Pope Benedict XVI Visits America

April 21, 2008

The Dish Network finally hooked us in with a real cheap offer. That would explain how I got caught watching CNN (for news) on a Sunday morning, with a live telecast of the Pope's visit to the United States.

Evidently it has been an exciting week for all Christendom (according to CNN) with the new pope hopping over the Big Blue to speak at the United Nations, releasing sex-abused Catholics from their sad memories, praying at Ground Zero, and the grand finale being a mass "mass" at Yankees Stadium, NY.

My husband was wondering why I was wasting my time watching this live telecast about a man who believed in conversions. My son asked if he was a good man or not. I said that he was a good man but ignorant. That shut them up a bit for me to continue with my television viewing.

Seeing a 60,000 strong crowd, committed to their faith was an inspiring sight. The rich ritualistic aspects of the Catholic church has always held a greater visual appeal than the informal Protestant kind to me. The crowd swelling into song in a call and response fashion is another thing I like about their music. The stray thought of how church liturgical music has come to define western music could not be ignored.

The arrangements made to give Holy communion to all those 60,000 plus people present was impressive to say the least. The entire program was bilingual in English and Spanish, spotlighting the Latino immigration that has resurrected the Catholic church in the United States of America. It will not be too long when papal visits become multilingual, including languages like Chinese and Hindi. Not too long ago, when the search for the pope was under way, the Archbishop from Mumbai was considered to be a strong contender for the post.

Evidently, the pope had a meeting with people from other religious denominations. That group included Muslims, Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. I hope that those groups educated the pope on why conversions are not a good idea in a pluralistic world united through a global economy.

Blokes aka Meenakshi enjoys writing along with being a mom, a school teacher, a musician and an Art of Living teacher (of meditation and breathing)
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Pope Benedict XVI Visits America


Author: Blokesablogin


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April 21, 2008
10:01 AM

pope? ignorant? that's it, Meenakshi, you are in for the high jump now, heheheheh

April 21, 2008
12:02 PM

I enjoyed your article, Meenakshi, in spite of the fact that its subject disgusts me. Ratzinger the Nazi can go where he wants; but it really hurt when an American synagogue invited the scum to visit.

Ratzinger is not ignorant at all. He is as cunning as a fox, and far more ruthless. But the Jews who invited him to their synagogue were truly ignoramuses thinking that having the Big Goy over made them holier or better than they are.

April 21, 2008
12:14 PM

In all fairness, Mr. Ratzinger should not be allowed to address the UN as the head of a state.

April 21, 2008
09:03 PM

conversions are the least of the issues facing the catholic church. sexual assault victims in the thousands, blaming homosexuals for the disgusting behavior of pedophiles, not allowing the use of condoms even for men who have HIV and so they still have sex with their innocent wives and kill them too, expected tithing by people who are already dirt poor when the church is brimming with riches (don't buy all that "we're poor" crap... one trip to the Museum of the Vatican will disavow you of that notion), the fact that they accepted a CULT (Opus Dei) as a personal prelature simply because of power and money.... these are the all serious serious problems in the church today.

April 21, 2008
09:45 PM


the worst problem with the church today is the same as in all organised "unions" that peddle divinity and wear funny "uniforms"

they take themselves too seriously

(not-so-deep-thought: wonder if mandatory 45 minutes of bhangRa would loosen their muscles...or a mandatory weekly gig at the comedy central might do the trick)

April 22, 2008
02:16 AM

bd- I did not write this as an incendiary piece- more as a "news" item, keeping the tone neutral. However, I just could not resist that ignorance bit!

Ruvy: Thanks, friend. Everyone does this politically correct thing just to have more fodder to dine out later with! Quite tragic if I do say so! Oh, I did not mean ignorant as in innocent! In Hindusim, ignorance is a sin- nothing else is!LOL!! I certainly meant it in a very Hindu, Indian context!

April 22, 2008
02:27 AM

Chandra, I dont have a problem with him being invited to the UN- After all this is one continuous "monarchy" that has gone on for almost 2000 years. Dont forget that the church ruled for centuries large tracts of Europe and there is nothing we can do to "undo" that truth. Rather than political dominion, they are into religious dominion.

SS: To me, conversions are very important as I see the damage it has done to entire communities in India. We are talking about families being split in the name of Christ. For all those other examples you cited, it has a direct bearing to the "flock" members. It is like those poor women from that sect in Texas who are still awaiting their children. Wearing condoms and giving away their "daily bread" back to their "Lord" are all issues that can be handled at the individual level. But conversions- that is a "hate crime" in my dictionary.

April 22, 2008
03:20 AM

this is the best time to raise funds and get followers - after all its a recession year (people's faith will now know no bounds) and election year (corporate purses are loose already)!! amen..

