the Southern Baptists in America declared that Hinduism is a
religion of darkness ruled by the devil and sent out thousands of
prayer books to this affect. The Southern Baptists are no mere
radical fringe group but the largest Protestant sect in America with
over fifteen million members. They include both President Clinton
and Vice-President Gore among their members and Ambassador Seiple as
well, none of whom has specifically criticized them for their views.
They asked all Christians to pray to remove the darkness of Hinduism
and its many idols and replace it with the light of Christ.
Such groups make the same charges
against New Age Americans who explore occult and spiritual
traditions outside of orthodox Christianity. They are also still
trying to stop the theory of evolution from being taught in American
schools and have made headway in several midwestern states! So much
for the idea that American Christians are modern and secular.
America includes some of the most backward religious groups in the
While in the modern world it is
no longer acceptable to use racial slurs because these promote
conflict and hatred, religious slurs,particularly against Hindus,
are still in vogue, though they are roducts of the same intolerance
and bring about the same misunderstandings. While it is considered
to be wrong to call a black person in America a nigger, one can
still call Hindus idolaters and devil-worshippers. Which, I ask you,
is worse and causes more intolerance, to ridicule a persons race
or to demonize his culture and religion? This denigration of
non-White religious traditions also reflects racist attitudes.