The Slow Painful Death of Secularism

16Jul08

There is only so much bullshit you can take on any given day.

The faculty at St Stephens, Delhi is apparently conducting a boycott (although the brother was still rushing to class when I last checked) in an attempt to protest againts the ludicrous move by the college to enforce a quota for Christians in faculty recruitment.

What is bound to really rile people up is a statement by theย  spokesperson for Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, Father Dominic Emmanuel on CNN IBN’s Face the Nation. He goes onto say that academic excellence is not as important when compared to (wait for it) following the ‘call’ of Jesus Christ. Coming form a christian minority institution (that infringed on almost every fundamental right) myself, it irks me to see that one of the premier institutes in the country has to bear the brunt of illogical and neanderthal decisions made by the f*ckwits (thankyou, P Z Myers!) who actually have a say in matters that concern them in no discernable way. Add to that, Stephens is a publicly funded institution; so basically everyone gets to sow but few reap. Go figure.

Source: Minority quota in colleges a huge mistake

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20 Responses to “The Slow Painful Death of Secularism”

  1. 1 Swen

    I saw the Priest babble on TV, but thankfully I wasn’t paying attention.

  2. Itz just a matter of time before fanatical Christians run around with C4s around their waist. “The Call” !

  3. I don’t think you’ll like what I am going to say, but I like to be frank and pardon me if I seem like I am preaching to you.

    Maybe you should look at the history of the college and the reason why and how it become such a premier institute. And I agree with the priest. You might call it fanatical, I don’t blame you nor do I expect you to understand.

    My whole family are a bunch f*ckwits, my dad and mom served as missionary doctors in the most remote and backward places in the country, my brother another f*ckwit is planning to do the same once he completes his MBBS, by the way he is studying in Christian Medical College Ludhiana which at one time was a premier institute till some idiots like they are doing in St. Stephens, decided that it was time to stop calling it christian and make it a secular place, since that time its has been losing everything, reputation, money, quality. Another one of my friend studying in CMC Vellore (different place all together) one of the top Christian Hospitals/College in the whole country, plans to go to the remote North East and work there. She studied well and was a topper in her Class/City in school but she couldn’t afford the atrocious fees that most medical colleges asked, again because her parents were Missionaries and they didn’t have the money, guess who helped her? her annual fees is just RS 7000 including hostel and food, but she still had to write the entrance exams and pass the interview, why so that other non-Christians could also stand a fair chance.

    In case you are confused with the words missionaries since most people seem to have distorted its meaning. Its not someone who takes a bible and roams around trying to convert people. Its someone who feels he has a calling from god to make the world a better place either through social/medical/educational means based on christian principals and most of it believe me does not involve any kind of preaching, converting or evangelizing.

    There are 1000 more Christian NGOs than any other organizations in India most of them won’t be even registered. 50 to 80 percent of Christians tithe, the money for which is used to fund NGOs and social work. My own church gives free education to slum children.

    Thousands of Christians have received quality education because we were just Christians. Not everyone can be as brilliant as you or your brother. Its not a religion its a way of life.

    We have given back much more to this country than you’ll ever know or imagine. You see us on the surface, in the media but not on the inside. I don’t blame you cos you haven’t seen the genuine Christians yet, its easy to talk and project about the bad things not the good. Don’t let you past experiences dictate your current thinking, your just 24 you see observe and read and then form your opinions there are a lot of things unseen and unexplained, your blind to them.

    You haven’t seen a blind man receive sight, a lame man walk, guess what the media doesn’t know this doesn’t care, will never know, why because its illogical not possible, what does not make sense doesn’t matter to this world. they need a reason for everything or else they’ll will never believe.

    By the way I don’t consider the Catholic or the Orthodox christian, but among them there are a lot of genuine people.

    You type in a URL, read the news and then grab on to the words “The โ€˜callโ€™ of Jesus Christ” and get all worked up. We have not infringed on any fundamental rights maybe its time for you too look at how our Hindu, or Muslim brothers are handling things. Ever heard of Christians persecuting other religions? No I guess not.

