Recently I interestingly scrambled through the pages of The Week magazine getting myself updated with its cover issue. However, as if it was unexpected, the cover issue turned out to be on the violence against Christians in India, esp. Orissa. With all the violence going on around, The Week’s focus brought into light a rather different view of the whole situations with respect to Christians. They made the whole situation look like as if the Christians are to blame for it. While the Christians got persecuted and beaten up and some to the extent of even being killed, the cover issue flipped the coin in Orissa. They got in people from the opposing parties to speak up. While the opposition readily spoke up their mind, it embarrassed me slightly.
Back to square one. The VHPs the Bajrang Dal and the other opposition cried aloud their agitation and anger into the pages of The Week. They alleged that the Christians were ‘presenting their gods and goddesses in a bad light’. While the issue of forced conversion was still there present in their allegations, they focused more on this new allegation. The head of the opposition stated that they would continue their violence and attack on churches if the Christians wouldn’t stop forcedly converting and presenting their deities in a bad light. And they stated that if the Christians would stop doing the same, they would too stop their violence.
So what is this ‘presenting their deities in bad light’? It all started when they attacked a church and found a book which accused the gods of the Hindus of various things and thus presented their deities in a bad light. It was this issue that really got into their nerves. But now what was wrong in that? Don’t we have the freedom of speech? Can’t we exercise our rights and speak out our minds to the world? If we do feel that there is something bad in someone else’s god, don’t we have the right to say so?
I guess not!! If you can’t believe it, believe it because God says so, because the Bible says so! If we turn the pages of the scriptures to Exodus 22:28 we see that God tells us not to abuse or speak evil of any god. And here we are writing books and volumes of books over each god of another religion, abusing them and presenting them in a bad light. Well I may argue that God calls the other gods as gods having eyes but can’t see and ears but can’t hear, etc. It’s weird because God didn’t abuse them at all. He just presented the facts as they were. Whether it be an idol of Jesus or an idol of any other god, the fact that an idol is inanimate will always be true. So did God ever abuse any other god? I guess not. If we see the life of Jesus while he lived on this earth, he never disrespected other people’s gods. He gave people the liberty to choose between him and the other gods. So if God didn’t use his liberty as a sovereign God to disrespect any other god, how can we use our so frail liberty to portray any other god in a bad light? Respect all gods, whether you feel that they are true or not.