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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm sorry, Christians

Okay, I know that of late I've been letting my animosity toward Christianity show. I have a lot of anger about it and I am working to let go of that, but it's tough.

I used to have a lot more patience, but over the years I got closer and closer to the end of the proverbial rope so that now, everything sends me over the edge! I have no opportunity to grow this patience back because Christianity is rammed down my throat every day.

It's not just evangelicals. Of every 50 people you meet in America, probably 49 of them will be wearing a cross. Something like 30 of them will have a Bible quote at their desk at work. Christianity is everywhere you look here. It's in my face all day, every day. T-shirts, bumper stickers, tattoos, jewelry. Bibles in hotel rooms, prayers at events where they should not be legally doing them at all, etc. Bad enough that one can't walk ten feet in America without hitting a church. And I get told I'm just being sensitive and a spoil sport. If my religion were forced on them as much as theirs is on me, they would be saying something very different.

All I ask of Christianity is that it leave me in peace. That's it.

I can't even get away from it in my own home. I get email forwards with Bible verses or talk about angels, I see Bible quotes on Facebook, there are ten television stations dedicated to sermons, and advertisements for Wow Worship music on mainstream channels.

And then there are the people knocking on my door wanting to talk about Jesus Christ, who has been DEAD for more than two thousand years, people. (And before anyone says anything about resurrection, don't forget who you're talking to. I don't believe death exists for anyone. "He who thinks he can kill, he who thinks he can be killed; both are mistaken." Gita).

One of the reasons I make myself very visible as a Hindu is because I am forced to see Christians' religion. If they're going to put their religion in my face, I'm going to put mine in theirs. And I'll tell you, I was very glad I was wearing a bindi when we went to a friend's house to play games and a new person there was wearing a "Jesus Saves" shirt. I can play that game too.

You know what else gets on my nerves? The expression "You only live once." I don't know how it is in other parts of the world, but this expression is everywhere in America. It is usually used to justify stupid behavior. The thing that gets to me is that this phrase is thrown around like it's absolute truth that everyone acknowledges and believes. Well, I don't. I don't think we live once at all.

As the article yesterday said, the ethos of Christianity is all around us in America. People have a baseline assumption that everyone around them is Christian, shown when someone complains in a room full of people about having to have a holiday party at school instead of a Christmas party as though everyone around is going to agree with them (shut up and stop whining is what I want to tell them. Not having a Christmas party is not equivalent to being persecuted. Talk to the people who were burned alive for being Christian).

The idea of a National day of prayer is ridiculous. Leaving aside that it favors religion over non-religion and I completely respect my boyfriend's right to not believe in any God or higher power, Christians in favor of it like to say that it is "non-denominational," so it's okay.

It's non-denominational Christian. Don't kid yourself. I don't know of any other religion that prays the way Christians do. If you want to pray one day of the year, go ahead. If you want to pray every day of the year, go ahead. Do it in your home. Do it in private, like the Bible says to!

I once told a Christian about how Hinduism has a trinity and the similarities between Jesus and Krishna. Know what he said? That Hinduism had TAKEN it from Christianity. Sorry, dude, Hinduism had those ideas way before Christianity ever existed.

I know that this apology is not one at all, it's just a rant.

It really is a shame because I do know some great people who are Christians. They have loved and respected me enough not to try to convert me and I appreciate that. I have at least a couple of friends who have been very much helped by becoming Christian. That's great for them. I'm sorry that I don't have more patience. I know there are people out there praying for me to get some!

In the mean time, I am going to try to keep the anger out of my posts. I really do want to focus on Hinduism and what it means to be a Hindu in America and to be a non-Indian Hindu. I don't care about Christianity's issues or how they see the world. I've heard it all before. This blog is not for Christianity. In fact, it should be a place where I can get away from it. So, from here on out, no more jabs at Christianity. If I should worry about offending anyone, it is my Christian friends.


  1. the "problem" of chistianity all around you in USA may be the same "problem" non-hindus face in india.

    the only difference probably is there are no hindu equivalent of christian preachers who are going door to door or say all other religions are false.

    in my opinion it is ok to accept the fact that a country though secular is likely to reflect the majority culture.

    - basu

  2. Aamba,
    I'm sorry that Christianity has given you such a bad taste in your mouth. I will admit I strongly consider myself to be a Christian. I hope that I can be one of those acquaintances that accepts and respects your beliefs.

