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Monday, December 26, 2005

The bane of the religious moderates

The year 2005 was a strong year for religion. The new Pope infused some life back to Catholicism. The Islamic fundamentalists continued their rampage. Significant advances were made by the religious right in controlling abortion, denying access to condoms to HIV infected Africa, and sneaking in creationism (independent design) into school curriculums. Religious riots could be seen across Europe, Australia, and South East Asia. Then, of course there’s the “Bring Christmas back” initiative on FOX TV. And all these have caught the “religious moderates” by surprise.

Who are the religious moderates? They are the likes of all heads of states- Tony Blair, George Bush, Manmohan Singh etc. They are the likes of the Indian communist parties, the global intelligentsia, the politically correct mainstream media, and the hippies - the kind of people who say all these bullshit like “All religions teach the same truth” at the drop of a hat.

Religious moderates are the cause of much of today’s problems- because they kill the wrong pests. They will tell you that the basic reason for suicide bombings is lack of employment, absence of democracy etc. Whenever a bomb explodes, Bush, Blair and Manmohan Singh will immediately say on TV, “Quran doesn’t teach violence”. Now I am absolutely sure that Bush, Blair or Manmohan haven’t read the Quran, while the dude who blasted the bomb had actually read it. So who knows better?

Religious moderates are the cause of much of today’s problems- because they project the wrong people as experts and leaders. They are the people who allow all of pope Ratzinger’s comments to come on the first page of newspapers- Yes, the same pope whose main job for 364 days a year is to keep a check on “Who is screwing Whom (gays?), and wearing What (condom?)”, and then once a year talk of global peace. The religious moderates allow a figure like Pat Robertson to say on prime time TV that New Orleans deserved the storm. The religious moderates are the people who award a Noble Peace Prize to Dalai Lama without ever asking how much more the Tibetans have lost freedom during his tenure.

Religious moderates are the cause of much of today’s problems- because they solve the problem of a few to create problems for all. In India they defined secularism as “Intersection of state and all religions” instead of “No intersection between state and religion”, eventually leading to the Babri Masjid demolition. They put religious feelings of a few bearded men ahead of a women’s right to live with dignity as in the Shah Bano Case. They are the people who will let people die of AIDs rather than use a condom. They are the people who will subsidize the pilgrimage of a certain sect, while not spending enough on basic education.

Religious moderates are the people who pass laws to pacify the age old human yearning to believe that the earth is flat and at the centre of the universe. They put in creationism in science textbooks, allow “Our Father in Heaven” and “Saraswati Bandanas” in schools, and then pass laws to restrict funding for stem cell research.

Surprisingly, the religious moderates don’t want to leave any space for the atheists, the unbelievers, the so called “morally corrupt”. They will abhor anyone who says “There is no god” and “Christ, Krishna, Rama are all fiction”. Why this double standard? Hey religious moderates!!! Give the atheists and the morally corrupt a chance. May be you will not see any more crusades, jihad, witch-killings, gay-lynchings, AIDs deaths, religious riots, 9/11s, holocausts, or real estate demolitions. Or will you miss them, since the absence of these will rob you of your media spotlight?

8 comments:

Nitin said...

Good points;

If you haven't read Sam Harris' The End of Faith already, you should.

Ambar said...

Hypocrites and bad liars, these "moderates".

Vulturo said...

*bows to the master*

Brilliant post, Sir

Tarun said...

You're portaying these men as fools who do little more than screw up everything they do. I think thats a highly inaccurate view. For them to have succeeded in life and risen so high, they must have learnt and done a lot of things that were thought to be good by a lot of people.
Maybe they do make a lot of mistakes, but I'm sure they do a better job than we ourselves are capable of.

Shivaji said...

Tarun:

You have raised an interesting issue- whether success in life means that you have been doing good things- or things perceived to be good by people...
Well Hitler, Taimur, Aurangzeb, Chengiz Khan all succeeded big time in life. Dalai Lama succeeded in life (did he??) because the previous Lama, in a dream, saw that he would be the next Dalai Lama, and then Hollywood stars mingled with him as he provided a clean way projecting yourself as a socially concerned citizen (yeah, its much cleaner than handling snot covered Afican children).
There is a tendency in Mankind to think of an authority or leader as the all righteous, if you become a little more sceptic, you will respect them a little less.

inkadu said...

To the crimes of religious moderates add:

pretending science and religion are not in conflict

I've read enough defenses of Christianity from evolution to make me vomit. And because evolution can not disprove God, there is no conflict. Bollocks. If man is a random bit of organic spittle in the universe, there is no need for God. What science has done, systematically and ruthlessly over the past 300 years, is make God unnecessary. That is a pretty big conflict for religion.

Moderates will also claim "separate spheres" of knowledge for religion and for science. This, again, is bollocks. The existence of a soul is a scientific question. The efficacy of prayer is a scientific question. The existence of angels is a scientific question. The ability to perform miracles is a scientific question.

Religion, almost by definition, is a mythology that oversteps its bounds and makes truth claims about reality. Without the truth claims, religion has no more authority (and no less) than the plays of William Shakespeare. In other words, science is in direct opposition to religion in a direct way.

inkadu said...

Also I wouldn't call George Bush a "moderate." He worhsipped at a fairly conservative evangelical style church, regularly sends coded messages to fundamentalists, and actively courted the religious neandrethals in his campaign, and has regular talks with the likes of Pat Robertson. He pretends to be a moderate, but he has simultaneously convinced the fundagelicals that he truly is one of them.

On stem cell research and right-to-die issues, he has been actively unmoderate, so please don't include him in the company of true back-stabbing moderates like Blair.

Krish said...

Any day these religious moderates are better than Hindu and Christian terrorists, who claim to oppose the islamic fundamentalists but inflict the same kinda violence on innocent muslims as islamic terrorists do against innocent Hindus and christians. I would go with these supposedly religious moderates any day than Hindu and Christian fundamentalists who are similar to islamic fundamentalists in all aspects only with a different brand name.

PS: FYI, Bush is not a moderate.