Last weekend, I came across several articles from Indian news sources describing increased vandalism of Hindu temples in the United States.
“The Hindu” (Feb. 2015) listed several incidents in which Hindu temples in the United States were vandalized between July 2014 and February 2015.
A week later (Feb. 28, 2015), “The Times of India” cited much of the same information, adding condemnation to President Obama, Pat Robertson, and Franklin Graham for criticizing Hinduism and the lack of religious intolerance Hindus in India generally have against other religious groups.
The two temple attacks came after President Barack Obama’s criticism of India at an inter-religious prayer meeting earlier in February where he said intolerance there “would have shocked Gandhiji”.
On April 20, 2015, after a Hindu temple in Texas had been vandalized, “India Today” criticized “Christian leaders” in the United States for not reacting towards the vandalism.
On the same day in April, Hinduexistence.org reported the same story as “India Today” and many other news sources had, adding that the vandalism was carried out by a “Catholic group”.
As a sign of serious religious intolerance, a Hindu temple in the US has been vandalized with nasty images spray-painted on its walls by a suspected Catholic group, the latest such incident in the country.
Many of the details in these news stories are in fact and sadly true. Yes, there have been vandalism of Hindu temples in the United States. Yes, President Obama and Christian leaders have criticized Hindus in India for their religious intolerance.
Some of the other details of these stories are also true, such as The U.S. Department of Justice is now tracking hate crimes against Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, since March of 2015, but this should be an indication of the U.S.’s attempt at thwarting hate crimes against members of all religions.
But, the one thing that stands out after reading all of these articles, and many more, is that there is commentary skewed against Christians. Most of what was reported on in these news sources could have been reported on without borderline illogical arguments. If you click on any one of the previously listed news links, you will notice language that paints Christians as the perpetrators of the vandalism, as well as Christian worldviews as the motivators.
That is clearly evidenced by the statement from Hinduexistence.org, that the Texas vandalism was carried out by “a suspected Catholic group”. Other Hindu news sources did not go as far as calling the vandals “Catholic” or “Christian”, however many made sure that it was known that the vandals originated in the “predominatly Catholic nation of El Salvador” (India Today, et al).
It would be far-fetched to call the gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 as the gang is more commonly known by, “Christian”. Even though MS-13’s obligation is “first to God, then your mother, and then your gang”, the gang is anything but Christian. A common used symbol used by MS-13 is a hand-signal called “Devil’s Horns”, and some of the more deplorable activities of the gang include racketeering, public and extremely violent murders, child pornography, and human trafficking.
Not one action or belief of MS-13, including vandalism of a Hindu Temple, can be considered Christian. For Hinduexistence.org to call MS-13 Christian, and for the other Hindu news sources to suggest that the gang responsible for the Texas temple vandalism is Christian just because it originated from a predominate Catholic nation are all illogical arguments.
Other illogical arguments:
- To suggest that several attacks on the temples occurred only after President Obama criticized India’s tolerance policies is not substantiated with evidence.
- The above cited article from “The Times of India” says this about Pat Robertson: “While doing yoga, he said on the 700 Club TV programme, “you don’t know what the Hindu says, but actually it’s a prayer to a Hindu deity and so it sounds like gibberish.” Yes, Robertson said this, but he didn’t actually do yoga while stating his opinion. See for yourself:
There were more, but I encourage you to read the articles for yourself and you decide. I welcome your comments below. As I mentioned in a previous post, I love a good discussion that includes intelligent debate!
Until next time, May God keep you and bless you!
Next time: Were President Obama’s criticism of India’s religious intolerance justifiable? Decide for yourself.