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We Are All Hindus Now
Newsweek ^ | Aug 15, 2009 | Lisa Miller

Posted on 09/10/2009 12:11:19 PM PDT by TBP

America is not a Christian nation. We are, it is true, a nation founded by Christians, and according to a 2008 survey, 76 percent of us continue to identify as Christian (still, that's the lowest percentage in American history). Of course, we are not a Hindu—or Muslim, or Jewish, or Wiccan—nation, either. A million-plus Hindus live in the United States, a fraction of the billion who live on Earth. But recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; Theology
KEYWORDS: hinduism; india; newthought; religioninamerica
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Interesting…I don’t know if I quite agree that we are all Hindu (Hinduism still is not necessarily monotheistic.) …maybe Buddhist without the non-attachment stuff might be a bit more accurate.

I don't think the writer or either of the quoted professors has heard of New Thought (it tends to be a well-kept secret), but if they had, they'd realize that the article describes New Thought fairly well.

1 posted on 09/10/2009 12:11:22 PM PDT by TBP
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Beef - It’s what’s for dinner!

(Hindu, my ass!)

2 posted on 09/10/2009 12:14:18 PM PDT by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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3 posted on 09/10/2009 12:15:22 PM PDT by Steelfish
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Someone should tell Fareed Zakaria that I’m guilty of flushing Newsweak down the toilet.

4 posted on 09/10/2009 12:15:25 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama outright called his critics "liars" in his speech last night. Where's the apology?)
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I like steak.

5 posted on 09/10/2009 12:17:34 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: CodeToad


Serving beef at Ayodhya

24 Aug 2003, 0000 hrs IST,SWAMINOMICS



Although the BJP and Congress Party both seem keen on banning cow slaughter throughout India, it looks as though dissent from other parties has blocked the move for the time being. Some critics protest that cow worship is a strictly Hindu idea that must not be imposed on others in a secular state. I agree.

But I go further. I hold that cow slaughter and beef eating are proven Hindu traditions of old. This has been recorded by any number of scholars of the Vedas and epics. Let me give as an example Nirad Chaudhuri's passages from The Continent of Circe.

Vedic literature shows great love for and pride in cattle, as is to be expected of a pastoral people. Love of cows in the Vedas goes with "every possible economic use of cattle, including, of course, their slaughter for food". The Vedic spirit continues into the age when epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata were written.

Chaudhuri notes that a debate had already begun between those who opposed and those who defended cow slaughter. The two ideas co-existed, very much like the debate today about vegetarianism. The Mahabharata mentions, "without thinking it necessary to add any excuse, that a very hospitable king used to have 20,100 cattle slaughtered every day for his guests." On the other hand, another story tells of a king who has slaughtered a cow to entertain a sage, an act that is criticised as sinful by another sage.

Such differences of view are a key characteristic of Hinduism. It has never been a rigid, Semitic-style religion with a chief pre-late laying down one single interpretation of holy texts. From ancient times some Hindus opposed cow slaughter, but many others regarded it as not merely permissible but obligatory to show honour to guests.

By the time the Dharma Shastras were penned, beef consumption had "ceased or virtually ceased". Nevertheless, the play Uttara-Rama-Charitra, one of the most celebrated versions of the Ramayana written by Bhavabhuti in the 8th century AD, has the following dialogue between two hermit boys at Ayodhya, Saudahataki and Dandayana.

S: What is the name of the guest who has arrived today with a big train of women?

D: Stop joking. It is no less a person than the revered Vasishta himself.

S: Is it Vasishta, eh?

D: Who else?

S: I thought it was a tiger or a wolf. For, as soon as he came, he crunched up our poor tawny heifer.

D: It is written that meat should be given along with curds and honey. So every host offers a heifer, a big bull, or a goat to a learned Brahmin who comes as a guest. This is laid down in sacred law.

Today, with the Hindutva bri-gade in full cry, such a dialogue in a modern play would probably cause a riot and be banned.

Yet, this was uncontroversial in its time. Clearly, the notion that the cow is sacred is merely a sectional Hindu view. It is by no means traditional Hinduism or essential Hinduism. If anything, it is a recent reformist Hinduism. I have no objection to reformers, but I object vociferously when they pretend to speak for all Hindus, or for essential Hinduism.

Some Vishwa Hindu Parishad types say that the cow gives milk which is essential for rearing all of us, so the cow is our mother, and hence deserves to be protected from slaughter. Chaudhuri remarks caustically that the "relationship is expressed not in terms of economics or animal husbandry... but as a matter of ethics, as if one was speaking of a man's relationship with his wet nurse."

