There seems to be a rule that governments will not act on social issues until societies have demanded action. It is probably more complicated than that. SOME social issues will be politicized and then action will be determined by political expediency. At that point political action will no longer primarily respond to social demand.
A year ago it seemed likely that here in Thailand some form of civil partnership law would be passed, perhaps in a few weeks. Now, a whole year later, we are further away from that prospect, as limited as it was. It seems that one government entity passes it off to another, hearings are held, documents produced, legal opinions emerge, and then we wait. Meanwhile excitement cools. Pressure diminishes, but never quite disappears. Some further step is still on the horizon.
Fortunately, LGBT rights as human rights, including the right for same-sex couples to register their relationship, has not been politicized. So far, here in Thailand, no political group, in order to garner votes and support, has openly declared its opposition to civil partnerships or even marriage. None of the three essential Thai institutions of culture has mounted a campaign against same-sex relationships, LGBT rights, or protection of gender diverse people. That is, the Buddhist hierarchy has not issued an edict on this, as have other religious hierarchies around the world, including the Church of England this week (the Archbishop announcing that sex outside of marriage is contrary to God’s will and same sex couples should practice sexual abstinence). The “palace” has said nothing in this regard. And the government has not acted against normalizing same-sex relationships, as it has sometimes in the past.
That does not mean there has been no progress at all. Official action is not the only form of important action.
In many ways, public media is a better gauge of social opinion. In the past few years there has been a shift away from stereotyping gender diverse people. In television serialized movies, for example, gay and lesbian, and sometimes transgender people, are not always ludicrous or tragic. That’s progress. The number of appearances of gay characters who are just there because they’re there is greater, and the number of gender diverse media personalities (such as emcees on game shows or news announcers) is greater than ever.
An innovation in the last few years, indicating expanded acceptance of gender diversity, is the development of gender-awareness and support organizations. HIV-AIDS used to be just about the only issue that could get an organization going and keep it funded. Now there are organizations and NGOs operating on a number of issues such as human trafficking, theater arts, and academic programs.
New initiatives are being utilized to keep awareness of LGTBKQIA diversity strong. Later in February Chiang Mai Pride will again lead hundreds of us through the city to a rally organized and promoted by the new-bold generation. We are confident of police protection and assistance, whereas ten years ago the police prevented a pride parade and impounded marchers for hours. Earlier in January Dhanareeswara Awards were presented at Chulalongkorn University to those being recognized for outstanding dedication to the “Sexual Diversity Community.” Our friend, Sirisak (pictured above), a tireless human rights advocate was presented one of the statuettes. Sirisak is a leader in using social media and public performance to promote awareness of diversity issues nearly every day. These opportunities were unheard of until recently.
Simultaneously, the ever-rotating cycle of government control of such enterprises as gay and lesbian businesses, even sex-oriented businesses such as massage shops and saunas, seems to have revolved toward less restriction again. But the most noteworthy shift has been toward main-streaming social options for LGKT (Lesbian, Gay, Kathoey, and Trans) people in even smaller cities and towns.
Here in our chain of villages a new generation is entering adulthood, that is, they are exercising their prerogatives. I have noticed that they are doing this cautiously, as the generation before them did, but they are encountering less family resistance. There is not the same anguish to be overcome by several years of patient easing of parental concern. It is easier to get a same-sex spouse or “fan” (boyfriend or girlfriend) welcome and expected at family and clan gatherings. Even more clearly, social circles for emerging new adults are growing gender-blind. It just doesn’t matter as it once did when gay guys had to flock together or hide. They did form social groups, but non-gays weren’t included in any numbers. For the 20-somethings I see around here, the gay-straight binary is not as rigid, the social groups are inclusive, and stress is less. (In the group photo accompanying this essay it’s impossible to guess who’s what). It is still a major decision to transition into Trans, however. [This is a personal observation based on no scientific study].
So, although government action is stalled, the social foundation for government action continues its slow expansion.
Heresy, as we know it in the 21st Century, is departure from the established doctrine of a religious group. So, one group’s orthodoxy might be another group’s heresy. In our modern age, the penalty for heresy tends to be far less than in former centuries. Even arch-conservatives would only expel you from their list of benefits, some supposedly eternal, for advocating heresy. Thus expelled, you would probably be welcome into another group.
