1. Articles from Aseem Shukla

    1-24 of 39 1 2 »
    1. A Hindu guide to love

      Does the land that gave the world the Kama Sutras really need the lessons of V-Day?  Sure, Hindus allow themselves kama, or creative desires and pleasure, as an acceptable goal of life, though a lower one than that of moksha, or ultimate liberation.  Hindus even have powerful stories of Kamadeva, or the Lord of Love, enlivening their traditions, so where’s the need for Cupid?    

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    2. Abortion: pro-choice and pro-karma

      As with any moral, ethical, personal or spiritual question, any injunctions or edicts are anathema to a Hindu. It is not that Hinduism is ambiguous in its abhorrence of abortion, but it is always put forth as a matter of choice. Ahimsa, non-violence, the most important yama, or ethical construct, expounded upon in Hindu scripture, is clear: if you choose abortion, you take on very bad karma; the results of ...
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    3. Political monotheism and the slippery slope to Tucson

      We watched last week as a moderate governor in Pakistan was gunned down for daring to advocate against the ludicrous anti-blasphemy laws of that country, and observers noted that one's political and humanitarian instincts have deadly consequences there. To speak loudly for persecuted Christians, Ahmadiyyas and Hindus--and against laws that target them--will get you killed. Pakistan did not get to this notorious place in its history overnight. It is ...
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    4. A (Hindu) Christmas Carol?

      "Keep Christ in Christmas!" is the familiar refrain of Christians who fear the secularization of the holy day celebrating the birth of Jesus, their savior. But in America, non-Christians often celebrate Christmas. According to a recent poll by the Christian group LifeWay Research, "A majority of agnostics or those claiming no preference (89 percent), individuals claiming other religions (62 percent), and even atheists (55 percent) celebrate Christmas along with 97 ...
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    5. Hinduism is not cast in caste

      Millenial questions haunt various religious traditions, and their adherents are too often forced into the roles of apologist or antagonist. Islam is hounded by the questions of extremism and violence--of the past and present; Christianity deals with a history of the crusades and inquisition of yore, and church scandals today; Jews are bedeviled now by the Palestinian question; and Hindus, well, there is the caste conundrum....Please click on the ...
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    6. Must separate church from state...and sex!

      Speaking to a meeting of Hasidic Jewish leaders on Sunday, New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said, "I don't want [children] to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option" to heterosexuality. Religious organizations and people frequently lead opposition to gay rights in the United States. In the August ruling which overturned California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, a witness asserted, "Religion ...
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    7. A mosque, a temple and a court verdict in India

      A mosque, a temple and a court verdict in India
      An emotional battle over a drive to build a mosque on disputed ground--tense with fear of violence-- has transfixed a global audience. The story may be front page on the Washington Post and New York Times, but far from lower Manhattan, all eyes are focused on a town not far from India's eastern border with Nepal, Ayodhya. No shining example of India's vaunted growth or software industry, the ...
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    8. Religious illiteracy's win is pluralism's loss

      In a Pew Forum survey released Tuesday, atheists and agnostic surpass all other groups in their knowledge of religion. How do you explain this? Educational level? That they have given more consideration to the religions they have rejected? Is knowledge of religion important? Why? Every news cycle seems replete with anecdotal evidence attesting to our collective illiteracy. Half of our young Americans couldn't find New York on a map ...
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    9. Beck's false inclusivity

      In the wake of his weekend rally, Glenn Beck kept up the drumbeat of criticism about President Obama's religion, calling it a "perversion" and saying that America "isn't recognizing his version of Christianity," which Beck characterized as "liberation theology." Despite critique of Obama's Christianity, a recent poll showed that nearly 20% of Americans believe falsely that the president is Muslim. Of the many faces of demagoguery, the ...
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    10. Imam's silence allows malice to fester

      In a recent Wall Street Journal article, terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann said that anti-Muslim rhetoric in America is bad news for anti-terrorism efforts: "We are handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup." By many accounts, the man who could blunt the power of that coup is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the religious leader behind the planned Islamic Center near Ground Zero. The imam has been surprisingly mum ...
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    11. Right to build vs. right to ask questions

      President Obama, after saying that building a mosque at Ground Zero fit our "commitment to religious freedom," backtracked, saying he wasn't commenting on the 'wisdom' of building it so close to 'hallowed ground.'   A Fox News poll showed that while 61 percent of Americans believe that Cordoba House has a constitutional right to build near Ground Zero, 64 percent believe it is not appropriate to do so. Does Obama ...
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    12. Stay, release, transform

