Hinduism

Hinduism's Growing Chasm With Liberal Values

One can't predict how a religion will behave by simply consulting its core texts.

|

If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy—and its commitment to religious freedom—Hinduism would be it. Unlike Christianity (and other monotheistic faiths), Hinduism has no one true doctrine handed down by the one true God to be spread and enforced through the one true Church. It's a loose, amorphous, and ecumenical faith that accepts that all religions are valid and it doesn't matter which one you follow, as long as you are going to

Hindu worshipers
http://foter.com/search/instant/?q=hinduism

the same place. Hence, it made sense when Hindu-dominated India, after gaining independence from the British in 1947, enshrined secularism and religious pluralism in its constitution ­—rather than going through a three-century-long process from the Reformation through the Enlightenment that the West did to pry open space for religious tolerance in Christianity.

However, India's commitment to religious freedom and toleration has been under serious challenge for a couple of decades with the rise of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism. This ideology, that boasts Prime Minister Narendra Modi among its adherents, has always resented the special space that India's constitution extends its minority religions—like letting Muslims use sharia in their civil matters. But now it has started openly attacking even their right to exist in India because, it maintains, India belongs only to those that can claim it as their fatherland and holy land—a rather hypocritical requirement given that the rapidly spreading Hindu diaspora enjoys strong religious protections in countries such as America and England that aren't its "holy land and fatherland."

That a historically tolerant faith could take such an intolerant turn suggests that a religion's relationship to liberal values might have less to do with its own inner character and more to do with the existential insecurities of its adherents in a given time.

Tensions between India's Hindus and Muslims have existed on and off for centuries, but they reached a fevered pitch in the aftermath of independence when both sides engaged in mass slaughter during the population transfer between India and the newly carved out nation of Pakistan. Since then, Hindu militants have used every Muslim provocation—big or small, real or imaginary—to unleash unspeakable violence against Muslims, killing thousands as recently as 2002 in the state of Gujarat when Modi was chief minister. But in recent years their ire has expanded, disturbingly, to include Christians as well, despite a long history of relatively harmonious relations between the two communities. For example: the archbishop of New Delhi inaugurates the annual Christmas celebrations with a ceremony at the Ramakrishna Mission, one of India's oldest and respected Hindu orders. Yet now Hindu extremists have dubbed Christianity, along with Islam, as an "invader religion," and escalated their violence. There were 53 attacks against Christians from 1964 to 1997. In 2004, there were 4,000, according to a Christian Forums report

Hindu militants accuse Christian missionaries of using bribery and fraud to convert illiterate Hindus to Christianity. One story that Hindutva has popularized involves missionaries submerging a light replica of Jesus Christ and a weighted one of a Hindu deity in water. And when Christ floats and the Hindu God drowns, they tell impressionable Hindus that Christ is more powerful than their Hindu God and if they want to get rich or get well, they ought to convert.

Corrupt preachers exist everywhere in every religion but Hindu nationalists are using the actions of a few to sully even widely revered figures such as Mother Teresa, whose charitable order they now accuse of being a front for conversion activity. They are pushing for a ban on "forcible" conversions even as they themselves engage in mass "reconversions" to bring "illicitly" converted Muslims and Christians back into the Hindu fold. And in a bid to force Muslims and Christians to hew to the majority Hindu sentiments about the sacredness of cows, they have forced many states to implement beef bans in recent months. Indeed, the Hindu chief minister of one state just this week eliminated eggs from the mid-day meals of poor school children to indulge the vegetarian dogma of some Hindus.

What's fuelling the popularity of the Hindutva cause—beyond simply the settling of ancient scores—is fear, specifically the fear that, as a non-proselytizing religion, Hinduism will get swallowed by those religions that are, unless it does something. This is a completely groundless worry given that Hindus constitute over 80 percent of India's billion-strong population and the rest combined a mere 20 percent.

