues- The Asoka Chakra the symbol of power was kept in the centre of Christianity that is white and to add more for his imagination Asoka means Without Sorrow and for those hapless souls sitting there they should praise their lord jesus and come to White That is Christianity!

Needless to say no Government agencies, not even any Hindu organisation had yet filed a criminal case against this traitor who sells his Nation to gain couple of dollars from the whites.

As no action was reported against this criminal more and more poisonous snakes now started to creep out from their holes and started showing their true colours. Here in this following Video, A Christian function is concluded by singing a parody of our National Anthem Jana Gana Mana. In the song they praises John Paul 2nd and Jesus as their lord.

January 8, 2010

Principal of Convent School chops off Hindu student’s pigtail!

The principal of a convent school cut off the tuft of hair (shendi) of a 14-year-old Brahmin student on Tuesday, allegedly because it violated the school’s dress code.The boy’s irate parents have registered an FIR against the principal – Father Frank Fernandes of St Jude’s High School, Sakinaka – for allegedly beating up their son and hurting their religious sentiments.

Pravesh Dubey, a Std VIII student, had been growing the tuft since he was a year old, as it was of religious significance. He was to grow it until he turned 15 and cut it only after a religious ceremony in April at Vindhyavasini temple in Uttar Pradesh.

Pravesh Dubey and the 8-inch tuft of hair that was cut off

Pravesh Dubey and the 8-inch tuft of hair that was cut off

But on Tuesday, he did not anticipate its fate. “I had gone to the principal’s cabin to collect my fees calendar. He was furious to see that I had not cut my hair. He asked me to turn my back towards him, and took out a pair of scissors from his drawer. I pleaded with him, but he beat me up and snipped off my tuft. When he was about to throw it into the dustbin, I asked him to give it to me,” recalled Pravesh.

School authorities say they had given the boy several warnings. “We have been warning the boy and his parents to cut the tuft of hair. According to the school’s dress code, students can neither have long hair nor can they grow such tufts,” said a representative of the school management.

The boy’s parents allege that the principal took the step despite their request to excuse their son up to April. “My son was not growing his hair for fashion. We were supposed to cut it off according to our rituals. We had requested Father Fernandes to excuse us up to April,” said Umadevi Dubey, Pravesh’s mother.

Pravesh and his parents at the Sakinaka Police Station on Tuesday

Meanwhile, activists from Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena staged a protest against the school management.Narshingh Sherkhane, ACP of Sakinaka division, said, “We have taken the statements of the boy and his parents. We have called the principal to record his statement. An FIR has been registered, and we will interrogate witnesses at the school and also the boy’s classmates.”

Following the FIR, Father Fernandes was booked under Sections 295 (A) (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. The police are also doing a panchnama of the severed tuft of hair, and trying to match it with hair on Pravesh’s head.

Father Fernandes remained unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.

“I agree that there are dress codes and rules set up by the school. But we would not touch anything that has religious significance to someone. The principal could have taken this step, had the tuft of hair been kept for fashion’s sake. In this case, the principal is wrong,” said Father Gregory Lobo, secretary of the Archdiocesan Board of Education, which runs 150 Catholic schools in Mumbai.

Source:Mumbai Mirror

January 3, 2010

Caste system -2. Varna -the division of labor

Previous article is here.

Wherever the Chaturvarna system started, there may have been some reason for its introduction. This article investigates such possible reason and usefulness of Varna in the light of division of labor for complete progress of society.

In any work there are two types of activities involved – Physical Activity and Mental Activity. In society, there are people who preferably opt for a high or low of either type of activity. Let’s look at the Varna system from the requirements of the activity in each:-

Varna Physical Activity (in terms of outdoor work) Mental Activity (in terms of thinking, planning, Analysis) Skills needed
Khatriya – Defense High High Agility of body and constant analysis of politics
Vaisya – Trade Low High Skillful decisions and good negotiation skills needed
Sudra – Logistics High Low High Physical robustness
Brahmin – Teachers Low Low Steadiness of mind

This table shows that according to the body – mind type of a person, only certain activities can be suitable to that person. E.g., if someone is highly involved in physical activities, he or she may not be interested to sit at one place and perform chantings and give teachings. Someone who is not physically fit, cannot take up challenge of defending the nation.

If you look at the tasks required to run a nation, it will also broadly fall in the four categories:-

Defense from enemies – internal or external; Trade for prosperity and exchange of products- again internal and to the other nations; Logistics management in the entire country; Teaching of values, learning from past experiences.

Other way to see its importance is, if either of any of these categories fails, the country cannot survive – A security breach can be dangerous to the country. Lack of proper trade brings down the economy. In any war hit area, the opposing nation first hits the logistics, like roads, water channels, modes of transport and so on. The moment Teachers are not skilled, the knowledge transfer from one generation to the next generation doesn’t happen.

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