Nevertheless, I would like to propose that for every authentic extensive Christian denomination there are at least FIVE HERESIES most of us could agree are unacceptable.
First, a theology is heretical that uses theological rationale to justify leaders who are con-artists, charlatans, or demagogues. In fact, there are other types of leaders who might also be included on the list of those who ought to be excluded from leadership and the theological justification for them exposed as heretical. Impossible as it might seem to disagree with this, in Christianity and every other world-wide religion such leaders have emerged. Theology has always been cited to validate those rogues.
The leader of this type who comes most readily to mind is Jim Jones, who, in the summer of 1977 led about a thousand members of his San Francisco Peoples Temple to build a commune in Guyana. Many studies and investigations conclude that Jones became a demagogue, which enabled him to execute a plan a year later that led to 918 of his commune being murdered or committing suicide by poison. The teaching and prescribed doctrine that Jones used would surely be branded as heresy by all religions.
Second, a theology is heretical that employs selective literalism in interpreting holy literature. Here, the situation is nearly the reverse of the first type of heresy. Almost every religion in the world has some collection of holy literature that is used to identify the doctrinal position of the religion, and in all cases the use of scripture is selective. Since most “holy literature” is centuries old and is a collection of writings that must be interpreted to apply to present circumstances, the interpretive method is key. In some religions there are interpreters (councils, gurus, etc.) who have authority, whereas in other religions some interpretive framework has been established. Arguments, of course, are to be expected. It is when a group has declared that all of its scripture is equally true, infallible, literally accurate, and wholly to be believed that trouble comes when the group is forced to select some perspectives and exclude others. Heresy happens when a group affirms that scripture is 100% true but some of it must be ignored. Selective literalism is the heresy.
Third, a theology is heretical that contradicts the principle that love is the motive for action in behalf of the endangered, oppressed, victimized, and powerless in the world. A theological position which does that is completely exposed and undeniably heretical when the operating principle is privilege, vengeance, wealth, or glory.
It’s not that such heresy rarely happens. It happens frequently, but is rarely called heretical. Prosperity theologies are widespread and diverse. The groups that espouse them tend to be both those who need them to justify their opulent wealth and those who need them to hope for relief through obedience. Theologies that justify revenge are roundly denounced but stubbornly persistent. Murder of adulterers, or of girls who are raped to defend a clan’s honor are appalling. But theological permission to undertake vengeance is facile. For example, it is disguised as pursuing purity, insisting on morality, or defending the faith, but always against others (unless it is used confessionally to avoid being declared one of the others).
Fourth, a theology is heretical that asserts a fixed and final knowledge of the will of God, a limited and exclusive number of those who can know that will, and an egocentric (we/us) declaration of who alone can fulfill God’s will.
The most pervasive heresy is this: that we alone know and do what God wants. We are exceptional in that regard. We are the exclusive owners of the truth. We are right, but more importantly, others are wrong. None get to God but by and due to us.
Here I feel called to defend Christianity. It is one thing for Christians to insist that Jesus declared himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that none get to the Father God but by me, and it is quite another thing to insist we followers of Jesus also possess such far-reaching prerogatives. Heresy is on the way when religious people become content with their status, and also when they become convinced of their exclusive claim on the truth. It is not only polite to listen to others; it is inevitably productive of expanded wisdom. I believe the distinction between conservative Christians and heretical conservative Christians is clear. To put it simply, Jesus Christ may be the way to God but that does not mean we are.
Fifth, a theology is heretical that refuses to acknowledge the possibility and consequences of heresy.
Christ Hedges put it this way, “The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce … heretics.”*
It is nice to just be kind to everyone, but failure to oppose those who are dangerous and destructive does not solve any of the world’s threats. Rising fascism and militant nationalism are potentially lethal, beginning with the marginalized and those targeted for destruction. That is why a theology that validates such ideas is heretical. When a political power declares its intent to demonize those who are helpless, no matter how they are helpless or who they are, religious spokespersons and advocates are heretics. Their heresy should be exposed and their religious pretences opposed. It will not likely cause them to change their minds, but it will rally those who are not yet impotent and feckless to oppose them.
