A Jewish-Hindu connection
Jeffrey Stanley, 7/23/13
Talk about a crazy commute. After a spiritual encounter, a stranger and I spent the next 90 minutes discussing the nature of the universe.
Not so long ago after nearly 25 years as a hidebound New Yorker I moved to Philadelphia for my wife Pia’s career needs, inadvertently becoming part of a popular regional migration known to urban statisticians as the 6th borough phenomenon. She’s Indian-American and we’re raising our child in a bilingual home. I’m a writer and professor. She’s a scientist by day and an Indian classical dance professional by night. Religiously we are at best agnostic but culturally we are Hindus, and will identify ourselves as such when pressed, like on the hospital intake form the first time we took our baby in for a routine doctor’s visit.
This identification sits well with me. Despite growing up Nazarene in the Bible Belt I had long ago developed an affinity for Hindu philosophy—ever since I’d come across a used copy of the Bhagavad Gita at a flea market in high school and realized how similar it was to the New Testament. I still remember the perplexed look on my Sunday school teacher’s face the morning I brought the Gita to church. I had marked the sections that reminded me of Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount with an orange highlighter and asked him why Hindus were all going to Hell and we Christians weren’t. Suffice it say I quit going to church not long after that. Christianity just wasn’t speaking to me. When I met my wife-to-be years later while canoeing in Brooklyn’s fetid Gowanus Canal I fell in easily with her cultural worldview. We were a match made in moksha.
Imagine my surprise when, on a recent Friday afternoon while returning to Philly on a crowded New Jersey Transit train out of Manhattan’s Penn Station I came face to face with the power of YHWH. (continue reading…)
Outstanding article here that I urge you all to read. The kicker is at the end where in the author ID we learn the writer, Chris Ladd, is a Republican activist. If more Republicans were like this, there’d a little more hope on the mainstream political landscape. Or perhaps he’s a closeted liberal. Terrific piece regardless–
by Chris Ladd, Washington Times
April 30, 2013 ― The Boston Marathon attacks have revived old claims that Islam is inherently violent and all Muslims should face heightened scrutiny. When a Lutheran kid shoots up a movie theater or a Norwegian fundamentalist describing himself as a “modern-day crusader” slaughters kids at a summer camp, we take it in stride. When someone with a connection to Islam commits a crime, every Muslim faces suspicion.
Perhaps this is a good time to investigate the question: Which religion is the most violent?
The analysis presents some challenges. Should the answer be based purely on a body count? Professor Juan Cole casually estimates that Christians chalked up roughly 50 times more violent deaths than Muslims across the past century. That, however, doesn’t necessarily prove that Christianity is more violent. It just demonstrates a high level of efficiency. To answer the question we need more than a raw death toll.
When measuring violence, should grievances count as mitigating factors? When a Christian Lebanese militia spent two days in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp raping and slaughtering civilians under Israeli supervision, ought they be excused by the previous Muslim slaughter that inspired it? And should the Muslim slaughter be excused by the Christian slaughter that inspired it? Who is guiltier, the chicken or the egg?
A look at each religion’s holy books won’t provide much guidance. CONT’D AT >>>