    Oh and by the way like you say we are a minority so why get all worked up if you feel we are doing something wrong, it shouldn’t effect a lot of people would it? Leave us alone focus on what the majority seems to be doing wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

    You have eyes, but you cannot see. You have ears, but you cannot hear. Jeremiah 5:21

    “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong”
    1 Corinthians 1:27

  4. 4 ramblingperfectionist

    @Arpit:

    DUDE. Relax, and read the whole thing before you get caught up on the f word. His problem is NOT with people doing missionary work-well, not here, anyway- but rather with the idea that a publicly funded institution should put “the call of God” over its more obvious goal of academic excellence. I have no idea what the deal is with CMC Ludhiana but I highly doubt that the decision to take the best of all the students that applied as opposed to only some of the best was what led to (again, your opinion: I don’t know, but I actually thought it was doing OK) its “losing everything”.

    >>”Ever heard of Christians persecuting other religions? No I guess not.”
    Man, seriously? Ever heard of the Crusades? Ever heard of the Spanish Inquisition? Ever heard of George frigging Bush?No one is denying that Christian churches and missionaries do some good. But that doesn’t mean you can forget everything else.

    >>”By the way I donโ€™t consider the Catholic or the Orthodox christian, but among >>them there are a lot of genuine people.”
    OK, this I just plain didn’t get. On what grounds would you exclude the 2 oldest churches from the christian community? I have always considered more humanist than an orthodox christian, but this is the first time I’ve been told that “Orthodox Christian” might not be something I have the OPTION to call myself. Thank you for condescending to admit SOME of us might be fit to be considered christians, though.

    >>”Oh and by the way like you say we are a minority so why get all worked up if you >>feel we are doing something wrong, it shouldnโ€™t effect a lot of people would it? >>Leave us alone focus on what the majority seems to be doing wrong”
    Ditto. I assume this is the “its not wrong if I only steal a LITTLE bit” argument. I just don’t get why you would mention it and then expect to be taken seriously.

    PS: 100% genuine question, have you actually ever seen “a blind man receive sight, a lame man walk”?

  5. @Arpit No offense taken and knowing us, we’ll still be good friends.

    However, I have to point out that a huge part of your argument hinges on the fact that you seem to say that you have to be a Christian to do some/any good; that I find a very naive outlook. Saying that the Christian missionaries have done more good than any other community is a tad…well, fanatical and delusional. There are Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Atheists who have done more or less the same amount of good to society.

    I for one personally know a huge group of people (who happen to call themselves humanist atheists) who run an NGO and seem to do it out of a genuine concern for humanity and their fellow beings as opposed to people who go out on;y after receiving a ‘call’. You don’t need a reason to do be good. Morality is not something ingrained from religion.

    As for Christians persecuting, I hope the above comment clears that up. We live in an age where inspite of all the advances man has made, we still somehow need the security of the unexplained.

    “Thousands of Christians have received quality education because we were just Christians.”

    Dude, how can you even say that? So what about people of other faiths? What about extremely gifted Hindu or Muslim kids?

    Now you and I both know that I don’t hold a personal grudge to your family; I’m sure they’re very nice people. But to think that you *have* to be a Christian to be good is plain naive.

    Also, I’m afraid you’ve missed the point of my rather hurried rant/post. I was angry at a priest who kept saying, “What’s the big deal with academic excellence?” over and over on national television.

    @ramblingperfectionist: I could not have put it better. Seriously.

  6. @ramblingperfectionist:
    Dude, thank you for writing that answer. Now I don’t have to. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @presti:
    Finally, my chance to use the word! ASSPANDAS! ๐Ÿ™‚

    A university, which subscribes itself to educating the mental elite (not all unis do, but it sounds like St Stephens does), should never consider religion as a reason to admit or not to admit any students.

  7. @ ramblingperfectionist I am relaxed, ๐Ÿ™‚ just thought I would give you guys some food for thought since you guys like to discuss so much about atheism and are anti-religion.

    anyways.

    “On what grounds would you exclude the 2 oldest churches from the christian community? ”
    If Christianity is not based on the Bible and is rooted in their own rigid rules and traditions I don’t consider it Christianity its just a Religion. I don’t want to elaborate on this you’ll have to do your own research on this. Try searching “Born Again” Christians.

    “well, fanatical and delusional, ”
    No its not my friend. That because I don’t know any Muslims or Hindus Willing to go and work in extremely remote parts of the country under harsh conditions just because they believe GOD told them to ๐Ÿ˜‰ , even if there are I can guarantee you it wont be more than a handful.

    “You donโ€™t need a reason to do be good.”
    what do you mean by doing good like giving a part of your salary for Charity? Working for an NGO? How many of you atheists are willing to give and dedicate your entire life for GOOD, a few hundreds ? You guys live by logic and you do need a reason to do good. the reason can be anything the fact that doing good gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, but its still a reason. We don’t need that reason it called Faith.

