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Stop Praying to Hindu

Sen. John McCain’s campaign has been attracting such extreme elements that the candidate himself has been forced to defend his opponent.

In the next clip McCain is speaking up close with a woman in the audience who says she can’t trust Obama and then blurts out that it’s because he’s “Arab”. Some reports have it that she said ‘Arab terrorist’. But at least on this tape only ‘Arab’ is audible.

McCain shakes his head, as though losing his patience and snatches the mic back out of woman’s hands. “No, Ma’am. No, Ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.” Again, there’s a lot there when you actually see the video. And I encourage you to watch.[Talking Points Memo | Weird. Sad. Surreal]

Today at a McCain rally at Davenport Pastor Arnold Conrad, who gave the invocation, said:

I would also add, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day.[Think Progress » Minister delivers divisive invocation at McCain event. (Updated with audio)]

To paraphrase Swami Vivekananda, “What have the people who pray to Hindu done to get such dumb bigots?.” Compared to Pastor Arnold Conrad, the hate mongers who wrote the Satyadarshini pamphlet are Einsteins.

Also, a quick note to Pastor Conrad: Our God, Hindu, is not interested in a sophomoric “mine is bigger than yours” competition. Mostly it is because our God, Hindu, is not a God. He is an It — the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe.

10 Responses to Stop Praying to Hindu

  1. B Shantanu October 13, 2008 at 12:47 am #

    Brilliant!

  2. Kedar October 13, 2008 at 1:29 am #

    “Hindu”, is a “God”?

  3. JK October 13, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    Kedar, For guys who have been pastors at at Evangelical Free Church for 37 years, Hindu is a God. I would say, he should get his money back.

  4. froginthewell October 13, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    JK, Vedanta has a notion of “Ishvara” different from Brahman. Ishvara is the universal, and a word like “universal” doesn’t apply to Brahman. eg. the vishva-rUpa-darshanaM of the bhagavad-gItA was a representation of the Ishvara, not brahman. It is still not the simplistic notion these pastors speak about, nevertheless.

  5. Hrishi October 14, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

    Americans are given a lot more respect for their intellect than they really deserve. The average American is quite backward (the Conrad variety or the voter who got impressed with GWB, Jr the second time around).
    So I’m not surprised. See how they’ve handled their economy! I’m told that pizza-delivery boys with an annual income of 30K USD were allowed to own 5-bedroom houses with swimming pools and tennis courts! Lord ‘Hindu’ save us!!

  6. JK October 15, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    froginthewell, thanks! My understanding is that Brahman is formless and something you experience, whereas Ishwara is something finite and external.

  7. Hiren October 15, 2008 at 2:05 am #

    Irrespective of religion, those who want to use religion to do irreligious things will do them anyway.

  8. froginthewell October 15, 2008 at 3:57 am #

    From the dvaitist perspective, as you say, Ishvara is finite and external ( and eternal ).

    I am no expert on the subject, haven’t experienced anything myself, but the following are some ideas I have heard on it, from an advaitin’s perspective.
    Some advaitins seem to talk of Ishvara as “the universal”. According to them the gross body of Ishvara, or “virAT”, is the sum total of all gross bodies and the subtle-body ( sUkShma-sharIra ) of Ishvara is the “universal mind”, which is the aggregate of individual minds.

    According to panchadashi prakRti is of two “grades” – mAyA or pure sattva, as well as avidyA or sattva mixed with rajas and tamas. It says that Ishvara is the “reflection” of brahman in mAyA that, as it were, controls mAyA; while the jIvAtman is the “reflection” of brahman in avidyA. In this characterization, of course, Ishvara is viewed not as His gross body or the mind, just like the jIvAtman doesn’t refer to our gross bodies or minds.

    Again, I suspect all this sRShTi, sthiti, samhAra, “sambhavAmi yugE yugE” etc. refer to Ishvara rather than brahman – as in, Ishvara as a “principle of cosmic order”, which is the “reflection” of brahman in mAyA.

    Again, these are just some words I have come across, my so called understanding is hazy. You might want to read pancadashI or talk to well-read advaitins if interested. Those fellas get really technical!

  9. froginthewell October 15, 2008 at 4:04 am #

    Oops – I might be wrong, in that dvaitins may not consider Ishvara to be finite.

    You might also want to check vishiShTAdvaitic conceptions of Ishvara – the forms Para, Vyuha, Avatara, Antaryamin and Archa. The Antaryamin is certainly not external.

    At any rate, for our pastor guys it is a question of close competition and oneupmanship :-)

  10. Vishal March 12, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Religion has been a part of elections in India as well. In fact political leaders use religion as a means to create vote banks. But this situation is utterly foolish and at an individual level. Can’t comment much on the intelligence level of people as such.

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