Sunday, November 29, 2015

Opposing idolatry in India can get you killed

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
Jeremiah 10:2-15

Here's an example from India of secular multiculturalism's difficulty in handling militant religious opposition--Trudeaupians and other residents of Western "democracies," please note--as reported by Katy Daigle of Associated Press, August 31 2015:

NEW DELHI — Following a knock at his front door, an Indian scholar greeted two unidentified visitors and was shot in the head and the chest, becoming the third critic of religious superstition to be killed in the country in three years.

The attack on Malleshappa M. Kalburgi sent a chill through Indian civil society, stoking worries about religious extremism and intolerance and prompting an outpouring of condemnation as the 77-year-old author and academic was cremated Monday in his hometown of Dharwad, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

“This incident should not have happened. It is highly condemnable,” Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters.

Authorities are searching for two men who according to Kalburgi’s daughter arrived on a motorcycle at their home Sunday, knocked on the door and fired two shots that killed her father, Inspector S.S. Hiremath said. He declined to give further details about the attack.

Police are investigating whether Kalburgi’s murder is connected to death threats he received last year from angry right-wing Hindu groups after he criticized idol worship and superstitious beliefs by Hindus. He was provided police security after the threats but it was removed about two weeks ago at the scholar’s request, police said.

The attack was widely condemned.

“Everyone has the right to express his opinion,” actor and director Girish Karnad said. “If this grows in Karnataka, we are in trouble.”

Columnist Nitin Pai, who founded a think-tank in the southern city of Bangalore, said on Twitter that he was “Shocked at the murder of M.M. Kalburgi. Disgusted that his killers have apologists among us.”

India has long held secularism to be a keystone of its constitution — and a necessity for keeping the peace among its cacophony of cultures defined by caste, clan, tribe or religion, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Earlier this year, unknown attackers gunned down another anti-superstition crusader, Indian writer and communist politician Govind Pansare, as he and his wife were taking a walk in western Maharashtra state.

In another daytime attack in 2013, two assailants gunned down Narendra Dabholkar, a 68-year-old doctor-turned-activist, while he was out for a walk in the Maharashtra city of Pune, near Mumbai.

Police have arrested two suspects in Dabholkar’s murder. He had received years of death threats and demands that he stop giving lectures in villages across Maharashtra state promoting rationalist thought and discouraging superstitions, religious extremism, black magic and animal or human sacrifice.

Maharashtra’s government later passed long-stalled legislation that Dabholkar had worked on banning religious exploitation and fraudulent medical workers.

Activists have said the legislation does not go far enough since it only allows complaints from victims and their families, not from third parties, which they say limits the law’s effectiveness because most victims are invested in superstitious beliefs and are not likely to complain.

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