Nor is this balance going to shift anytime soon. Muslims grew a modest 0.8 percent over the last decade, whereas Christianity's share actually declined. Especially when it comes to Christianity, notes Tony Joseph, a "lapsed" Christian and the former editor of BusinessWorld, Hinduism's openness has made it uniquely impervious.  "Christianity, probably for the first time, came up against a philosophy and culture that did not feel the need to persecute other faiths, did not find the Christian messiah and his teachings either objectionable or exceptional, and therefore, didn't see why anyone should convert either," he writes.

After 2,000 years of unfettered missionary effort, Christians are only 2.3 percent of India's population—compared to 9.8 percent in Indonesia, 29.3 percent in South Korea, and 85.5 percent in Philippines. Even in China, whose Communist dictatorship severely restricted missionary activity, about 5 percent of the population is Christian. Indeed, the Christian population in India is falling even as the Hindu population in England and elsewhere is growing.

Why has Hinduism's long-standing tolerance and openness failed to temper the growing allure of its extremists?

For starters, the University of Chicago's Wendy Doniger, whose book on Hinduism so angered Hindu nationalists that they forced Penguin to withdraw it, points out that Hinduism might not be "orthodox," but it is certainly "orthoprax." Although it doesn't demand a strict adherence to any intellectual dogma, it does prescribe a rigid code of practice (praxis) in the name of bodily and spiritual purity. Non-Hindus are free to follow their own ways and rituals without judgment or interference only so long as they don't clash with Hindu taboos.

That's why when the Hindutva brigade pushes for a beef ban or egg restrictions, for example, Hindu gurus don't tell them to knock it off and remind them that fidelity to Hinduism (much less individual rights and the constitution) requires tolerance for others' ways and habits. Instead, in keeping with Hinduism's veneration of vegetarianism and cows, they aid such efforts by digging up pseudo-scientific justifications for why these bans are in the interest of beef consumers themselves.

What's more, all religions are complicated systems with a mix of contradictory beliefs and values. No religion is simply open or closed, peaceful or warlike, tolerant or intolerant. They all have all the elements —only the emphasis varies. Hence, it is possible to enlist a religion for diametrically opposed ends. Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi turned the extreme respect for life—human and animal—in the Bhagvad Geeta, the Hindu holy text, into a gospel of pacifism to mobilize Hindus for his non-violent struggle to oust the British. However, the core of the Geeta is an exposition of the just war theory in which Lord Krishna convinces Arjuna to engage in bloody battle to defeat his corrupt and evil cousins. It doesn't take a huge imagination to coax out a justification for Hindutva's allegedly defensive crusade against "invader religions" from this holy text.

Finally, Hinduism's very openness, paradoxically, can act against its liberalism, becoming a conduit for not just good ideas but also intolerant ones. Hindutva regards the absence of injunctions against apostasy and blasphemy—and the lack of a homogeneous dogma or the provision for conversion—as a very great weakness of Hinduism that needs correcting. The West had to beat back these elements in Christianity to make room for liberal democracy. But Hindutva, tragically, is trying to import them—even as it gnashes against "corrupt Western influence." Its move to ban conversions is simply a secular version of an anti-apostasy law and the "reconversion" movement a backdoor effort at proselytization. Moreover, Hindutva makes no secret of its desire to homogenize and systematize the vast diversity of Hindu practice just like monotheistic faiths to make it easier to organize and rally the faithful.

Should it succeed, it will destroy much of what's exceptional and unique about Hinduism. But it'll also make it difficult for liberal democracy to flourish in India. Progressives can't simply wait for Hinduism's natural instincts to spring forth and defeat this anachronistic ideology. The failure of moderate Muslims to mount a forceful Islam-based case for freedom and democracy left the field wide open for extremists to hijack their religion for anti-liberal ends. If Hindu progressives want to prevent that from happening to Hinduism, like Arjuna, they need to engage in a full-blown theological war with Hindutva—and expose how its goals are an affront to the true spirit of Hinduism.

