Wednesday, July 02, 2008

At least the next President has a brass monkey


Can you even make this kind of stuff up?

Source:

A group of Indians are planning to present a statue of the revered Indian monkey God, Hanuman, to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The group decided to order the idol after they read a magazine report saying that Mr Obama carried a good luck 'monkey king' charm.

They say that a Barack Obama victory would be good for India.

Hindus revere monkeys which they believe are descendents of the monkey God Hanuman.

The two-foot tall, 15kg gold-polished, brass idol has been made as a present for Mr Obama because "he will be good for India if he becomes the next president," according to Brij Mohan Bhama, leader of the group.

Mr Bhama belongs to the ruling Congress party and also runs a textile mill in the western city of Mumbai.

'Monkey charm'

"We have heard that he carries a small monkey charm in his pocket. So he is a devotee of Hanuman. That's why we want to present him with this idol," he said.

Mr Bhama and his friends have also invited Carolyn Sauvage-Mar, chairwoman of the group, Democrats Abroad-India, to a meeting they are holding on Tuesday to pray for Mr Obama's success.

The Delhi-based group registers voters, sponsors events and occasionally hosts Democratic Party leaders visiting India.

Obama stands for change. We are hoping that he will bring about change so that oil and food prices come down
Brij Mohan Bhama

Mr Bhama is hoping that Ms Sauvage-Mar will pick up the idol and arrange it to be delivered to Mr Obama.

"They have invited me for the prayer. I am happy to go to bring best wishes to Obama," she said.

She said she would talk with the organisers and find out whether she would be able to help in shipping the idol to Mr Obama.

Ms Sauvage-Mar said the people organising the prayer meeting for the presidential candidate had possibly read a Time magazine article which mentioned that Mr Obama carried a "monkey king good luck charm".

"Senator Obama has a good luck charm. We don't know whether it is of Hanuman. But the people here think it is Hanuman," she said...


To those who have been wondering how to define "Christian" or "Christianity", here's a clue - this is neither.

35 comments:

Chris said...

Yes, the "good luck charm" which the Christians carry is a representation of a device used to torture people to death. Much better.

Rhology said...

What a crass comment.

And what is your argument that the cross is a "good luck charm"?
Do you know the difference?

Carrie said...

"Obama stands for change. We are hoping that he will bring about change so that oil and food prices come down"

Yeah, good luck with that one.

barrett said...

McCain is also a superstitious guy unfortunately.

I'm a McCain supporter despite this flaw but it's not just Obama who is at fault in this regard.

NAL said...

Is Religion Just Organized Superstition?

We must, nevertheless, acknowledge that the similarities are not superficial. For one thing, both superstition and traditional religions are non-materialistic in nature. They do not conceive of the world as a place controlled by sequences of cause and effect between matter and energy. Instead, they presume the added presence of immaterial forces which influence or control the course of our lives.

Furthermore, there is also the appearance of a desire to provide meaning and coherence to otherwise random and chaotic events.


Wouldn't a St. Christopher's medal be considered a charm? I guess some charms are acceptable to Christians and some aren't.

Rhology said...

Well, to be fair to Romanists who actually know what they're talking about, they wouldn't say that at all. It is an icon.
Though the way that these medals are treated definitely cross the line to good-luck charm if you ask me.
Wearing a cross is of course far different. And I don't carry a saint medal or anythg around with me...

to Christians

Well, to Romanists. Not the same thing.

NAL said...

Isn't "Romanist" a derogatory term for one who professes Roman Catholicism?

Rho:
Wearing a cross is of course far different.

Would you therefore consider a cross to be an icon?

Paul C said...

To those who have been wondering how to define "Christian" or "Christianity", here's a clue - this is neither.

Sorry, you'll have to help me out here. You're saying that lucky charms aren't Christian? I knew there was something evil about that breakfast cereal.

"Romanists" - you kill me. It's like being in the playground again.

Rhology said...

"Romanist" is an accurate term; I don't know why anyone would object to it. "catholic" means "universal", as in "universal Christian church". The Roman church is neither universal nor a Christian church; why should I let them pervert a Christian word like that? "Romanist" describes them just fine.

A cross could be an icon, I suppose, yes. I may use a picture of Pope JP2 to identify who the last Pope was, while Romanists all over the world are already praying to the guy, using that same picture as an icon/idol. Biblically, it's a question of intent and context, both.

Gamelot said...

We can't be sure of Obama's intentions in carrying around a "good luck charm" - maybe he honestly believes in luck, maybe he's trying to invoke the power of some other god, or maybe he simply thought it was cute and it fits on his keychain.

Rhology said...

I made no claim as to his intention; I simply identified this as a non-Christian act. Thus, evidence that he's not a Christian by conviction.

Paul C said...

Since you've already established to your satisfaction that almost nobody in the history of the world is a Real Christian (TM) except your specific faith group, it isn't exactly news that you don't think Obama is a Christian either.