    I can not defend those that push Christianity down your throat or come knocking on your door, but I will say that it is not Christianity's fault that you live in a country that is not majority Hindu. I mean this country was founded on Christian beliefs therefore Christianity is the majority and is everywhere. When I move to INdia it will be the opposite for me. In my every day life I will have to live and respect rituals and ideologies of the Hindu faith due to the country, culture, and my inlaws that will live with me. I will be lucky to find a church like my own here at home and will probably be ridiculed or looked down on because of my faith. This is not the Hindu's fault. I don't think is any fault of mine either, but I think it will just be the fact of me living in a country that does not follow my faith.

    I hope you have not taken any offense to what I have said, but I just think it is a matter of learning to coexist with others and accepting that your faith is not the majority.

    Again, I am really sorry for those that do make a point to push their faith down your throat. I have never liked this practice. I try my best not to be prejudice towards any body whether it is due to sex, religion, or race. Maybe thats why I now find myself in an intercultural relationship.


    (Summarised from Vlasis Rassias' book "DEMOLISH THEM..", published in Greek, Athens 2000 (2nd edition), Anichti Poli Editions, ISBN 960-7748-20-4)

    Some excerpts below

    Emperor Constantine, following the instructions of his mother Helen, destroys the Temple of God Asclepius in Aigeai of Cilicia and many Temples of Goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, Aphaca, Mambre, Phoenice, Baalbek, etc.

    In Skythopolis, Syria, christians organise the first death camps for the torture and execution of arrested Gentiles from all around the Empire.

    The Pythian, Aktia and Olympic Games are outlawed as part of the Hellenic "idolatry". Christians sack the Temples of Olympia

    John Chrysostom sends his hordes of gray-clad monks armed with clubs and iron bars to destroy the "idols" in all the cities of Palestine.

    The Temple of Goddess Athena (Parthenon) on the Acropolis of Athens is sacked. Athenian Pagans are persecuted.

    Emperor Justinianus outlaws the Athenian Philosophical Academy, which has its property confiscated.

    950 to 988
    Violent conversion of the last Gentile Hellenes of Laconia by the Armenian "Saint" Nikon.

  4. I hear what you're saying Aamba...a lot of Christianity rubs me the wrong way (which is probably why I left and went to Hinduism). Still, I've learned that the biggest problem with Christianity is that the great Christians aren't attention-seeking, they'll never come knocking on your door, so we keep seeing and hearing the wrong Christians, which is a shame.

    Here's what I do: whenever I get fed up with certain Christian antics, I think of Oscar Romero, MLK, Christians who saved victims of the Holocaust, the abolitionists, Joan of Arc (honestly, she was like a French incarnation of Durga) and others. When I keep my mind on the awesome Christians, it forces me to respect the religion.

    That being said, I reserve the right to dislike those door-knockers and televangelists....

  5. Thanks, guys. I know it's just a matter of where I am and each country has a religious reflection.

    One friend suggested that I at least live in India for a little while just so that I can get that feeling of being in the majority for once. She thought that would improve my patience.

    And I really like the suggestion to think of the really great Christians in history.

    I'm going to be starting therapy soon and I hope to get a handle on this and resolve whatever is making me so bitter.

  6. @Kat "I will be lucky to find a church like my own here at home and will probably be ridiculed or looked down on because of my faith."
    I am originally from India and I can assure you that in any cosmopolitan Indian city, the possibility of your being looked down upon or being ridiculed is miniscule. The majority of Hindus believe that there are different ways to the same Reality. Different faiths just call the same Truth by different names. You will find the images of Christ and Buddha even in some Hindu homes. I think the main problems you will face in India are the ones the majority of the population faces i.e. related to infrastructure, living-standards and so on. Apart from that, you might stand out among the crowd for being too black or too white compared to the majority brown skin there:-) Anyway, my point is that the chances of your facing social discrimination due to your religion is very remote there in India.


    Coming to facts of history, the first encounter between Hinduism and Christianity took place not in India but in those parts of West Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe which comprised the Roman Empire at the dawn of the Christian era. There is evidence, archaeological as well as literary, that Hinduism had made its presence felt in Graeco-Roman religions and philosophies long before Jesus was born. The imprint of Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta on Eleatic, Elusinian, Orphic, Pythagorean, Platonist, Stoic, Gnostic and Neo-Platonist philosophies is too manifest to be missed easily. It was widely believed in the ancient Western world that the Greeks had learnt their wisdom from the Brahmanas of India. Evidence of Hindu colonies in some leading cities of the Roman Empire is also available. Hindu temples had come up wherever Hindu merchants and traders had established their colonies. Hindu saints, sages and savants could not have lagged behind.