A version of this column originally appeared in The Times of London.

NEXT: How the Great Society Paved the Way for Modern Mass Incarceration

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Confused; wanna tie this to libertarianism somehow?

    1. Freedom of religion. Oh wait.

    2. What are you, the Arbiter of Libertarianism?

      1. Bo Cara Esq.|7.1.15 @ 2:32PM|#

        Fuck off, you slimy piece of shit.
        Is that clear?

  2. It’s probably Bobby Jindal’s fault somehow.

    1. I wonder if he converted to Christianity because he got fooled by that floating Jesus trick?

      1. Didn’t you know? Jesus is just an avatar of Vishnu. Hindus can be Christians too.

        1. Yeah, I’d heard when they were told about Jesus, they just incorporated him into their pantheon.

          1. Probably not the last time they’ve done that.

      2. I’ve heard worse about missionaries to primitive cultures.

        Basically, they show then a video reenactment of the Christian gospel on a TV that they bring with them.

        The primitives don’t have TV, and think it’s magic and real, and immediately start worshipping Jesus. As if they saw a news story video of Jesus rising from the dead.

        Then, after they convert to Christianity based on seeing Jesus rise from the dead, the missionaries have to awkwardly explain faith to them, along with movies and “acting”.

    2. Immigration law did it.

  3. Except Mother Teresa was an evil cunt. Hitchens had a great takedown of her years ago.

    1. Let’s see…this Catholic saint opposed abortion and contraception.

      And she had nice things to say about Ronald Reagan!

      “Being so closely aligned with political leaders was another issue that bothered [Christopher] Hitchens. Mother Teresa accepted awards from and then praised controversial political figures, including Haiti’s Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, whom human rights groups claim killed tens of thousands of Haitians during his rule, and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, whose policies in Central America contributed to civil wars in the region.

      “”The very hand that bestowed the medal of freedom on Mother Teresa, armed and paid the death squads of Central America,” Hitchens said. He then quoted Mother Teresa as saying to Reagan after accepting the award: ‘I never realized that you loved people so tenderly.’ I must say, I hadn’t noticed that either.””

      http://www.christianpost.com/n…..XUd9yZx.99

      1. So, Ronald Reagan and Jean-Claude Duvalier are basically the same, and you can rely on people who draw such moral equivalences to fairly evaluate Mother Teresa.

      2. Come on, Ed. There’s the issue of providing unsanitary and primitive conditions in clinics despite many millions of dollars donated to her which could have been used to maintain a number of modern, well-equipped clinics. Mother Teresa thought physical suffering and sickness were good ways to get close to Jesus, so relieving or curing people’s conditions wasn’t that big of a deal.

        1. Exactly. Hitchens supplies credible documentation from health care professionals who showed up at Mother Teresa’s “dying houses” wanting to help and found hellholes where injection needles were washed off in cold water and reused until blunt, where no analgesic stronger than aspirin or ibuprofen was offered to people in the throes of terminal cancer, where the whole emphasis was on enduring pain and poverty and on covert deathbed conversion, when a fraction of the money coming in from credulous donors could have raised the level of care immensely. See for instance the report of Robin Fox, editor of The Lancet, in 1994; so this has been known for more than twenty years. Hate Hitchens if you must, but he was right about this.

          1. I was saying “Exactly” to Eric Bana. Can never get my replies positioned correctly in these threads, alas.

        2. She didn’t want to alleviate suffering, she wanted to bathe in it.

    2. Consider Mother Theresa lucky she didn’t live up through Obama’s reign.

    3. Except Mother Teresa was an evil cunt. Hitchens had a great takedown of her years ago.

      Lol, citation to Hitchens is one of the biggest bellwethers for “mommy made me go to sunday school” anti-religionist atheists. Hitchens is the Joel Osteen of atheism.

  4. Oh yeah? USA’s got gay marriage now. Booyah! Take that, heathens!

  5. “The failure of moderate Muslims to mount a forceful Islam-based case for freedom and democracy left the field wide open for extremists to hijack their religion for anti-liberal ends.”

