Woman, Church and State (A Historical Account of the Status of Woman Through the Christian Ages with Reminiscences of the Matriarchate)
Commenting on the horrible atrocities-massacres of population, burning of villages, capture of young males and females for sale as slaves, plunder of property- committed by the Portuguese in 1532 and 1549 on Hindus living in the coastal areas of Saurashtra, Colonel James Todd had observed: "It would perhaps be fortunate for Christianity, if the historic muse in India were mute, as many have endeavoured to prove her to be, since atrocities like these are alone sufficient to have scared the Hindus from all association with her creed."
But contrary to his foreboding, Christianity in India has been very fortunate indeed. The historic muse in India has not only remained mute about the character and doings of this diabolical creed, it has also laboured in the opposite direction of inventing sweet stories such as that Jesus was an avatar like Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, that Christianity was brought to India by St. Thomas long before it was introduced in Europe, that Christian missions have made many contributions to the languages and literatures of India and rendered great humanitarian services to the poor and the downtrodden in this country, and that Christianity is a unique religion of love and peace, etc. The high honours heaped on Mother Teresa by the Hindu elite, symbolize the abject servility to which India has reduced herself vis-a-vis Christianity.
Nor has Christianity failed to use this great good fortune to the hilt. Various Christian churches in Europe and North America have erected in this country a sprawling hierarchy which is nothing less than a State within the State, and which mounts guard on the prison-house into which millions of Hindus have been herded by means of force and fraud. And a huge missionary apparatus, financed fabulously and controlled completely from abroad, functions freely not only for subverting Hindu society and culture within the Hindu homeland but also for painting Hindus and Hinduism in the darkest colours in the media and the academia everywhere else.
What is far worse, the Hindu intelligentsia by and large remains blissfully ignorant of the history of Christianity documented from primary sources and in great detail by Western scholarship. One rarely meets a Hindu who knows that the fourteen centuries - from the fifth to the eighteenth - of the Christian era during which Christianity dominated Europe and its colonies, form the darkest chapter in the history of mankind. Islamic terrorism which has infested India and many other countries in recent years has helped some segments of Hindu intelligentsia to become aware of the crimes which have been committed and are being committed by the soldiers of Allah. But even these segments do not know that the soldiers of Jesus Christ have committed far greater crimes, for a longer period of time, and over a much larger surface of the globe.
This gross Hindu ignorance of the dogmas and doings of Christianity, has enabled and encouraged Christian theologians to come out with newer and newer mission strategies eulogized as theologies in the Indian context. The latest in the line is the Theology of Liberation. Having cooperated with Western imperialism - Portuguese, French, British - for several centuries in the dirty work of ruining Indian's economy, society, and culture, Christian missionaries are now pretending to be saviours and blaming Hinduism for the poverty and destitution which they have themselves conspired to create. A cascade of literature has been poured out of Christian publishing houses proclaiming that untouchability, caste oppression, cruelty to woman, child labour and what not, have been and remain essential and inseparable parts of Hinduism, and that these "evils" cannot be tackled without destroying Hinduism root and branch. Theology of Libration is being addressed simultaneously to several sections of Hindu society-the dalit, the tribal, the woman, the child, the corrupt, the criminal, etc. In every case it is proclaimed that there is no hope for the "oppressed and the downtrodden in Hindu society" unless Jesus Christ is invoked by them and he comes to help them out of the hole into which they have been driven by "high caste" Hindus. At the same time, Jesus is being presented in all shapes and sizes suited to the needs of those who are supposed to have been "victimized" by Hinduism. The day does not seem to be far off when the Theology of Liberation will be extended to address the domestic animals "misused and maltreated" by the Hindus-the cow, the bullock, the buffalo, the camel, the donkey, the goat, the pig and so on.
We have before us a 235-page book, Jesus the Dalit: Liberation Theology by victims of untouchability, an Indian version of apartheid, written by M. R. Arulraja and published by the author himself from the Volunteer Centre, Hyderabad, South India, in June 1996. "Arulraja, 43," says the blurb, "holds a Master's Degree in Economics and a Bachelor's Degree in law. He did his Philosophy and Theology in the prestigious Jesuit institutions, Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune and Vidyajyoti, Delhi. At present he serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Voluntary Health Association of Andhra Pradesh. An activist for the past two decades, he continues his mission of conscientization among Dalits, the untouchables of India."
