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

21 posted on 09/11/2009 10:16:21 AM PDT by OldSpice
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To: OldSpice

The Greek spoken in Constantinople in 1409 was not classical Greek, and the Hellenism of the Byzantine Empire was one mediated by Christian thought. These “Romans” were as different culturally from the Greeks of Byzantium in 330 as the Romans of 330 were from the Romans of 1409.

22 posted on 09/11/2009 12:51:40 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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Oh yes...some are becoming more hindu than others HEHE!!

23 posted on 09/11/2009 1:02:03 PM PDT by cyborg (I love the elderly.)
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To: RobbyS

An Ashokan inscription in Aramaic found in 1969 in Laghman Province indicates that Ashoka also thought of lands far to the west of the Afghan area. Professor André Dupont-Sommer of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris, points out that the inscription contains the phrase "At a distance of 200 'bows' this way to (the place) called Tadmor." Tadmor may be identified as Palmyra, Syria, and the inscription stood beside the highway which led from India to the Middle East. Ashoka's missionaries travelled the length of this highway and Professor Dupont-Som-mer, who also worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls, theorizes that they may have provided the inspiration for such monastic orders as the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, whose origins continue to mystify scholars.

Though the ideals are similar, the texts on the inscriptions found in Afghanistan are not identical to any of the texts found in India. Ashoka adapted his edicts to meet the cultural patterns of the people to whom they were addressed. Ashoka's Doctrine of Piety is put forth in the Greek text from the bilingual inscription at Kandahar:

"Ten years (of reign) having been completed, King Piodasses (Ashoka) made known (the doctrine of) Piety to men; and from this moment he has made men more pious, and everything thrives throughout the whole world. And the king abstains from (killing) living beings, and other men and those who (are) huntsmen and fisher-men of the king have desisted from hunting. And if some (were) intemperate, they have ceased from their intemperance as was in their power; and obedient to their father and mother and to the elders, in opposition to the past also in the future, by so acting on every occasion, they will live better and more happily." (Trans. by G.P. Carratelli)

For the people living south of the Hindu Kush, subject to this humanitarian influence from the east, this was a period of tranquility accompanied by prosperity.


Kindness to prisoners

Ashoka showed great concern for fairness in the exercise of Justice, caution and tolerance in the application of sentences, and regularly pardoned prisoners.

"It is my desire that there should be uniformity in law and uniformity in sentencing. I even go this far, to grant a three-day stay for those in prison who have been tried and sentenced to death. During this time their relatives can make appeals to have the prisoners' lives spared. If there is none to appeal on their behalf, the prisoners can give gifts in order to make merit for the next world, or observe fasts." Pilar Edict Nb4 (S. Dhammika)
"In the twenty-six years since my coronation prisoners have been given amnesty on twenty-five occasions." Pilar Edict Nb5 (S. Dhammika)


24 posted on 09/11/2009 1:25:51 PM PDT by OldSpice
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To: OldSpice

I stipulate that Hellenistic influenced reached India. But would also be true that no modern Greek would feel at home at home in Socrates’ Athens, and would be treated as a barbarian whose speech was unintellible and whose manners and mores would be utterly different from theirs. Even if he could read and write classical Greek, that would be the case.

25 posted on 09/11/2009 2:49:39 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: dmz

Cultural Christian. Your very idea of what is legal or illegal is shaped by the law you have been exposed to—the English common law as modified by American statutes and conditions— because it is founded on Christian practices.

26 posted on 09/11/2009 2:58:46 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: RobbyS; dmz

Even then, it wouldn’t be that big of an effort to understand the various anachronistic versions of Greek.


“... the Common Law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced or knew that such a character existed.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Major John Cartwright, June 5, 1824.