The largest reason why people see religion as useless is because the heretics are so destructive and others are so passive.
*Chris Hedges, “Onward, Christian Fascists” in truthdig, Dec. 30, 2019.
[A previous essay in this short series was “Wrong Theology” posted November 8, 2019, http://www.kendobson.asia/blog/wrong-theology ]
REFLECTIONS ON REAL HISTORY
In one of the most famous speeches in the twentieth century, on March 6, 1946 at Presbyterian-related Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill declared, “Beware … time may be short …. From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent [of Europe].”
At the time, scarcely six months after the peace treaty signed on the deck of the Missouri had ended World War II, no one wanted to hear that some of the agreements between former allies were tragically flawed, or that Josef Stalin had become a force in Europe more hideous than Hitler. But Albania, then Yugoslavia, and later East Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia each found herself imprisoned, as Churchill had warned, behind a wall of iron.
Every voice of opposition was smothered as intellectual, political, and economic life in these countries of the “Second World” fell in line to serve communism controlled by Stalin. As the Iron Curtain descended, victims mounted, soon equaling and then exceeding those of the war just ended. Those who refused to turn their creativity, their devotion, and their will over to the state were tortured, brainwashed, or deported to the Stalags of Siberia. Millions were simply buried, dead or alive, in immense graves carved out of pine forests; while all the rest of the people of Eastern Europe slaved to produce ships, food, coal, trucks, and everything else at prices Stalin set, while subsisting on scraps for themselves. Life behind the Iron Curtain was grim and gray, with the tap root of incentive severed, and the increasingly rare flowers of hope for a better life chopped off.
Still, here and there, defying the intimidation of the secret police, people plotted and planned to risk everything to escape. Several tried to twist through the tangled barbed wire or scaled the concrete walls, some swam, a few tried to fly to freedom. A handful escaped, most did not. Others applied for exit visas and emigration permits, trying to pry tiny gaps through communist red-tape. Some were branded lunatics for their efforts. A few whose names became known in the West were expelled to Israel or America.
From time to time, the conditions of survival became so unbearable that a popular protest, a labor strike, or political demonstration attempted to pressure the Socialist bureaucracies into a measure of decentralization. The response was rapid, tanks firing on unarmed crowds, the public protestors publicly repressed, and in the silence that followed, thick with darkness, a massive round-up of people who had ever dared to think deviant thoughts of freedom, self-determination, and relief.
The Iron Curtain was possibly more awful than even Churchill had imagined.
However, the descent of the Iron Curtain across Europe also marked the beginning of a tragic chapter in the history of Western Europe, countries of America, and the rest of the “First World.” As the curtain descended on nations now under Soviet domination, the first world shuddered. The specter of war haunted the halls of Washington, London, Paris and Geneva. And the reality of the threat was demonstrated repeatedly, as Mao Tze Tung completed the Communist seizure of China, as North Korean communists tried to conquer the rest of the peninsula, as Khruschev sat defiantly at the Soviet desk at the United Nations pounding his shoe on the table and announcing, “We will bury you.” America believed John Foster Dulles who predicted that the nations of South East Asia or Central America would fall like dominoes if any one of them toppled to Communism. J. Edgar Hoover began uncovering the Red Threat much closer to home during those days. Spies had wormed their way into every sector of American industry and government.
One result was that both the first and second worlds, both the industrialized nations of the West and the nations behind the Iron Curtain, had to devote incredible percentages of their gross national products to armaments in the name of national defense. Every menace, real, potential, or imaginary, had to be prepared for. More money was spent on armaments in the name of national defense than ever had been spent on the military before, leading to temptations to use the weapons and the technology to make preemptive attacks against targets that were presumed to be on the way to becoming a threat.
As much because of nervousness and the proximity of arms as anything, proxy wars and military strikes blew up in Angola, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Lebanon, the Sudan, the Falkland Islands, Chad, the Persian Gulf, and, of course, in Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Instead of the benefits of peace at the end of the Second World War, the world on both sides of the Iron curtain knew the iron grip of four decades of Cold War.