    I think this woman is proof that Pakistan is running a “Potemkin village” scheme against India.

    There IS NO Islam-based case for freedom and democracy. As much as I am NOT a Christian, at least, the major problems with Christians running amok in the past have been violating much of what their savior taught. Muslims are doing EXACTLY what their “prophet” taught. (The illiterate pedophile……. oh I am sorry PBUH!)

    And one simple question:
    Who has a harder time– a Muslim in India or a Hindu (Christian, Jew etc.) in Pakistan?

    1. Yeah, I think you hit on the realpolitik of the situation – it’s not the “Christians” that are the issue in India, but the Muslims (or at least, the perception).

      The latter tends to want dominance and extermination, of which India has a bloody history in regards to Muslim invasion and conquest. It’s no wonder India welcome European guns, money, and troops – it was to fight the Muslims.

      These developments reflect the historical and physical threat Indians probably feel.

      1. “The latter tends to want dominance and extermination, of which India has a bloody history in regards to Muslim invasion and conquest. It’s no wonder India welcome European guns, money, and troops – it was to fight the Muslims.”

        Your knowledge of India’s history is . . . fuzzy.

        I know of no campaign in history to rid India of Hindus. Hindus in fact served in positions of high power under most, if not all, of the Mughal (Muslim) monarchs.

        It was the Mughals who welcomed European guns, money and troops, partly against the Sikh uprising, partly in the attempt to conquer Burma, partly for their campaigns against areas of the South that were never really under Mughal control.

        1. Basically agree. Aurangzeb (r. 1658-1707) promoted a return to religious intolerance and repealed a lot of the laws which had enabled a religiously diverse society to exist. He did not campaign to get rid of Hindus or crush their beliefs completely, but he did attempt to limit their free practice of religion.

          Of course, his actions (along with wars in the south) destabilized the dynasty to such an extent that it essentially collapsed with his death.

          1. Aurangzeb talked the talk more than he walked the walk on the anti-Hindu stuff, and still relied heavily (IIRC) on Hindus in his military despite the spittle-flecked religious diatribes. Which is so much as to say that Aurangzeb was a disingenuous and opportunistic piece of shit.

            Agreed that his (somewhat desperate) attempts to re-Islamify the dynasty and shore it up in fact led to its collapse.

            1. Yeah, a lot of his anti-Hindu stuff was on things like religion-specific taxes, etc. The violence often came when Hindus rebelled against the taxes and were crushed by the military.

    2. Religion is just a rationalization for what men want to do anyways.

    3. “There IS NO Islam-based case for freedom and democracy.”

      Many of these people would disagree:

      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb…..+democracy

      1. And when ANYONE of any influence in the Islamic world starts taking some of these writers seriously, then so will I.

      2. Tell the Muslims making a case for freedom and democracy not to waste their time convincing me of Islam’s inherent peacefulness. I’ve heard that so often in the last 14 years that I swear on my life I believe it.

        Their time is better spent convincing Al’Q, Book Hiram, ISIS and such. These guys need teaching more than I do.

        1. OK, Boko Haram. This spell checker… I can’t even.

          1. And the govts of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia (oh yeah so modern and moderate!), Pakistan, et. al. Shit even Turkey, the one true exception is going that way.

    4. What collectivist nonsense. Like any group with a billion people, there’s good liberty loving Muslims and bad ones. And every set of Scriptures has appalling and inspiring sections, it’s up to the followers to live up to the former.

      1. No, not like any other group. The groups are groups by virtue of their differing beliefs about a wide range of things not restricted to the supernatural. A group of a billion Muslims and a different group of a billion Christians, or atheists or Hindus, are going to be better or worse than others at accumulating wealth, or crafting laws conducive to personal liberty et cetera. It’s not collectivism to note the differences in law, ethics and philosophy that make those groups different groups in the first place.