On this supposition, the buffalo is an even greater mother of Hindus than the cow, as buffaloes in north India provide more milk than cows. But nobody worships the poor buffalo. Indeed, the buffalo is ceremonially sacrificed as part of Hindu worship in parts of eastern India.

In Vedic times, neither untouchables nor tribals were regarded as Hindus. Even when the first census was enumerated in the 19th century, dalits and tribals were not counted as Hindus.

But such is the power of modern upper caste Hindu imperialism that it now claims as its own these two groups whom it cruelly reviled and oppressed through the ages. Dalits and tribals have always eaten beef.

Yet, the VHP brigade (and its camp-followers in the Congress) claim unhesitatingly that Hindus do not eat beef. A ban on cow slaughter would be an imposition on hundreds of millions of dalits and tribals, no less than on non-Hindus.

I have long opposed a ban on cow slaughter as a secular liberal. But in the light of Bhavabhuti's narrative, I also oppose the ban as a beef-eating Hindu. I am following in the footsteps of Vasishta, no less.

6 posted on 09/10/2009 12:21:15 PM PDT by OldSpice
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Newsweek and Zakaria hate America, hate Americans.

7 posted on 09/10/2009 12:23:05 PM PDT by Diogenesis ("Those who go below the surface do so at their peril" - Oscar Wilde)
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This is a slick redirection of attention away from the massive Muslim population increase that’s been documented by many serious researchers, including Mark Steyn.

Hinduism is being used here as the hit piece/straw man in a cynical ploy to divert awareness of the increasing number of Muslims in America, and their growing violations of American cultural proprieties, up to and including covering women, the public broadcasting of daily calls to prayer, the protection of bigamy, and pushes for Sharia law (which are already being “voluntarily” accomodated in banking and other areas).

And underneath the specious argument that Hinduism is somehow being assimilated in various ways, is the insinuated meme that all religions are being similarly assimilated - including Islam. Of course, the fact that Islam is not voluntary and bars recognition or acceptance of any other religion, on pain of death, is conveniently left out of this warm and fuzzy liberal programming piece.

8 posted on 09/10/2009 12:28:56 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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Actually, it became monotheistic in its evolution...

9 posted on 09/10/2009 12:38:04 PM PDT by TortReformer
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How many of the 76% identifying themselves as Christian are like me, that is, clearly a product of my Judeo-Christian culture, grew up in the church (choir boy even), but haven’t seen the inside of a church but once in the last dozen or so years (to make sure my bipolar mom didn’t cause a scene), and have not accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior.

When asked, I do ID myself as a Christian, as there is no option on most of those surveys for being agnostic.

That would make me, and a ton of others (presumably) as Christians in name only.

10 posted on 09/10/2009 1:03:00 PM PDT by dmz
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator


When the media and lefties (excuse my redundancy) say that “America is not a Christian nation” it’s really wishful thinking. They want us to not be a Christian nation.

12 posted on 09/10/2009 1:09:40 PM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: TortReformer
Actually, it became monotheistic

Vishnu, Krishna, Braham, Hannuman, etc., etc. That doesn't sound monotheistic to me.

13 posted on 09/10/2009 1:10:58 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: Scanian

Hinduism is the type of squishy belief system that liberals like, however.

I think that is the point of the article. Many Americans call themselves, but squisy jumble might be a better definiton of what they believe.

14 posted on 09/10/2009 1:54:38 PM PDT by Brookhaven (
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It is, of course, not Hinduism. More like Gnosticism.

15 posted on 09/10/2009 9:02:12 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: dmz

You live in a culture shaped by a thousand years of Christian history. If you were translated to any other part of the world back 500 years, the only place you could even grasp the meaning of what was around you, after you learned the local language, would be Europe.

16 posted on 09/10/2009 9:07:16 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: cripplecreek
I like steak.

I think the Hindus have a beef with that.

17 posted on 09/10/2009 9:15:14 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: stylecouncilor; windcliff

Shiva ping

18 posted on 09/10/2009 10:02:39 PM PDT by onedoug
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Proud Hindu and love beef steak grilled “a point”. That doesn’t make me any less Hindu.

19 posted on 09/11/2009 7:53:14 AM PDT by MimirsWell (Scipio Pakistanus)
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To: RobbyS

Greek was known in ancient India, and much of the Middle East. Not merely 500 years ago, but two milleniums plus a couple of centuries before.

20 posted on 09/11/2009 10:15:59 AM PDT by OldSpice
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