    Christianity did not fail to notice this Hindu presence as soon as it became a force in the Roman Empire. It was, from its very birth, wide awake towards all currents and crosscurrents of thought and culture. We find St. Hippolytus attacking the Brahmanas as a source of heresy as early as the first quarter of the third country.2 It was not long after that Hinduism faced a determined assault from Christianity as did other ancient religions of the Roman Empire.

    Hindu temples were the most visible symbols of the Brahmana religion. They became targets of Christian attack like all other Pagan temples. “According to the Syrian writer Zenob,” writes Dr. R. C. Majumdar, “there was an Indian colony in the canton of Taron on the upper Euphrates, to the west of Lake Van, as early as the second century B.C. The Indians had built there two temples containing images of gods about 18 and 22 feet high. When, about AD 304, St. Gregory came to destroy these images, he was strongly opposed by the Hindus. But he defeated them and smashed the images, thus anticipating the iconoclastic zeal of Mahmud of Ghazni.”3

    Historians of the Roman Empire have documented the large-scale destruction of Pagan temples by Christianity from the fourth century onwards.4 It is more than likely that some of these were places of Hindu worship. The word “pagan” is a comprehensive term in Christian parlance and covers a large variety of religious and cultural expressions. Hindu historians will have to examine all archives, Pagan as well as Christian. Meanwhile, let Christian theologians tell us of the Christian virtues for which Gregory was canonised as a saint.

  8. Completely agree with you SM...Hinduism is never extreme.Also its not forceful on others.

  9. The Problem of Christianity is not Jesus or the spiritual philosophies in the Sermon on the mount. The bigotry found in the Nicene Creed as first established in Constantinople that was eventually taken in by almost all the church is the problem. A christian who distance him/herself from the bigotry of the Nicene creed is no different than an average Hindu. The problem is the Nicene creed. Not Jesus.


  10. I agree with you, Manny, unfortunately, I still have trouble with Jesus just because hearing his name brings up a lot of bad associations for me!

  11. Pics for Proof, First Mayan Civilization, please look at the designs carefully:

    Second the Vatican Square:

    The source of the design :

    Now ask yourself, how did these designs exist there ? The rabbit hole goes down deeper!

    Read a little about Goddess Tara, which is one of the 108 names of Goddess Shakti who is the wife of God shiva. The name "Amba" you have comes from the name "Ambika" which is another name of Goddess Shakti!

    Ok getting back to the point:

    Now, i have next proof. There is a place in "Ireland" called " Hill of tara:

    Look at the pic, it is the Shiva lingum!

    Proof "Tara" wife of shiva, and shiva lingum! can you see the connection!

    I hope i can catch your interest!

    1. Yes, the links between Hinduism and European paganism go back to pre-ancient times. There's a convincing argument that Cernunnos is a very old form of Shiva. And there are many similarities, including a belief in reincarnation, various manifestations of male and female deity, etc.

  12. Nice to encounter this blog. I am also a Yank who follows Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism). I also have other "pagan" background and infuence, including Native American, Celtic, Wiccan, Gypsy. I have found that as I am not in an Indian/Hindu context, couldn't perform a proper puja if I tried, that my interactions, rituals, are best maintained in the pagan contexts I know, whereas I have imagery, belief, attention to and also ritual toward Hindu deities. I chant hare Krishna. And so on.

    About Christianity, I can muster anger and hostility based on their current obnoxiousness or on historical outrages, but in attempting to maintain a pleasant demeanor I've adopted the tactic of simply speaking just as they do, but in a Hindu manner. As if it is a manner of course. As they say, "whatever the Lord wants me to do," I'll mention that it would be nice next time to be incarnated in Guatemala.

    Yet at work, while others have the Christian slogans on their walls and desks, I say nothing. They might give a pass to a person from India for being Hindu but I know to me they will not. Nonetheless even at work I will do namaskar gesture and I'll see them get a puzzled look on their face, trying to dicipher it.

    I encourage myself and others to push the envelope, to make this society continue to evolve toward more true secularism, meaning respect for all, without an assumption of Christian preeminence.