      2. You have to fucking blind to not see the fundamental differences in today’s Islamic world, with the west. This is in no way an indictment of any individual Muslim. I don’t judge individuals necessarily because of one tribe they happen to be a part of.
        But the way Islamic governance is practiced in damn near every Muslim majority country is at best authoritarian, and at worst outright barbaric. If that is cultural chauvinism, then so be it. It was the western world, and yes partly due to the influence of Judeo-Christian values (also partly due to Greek and Roman pagan values, and partly due to the Enlightenment). Islam needs some sort of “Reformation”. But that can only be done from within.

      3. Like any group with a billion people, there’s good liberty loving Muslims and bad ones.

        I’m sure there are, but that completely misses the point.

        The question is, does Muslim doctrine (and/or institutions) create a climate for expansion of liberty, or is it hostile to liberty?

        I’m no expert, but the Muslim faith seems to put a large premium on submission to authority (religious and otherwise), draws no clear distinction between the state and religion, and has a long history of forcible conversions that continues right through the present day.

        In contrast, Christian doctrines of free will, and the historical role of the Church as a counterweight/competitor to secular authority, do provide some doctrinal/institutional grounds for liberty.

        Maybe there’s something comparable on the Muslim side of the fence. If so, let us know.

  6. If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it.

    Agreed. India’s caste system is to be envied among all liberal democracies.

  7. If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it. Christianity (and other monotheistic faiths), Hinduism has no one true doctrine handed down by the one true God to be spread and enforced through the one true Church.

    I know, right? That crazy christian James Madison who authored our constitution didn’t know the first thing about liberal democracy. After all, he was a *gasp* christian!

    1. Leave her alone, she’s on a roll…

    2. “After all, he was a *gasp* christian!”

      Sort of:

      “Although educated by Presbyterian clergymen, young Madison was an avid reader of English deist tracts.[15] Madison as an adult paid little attention to religious matters. Hutson says that historians searching through Madison’s voluminous writings discover that after he left college, “there is no trace, no clue as to his personal religious convictions.”[16] However, some scholars say he leaned toward deism.[17][18] Madison accepted Christian tenets generally and formed his outlook on life within a Christian world view.”

      1. I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.

        James Madison letter to William Bradford, 1773.

    3. Yeah, that after hundreds of years of ISIS level intolerance Christians eventually developed James Madison really proves your point over hers.

      1. Yeah, that after hundreds of years of ISIS level intolerance Christians eventually developed James Madison really proves your point over hers.

        So you can cite reliable sources where Christians in India beheaded women and children, and burned down their churches and homes for not converting?

        And you really think Shikha Dalmia’s opinions on liberal democracy are more meaningful than those from the father of our constitution?

      2. The fact that Bob can’t point to any of this ISIS level intolerance in the United States or really frankly in Europe is only because Bob’s internet broke.

  8. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  9. Catholicism and Islam both feature wide chasms in values between them and liberal pluralistic values, and yet the author seems to think it savvy to import legions of people holding said values into North America and Western Europe, respectively.

  10. Dear Reason,

    It is very disappointing to see a piece that is towing the left liberal line on Hinduism in a magazine like Reason. While I do understand the need to address subject like Hinduism I think the magazine editorial staff needs to be more careful in verifying the articles for qualiyt.

    I am not sure if Shukha Dalmia is familiar with India or not but her entire article is replete with basic factual errors. India’s struggle with religious tolerance is not decade old. As we all are aware in 1949 the whole country was partitioned because the regions with Muslim majority wanted to build a ghetto country for themselves.

    While the author is quick to point out that Modi is PM she conveniently forgets to mentions that his party was merely in power for 6 years of last 20 years. Except one riot in 2002, all those 6 years have been the most religiously peaceful times India has seen by far.

    Since then every year there are major riots mostly in Muslim majority areas. The last two decades and especially under Modi as chief minister of Gujarat or as Prime Minister of India things have been extremely peaceful. In fact since 2002 Gujarat has seen one of the most communally peaceful era.