      In the memoir Eat, Pray, Love, writer Elizabeth Gilbert gives up her entire way of life to spend a year traveling the world, finding spiritual enlightenment along the way. Julia Roberts, who plays Gilbert's character in the movie version out this week, apparently found enlightenment of her own through the role, revealing that she has become a practicing Hindu.   As Joan Ball asks in a Guest Voices post, "Is ...
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    13. Lessons from a Buddhist/ Jewish/ Hindu/ Christian family

      Chelsea Clinton, raised Methodist, and Marc Mezvinsky, Jewish, will wed this weekend. Statistics show that 37 percent of Americans have a spouse of a different faith. Statistics also show that couples in interfaith marriages are "three times more likely to be divorced or separated than those who were in same-religion marriages." Is interfaith marriage good for American society? Is it good for religion? What is lost -and gained -when religious ...
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    14. Bhutanese refugees' American dream

      Speak of Bhutan and most will return a blank stare. Naming the capital (Thimphu), or pointing its location, nestled high in the Himalayas, on a map is the province of a Geography Bee perhaps, but not common knowledge. The Lonely Planet aficionados, of course, will wax eloquent of the idyllic, pristine utopia that was nearly untouched by foreign visitors until even the last decade. That it is still celebrated as ...
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    15. Religion was defamed at Ground Zero

      The New York City community board endorsed the Cordoba House, a community center and mosque planned for construction near Ground Zero. Significant opposition has emerged against the project. Sarah Palin even weighed in this weekend, tweeting, "Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing." Should there be a mosque near Ground Zero? Building a mosque near the hallowed ...
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    16. Exclusivists vs. Pluralists: very different paths to one Truth

      Q: Are all religions the same? The Dalai Lama, who just celebrated his 75th birthday, often refers to the 'oneness' of all religions, the idea that all religions preach the same message of love, tolerance and compassion. Historians Karen Armstrong and Huston Smith agree that major faiths are more alike than not. But in his new book "God is not One," religion scholar and On Faith panelist Steve Prothero says ...
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    17. AfPak fails because of Pak

      Q: In the wake of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's dismissal as chief commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Congress is evaluating our policy and presence there. Is it time for the U.S. to get out of Afghanistan? Do we have a moral responsibility to stay or to leave? As Americans, we have an urgent and unequivocal moral responsibility to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible. The ...
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    18. Haley, Jindal and Americathe new religious litmus test

      Last night's Republican primary runoff in South Carolina plausibly clears the way for Nikki Haley to join Bobby Jindal as governors with an epochal distinction: two Indian Americans leading two Southern states. Belonging to a community that makes up less than a percentage of the U.S. population, their accomplishment is momentous, even more so because Haley would be the first female governor of her state. Coupled with President ...
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    19. How a nation treats its animals: a barometer for greatness

      The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. (Mahatma Gandhi) Deer, camel, donkey, monkey, rats, creeping animals, birds and flies - one should consider them like one's own children, and not differentiate between one's children and these creatures. (Bhagavata Purana 7.14.9)...Please click on the title to continue reading this entry.
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    20. A culture of illegality taints all immigrants

      Q: Illegal immigrants are flouting U.S. laws, but does affluent America (or Arizona for that matter) have a larger moral or spiritual obligation to help illegal immigrants who are trying to better their lives? What about religious obligations to welcome the stranger? Are we our brother's keeper? There is a comfort in the warm, sepia-tinted collective memory we have fashioned of our ancestors from Ireland, Italy or Poland ...
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    21. Islamism vs. Americanism

      Events unfolding in Times Square, in the animation studios of South Park and the Muslim enclaves of Brussels again force us to confront the utterly dichotomous conflict between Islamism and Americanism. How possibly can the dogmatically assertive force of extremist Islamist justice possibly square with the overt expressionism and ebullient spirit of an irreverent America? One is synonymous with irrational terror and the other with an irrational optimism....Please click ...
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    22. Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma: One and the same

      I will take Dr. Deepak Chopra at his word where he seeks to find common ground in our virtual debate as to the origins of yoga. Not willing to identify himself as a Hindu, Chopra is content to accept the term, Sanatana Dharma, as the source of yoga and the Vedantic wisdom he propagates. "Yoga belongs to the whole world [and] represents a great gift from Hinduism...," he writes....Please ...
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    23. National Day of Platitudes

      Q: Did the Pentagon do the right thing by disinviting evangelist Franklin Graham from a National Day of Prayer event next week? Should government officials decide who can or cannot speak at such an event? Should the government proclaim a National Day of Prayer? Was a federal judge right to rule it unconstitutional? A National Day of Prayer (NDP) is yet another of our government's platitudinous exercises on par ...
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    1-24 of 39 1 2 »
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