April 22, 2008
08:10 AM

blokes, no those issues cannot be handled at an individual level. it all begins with the church and they direct what happens in many communities right down to the household level.

I do agree that conversions are a serious issue, but I do not see them as a hate crime. Could you explain more of why you think that? I mean, then anything that goes against someone's way of life would be classified as a hate crime. I agree, it is insensitive, rude, imperialistic... the list goes on. But at the end of the day conversions, unless forced, are the choice of the individual. Being raped by a priest is not. Being given HIV from a husband who doesn;t wear a condom is not.

Man Singh
April 22, 2008
07:30 PM


my freedom ends where `others' nose begins.

Attempted conversions using economic political and mental duress falls in category of `hate crime'.

In Indian context, a person who converts to foreign religions, very first thing he is taught to hate culture and religion of his/her forfathers.

Stop festivals associated with native culture even if they are not related to religion.

Foundation of conversion is `your native religion is false'. We have the truth and follow `mine' and kill yours. belive that your parents and forefathers are getting puterfying only because they `worshipped false gods' and many more things which fall in category fo hatered towards once own past and his own nation, culture and religion.

In India , conversions occured to Budhism, jainism and Sikhism based on conviction and never for greed. A true seeker of sprituality approaches a spritual master and that master initiates a person in sprituality and that's it.

Here in Church type of conversion, Priests are targeting weak poor illetral massese who have some type or the other complaint fro their native society. Thier anger is stimulated , help is offered , and faith is traded.

This faith trading for dollors, indocrinating of people that `jesus is the only way' others are wrong opposite to traditional Indian/Hindu way of managing religious diversity `ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti' ie truth is one explined by wisemen in different ways and hence `way' is not important, its is what's destination which is one.

or Bhagwadgeeta chapter 9/23 Lord Krishna says "those who worship any other God, worship me only indirectly'.

This shloka teaches humanity to repect all religions and advises not to interfere in to others.

Church on the other hand says `jesus is the only way' and convert the rest of humanity to christianity. That hate element and intention to eliminate other religions is always there in church propagands.

That's why native cultures of Pagans, Romans. Greeks, South America, Mexico, Phillippine etc has been eliminated from the face of the earth due to these conversion activities.

Therefore intention of church to convert whole humanity to christianity contains hate elements. agreesiveness and mental violence towards natives.

That's why `attempted' conversions using money muscle and mental duress fall in the category of hate crime while spritual seeker going to Guru to get initiated for spritual path voluntarily does not fall in hate crime catergory.

Now evlauate what type of conversion Church is engaged in? Charity, education and orphanages are merely tools to trap the noe converts.

April 22, 2008
07:37 PM

man singh, I do not dispute what you are saying. I never said that conversions were not despicable. I think what the church does in India can be seen as exploitive at best. But I do not think it is a hate crime. It is not targeted at any one specific group to annihilate or punish them. It is greed on the part of the church meant for their own gain, monetarily and "spiritually."

I still do not see where you have explained a hate crime. You have given examples of exploitative behavior.

April 22, 2008
08:00 PM


The goyim in the conversion business here don't try to get Jews to hate their native faith or culture; after all, if the guy lived, Jesus was just another Jewboy nailed to a cross like hundreds of thousands of other Jews murdered here by Roman savages. Instead they try to get Jews to think that goyim are just nice folks who found a messiah and just CAN'T WAIT to m'vasér b'sorót tovót "spread good news" - another term the assholes stole from us and perverted.

Otherwise, I agree with Man Singh 100%. "My freedom ends where 'others' nose begins."

I don't care about the bastards in goyland - like America - I don't have to deal with their church revivals and other assorted bullshit. But I have no use for them in MY country. They neither have a right to be here stealing Jewish souls, nor do they belong here.

Their churches don't belong here either.

moadím l'simHá

April 22, 2008
08:32 PM

I am sorry but I believe that christians or people of any religion have a right to be anywhere they want to be... they just should not be proselytizing.

April 22, 2008
09:05 PM


I do not see where we disagree - except in tone. I'm not talking about the Christian tourist who wants to feed his delusions of a messiah on the way back by making a pilgrimage here. If he wants to come here, let him; he and his wallet together. I'm happy to take his money in a business transaction. He can pray for salvation, and I'll pray that he buys such products as I have on offer. After all, as the saying goes, somebody has to pay retail - that's why G-d invented goyim.

The primary difference between you and I here is in the tone of our words. I don't feel the need to keep my not so long Jewish nose behind the palisades. I'm home, not in exile.

April 22, 2008
10:05 PM

I do not think that is the only difference, Ruvy.

