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Democracy and Christianity

Reader comment on item: Answering Khaled Abou El Fadl
in response to reader comment: Future

Submitted by Frank Luke (United States), Feb 3, 2011 at 20:29

Amin Riaz writes: "Idea of democracy pre dates christianty to the ancient greek. The romans employed a system of republic - but the most interesting implementation of democracy was by independent republics of India during 6th century BC"

Ideas of democracy, autocracy, theocracy, socialism, communism......existed centuries before Jesus Christ came into the world, however, democracy in its present form did not come into existence till after the Reformation movement of Christianity. The Greeks practiced a direct-participation form of democracy, but the notion of "equality of men" and the present form of representatory government was the result of the Reformation movement in the church; with the Renaissance movement serving as a catalyst in the social cauldron.

Regarding India: Even today the common man in India addresses a policeman as "Sir" in order to show deference and the policeman does not address the common citizen as "Sir". On the other hand, in advanced nations like USA, the policeman addresses the common citizen as "Sir".

In Asian societies neither the policemen nor the ministers (elected leaders) show the same respect to the common man that the common man shows to those public servants. On the other hand, in USA, a Senator or a Congressman stands in the same line at a Dunkin Donuts or at any other store. A common man in USA will receive much greater respect than a common man will, in India. In USA everyone is referred to as "you", in India there are 3 tiers of respect: "tu", "tum", and "aap". The notion that all men are equal is only marginally emulated in Asian societies because of the democracy that they got as a result of Great Britain having ruled them for centuries.

India owes Great Britain a vote of thanks for making it one nation. Had it not been for Great Britain, "India" would not be one nation as we know it today. It existed as a land with several little kingdoms and kings before England made it one nation.

Indians slew their women on the funeral pyres of their husbands by burning them alive and they called it "Sati". Raja Ram Mohan Roy and others who spoke up against it could have had next to no effect on this horrendous practice had Great Britain not put an end to it in India. There was no democracy in India at any time before Great Britain taught Indians democracy and that is how India got her parliamentary system of government.

Riaz also says: "These days are the dying days of christianty - which has been reduced to nothing more than few ideas an rituals. Its hardly practised anywhere seriously".

One wonders where Riaz lives. There are millions of Christians who are practicing Christianity all over the world including India - and they are doing it seriously.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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