A second result of the Iron Curtain has been what it has done to people. Even human respect has been destroyed. People on both sides of the Iron Curtain grew to forget that beneath all the political rhetoric and behind all the machines of war and defense were PEOPLE. At any moment this monstrous forgetfulness could have turned into nuclear tragedy. It already amounted to a tragedy of international paranoia, fed by a climate that made no allowance for one universal fact. It is one of the ironic triumphs of the Cold War that even in the United States, the country that should be first to trumpet the innate irrepressible nature of the human spirit, even in the USA nearly everyone forgot to count on the power of the idea of freedom, the power of human dignity, and the force of people whose wills are fused.
We were amazed and unprepared when the Communist Party lost an open election in Poland and stepped aside for a Solidarity government. We were mystified when Czechoslovakia refused to send thousands of vacationing East Germans back home at the end of summer in 1989, and when soldiers began snipping the barbed wire fences along the Hungarian frontier. We did not really catch up with the tide of events until the East German government announced that the Berlin Wall would be opened, and then tens of thousands of people started to chip away at the concrete barrier, and $10 chunks of it began showing up for sale as Christmas presents in New York and Chicago.
Then it hit us that the Iron Curtain which Churchill saw descending on Europe in 1946 had disappeared. It was being dismantled even as the Berlin Wall was crumbling and the barbed wire was being cut between Hungary and Austria. The Iron Curtain was removed and no Soviet tanks rolled into Sophia, Bulgaria to keep the Communist Party from being swept aside and no Russian MIGs on Christmas Eve strafed Belgrade to save the life of Ceausescu in Romania.
The Iron Curtain which rumbled down so visibly and terribly across thousands of miles of Europe was never anything more substantial than the willingness of the Soviet Red Army to go to war for their Communist underlings. It took nothing more than the will of Mikhail Gorbachev to divert military spending away from the Cold War into industrial and commercial development of Russia, and then millions of people were free.
The world, as it turns out, was not ready for this to happen.
The sudden end of Communism in East Germany, advocated so effectively by pastors, brought about the collapse of industry and businesses and the grim, but reliable, stability of people’s incomes. It has taken another 30 years to recover.
As the Cold War ended thirty years ago, a preacher in the East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, prophetically asked, “What enemy will America imagine next?” That shocking question has resonated across the decades.
America, it seems, cannot do without an enemy to oppose. Nor can America’s European ancestral nations. Against all odds and common values, the world has evolved a new sort of war, a continuation of the Cold War that flourished.
In 1989 we did not imagine how the Cold War would evolve. We did not foresee how the territorial issues between Israel and Palestine would expand into something like an emergence of the Medieval Crusades, but without marching armies focused on recapturing or defending Holy Land. Instead, the motives are revenge, that ravenous and insatiable beast that insinuates itself in human souls. Instead of walled citadels, the targets of the new Cold War are ever shifting and unpredictable. One act of revenge, by a renegade perhaps, leads to a larger one. A downed plane at Lockerbie led to revenge against the nation of Lybia. The attack on America on 9/11 2001 has led to twenty years of unending and expanding battles from Lebanon to Afghanistan costing trillions of dollars, with tangential battles as far-flung and diverse as those in Mindanao, Nigeria, and Xinjiang. The form of the newly evolved Cold War is also new, employing information technology, cyber terrorism, unmanned weapons run by artificial intelligence, ethnic cleansing, and political alliances more surreptitious than at any time since the age of empires that led to World War I.
In 1945 and again in 1990 peace was won, and rejected.
Friends in First Presbyterian Church of Alton, Illinois: greetings from Chiang Mai, Thailand as we enter the Year of Our Lord 2020. This begins the two hundredth year since the Presbyterian form of Christianity began to shed its influence on the several Altons between where the Illinois River and the Missouri River flow into the mighty and sometimes terrible Mississippi.
Presbyterian preachers found hospitality with pioneer farmer Enoch Long in 1820 and formed a church in June 1821. That church did not thrive but Enoch Long and his family testified ever after that they remained loyal Presbyterians in Upper Alton and joined a second attempt that was more successful. In 1831 a second First Presbyterian Church was organized of which you are the present members.
Threats to Presbyterian ministry and mission recurred. The most dire began in 1837 when opposition to abolition of slavery along with land speculation threatened the church and the martyrdom of the Rev. Elijah Lovejoy led to a financial crisis that nearly wiped out the town and bankrupted the state.