Yes, ethnically I am a Jew. But as everyone also knows I am also Italian. What are most Italians? They are Catholic. I went to CCD too, along with the Hebrew school. Ihad to please everyone in the family, and I see no problem with religious education in each and every faith. I do not see all Goyim in the same ugly light you seem to because some of them are my family. My blood. Many have left the church but some have not. I see many of them as human and I surely do not paint all Christians or all Catholics with the same wide (useless) brush. Not all are proselytizers. We have no right to judge anyone of faith if they do not try to change others to their way of thinking.

April 22, 2008
10:19 PM

OK, everyone, especially Chandra (except SS perhaps) will jump on me, but I really don't see exactly why conversion is a HATE CRIME! Or a crime at all, much less a hate crime. I say this as someone who is completely indifferent to any religion. Anybody can follow any religion they want or reject any religion. Yes, of course it's not that simple due to social pressures etc. But at the end of the day, the thought that one has no choice BUT to follow the religion one was born into, seems like a kind of crime to me. If someone is being pressured into converting, there should be laws in place that could take care of this.

As for Man Singh's categorization of "foreign" versus "Indian" religions, what can one say? The world is global my friend and to some extent, it always was, dacoits and villagers notwithstanding. If my freedom ends where my nose ends, my freedom to adopt any religion or reject any, is not beyond my nose...(3 dots ruvy my english teacher, right?)

April 22, 2008
11:01 PM

Conversion is not a problem for the Pope. That is his asset or perhaps a weapon. But Islam is equally strong or even stronger on conversion. And since Islam does not permit its followers to leave their faith, they are not concerned about conversion by christanity. They have advantage on both sides. They can convert others but are protected agaist conversion. Is'nt that a superb system. What a designer?

I am not sure whether it is a hate crime. I think there no hatred involved. It is misguided thinking. They honestly believe that they are showing the true path to salvation to those who are lost. If you believe in it then you would think it is your duty help others. It makes sense. Or does it?

April 23, 2008
01:57 AM


I have no problem with conversions. It is your fundamental right. However, gifting you a Hero Honda splendour to change your religion is a problem. Showing you "MIRACLES" to persuade you religion is a problem. Claiming followers of SHIVA are drug addicts is also a problem. You know what I mean?

Mr. Ratzinger needs to explain why 70% of schools that are run by his faith are targeted at the well off/well heeled in this nation. I thought that God's work was meant for the poor and downtrodden...shame on you Mr. Ratzinger!!!!!

April 23, 2008
02:15 AM


Yes indeed! Bizzarre (sp? Ruvy I need help with spelling too) isn't it? I guess the strange logic is, if you have the so-called "perfect" religion such as Islam, how dare you reject it! Like treason of sorts! This claim of the one and only truth is a major pain in the ass for any thinking person.

Chandra: offering a Hero Honda to convert is not that different from certain companies offering cash rebates or so-called "free gifts" (all gifts are free!) to buy some product. In my register, being totally a-religious, but not anti-religious, I can only look on in bemused amusement as different salespeople of various religions tout the "quality" of their products while demaning their competitors. Buyer beware? I guess I should not really get into this discussion since I have not yet figured out what exactly is the big deal about any religion or non-religion. Without meaning to insult any religious person, it is not that different from psychotherapy: ie. sometimes it helps to convert chaos into a meaningful cosmos. I couldn't really care less which pyschotherapist/religion people may choose or not choose....

The other thing I don't understand is why people insist that, for example, Saudi Arabia is essential Muslim and should always remain so. Sure a lot would change, if all Saudis adopted Buddhism. What would it matter in the longer scheme of things? Would the world come to an end? History is replete with conversions, reconversions and social change as a consequence. What does it mean when one says a country is essentially Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist etc.? Is it a law of nature of some sort? People eventually get used to any transformation and get used to new realities, new institutions. But, and I mean it sincerely, I am not writing this to flame anyone, nor even to support conversions! My twisted views and I have to express them honestly.

April 23, 2008
03:48 AM


google---- catholic bishop church of india, nuclear tests

April 23, 2008
04:45 AM


Did too and found this as the first hit, among others:

Not sure if this is what you wanted me to see. A critique of nuclearization. Many other groups are critical of it too. In this particular link, the catholic groups are criticising all nuclear armaments, not just India and Pakistan.Is this the one you meant?

Boringly middle of the road as it may sound, all religions dish out a mixture of good and not-so-good, commonsense and pure crap. Since I am not defending ANY religion or non-religion, it really does not matter if someone is converting, non-converting, re-converting, unconverting, religious, areligious, non-religous, polyreligious....whatever works for whomever...

April 23, 2008
06:57 AM


I see ... them as human and I surely do not paint all Christians or all Catholics with the same wide (useless) brush. Not all are proselytizers. We have no right to judge anyone of faith if they do not try to change others to their way of thinking.

Much as it sticks in your craw to have to read this, I agree with you 100%. I do not agree with the young olive skinned Israeli woman who told me one day in 1973, kódem kol, kol goyím Hayót (first of all, all goyim are animals). I never have. As I said, our differences are in tone.