The Foreword to the book has been written by Fr. A.X.J. Bosco SJ, Former Regional President, Conference of Religious Congregations and Former Jesuit Provincial Superior, Andhra Pradesh, South India. "Only those who have experienced the horror and dehumanizing effects of the caste system will understand how unchristian it is," declares Fr. Bosco. The blurb also carries two comments by equally august dignitaries of the Catholic Church. "The book will awaken any reader to a new vision of Jesus and to a deeper understanding of Pauline theology and prophetic traditions," says Fr. M. J. Edwin, Former Executive Director South Asian Religious News. "This is an honest and frank attempt by the author and a good book for all those who are 'called' and 'set apart' for the cause of God's people, the poor and the destitute", adds John Vattamattom, S.V.D., National Convener, Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace
Mobilization of such mighty talents in the service of the "depressed and the deprived of Hindu society" cannot but arouse great hopes in Hindu hearts. We can now safely and surely look forward to a series of similar profundities suitably entitled as follows:
1. Jesus the Junglee
2. Jesus the Satee
3. Jesus the Burned Bride
4. Jesus the Foundling
5. Jesus the Child Labourer
6. Jesus the Prostitute
7. Jesus the Pickpocket
8. Jesus the Pay off
9. Jesus the Buffalo
10. Jesus the Camel
11. Jesus the Donkey
12. Jesus the Goat
13. Jesus the Pig
For, all these "poor humans and animals" happen to be "tortured and tormented" in Hindu society and Hindu households. Hindus would have loved to see two additions to this momentous and- monumental series - Jesus the Cow and Jesus the Bullock. But unfortunately for the poor creatures, they have made things difficult for the Theology of Liberation by insisting that they revere the cow as well as the bullock as sacred. Jesus cannot, therefore, rush to the rescue of these two poor animals because, as symbols of a "false way of worship", they have forfeited any claim to his mercy. His command regarding these two has all along been that they should be slaughtered and eaten by his worshippers in order to make it known to Hindus how Christians hold in contempt the "abominable superstition" that is Hinduism. That, perhaps, is the only way of "liberating" them! Who says that the Theology of Liberation is not all-embracing? It can work both ways - straight as well as in reverse.
Incidentally, some goddamned Hindus such as myself happen to have been students of Christology as it has progressed in the modern West during the last two hundred years. They have known Jesus in some other versions as well. I have presented quite a few of these versions of Jesus in a documented study. Some of the salient versions are as under:
1. Jesus the Bastard
2. Jesus the Paranoid
3. Jesus the Sorcerer
4. Jesus the Zealot
5. Jesus the Pretender
6. Jesus the Juggler
7. Jesus the Homosexual
8. Jesus the Drug Addict
9. Jesus the Failed Messiah
10. Jesus the Bandit
11. Jesus the Passover Plot
12. Jesus the Slave Trader
13. Jesus the Sex Maniac
These historically verifiable versions of Jesus are at least entertaining if not enlightening, and have found a big market in the modern West. On the other hand, Christian theologians in India have reduced poor Jesus to a lump of modelling clay from which they make whatever figure they fancy at any time. They should know by now that none of these dummies has found buyers in India except when offered with supplementary attractions. The Jesus of Liberation Theology is going to fare no better. It is high time for Christian theologians to stop living in a fool's paradise, and flattering themselves that their acrobatics are getting them anywhere.
This work explains itself and is given to the world because it is needed. Tired of the obtuseness of Church and State; indignant at the injustice of both towards woman; at the wrongs inflicted upon one-half of humanity by the other half in the name of religion; finding appeal and argument alike met by the assertion that God designed the subjection of woman, and yet that her position had been higher under Christianity than ever before: Continually hearing these statements, and knowing them to be false, I refuted them in a slight resume of the subject at the annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association, Washington, D. C., 1878.
A wish to see that speech in print, having been expressed, it was allowed to appear in The National Citizen, a woman suffrage paper I then edited, and shortly afterwards in "The History of Woman Suffrage," of which I was also an editor. The kindly reception given both in the United States and Europe to that meager chapter of forty pages confirmed my purpose of a fuller presentation of the subject in book form, and it now appears, the result of twenty years investigation, in a volume of over five hundred and fifty pages.
Read it; examine for yourselves; accept or reject from the proof offered, but do not allow the Church or the State to govern your thought or dictate your judgment.
|Chapter I.||The Matriarchate||48|
|Chapter III.||Canon Law||151|
|Chapter VIII.||Woman and Work||465|
|Chapter IX.||The Church of To-Day||524|
|Chapter X.||Past, Present, Future||545|
Item Code: NAM370 Author: Matilda Joslyn Gage Cover: Paperback Edition: 1997 Publisher: Voice of India, New Delhi ISBN: 8185990468 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 574 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 735 gms