Religion & Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together — James Madison
Both the Christian and Islamic religious & political leaders would do well to apply what Madison has suggested. However, ever since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister and returned for a second term, to their (his haters) dismay, with an even bigger mandate; that too despite their call for defeating Modi, Church authorities are particularly upset and miss no chance to unfairly target the government. The latest weapon in the hands of these ‘so called secularists’ is the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act).
While sections of the country have erupted in protest against the Act, albeit with zero understanding of the amendment, Churches all over the country have decided to add fuel to the fire and create bogeys where there are none. At a time when they should be allaying fears and putting across correct information for the benefit of less literate countrymen, churches chose Christmas mass to sermonise about ‘turbulent times’, ‘divisive atmosphere’ and ‘politics of hate’.
It has come to light that in at least four states, Christmas eve and morning mass sermons were converted into political rallying for the opposition and the lies perpetrated by it. Father Dominic Gomes, vicar general of archdiocese of Kolkata called upon people of all faiths to join a march against the CAA.
Archbishop Mar Antony Kariyil of Kerala’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church was of the opinion that “attempts to divide and to create confusion and complexity among people should not be encouraged”. If he had taken the trouble to read the amendment then he would certainly have known that it is the opposition which is creating divisions and not the CAA. Well, why take the trouble of passing on the correct information when you can feed on people’s fear just because you hate a man called Modi and an ideology called Hindutva with whom you have come to associate the present Government. One wonders if the Archbishop considers his Church’s recent statement against Love Jihad as ‘divisive’ too?
The most ridiculous comparison was made by head of Jesuits in South Asia (as posted on their website) Father George Pattery which read “Jesus was born with questionable identities of citizenship, place of origin and even parenthood. In fact, Jesus was born in a makeshift manger while his parents were struggling to get themselves registered according to the newly introduced and unquestioned Citizenship Amendment Act of Augustus Caesar”.
The only thing honest about this entire comment is the ‘questionable identity’ part. The Roman Empire wasn’t partitioned and therefore, people were not left to face religious persecution in a land of Islamists just because they believed in gods and scriptures and followed customs and rituals that were different from the majority. Or would George Pattery prefer that Bharat waged a ‘crusade‘ like the Catholic Church did to win Europe and ‘Christian holy lands’ from Muslim invaders?
There were flash protests against the CAA at Wesley Church, Secunderabad in Telangana and Holy Family Church in Tirmulgherry (Secunderabad) wanted its followers to be watchful as the country was going through “difficult times”. At the Dibrugarh Catholic Church in Assam, which is said to be one of the oldest churches in North-East, banners were held opposing the CAA and asking for ‘enlightening our leaders’. There were also banners praying for ‘the departed souls of our brothers who lost their lives during protests against CAA’.
All these churches and their followers could do with some ‘enlightenment’ themselves. We at HinduPost have covered the CAA, its provisions and purposes. In addition, the debates in both houses of Parliament as well as replies by Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi’s rallies have made it amply clear that CAA has nothing to do with Bharatiya citizens. Nationwide NRC, whose draft is not even ready & therefore open to speculation, would also not affect any genuine Bharatiya citizen. Hence, no genuine Bharatiya citizen should harbour any misgiving about CAA or NRC.
Christians should certainly not be protesting against an Act where their fellow religionists facing persecution in the three Islamic countries would be granted Bharatiya citizenship (along with Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis); unless, of course, they would rather see Christians in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan tortured and either converted or killed. One need not even be a law student to understand the simple changes made to the Act. Don’t take our word for it but read the provisions of the Act, listen to the debates and make an informed choice.
It is now amply clear that all these anti-CAA sermons are not out of ignorance but are a deliberate ploy to mislead the public at a time when a lot of misinformation is being spread by the opposition. By talking the same language as that of the opposition, Christian priests are making it clear that it is their Modi and Hindu hatred that drives them to sermonize against an Act that will never affect any genuine Bharatiya in anyway.
And the rumour mongering clergies would do well to heed the words of Alexandre Dumas “hatred is blind; rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught”.
Governance and policy matters are best left to those who are elected for it. It is not the concern of the padres as to who should or should not be granted Bharatiya citizenship. Those spreading misinformation using their religion as a leverage should remember that they are playing with fire which would one day burn their own house. As they say you can wake up a person who is sleeping but not one who is pretending to sleep.
(Featured image source: cbci.in)
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