It is not only a Hindu issue, it is indeed an American issue. The speaking out shouldn't be just from Hindus, but Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Pagans, Wiccans, Zoroastrians and others as well. Why should anyone stand up for you, if you are not willing to do the same for others?
As people of faith, we condemn the statement made by Kentucky State Senator David Williams, "Williams charged that the actions of Beshear were tantamount to "idolatry." He stated that as a Christian, he would not participate in Jewish, Muslim or Hindu prayers, and hoped Hindus would open their eyes and "receive Jesus Christ as their personal saviour." Williams made this comment about the ground breaking ceremony of a manufacturing plant in Elizabeth Town in Kentucky that Governor Steve Beshear attended.
As a moderate Republican I am embarrassed that almost all of the bigotry in our nation is flowing out of fellow Republicans. It is time for the good Republicans to speak up and stop this flow and at least lose gracefully in 2012. If the economy turns around a little bit even a useless Democrat will win against a Republican. It is time to wake up and speak out against the bigotry of Williams and all others including the Presidential candidates.
Williams also criticized the Governor for sitting cross-legged with a "dot on his forehead," and described the ceremony as "polytheistic."
I have condemned and talked about similar pronouncements from Pat Robertson, Robert Jeffress and a few Muslims and Jewish clerics for their take on idolatry with a primitive understanding. Idols or icons are representations of God for the Hindus, just as the holy books are God's words for the Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.
No one has a right to belittle other's faiths. If Senator Williams has a problem let it be his problem and one should not malign Christianity for his bigotry. Each faith is dear to the believer and no faith is superior to the other. Faith is about humility and not arrogance. All faiths are designed to bring solace to its followers. Religion is a mechanism that gives hopes and restores one's balance with what surrounds one; people and the environment,.
Indeed, we are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. We are represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. Americans together are committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.
No one should have a problem with other's belief, but it should become our problem when someone denigrates it. We must stand up for each one of the 312 Million Americans.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer committed to build a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is fully indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net
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