Rhology said...

Depends on how you define "your specific faith group", really. If you mean "those who have held to the Gospel of Christ", then yes, that is a specific faith group and yes, we follow Christ's prediction that the road is narrow that leads to eternal life and few take it.

Unfortunately for B. Hussein Obama's consistency, "holding to the Gospel of Christ" is the very biblical definition of "Christian". And he doesn't, yet calls himself a Christian anyway. That would be his problem.

Paul C said...

When I say "your specific faith group", I mean your particular minority Christian sect. As we've established in previous posts, you can't provide us with any way of telling who's a Real Christian (TM) - we just have to take your word since you are the final authority.

I seriously don't know how you function with such a total lack of self-awareness, Rhology. I assume that such a massive level of hubris can only be the product of a wholly unexamined life, but it's still quite awesome to watch in action.

Rhology said...

Oh, the answer to that question has indeed been well-established in previous posts, you're right about that. And I am a member of a minority sect, 'tis true, called "Christian". There are many pretenders to it, but it must have the right to define itself, lest I have the rational justification to define "atheist" as "Martian" or "child rapist" if I but feel like it.

And of course, the judge of such is not me but rather God's Word, as I've said repeatedly. Speaking of awareness, you apparently live unaware of answers given to you.

Paul C said...

Oh, I'm sorry - I must have missed the part where you gave a clear and rational explanation for who counts as a Real Christian (TM). As I'd noted, you've previously said that neither actions or words can identify somebody as a Real Christian (TM) - obviously I must have missed the post where you offered an alternative way for outsiders to identify somebody as such.

Oh no, wait a minute - I didn't! You never posted such a criteria - you just kept waving your hands and repeating that you know for sure and we have to listen to you in the blog equivalent of a high-pitched squeal.

"It must have the right to define itself" - why, exactly? You certainly don't allow other people that right. The entire discussion came up precisely because you don't allow e.g. Barack Obama, Robin, Harold or Uncle Tom Cobbley the right to define their religion. So why on earth do you think any of us would extend that courtesy to you when you refuse to extend it to anybody else?

As I said, the unexamined life - not worth living, but at least it makes you feel superior to everybody else. Jesus would be proud.

Rhology said...

"It must have the right to define itself" - why, exactly? You certainly don't allow other people that right.

So "it" and "people" are equivalent to you, eh?
Think, man.

The entire discussion came up precisely because you don't allow e.g. Barack Obama, Robin, Harold or Uncle Tom Cobbley the right to define their religion

I *DO* allow them that right. And I reserve the right to analyse the consistency of their claims.

Paul C said...

So "it" and "people" are equivalent to you, eh?
Think, man.


No, that's not what I wrote. Try reading it again, slowly this time.

I *DO* allow them that right. And I reserve the right to analyse the consistency of their claims.

You have failed to provide a means by which an outsider (i.e. a self-declared non-Christian) can tell the difference - in fact, it seems that an outsider can't tell the difference. So your "analysis" apparently lacks anything resembling an analytical component - it's just rhetoric, and pretty inadequate rhetoric at that.

Keep trying though - I'm sure it wows them in your apologetics classes.

Rhology said...

No, that's not what I wrote

You said:

"It must have the right to define itself" - why, exactly? You certainly don't allow other people that right.

Paul C said...

You wrote that "[Christianity] must have the right to define itself", although you failed to say what the basis of that right was. I'm still waiting for it.

Since "Christianity" can't define itself - it's just a label given to a collection of beliefs, as you have previously told us - it must be up to Christians to define it. Thus you plonk yourself down back at the beginning of the circle that you began.

Oh, and you still haven't wowed us with your "analysis" of what makes a Real Christian (TM). Was that an accident, or are you just avoiding the question?

Rhology said...

If you won't allow my position to define itself and you won't believe me when I define my own position, then I guess our convo is over. You have killed it. Congrats.

Let the reader consider the implications of Paul C's view on this. Apparently either no one or only he gets to define positions, whether Paul's or anyone else's. I don't recall electing him into that position, but maybe one of those times I voted and didn't read the fine print carefully enough, it happened.

Paul C said...

If you won't allow my position to define itself and you won't believe me when I define my own position, then I guess our convo is over.

No, I believe you when you define your own position. I also extend this courtesy to everybody else. So our convo can continue, hooray!

(And your position doesn't "define itself", by the way - it needs somebody to define it.)

Apparently either no one or only he gets to define positions, whether Paul's or anyone else's.

Uh, no. As far as I can recall, I haven't defined anybody else's position for them here or anywhere else; I've simply accepted their own definition. Nor have I said that nobody can define any positions; it seems clear that my stated position is that everybody gets to define their own position. In turn, I hope that I will allowed to define my own position, although in light of previous experience on this blog that seems unlikely.

Why you would lie so obviously in this case is beyond me, unless you're just trying to be consistent? Maybe they'll make lying for Jesus an Olympic Sport, you'll clean up in the medals!

