I am glad that the anonymous commenter left his/her thoughts about the caste system in India and elsewhere. Anonymous brought up many issues for thought, and before I continue with the description of the trip to India, I want to address some of the concerns that have been brought up.
First off, I want to assure Mr. Anonymous that I want India to prosper and be successful. If I could snap my fingers and make poverty go away, I would do so in a heartbeat. As for why I don’t bring up the “caste system” in the Philippines or Brazil or elsewhere, it is because I am unaware that it exists. And if it does, let me go on record as saying that I hate it there as well. The reason I did not mention Japan’s cast system or some other system is because I did not just return from those countries. Fair enough? I’m not going to defend discrimination of any kind based on race, creed, or tribe in any country or religion.
For the non-Indian readers of this blog, I ask you to please read the comment that anonymous left. I believe that you will find them insightful as to the attitudes of some in India towards the West. In his comment, anonymous insinuates that it was an “Aryan group” from central Asia that made up the caste system and Hinduism. Further, it is said that Hugo Chavez is feared because he is upsetting “the Christian caste system.”
I grieve that the word ‘Christian’ can even be used to modify the word ‘caste’ in anyone’s mind, but anonymous certainly believes it. There is nothing Christian about the caste system; it is evil. You cannot support it from Christian Scripture. The good news of Jesus Christ overthrows discrimination; it certainly does not condone it. Jesus Christ came to set men and women free from sin and its penalty. Further, the fact that God became man elevates the status of every man, woman, and child on this planet. Jesus was born as a poor carpenter’s son from Nazareth. There is simply no way that a Christian can excuse prejudice of based on birth or privilege.
But I want to make a point that Anonymous did not address. Really, all he has done is attempt to distract from the issue. The fact of the matter is that discrimination is apparent and obvious in India, despite Mr. Anonymous’ protests. It does no good to point to another country and ask us to decry unfair treatment there. We’re dealing with India where the caste system is alive and well.
What bothers me is that I saw persecution of Indian Christians by Indian Hindus on Indian soil and I saw that the Indian government was reluctant to prevent it. I know for certain that much of this persecution comes because many are jealous that the Christians are taking outcaste orphans, caring for them, educating them, and elevating their status. I also saw that Hindus were angry because people, of their own will, were converting to Christianity because of the truth about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What makes me sorrowful is that Mr. Anonymous and others in India associate Christianity with the un-Christian conduct of the British and others during colonial rule. What Mr. Anonymous seems to forget is that my country was once a colony as well, and that religious freedom was one of the founding impulses of this country. Legally, Christians have religious freedom to an extent. Practically, they are persecuted, beaten, ostracized, and some have been killed.
The bottom line is that the caste system is just another expression of human sinfulness. It is simply another form of discrimination, and discrimination is common to every country, culture, and nation. But it was worse in India than I have ever seen, even in South Louisiana.
Finally, Mr. Anonymous asks what I will say when India is richer than other countries. I will say, “Hooray for India!” And, I will cheer for their cricket team. I hope that India prospers; I truly do. But my greatest concern is that Christians are allowed to practice their religion without fear of abuse, and that they can evangelize and share their faith without fear of retribution.
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