    “I for one personally know a huge group of people (who happen to call themselves humanist atheists) who run an NGO”
    Just one ? I know thousands. Most of them you’ll never hear about, from housewifes who teach slum kids to medical doctors to CEO who donate huge amounts for charity and mission work.

    “Dude, how can you even say that? So what about people of other faiths? What about extremely gifted Hindu or Muslim kids? ”

    They have their own Colleges and Institutes that can take care of them why bother, why mess with the few good institutes our kids go to ?

    “But to think that you *have* to be a Christian to be good is plain naive.”
    huh who said that? I never meant that. you are drawing your own wrong conclusions. And this is nothing about good or bad.

    And I agree with the priest โ€œWhatโ€™s the big deal with academic excellence?โ€. I rather have people with strong morals, and values.

    Who sets the standards for these Morals and Values? We have a 2000 year old legacy which has stood the test of time.

    What about you guys what is your standard for Morals and values. There is got be a standard. If not your like a wandering nomad picking things along the way.

    And please I am not making this a Atheists are BAD and Christians are GOOD argument. I am just saying as Christians we have a far higher bar when it comes to doing GOOD because it is what we are called for and taught to do whether we like it or not. And we try our best to do it. Its a different Issue that most Christians do not follow its principals and for most its just a religion or something good to hang on to.

  8. Man, seriously? Ever heard of the Crusades? Yeah I have and how long back was it ? 1000 years ago? ever heard of Hindu fanatics in Orissa burning down villages because so of them decided to convert to Christianity out of their own free will? Heck there are countless stories across the country that I can right now tell you, you won’t read them in the newspapers you get.

    Ever heard of George frigging Bush? yes I have. whats wrong with him? or more like whats so christian about him?

  9. @Prestidigitator: Dude, when do you suppose this sort of crap will end? Do you see the end of religion anytime soon?

    @Arpit: Phew! I am not all that well informed about most of the issues you brought up. But before I say what I want to say, let me just give you a small introduction about my upbringing. I was born into a very devout Roman Catholic family, after my mum married my step-dad, I’ve been raised as an Oriental Orthodox. Somewhere along the way, I became an Atheist. I go to a Greek Orthodox church every Sunday. I’ve realized that God and religion can be mutually exclusive. I subscribe to the view that God does not exist and that I need religion to root me to the traditions that I’ve been raised in. Thus you can say I am an Atheist who doesn’t look down on Theists.

    “If Christianity is not based on the Bible and is rooted in their own rigid rules and traditions I donโ€™t consider it Christianity its just a Religion.” You are obviously referring to the Orthodox faith. Sure we Orthodox Christians stick to the old ways. But we don’t really deny that. The fact that the same faith has to be polished and changed according to the times to match the expectations of a target audience makes ‘Born Again’ Christianity nothing more than a product and immediately suspect in my eyes as anything more that putting (LOL) old wine in a new wineskin. We don’t need the neo-evangelical interpretations of the Bible when the ecumenical councils have interpreted everything we need from it already. Also, in all of history, Orthodox faith never had the imperialist or oppressive urges that other denomination of Christianity has. We prefer to stick to our faith and keep it to ourselves.

    “I am just saying as Christians we have a far higher bar when it comes to doing GOOD because it is what we are called for and taught to do whether we like it or not.” Ouch! That is the sort of statement that puts down Christianity man. Suddenly morality and ethics seems to fall only in the Christian domain. And that is such a preposterous statement to make. Frankly, if you use such a barometer for measuring goodness, shouldn’t an Atheist who helps people out of his own goodness be more of a humanist than a Christian? I mean, an Atheist would be doing it selflessly, without any expectations or rewards (unlike Christians who are booking for themselves a place in Heaven). As for Christians being “taught to do (doing GOOD) whether we like it or not”, how different is that statement from the one a jihadist makes? All I see here is a statement about how one religion (Christianity) is better than everything else, and one group of people (Christians) are better than everybody else on the planet.

    “They have their own Colleges and Institutes that can take care of them why bother, why mess with the few good institutes our kids go to.” Seriously bro. Our? Their?

    I feel we should accept that we are no better than anybody else, as an individual, or a community, or a religion. And that the one thing that binds us is our humanity, not our faith. The beliefs we should subscribe to should not be about excluding, but about including and accepting. I accept that your faith in God is as good as my lack of faith in him.