Still the church endured, boosted by several revivals.
During the century 1870 to 1970 First Presbyterian Church of Alton was one of the leading churches in Alton, with community leaders and gentry among its 1200 members at its peak. This congregation was the presbytery’s largest contributor to the world-wide work of the Presbyterian Church for many years in a row. First Presbyterian Church was instrumental in establishing 7 other churches. There were more than 400 children in Sunday school, more than 30 women’s meetings a month, and five large choirs. Perhaps most impressive was the influence of the church on such community enterprises as the YMCA, YWCA, Chautauqua, and later organizations providing services to the community.
Throughout these years of influence and accomplishment there were slumps: the Great Depression, the departure of glass and steel industries, and then the fire that destroyed the sanctuary in 1988.
Meanwhile, the tide was turning for Presbyterians everywhere in America. First came the split over ordination of women, then shifts of priorities that eroded the importance of Sunday morning, and pretty soon churches began to close.
In Alton the list of closed churches now includes all the Presbyterian churches except this one. It is the same all over. In my home town where there were 3 Presbyterian churches, now there is one; all the rural Methodist churches are closed and the three United Methodist Churches in town are also reduced to one.
For a while it looked like mega-churches would emerge to meet the needs of a new generation, but there are no mega churches drawing 10 thousand participants anywhere between the south suburbs of Chicago and Little Rock. That and many other hopes are fading.
As we look at our empty pews and aging faithful, it is tempting to despair about the Christian enterprise in America. This brings me back to an inspiring insight from the Old Testament prophet Haggai.
In about the year 520 BC the prophet persuaded the refugees who lived on the rubble of the destroyed city of Jerusalem to re-build a temple. Not long into this project, depression again overwhelmed the builders. The oldest among them could probably remember the splendor of Solomon’s wonderful temple. Even the youngest could see the immense foundation stones of that temple on which they were erecting nothing more than a holy hut.
“Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord … for I am with you. …My Spirit abides among you, fear not.”
Take courage, fear not.
That is not easy advice to take, nor should it be glibly given. Anyone looking around Alton today can see almost a score of closed churches. No one can promise that any particular church will survive the next 50 years. What has happened to churches in Alton in the past 50 years was unexpected and would have been unthinkable in 1970.
Still, “fear not.” Thirty years ago these words were proclaimed from the pulpit of First Presbyterian Church, “There is no evidence at all, that God has ever abrogated the promise of his presence from us. There is not a shred of proof that God has decided to withdraw his Spirit, and let us drift into insignificance. Quite the contrary. Time after time in the history of this congregation God has intervened to rescue it. God has proved his love for this church in every generation. In ways that witnesses professed to be miraculous, God has inspired people to contribute money for a succession of buildings. In every decade God has moved people and initiated groups in this church to accomplish work that has changed the course of lives and even nudged the city and the region. On a daily basis we have seen the hand of God working to guide, to correct, to affirm and to encourage this church. There is no sensible conclusion, then, that God’s promise is less believable than any temporary evidence of decline. The substantial fact is God’s irrevocable word, backed by decades of repeated confirmation, that God loves this church.”
If I were to speak of this now, after thirty years, I would add, “The four buildings that housed First Presbyterian Church since 1820 have been useful, but they are not what God was doing. Nor, is all that God was doing called “Presbyterian.” It is God’s work, begun here long before settlers migrated here, that will continue. It is enough that we know we have an important share of that work to do in our time.”
What God is going to do with this church is “beyond our ken,” as our Scottish forebears put it. We can hope that this lovely building will continue to be useful and appreciated. We can imagine still another “season of revivals” as we had at the turn of the 20th century. But we cannot foresee what God has foreordained and set in motion. We entirely over-rate the importance of what we think we see. For, of all the inscrutable mysteries that engulf us, the ability of our senses to deceive us is perhaps the greatest.
We can succumb to pessimism or we can affirm the promise of Scripture and the evidence of the past two centuries.
“I am [still] with you,” the Lord says. “My Spirit abides with you. Fear not.”