    1. “It is very disappointing to see a piece that is towing the left liberal line on Hinduism in a magazine like Reason. ”

      Is she doing the Left’s usual “my opponents are fascists” schtick?

  11. “Yet now Hindu extremists have dubbed Christianity, along with Islam, as an “invader religion,” and escalated their violence. There were 53 attacks against Christians from 1964 to 1997. In 2004, there were 4,000, according to a Christian Forums report”

    This is blatant lie. I am not sure if one should quote Christian forum for a number that butters their bread. Christian missionaries often engage in forcible conversion throughout India and raise money from other countries by exaggerating the claims of violence in the country. Thanks to the missionary conversion in the impoverished area Christianity’s soul harvesting has been going to pretty well.

    Almost every single attack that Church tried to paint as “attack on Christianity” turned out to be the results of either infighting between Christians themselves or attempts of thefts,vandalism by Muslim youth.

    Example: http://timesofindia.indiatimes…..033360.cms

    Not just that vandalism, theft and other type of attacks on Temples and Mosques are significantly higher too.

    For example here is detailed report about every single major attack Churches:

    http://www.firstpost.com/india…..01105.html

    1. If Christians are forcibly converting people in India then that’s just embarrassing for India. You are such a religious tribalist. Defend your religion without attacking others. I defend Hinduism and Modi all the time from Dahlia’s attacks despite being a Christian. I’m sure you and Dahlia can bond of how much of fake Indian Bobby Jindal is though, Maybe show a little tact and defend your religion without resorting to attacking other religions, especially Christianity which frankly treated your nation quite benevolently in the greater scheme of things.

  12. ### The lies about intolerance

    Shikha’s claims about Wendy’s books are pure lies. One of the person who was upset with the low quality of Wendy’s research approached the court and after a prolonged legal battle the publisher decided that the battle is not worth fighting for. Approaching courts is not intolerance.

    Shikha is correct in pointing out the government ridiculous efforts with respect to cow. But they are very deeply rooted in history of all the political parties in the country. Mahatma Gandhi was in favor of a beef ban across the country and the Congress party adopted it as a constitutional directive. Any government that abides by the constitution is bound to promote cow protection in India.

    Modi’s BJP is the only party that is proposing equality before law of all religions while all other liberal parties want Shariah for Muslims.

    Liberal parties like Congress suspended democracy and altered the Indian constitution beyond recognition ot suite it’s own political narrative. I would say this is a real act on intolerance than anything else and poses the greatest danger to India

  13. ### Serious threats to Individual liberties of Hindus in India

    Contrary to author’s claims it is Hindus (which by legal definition includes Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains) are denied liberties that other religions have through the Indian constitution.

    For example all Hindu temples and their income (donated by Hindus) is controlled by government but Church and Mosques are not. Over years government has earned Crores of rupees through these temples but has let most historical temples become ruins.

    Hindus are not allowed to build education institution free from government control but Muslims and Christians are. This is by far the most blatant violation of any community’s liberty. Any Hindu trying to open a school needs to get zillion government permissions, comply with a draconian law called Right to Education (this is India’s Obamacare for Education) , give 50% seats to affirmative actions, give 30% teachers positions to affirmative action and let government control the syllabus and teachers salaries. (This is applicable to private schools which are no aided by government).

    1. …50% seats to affirmative actions, give 30% teachers positions to affirmative action…

      India has an ‘affirmative action’ program? For who?

      1. Untouchables (known as ‘Dalits’ these days). And for some of the other very low castes, as well, I believe.

        I’ve also read that they have affirmative action for some of the poorer ethnic minorities, too, but I don’t know for certain which ones qualify.

  14. “If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it.”

    And yet liberal democracy was born, and still exists in a predominately Christian part of the world.

    1. And yet liberal democracy was born, and still exists in a predominately Christian part of the world.

      Citation needed for the bold text.