Noble said...

Paul, it's really quite simple. Rhology's minority sect of Real Christians(TM) is a very small minority indeed. It is just one person. Any other "Christian" is eventually bound to express some opinion that conflicts with rhology's own infallible interpretation of his holy book.

Rhology said...

Noble,

So you know that NO ONE else in the world believes the same as I do? How do you know that?

Or you have some argument that, even if there were someone else in the world that believes the same as I do, that wouldn't count as being part of the same "sect"?

Can you quote me making reference to some infallible ability to interpret the Bible? If not, to what do you refer?

Noble said...

In answer to both questions, it's just a feeling I get from your arrogant attitude. You have said that you are in a tiny minority of Real Christians(TM). I'm sure there are others who agree with you generally, but I think you could always find some small point on which to disagree, thereby making them not a Real Christians(TM).

No I can't point to a specific thing you said, it's just the way you come across.

Rhology said...

May I ask why you believe my attitude is arrogant?
Is it b/c I think I'm right? Or something else as well?

Paul C said...

May I ask why you believe my attitude is arrogant? Is it b/c I think I'm right? Or something else as well?

It's perfectly possible to think that you're right without coming across as arrogant. So it must be something else - let's consult dictionary.com:

making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud

It certainly sounds like you, with your repeated claims to moral superiority, continual belittling of everybody who doesn't share your specific minority theology, and the general tone of your posts, filled with false humility and intellectual conceit. The reason that you haven't realised that this is how you come across is a product of the same lack of self-awareness that makes your religious faith appear so risible.

It should be clear to you by now that most of the commenters here share Noble's general sense that you're arrogant. The irony (and source of no little amusement to me, to be honest) is that you don't see that it's your own attitude that's doing the most damage to Christianity here, rather than any of our arguments. The casual observer is likely to be repelled by the sort of Christianity to which you bear witness.

Rhology said...

Let's put these claims to the test:

your repeated claims to moral superiority

Claiming I have a basis for morality outside of myself while others don't is claiming "superiority" and arrogant?
Maybe, I'm happy to boast in Christ and how awesome He is.


continual belittling of everybody who doesn't share your specific minority theology

Taking someone like Obama's or Meyers' words for what they say and analysing them on that basis is "belittling"?


false humility and intellectual conceit

Again, if I've been conceited regarding my own intellect, it is not my intention and I apologise. But I make no apologies for how sweet it indeed is to hold to the positions that God has graciously granted I hold to.


The casual observer is likely to be repelled by the sort of Christianity to which you bear witness.

If they're as intellectually honest as you, that might be a problem. But if more so, I'm less worried.

Peace,
Rhology

Noble said...

Thanks Paul C, You encapsulated my thoughts perfectly. For instance, rhology arguing that the largest Christian denomination in the world is not Christian.

Rhology, I'm perfectly happy to sit back and watch you Christians eat your own, I just wanted to point out how you come across. BTW, can you give me an example of someone, besides yourself, who is a Real Christian(TM)?

Barry Lynn? Fred Phelps?

Gamelot said...

OUCH.

Although if he does answer Phelps, I think I'm done arguing. :)

Rhology said...

largest Christian denomination in the world

Isn't that begging the question?

You want anyone who is a real Christian?
My wife.

Lynn? Felps?

Why would you offer as examples two men whose positions on many fundamental issues are at radical variance with my own? It's saying stuff like this that makes it clear that you're not engaging in good faith or much intellectual honesty.

Gamelot,

May I ask why you are apparently siding and chortling with the atheist(s) on this question?

Gamelot said...

Would you consider yourself to be in line with the teachings of Fallwell, or Dobson, or LeHaye?

I'm not siding with an atheist; however, I would side with an atheist over Phelps any day of the week. At least an atheist is honest about their beliefs. I consider Phelps and his crew to be the most damaging thing to Christianity in the last 100 years. That's just my personal opinion about him.

Rhology said...

None of the above. Falwell is closest.
I asked the question b/c you said "OUCH" in response to the ridiculous suggestions that Lynn or Felps are real Christians or could even be viewed as legitimate options. You know, these interlocutors here are none too fond of my worldview, but they don't like yours (which is not very different from mine) either.

Gamelot said...

I tend to believe that if mainstream Christianity were more willing to accept scientific evidence, liberal thinkers (not to be confused with politically liberal) would be more willing to accept Christianity. The reason the battle is so fierce right now is because the views are so far afield from one another.

Rhology said...

I have to disagree respectfully, though I appreciate where your heart is on this. I think we've seen a lot of mainstream churches already go exactly that route, of accepting more "scientific" "evidence" for viewpoints championed by secular people. They're called liberals, and now the churches are dying and accepting homosexual clergy and repudiating the authority of the Bible except where it communicates warm fuzzies to them.
We need rather to hold to that which the Bible teaches and live that way, and let the chips fall where God drops them.