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Hindus, Patrick?/Fundamentalism

Reader comment on item: A Christian Boom

Submitted by Jim (United States), Nov 27, 2002 at 14:11

Mr. Taylor's parenthetical comment about Hindus promoting religious tolerance belies a lack of understanding of South Asian history common in the Western hemisphere. I do not argue with the rest of his rather astute comment. However, we should not be deceived into thinking that because Mohandas Gandhi was a nice guy who read the Bible for inspiration, all Hindus are therefore tolerant. Gandhi was a commendable exception to the rule among an extremely intolerant religion. One only need look at the persecution of Sikhs, Muslims and Christians in India that is either winked at or outright supported by the (dare I say?) Fundamentalist Hindu government in India the past decade. For those who doubt the sincerity of tolerance among Christians, Mr. Taylor's honest mistake should serve as proof. In our culture, however, to most secularists (who are also quite fundamental and often militant in their beliefs as they claim we are), "tolerance" means an acceptance of the veracity of any belief, as opposed to the acceptance of the rights of the believer. This is a foolish and illogically untenable position. What you believe is true and what I believe is equally true and what anyone else believes is just as true. Even a cursory perusal of world religions would show any logical person that there are claims made that can NOT both be true. There can NOT be both ONE God (Christians, Jews, Muslims) and MANY Gods (Hinduism, Buddhism). Either 2 + 2 = 4 or it doesn't. It can't be 5 for me and 3 for you. It takes Universalism -- which holds that all roads lead to the same god or state of existence after death -- to a wild extreme.
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