Saturday, September 23, 2006

Close Encounters with "Original Sin"

Before I begin, this has nothing to do with the sexually charged Angelina Jolie movie (or, if you're a girl, sexually charged Antonio Banderas movie). My post this time is regarding the concept of Original Sin - the reason mankind must either roast in a lake of fire when the world Ends, or be subjected to badgering by Christian fundies, or in all probability, both.

I was walking to Math class in the afternoon about a week ago, when I came across the oddest gathering I could imagine. Seeing as Purdue clubs haven't finished their call-outs and such, my initial thought was that this was some call out - I mean there could be any number of clubs which involve red T-shirts and Banners reading "Christ says" vs. "Satan says". Returning after Math class, I percieved however, that the club also involved wearing shirts that said "Homos are Going to Hell" while yelling something from a bound book. Naturally piqued, I came within earshot (and within sight of the banners, which described numerous paths to hell that I haven't the space here for, and which Satan apparently freely professes and Christ denounced). The man in question was mentioning the pathway to heaven, with the alternate option of hell. The word of Christ apparently, was the only password through the firewall surrounding the former. "But you want to reject Christ" the firebrand exclaimed "You wish to exchange him for your homosexuality and your AIDS and your false religions (This caused my ears to prick up). Buddha and Islam? I tell you friend, (Which howla would be this kook's friend, I wonder) following Buddha will land you with him in the lake of fire. So will following Islam and all the other.......(This was where I decided to push off)"

A similar encounter occured this evening on my way back from dinner. The weekend being Homecoming weekend, there's a hell of a lot of celebration on campus, read getting drunk and insanely going "Eeeeee.....". Like any decent South Indian grad student, I chose to go for a quiet dinner at a complex some distance away from the maddening crowd. Returning however, while waiting for the light to change (Here you can't cross streets till the light is actually red) I bumped - quite literally - into a second gang of the "Salesmen of Salvation" or "Transmittors of the Truth" or "Promulgators of the holy Prose" or whatever it is they call themselves. Politely, one of the Knights of the New Testament asked me if I knew what Christ did for me. To my polite answer in the negative, together with a "No thanks" when he offered to tell me what he did do, he broke out into a long quotation from the Book of Revelations or something, one of those things that discuss the fate of infidels, and where they're going to roast for all eternity.

The whole thing leaves me irritated, though typical of an Indian, my response was to say "Yes No Sorry Thanks" and push off. To their credit, the majority of the people there (at both gatherings) laughed openly at the Gospel Ghissu Gang present. Who are these chaps to tell me where my soul is going to go? Apart from the word of a book, one of many dating to its time, what do they base their horrible prophecies on? What paticularly annoys me is the talk of "false religion" viz. [Christianity]', in the superset of all beliefs and ways of life. Sure, I'm a beef eater despite my thread, but I pray to Krishna, Vishnu and Shiva. I don't believe in castes and rituals, but I freely subscribe to the contemplations of Sankaracharya and the Dvaita/Advaita theories as to the soul. I have no idea as to where my soul goes after I die, and I don't take reincarnation as a fact, but I believe in my Paati, in her prayers and her love of Goluus and her steadfast belief in the Vishnu Sahasranama. How can I do all this? Because Hinduism, unlike any other faith in the world, has no set of centralized cardinal points that all must prescribe to. In essence, its a faith that mirrors the rest of your life and your actions. Who is a frustrated thumper of a book of a few thousand pages that is meant to carry the word of the Infinite Being to tell me its all false?

Fundie Christianity is like the faith of the Sith "If you're not with me, you're my enemy" is the mantra of the God fundies pray to. Curse them all. May the fleas of a thousand camels feast on the parting between their legs!!!!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I were you I would remove the last 2 lines....you don't want to sound like THEM, do you?

Akasuna no Sasori said...

@anonymous.....
I ain't no religious fundie myself, but you don't see any Star Wars character who's a fan of the Sith, do you?

Anonymous said...

Well, at least a decent Star Wars characters won't voice out loud their gross thoughts on what they'd like to happen to their enemy :-D

Akasuna no Sasori said...

@anonymous
It ain't that gross anyway - Its a modified form (slightly) of an old Arab oath

Pavan said...

Dude, wanted to share a religious encounter quite dissimilar to yours. I went to this ISKCON temple in Helsinki. There's a free Indian feast on Sundays which is why I dived in in the first place.

But it's heart warming to see so many westerners studying our scriptures and stuff. People come there from different backgrounds. A few of them are full time temple devotees. Most of these monks are retired professionals I am told. There are seemingly recidivist tatoo sporting junkies seeking soul rehab. Then, there are rainbow coloured bandana sporting hippies with mangled hair. There are a few homeless bums in rags. And of course there are the good old Indian middle class in Helsinki who treat it as a social get together. And then a bunch of cooking illiterate students like us who are there for the food. But it's good to see everybody coming together and singing bhajans and listening to Gita lectures.

So, that's quite a contrast from the redneck fundamentalists!

Gaurab Sengupta said...

Very well-written piece, Arun. Thought provoking, too!