    Now then, when do we get together for a beer?

  10. @Arpit:

    1. “That because I donโ€™t know any Muslims or Hindus Willing to go and work in extremely remote parts of the country under harsh conditions just because they believe GOD told them to ๐Ÿ˜‰ , even if there are I can guarantee you it wont be more than a handful. ”

    Not to compare or anything, but from what I hear, there are tonnes of non-christians who are willing to blow themselves up because of a ‘call’ from god. I’d say they were more committed to ‘the call’. Note that I’m not being condescending here; I cannot seem to phrase it any better.

    2. Like Baphomet said, if atheists/non-believers don’t need a reason to be good but still choose to be good, doesn’t that make them better than, well, you? It’s almost as if you’re saying that if you didn’t believe in a god, you’d have no qualms about raping and plundering. I repeat, morality does not have anything to do with religion.

    3. “And I agree with the priest โ€œWhatโ€™s the big deal with academic excellence?โ€. I rather have people with strong morals, and values.”

    Why not just start sunday schools and simply teach ‘morals and values’. Stay out of academia if academic excellence is not an issue. But then again, academia is where the money is.

    4. “They have their own Colleges and Institutes that can take care of them why bother, why mess with the few good institutes our kids go to ?”

    That is a pretty prejudiced and loaded statement and frankly, I’m surprised you said that. That’s something I (the heathen) would say, no?

    5. “Ever heard of George frigging Bush? yes I have. whats wrong with him? or more like whats so christian about him?”

    Everything. A government that thinks its pursuing God’s will; no different from the Hindus and Muslims that burn buses and buildings. They all have one thing in common – a convoluted sense of morality and values.

    6. “Who sets the standards for these Morals and Values? We have a 2000 year old legacy which has stood the test of time. ”

    Please, if there is one thing about religion, it is that it *hasn’t* stood the test of time. Just saying it does not make it any more true. Religion unlike science (based on reason and logic) is unafraid to make or even admit mistakes. And since when is reason and logic such a bad thing?

    @Baphomet: Is it just me…or are you turning into a moderate? Or am I turning into one of those militant atheists? :\

  11. @Prestidigitator: Think of it this way – I don’t care what everyone believes in as long as I can read my books, watch my movies and drink my booze in peace without their beliefs obstructing my self-centered activities in any way. Is that being a moderate? Its more like being lazy, no?

    And no, you are not turning into a militant Atheist. Both of us know, that we don’t speak out about our faith unless someone or something willingly provokes it out of us.

  12. 12 Ravenent

    I appreciate the stand taken by ramblingperfectionist and bApHoMEt above.

    I’m not gonna write a long post re. this issue, ‘cos I’m only liable to get hot under the collar. Basically, some of the posts above only serve to make it all the more clear what exactly is wrong with religion and the way it’s (mis)used by people to further their own agendas.

    All I’d like to say is, Father Emmanuel pi**ed me off with his comments and I’d have reacted the same way if it had been a priest, an imam, a rabbi etc. Unfortunately though, academic excellence seems to have anyway fallen out of favour of late, and the problem pretty much predates this specific incident. No wonder we keep hearing dire predictions about the standard of college graduates nowadays and the fact that there’s going to be a massive shortage of teaching faculty in the years to come.

    I’d just like to end by saying that I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time as when I did after reading those two sentences about blind men receiving sight and lame men walking, and “Ever heard of Christians persecuting other religions? No I guess not.” What a hoot! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. ha ha ha ๐Ÿ˜€ you guys made this in to tennis match ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was wondering when someone was going to say each to his own opinions (we agree to disagree) we could keep going back and forth. You could take each of my points twist and turn and counter it. All I am saying generalizing everything and seeing Christianity from your angle doesn’t make you see the full picture.

    I could find hundred and one points to counter yours. but I am not here to convert anyone here just giving you guys food for thought, how I see it from my perspective.

    Whether you like it or not religions is here to stay. And please don’t compare us to the Hindus or the Muslims or any other religion, if anyone of our people have resorted to violence then they have been purely misguided.

    If there is a GOD we win you lose, again if there is no GOD we still win and you win ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. And please donโ€™t compare us to the Hindus or the Muslims or any other religion, if anyone of our people have resorted to violence then they have been purely misguided.

    I wanted to refrain from posting, but OUCH! That hurt.

    I’d keep it short. I guess we are discussing about two very exclusive topics under the same roof. The missionary tasks carried out by Christians (and non-Christians), and the education related discussion.