Postscript: Although this is an unsolicited sermon being sent to the congregation I served as pastor thirty years ago, in a larger sense it is a metaphor for all churches in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.
A year ago I made several “grim predictions.” It was my plan to review them on New Year’s Day and see if my track record was as good as Prof. Trelawney’s was in predicting Harry Potter’s demise, including foreseeing a deadly “Grim” in his tea leaves.
PREDICTIONS FOR 2019
1. The coronation of the King of Thailand on May 4-6, together with national elections and the ratification of a new constitution will consolidate the power of the military-royal alliance.
This prediction was more than fulfilled. Thailand now has a complete military-royalist government with many constitutional balances of power and restrictions set aside.
2. The US government will enter a time of crisis ... Donald Trump is losing the support he needs to stay on top. Time is running out on Trump and his dwindling backers.
Although investigations strongly indicate that the Trump administration is flawed and US foreign policy is a shambles, and the US House of Representatives passed articles of impeachment, significant crumbling of Trump’s support has not materialized.
3. 2019 will feature a major re-eruption of abortion battles but the swing is away from the radical right in Europe and America.
No major new initiatives on abortion “erupted” during the past year.
4. My grim prediction for 2019 is that the USA [economy] will pass a tipping point from which it will not recover. This may not be the onset of another economic depression, but it could be a big policy blunder like letting the national debt escalate to the point that borrowers of US dollars disappear and creditors begin to collect US gold, or failure (again) to hold financial magnates accountable at some critical juncture.
My score on this is C: the US economy remains apparently strong and China’s economy is weaker than years past, posing no immediate threat to the USA. But the US debt is skyrocketing under the present administration. Only the Brexit shadow over the European Union has kept investors cautious about withdrawing from the USA.
5. As for Christianity, 2019 will bring still more shift from the northern to the southern hemisphere. In 2019 the United Methodist Church will have its turn. It will be the year they make the choice of which side to take.
Sadly, the United Methodist Church voted to split (not in so many words, of course). The UM conferences in the northern hemisphere were outnumbered by Methodists in Africa and the Philippines when votes were counted on allowing LGBT members to have equity. Splits are inevitable. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest UMC in the USA estimated in a September 2019 speech that the UMC would lose between 3400 and 7500 churches of a total of some 42,000.
6. Higher education is in jeopardy. 2019 will see several closures or mergers of high-profile institutions of higher education.
The decline is slower than I predicted. After decades of increasing numbers of colleges and universities, the USA is now losing about 100 degree granting institutions of higher education a year, and the rate is accelerating. But no high-profile closures or mergers were reported in 2019.
THINGS I FAILED TO PREDICT FOR 2019
1. Public support for action on climate change has been building all year. First, Greta Thunberg swept into the spotlight on center stage and mobilized millions of marchers while getting a Nobel Prize nomination and being named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” Despite government reluctance and even obstacles, public support has grown. Second, historic wildfires and heat in Australia have moved that country into the front line.
2. The Conservative Tory Party in Great Britain won a stunning election and reinforced their mandate to leave the European Union. Nationalist populism shows no signs of diminishing. Hungary, Turkey, India – the list is growing rather than shrinking.
CAUTIOUS AND CHASTENED PREDICTIONS FOR 2020
1. I join Noam Chomsky in predicting that Donald Trump will win a second term as President of the United States. Chomsky and I would love to see Bernie Sanders’s momentum continue, but “THE FEAR” of socialism is too great. As long as that label sticks, as it is sticking and not even being fought, the reality is the vote against Sanders will prevail and suck the strength out of the vote against Trump.
2. In Thailand projects will multiply to normalize the reign of the new King despite royal confiscation of finances, and palace actions being taken to obliviate vestiges of democracy and remove memorials to those who brought about the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.
3. The Church of Christ in Thailand will face possible humiliation and governmental scrutiny as one after another of the present administration’s decisions are investigated. Already, administration of Bangkok Christian College has been taken over by a commission appointed by the Thai Ministry of Education. These threats have reduced the CCT’s ability to respond to its on-going mission.
4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aggressive nationalism in India will either backfire as ethnic-religious minorities unite to oppose infringement of their civil rights and status, or international opposition will materialize as the specter of massive militant Hinduism again looms over South Asia.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.