The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Evangelists have to be stopped on the ground by all means

Gautam Sen
date Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM

I find mystifying the insistence on convincing highly motivated evangelists of the error of their ways by pointing to Christian superstitions and the contrasting nobility of the Vedic espousal of truth. Nor is it a persuasive idea that highlighting the social tensions evangelical activity and conversion create will suffice to deter them.

Firstly, I know of no Hindu within the fold who has the intellectual capacity to engage in debate with Christian (or indeed Muslim) missionaries on theology since they cannot even comprehend the basics of their own history, all of which are available in standard texts. I do not think contemporary Hindus, who mostly despise intellectual endeavour and prefer to read mediocre and error-prone texts by the uneducated, will be able to deal with the likes Hans Kung (whose outstanding book on religion I suggested to the Hindu, allegedly in-charge of Hindu educational programmes in the UK, and which he instantly and arrogantly rejected). The Hindutva movement as a whole regards intellectual activity with deep animosity, whatever they say in public to the contrary and there is no Aurobindo or Vivekananda to provide ballast today for a Hindu intellectual revival.

Secondly, evangelists are socialised emotionally and intellectually in societies that are already the products of the Enlightenment. Religion in these societies today pertains mainly to observance of ritual, shared with others to bind inter-personal relationships and has little to do with belief in a god, i.e. and even unbelievers acquiesce in Christian rituals on marriage, birth, death, etc.

The vast evangelical empires of the US, which are really business corporations and political organisations, are an adverse reaction to black empowerment and ethnic demographic change that has dis-empowered a numerically significant section of the white population — white collar, skilled blue collar working and lower middle classes of the South. Those who take to Christian evangelical activity, despite this unpropitious Enlightenment background, are highly unlikely to listen to pagan sermons on Christian superstition and concede the superiority of Sanatana Dharma as a result. They are true believers, not interested in logic and truth and have on their side the subliminal superiority of dispensing an import from white European civilisations. Such sermons are also a double edged sword since popular Hinduism is also suffused with superstition and this is the Hinduism of both the masses and the adherents of political Hindutva. Even the divine Vivekananda wavered on this score though he provided persuasive reasons for this rejection of the Brahmo Samaj's austere perspective. God, he was such an intelligent man!!

Thirdly, I cannot fathom why there is such resistance to accepting that Christianity is primarily a political ideology, regardless of what the individual Christian believes. And I have no doubt that most true believing evangelists are personally sincere and many are unusually decent human beings as a result of their belief in Christ. I am getting tired of repeating that from the time of Constantine, Christianity has been a state religion, designed to legitimate and exercise control over the populace and crush rivals. I will provide a list of readings to anyone under a misapprehension on this matter. And may I add that this is something Ram Swarup and Sitaram Goel also assert without suspecting that controversy on the matter would persist in 2009!!! The individual evangelist on the ground and his locally-recruited, salaried, Christian coolie are entirely the creatures of western governments and their intelligence agencies. From Poland or Nepal (($ 5 million bribe to mainstream political leaders to remove the word Hindu from the new Republican Constitution), evangelical activity has always been dependent on US government agencies whenever they are in trouble. Within the country (e.g. India) where operations are undertaken, interference in local politics has always been brazen and needs no deep argument and facts to demonstrate. Various churches have repeatedly intervened to guide voters (from the 1950s in Kerala), cajole, bribe and intimidate. Is there any doubt about the venal political agenda of low life like John Dayal (please read what he has to say about Hinduism before suggesting I moderate my language) and Professor Raju Thomas of Marquette, someone who testifies in the US that the situation of Christians in India today is akin to the situation of Jewry in 1930s Germany — yes, such are the vicious lies and untruths propagated. And these people will be persuaded to re-think their strategies of imperial conquest when (the BJP representatives like) Seshadri Chari learns a little theology and corners them on the matter of Christian superstition? Please, don't make me laugh!

Evangelists have to be stopped on the ground by all means, since they are preparing the ground for total subjugation of Hindus and Swami Lakshmananda has already shown us the way and paid with his life in doing so. And please, no more inter-faith dialogues, a matter I have dealt with at length in the two recent issues of the Organiser.

GS


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