    Any selfless help to humanity done by an individual in general, IMHO, does not attribute to his race (again, refrain from using the world religion). Although, it might be true that Christians do so for they consider helping others as there sole mission in life (which btw, is an amazing thing), but that doesn’t AT ALL mean that others do less any good to others. I have personally been involved with a LOT of non-Christians in the past who’ve dedicated their lives for others. Had I not known you, I’d have been offended. Your sentence simply washes off all their hard-work.
    Again, selfless dedication is a choice, not an attribute related to any religion.

    Secondly about the education. Your sentence on keeping the institutes separate disturbs me. On one hand, you talk about complete dedication and service, and on the other, you close the door for people who could be benefited in your company!

    I’ve been a part of both the *religions* –atheism and theism (currently the latter), and know that these are never ending discussions. People from one *religion* seldom listen to others’ points, yet I had to drive-by. ๐Ÿ™‚

    …and what happened to you blog man?

  15. 15 Ravenent

    And please donโ€™t compare us to the Hindus or the Muslims or any other religion, if anyone of our people have resorted to violence then they have been purely misguided.

    As opposed to “other” people (read, “Hindus or the Muslims or any other religion” ) who have not been misguided if they’ve resorted to violence? Any sane person would agree with me that anyone who resorts to violence in the name of religion is misguided, and not just Christians. For someone who claims to be a true Christian, your implication that people of other religions are not misguided and yet commit violence is quite offensive to say the least.

    If there is a GOD we win you lose, again if there is no GOD we still win and you win.

    Yay! Let’s all be happy that you have a vindictive God who supposedly wants you to turn the other cheek and forgive, yet would not mind punishing “us” for daring to not believe in Him (no possibility of Her I guess), even though we may have been ‘good’ (a relative term) otherwise. Woohoo! Let’s kill the unbelievers! Then again, that’s what the Bible, Quran etc. say, right?

    Your vacuous rhetoric and repeated emphasis on the dichotomy between “us” and “them” is precisely symptomatic of the socially divisive malaise in general that religion engenders. It’s always a case of “us” and “our way of life” that needs to be protected from “them” who hate “us” and all that “we” stand for. Then you (not “you” in particular, in case it’s not clear) go and bomb others who turn around and use those very same words to justify their own actions.

    Also, not to put too fine a point on it, but somehow minority groups (not just religious ones, mind you) always seem to suffer from some sort of persecution complex (even when it’s not justified and there’s no one expressly out to get them) that leads to them becoming increasingly insular and protectionist in outlook as time goes by. What we’re seeing on a daily basis in the world is the natural outcome of such paranoia that is fanned by vested elements and so we end up with a whole planet consumed by hatred towards one and all and hurtling towards mutual destruction and total annihilation. I don’t have to spell out the fact that atheists never came up with eschatological concepts such as Armageddon. It was religion that conjured up the self-fufilling prophecy and religion that leads us boldly towards the End of Days. Way to go!

    Meh. I know this is one of those arguments that can go on ad infinitum (then again, maybe not, for the End of Days is bound to intervene and spoil the fun) but I can’t help but react to posts that make the bile rise and leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

  16. @Bipin 3~ Upadhyay

    Screw the blog I haven’t given it up completely but there is more to life than sitting in front of the dumb computer. you suddenly wake up one day, ask yourself what the hell have you been doing. I have wasted a lot of time reading, thinking, gaining knowledge, pretending to be smart to what gain is that? Time to go out there and do some real stuff and get your hands dirty. Life is short and beautiful. I been hiking, trekking, started a small band, got a bike been roaming around the whole city, hanging out with people, don’t get time to sit on the computer once I am outta the office. I do all my online catching up during office hours lol ๐Ÿ˜€ .

    who wants to come with me on a trek to the most beautiful places in the country? I have found some of the most amazing places. http://del.icio.us/clazh

  17. @everyone you guys think too much ๐Ÿ˜‰ keep life simple its not that complicated unless you want it to be ๐Ÿ™‚ .

  18. Don’t have the time to get into an extended debate, so will just point out that George frigging Bush is one of your “true” Born Again Christians. That’s right, not even one of us not-quite-Christian-in-spite-of-founding-it Catholics or Orthodox Christians, he’s a real live converted “Born Again”!!! In fact, he publicized that fact quite heavily during his election campaign. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. 1 Redirect: on Reservations « The Ego Chronicles

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