    2. She’s talking about ‘from the perspective of its theologies alone,’ of course other things (geography, history, civil politics, overall culture apart from religion) matter too.

      1. Bo — So the reason the Soviet Union failed was due to it’s geography rather than its establishment as an atheist state? Please do enlighten us.

      2. She’s talking about ‘from the perspective of its theologies alone,

        yeah, and Barde’s point was how stupid her comment was.

  15. Missionary schools on the other hand can receive government funding but need not conform to any of these ridiculous regulations.

    As any free market person would see, this means Hindus do not have access to good education anymore.

    India has different laws for different religions. Hindus have a different law than Muslims and Christians. A muslim woman does not get allimony from her husband because Sharia says so.

    The author who incorrectly mentions Ramkrishna mission as “oldest” (it is merely

  16. Someone isn’t clued into the fact nobody reads walls of text.

  17. If you thought you clicked on the comments section of Reason Hit and Run and somehow were taken to the comment section at the Blaze I don’t blame you…

    1. Bo hates to see common sense. It’s why he sticks to Salon and Slate when not pretending to be a sure a shootin’ libertarian.

  18. One unconsidered point about Hindu militancy is as a natural cultural defense to Islamic militancy. I believe India has more Muslims than all the Persian Gulf nations put together, with all the terrorism, ignorance, and politico-cultural pushiness such a situation suggests.

    If Christians and/or secularists were as quick to Islamo-slaughter in Europe much as they are in India in response to Islamo-stupidity like a Charlie Hebdo, Muslims would be a lot more mellow in places like France.

    1. Thanks Mr. Breivik for the contribution.

      1. You’re groveling proves my point.

        Eventually, fundies all over the place watching Islamic violence’s PC accommodation in the West are going to start pulling monkey-see/monkey-do like your Norwegian pal.

        1. Bo likes collective violence to be monopolized by the left for some reason surely not related to his pretend libertarianism.

      2. How’s it going emptying the trash at Preet’s office, Bo? Or is it technically called an internship?

  19. If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it.

    Since liberal democracy has no moral footing, this is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

    1. What about the pagan Olympian pantheon being divine patrons of democracy? The town’s name was Athens, after all.

  20. Sigh. For the love of god Shikha don’t turn this blog into one that attracts Indian commenters. I’ve endured enough trauma in my life reading and hearing pointless historical arguments amongst inhabitants / immigrants from the Subcontinent. I get this shit all over my Facebook page from my relatives. If they invade here I may end up begging the white commentariat to mass murder us as is their wont (as discussed yesterday).

    1. You could always just take a drive through the ghetto with “I LOVE DYLAN ROOF” painted on your car…

  21. I see that Bo isn’t even pretending he’s not just a troll now.

    1. Bo is all about the conclusory statement. Reasoning and causalities, not so much.

  22. Speaking of “liberal values” – Jim Carrey calling Gov Brown a fascist…

    http://www.france24.com/en/201…..cine-order

    1. He’s getting dumber.

      1. Dumberer?

        1. I was gonna write, Dumb, Dumb, and Dumberer. But it felt…dumb.

    2. Derp and Derper.

    3. Over vaccines? That is what got him to notice?

      So, playing opposite Jeff Daniels he was just playing himself?

  23. I always thought the Kama Sutra was Hindu?.which sort of made sexual pleasure a ceremony?.which is sorta’ hot.

    Which is pretty much the opposite of what that cult known as “islam” does with the pleasure thing.

    Have the Hindus dumped the Kama Sutra?

  24. Maybe the problem is less with the “Hindu” part of “Hindu nationalism,” and more with the other word in that phrase. Just sayin’.

  25. Folks, religion is bullshit. That’s all.
    It is made-up on an ad hoc basis by whoever chooses to speak for that bleef at the time; note that Ms. Dalmia first posits “If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it.” and then immediately provides tons of evidence that it is nothing of the sort.
    It was bullshit at the beginning of each form of mythology; it remains so now. You might just as well try to establish the ‘meaning’ of the poker hand you were dealt last night.
    It is bullshit and nothing other than bullshit.