27 posted on 09/11/2009 3:01:47 PM PDT by OldSpice
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To: OldSpice
That's Jefferson's opinion, and he was wrong. The first English legal code was set down in Latin at the time of the Roman Mission. This came at the end of the historical blank we called the Dark Ages. It was part and parcel of the theory that antique English law could be traced to the forest of Germany, and depended on the useful fiction that the king did not make law but simply proclaimed what had been law from time immemorial. In fact from the time that the kings began to accept Christianity, they depended on Christian clerks who recast English laws and customs to fit the forms of Roman law.
28 posted on 09/11/2009 3:12:10 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: RobbyS; dmz



"But you are told that our ancestors brought with them the Common Law of England, and that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There are in the books some sayings of the English Judges that Christianity is a part of the Common Law, and one of the most distinguished among those, who have held this doctrine, is the celebrated Sir Matthew Hale. But this Judge is one of those Judges, who have condemned persons for witchcraft, and the ermine of his judicial robes was stained with the blood of the innocent victims of superstition. Sir Matthew Hale would be as good authority to sustain a prosecution for witchcraft, as to sustain the present prosecution against the defendant, by establishing that Christianity is a part of the Common Law of England. Indeed Sir Matthew Hale was the great authority in Massachusetts to sustain the prosecutions for witchcraft which disgraced our early history. What is the Common Law of England ? It is called the customs of immemorial antiquity handed down by tradition, among the English people. Now during the period of the existence of the Common Law, England has had all kinds of religion ? Has the Common Law embraced all those kinds of religion ? Are they parts of the Common Law ? Yet one must be as well as another, or else none of those various kinds of religion are parts of the system. The Common Law is older than Christianity. In the earliest times of British history, the British religion was the dark superstitions of the Druids, the Priests of Mona's isle, who worshipped in the deepest recesses of the woods, and offered up the horrid sacrifice of human victims to the objects of their idolatry. Is this religion a part of the Cotnmon Law? When the Romans came they brought with them the Gods of Rome, and Ceesar, who found London a great place, and as Shakspeare tells us in Richard the Third, built the Tower, bore with him the God of War and the other Gods of his Country. Did the religion of ancient Rome become a part of the Common Law of England ? When the Saxons invaded Britain, they brought with them their Gods of War, Woden and Thor ? Did the Saxon religion become a part of the Common Law ? Yet two days in the week in England and the United States, Wednesday and Thursday bear the names of their Deities, and have perpetuated the memory of these " fabled Gods " even to the present day. It was not till the reign of Claudius, the successor of Tiberius in whose reign Jesus Christ was crucified, that Christianity was introduced into England, by means of the conversion of a noble Jady, by a missionary from Rome. Up to that period surely, Christianity was no part of the Common Law of England. The religion of England has been often changed, and the dates of the changes, are well known, and some of them are recent affairs. But the Common Law is of immemorial antiquity, and as old as the native Britons, say the English law books, and therefore these various kinds of religion, introduced within legal memory, and can be no part of this system of immemorial antiquity. England after the introduction of Christianity embraced the Catholic religion."





29 posted on 09/11/2009 3:34:44 PM PDT by OldSpice
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To: OldSpice

Yes. this is the Anglo-Saxon theory ,and it is proposed to discredit Roman Catholicism. The fact is that we know almost nothing of the history of England from 500 to 600. This was the time when Arthur was supposed to have ruled, but nothing but, as you know, that is not history. What is history is that the kings of England were converted to Catholicism. something that New England did not find a pleasant thought. The historical record in England begins aboout the year 600 with the arrival of Augustine. Anglo-Saxon law as it existed at the time of the Congress was subject to revision according to the methods of canon law was was itself in its early stages of development. The truth of the assertions about earlier Germanic law is that” barbarism” was also part of English law.

30 posted on 09/11/2009 10:01:05 PM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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Vishnu, Krishna, Braham, Hannuman, etc., etc. That doesn't sound monotheistic to me.

I once spoke to a Hindu priest who informed me that many of the other gods are mostly aspects or avatars. The main gods are three ....Brahma, Visnu (or Vishnu) and Siva (Shiva). Now it gets interesting ...those three gods are actually a trinity (called the 'Trimurti'), very similar to God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit (in their case, Brahma the Creator, Visnu the Sustainer, and Siva the Destroyer). The Trimurti, like the Trinity, are actually one being known as Brahman (not to be confused with Brahma, who is the Creator figure in the Trimurti). Thus, said the priest, Hindus when you distill it are monotheistic.

Thus, it is quite interesting. For instance ...Krishna is an avatar of Visnu (Visnu came in several forms, Krishna being one of the more famous ones). Deities like Hanuman, Indra or Ganesh are lower ranking gods ...think of them like 'hyper-powered' saints.

Anyways, religion is weird - all these men saying all these things (be they Christian men, Buddhists, Hindus, Daoist, etc). Personally, my personal relationship with Christ is as close to religion as I want to be.

31 posted on 09/16/2009 5:55:16 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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