Tuesday, September 19, 2006

One way Ticket

In the battlegrounds of Religious conversion, you will always hear one battle cry from Christian Evangelists "Freedom of Choice and Religious Practice". I fully agree with them. It is upon individual to choose what religion he follows.

But it seems that this policy do not hold when the wind blows in reverse direction. British priest Reverend David Hart learned this the hard way. Hart, who claims to be "as much a Hindu as a Christian", is currently on a lecture tour to Kerala. While in kerala, he bought a Ganesh idol, conducted a puja for 10 days and subsequently joined a Ganesotsav procession organised by the Kerala unit of Shiv Sena to immerse his idol in the sea. He is also a follower of Lord Krishna, and had offered prayers at his local temple.

Hart, a professor of theology and religious studies at University of Winchester, says: "I celebrated Ganesha puja with the same piety and devotion with which I celebrate the Eucharist or namaz."

His actions has stirred a hot debate in UK and US, with pressure mounting on parish authorities to disrobe him as a priest of the Church of England.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., current president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - one of the largest seminaries in the world, offered scathing criticism of the Hindu convert.

"He is the poster-priest for the worst and most mindless form of theological relativism. You would be hard pressed to find two more radically distinct theologies than those of Christianity and Hinduism. He is an idolater who has repudiated Christianity and biblical theism. And now he expects the Church of England to allow him to continue as a priest."