    1. Oh, and because it is ‘faith’ and totally bereft of reason, there’s little to recommend it to the magazine.

    2. I find your views intriguing and would like to subscribe to an authoritative text of your wisdom and teachings.

  26. This is not surprising. The problem with terrorism is that when people become afraid they hit back. They also become more irrational than normal and hit back at anything that moves.

  27. If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it.

    The fact that Hinduism doesn’t seem to support a drive for liberty and religious freedom, while Christianity has and does, should make you rethink this.

    As noted above, our notions of liberty are rooted in some fundamental Christian concepts like free will. Don’t know how fundamental free will is to Hindus.

    Christianity’s history also laid the groundwork for modern-day notions of liberty, mostly in the way the Catholic Church refused to submit itself to secular rulers, and constituted a counterweight or competitor to those rulers. Again, no idea of Hinduism has a similar history.

    1. Hans Herman Hoppe wrote about the world’s different belief systems, the big ones anyway, and rated them based on their conduciveness to producing wealth. Hindu actually got last place, followed by Islam.

  28. If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it.

    Is that an endorsement or an indictment?

  29. I wish the Western world would take the same position. Islam cannot be trusted and ought not be tolerated.

    We were not confused during WWII that Nazism and Japanese Imperialism was an imminent threat to the world and needed to be stopped.

    Because Islam has a religious component we seem terribly confused as to Islam’s true nature, a nature of global totalitarian ambitions, with a globe submissive to the Islamic Caliph and ruled by the sharia.

    They set it out in black and white for everybody to read and proclaim it in every mosque and pray for it five times every single day. Yet we in the west still appear completely and utterly confused.

    1. I dunno. Much of the West was only opposed to Nazism when Nazism was opposed to Communism. Before that, it was fine & dandy.

      And if the Japanese hadn’t attacked Pearl Habor, who knows what would have happened? Their atrocities in China seemed to be tolerated enough by the West.

  30. What does a hindu? It lays eggs.

    Really, Shikha. Be a real Desi and convert to roman catholicism. Either that, or give in to Hindu fascism and register Democrat. So there.

  31. “That a historically tolerant faith could take such an intolerant turn suggests that a religion’s relationship to liberal values might have less to do with its own inner character and more to do with the existential insecurities of its adherents in a given time.”

    Or, it might suggest that faith, an eagerness to submit your mind to obvious lies, always lies in wait as a menace, like plague ridden rats waiting to rise from the sewers.

    “Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.”
    H.L. Mencken

    “Faith means not wanting to know what is true.”
    – Nietzsche

    “What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.”
    – Bertrand Russell

  32. Shikha Dalmia writes:

    “If there were ever a religion readymade for liberal democracy?and its commitment to religious freedom?Hinduism would be it. Unlike Christianity (and other monotheistic faiths), Hinduism has no one true doctrine handed down by the one true God to be spread and enforced through the one true Church.”

    Which is precisely why America’s Anglo-Saxon Protestant Christian forebearers invented modern liberal democracy, while India remained an impoverished country under Muslim despots in a society based on caste-stratification and widow burning (which made the American South in the height of White Supremacy look like a bastion of equality by contrast), until Protestant Anglo-Saxons arrived and transmitted Western notions of egalitarianism, democracy, tolerance, secularism, education, nationalism, constitutional law, modern science, human rights, and Tolstoy. (All derivative from Protestantism.) It was only when India internalized those values that individuals like Gandhi could begin to dream of an independent, secular, liberal democracy in India.

    But what would the West be if we didn’t have hippy dippy types, and Western Educated Gentle-persons to project their sentimental religious fantasies of the “true religion of peace and love” on a continent of over 1 Billion people. What the human species does best is fight with itself, and religious differences are one of the best means of justifying that fighting.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.