Hypocrisy today

I woke up to read horrible news this morning: (1) More African terreiros (religious centers) were being shut down by heavily-armed and masked Pentacostal Christian death squads in some of Rio de Janiero’s impoverished districts. (2) Then there was the all vitriol surrounding the Porta dos Fundos Christmas Special: the scathing comedy group portrayed Jesus as gay, baiting the hypocrisy of national leaders. (3) Then, if the recent murders of even more indigenous leaders in Amazonia weren’t enough, indigenous youth keep committing suicide in shocking numbers out of despair and hopelessness.

There is a profound difference between religions that demand an allegiance to a single story and those that demand nothing, offering nothing more than a means of self-knowledge. The latter, in fact, aren’t even religions, and that is why the faith of some of the 3m descendants of slaves brought to Brazil, as well as that of the many decimated native peoples of this continent, are in grave danger. The former are organized and aggressive religions that will stop at nothing to control a narrative; therefore, the latter will always lose to them – until now.

As a Hindu, I have always been proud that I belonged to the latter; however, it is getting difficult when (4) it looks like the Eastern states of India will now be joining Kashmir under lockdown by an Hindu nationalist government that finds it easier to distill Hindu-Muslim hatred to divide and conquer politically than to provide clean air and water for all Indians.

What a mess! And one that lead me to write “Conversion is Violence”, two years ago – unfortunately more pertinent than ever.

#amultiplicity #religions #CAB #religiousintolerance #ahimsa

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A native of Chicago, Ricky Toledano has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for over twenty years as a writer, translator and teacher. [a]multipicity is multi-lingual collection of reflections through the humanities.

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