April 23, 2008
07:19 AM


""I do not agree with the young olive skinned Israeli woman who told me one day in 1973, kódem kol, kol goyím Hayót (first of all, all goyim are animals).""


April 23, 2008
12:00 PM

I think we are too polite and careful about criticising any religion. When we say we respect all religions we are also saying that to those who do not respect any other than their own. So by implication we are agreeing with them. So opened the door for them for preaching their superiority. For example, Islam has nothing good to say about non belivers(meaning other religions). When we say we respect Isalam are'nt we implicitly agreeing their thoughts about non believers?

All religions are full of some crap among other things. Biggest of all is that I have the right answer. No one has a right answer. No one should preach on that basis. It is a hoax .Therefore, offering bribe should not be allowed. People are entitlted to be protected against hoax. I know I am stretching a bit. What do you think folks?


Man Singh
April 23, 2008
12:37 PM

SS # 11

You have a point and I agree with your view.
It seems `hate crime' is a bit harsher word for Church's activities of `faith trading' and `fraudulant conversions'.

Let's not go by the `wordings' of teh story and focus on `moral' of the story as words keep on changing their meanings with change in Desh, Kaal and paristhiti (time space and environment).

April 23, 2008
02:13 PM

I think we are too polite and careful about criticising any religion.


Exercising a certain restraint in criticizing other religions is just good manners. And good manners can save lives, if you understand my drift here.

After reading others refer to my holy texts as a "comic book", it takes a certain level of restraint on my own part to avoid casting slings of well deserved criticisms at the wisdom works of other faiths. If these above referred to individuals were to show up in the village I live (like Man Singh, I also live in a village) spouting their nasty comments, they'd be lucky to escape with all their teeth intact and their bones unbroken. That is not a threat - or even a promise - that is simply a reality.

Hopefully, you get my drift, now, Morris.

This doesn't make what you say in the rest of your paragraph so wrong, it simply puts a premium on a certain level of civility. When you are eating at someone else's table, don't spit into his borsht.

When a religion insists that it is the ONLY way to salvation, or whatever it is that is its goal, and leaves no out for anyone else, it deserves to be slammed unreservedly.

This means the Protestants and Catholics who hustle their faith world-wide, and who seek to undermine Judaism, as we are viewed as their primary enemy theologically. This also means the Wahhabi who preach the murder of anybody INCLUDING MOSLEMS who does not agree with them.

The saving grace of Judaism, Dharma, and nearly all Buddhist sects, is that they do none of these things. I have my beliefs and they do not necessarily jive with those of Man Singh, for example, but I will never say to him - or anybody else who is not a Child of Israel - that they are required to follow the 613 commandments the G-d of Israel revealed at Horev. Those 613 laws do not apply to one who is not a member of the Tribes of Israel. I will say that all of Mankind is required to follow the Seven Laws of Noah, but for the most part, most religions do, and most people following those religions or religious traditions (even if they call themselves atheists and reject a given religion or series of religions) also follow most of the Seven Laws of Noah. So for the most part, in my opinion anyway, following the Seven Laws of Noah is not an issue.

There was a group of people in Assam who claim to be Children of the Tribe of Benjamin, and our rabbis insisted that they convert to the faith in India BEFORE THEY WOULD ALLOW THEM TO EMIGRATE HERE, as most of them had been Christians beforehand. This, for various reasons, aroused the ire of the Indian government.

In telling you all of this, I'm not telling YOU or anyone else here what to believe, nor am I preaching to you, nor implying that you should follow my beliefs. So, don't interpret it that way. I'm simply telling you what I believe and why. That is all.

April 23, 2008
03:57 PM

I have no dispute with what you said. Pardon my ignorance but I am not familiar with sven laws of Noah. I have no reason to believe that I do not comply them.

When I said we are too polite, I did not mean that we go out and overtly insult any one. All I was trying to say that when someone says or implies that yours is not a goog religion, then why should I be polite and say that I respect your belief. All religions deserve equal respect. But when one says mine is better, then should I not say not necessarily so.

With Islam I have more difficulty. I am described as non believer in Quran and all sort of derogatory things have been written about such people. Do I have to be polite and say I respect your faith or perhaps just keep quiet? How do I know who among them sincerely believe what has been written about me. May be some one can help.


April 23, 2008
04:55 PM


With Islam I have more difficulty.

I left Islam out of the religions I considered because of the very painful relationship India has had with Islam.

I have never endured the contempt of a Moslem in as position of power or had to pay the jizyah or even consider things that were once commonplace in India, though as a Jew, I suspect that it would have been comparatively easier under Islam for me than for a Hindu. Do note that word comparatively. It is the operative word in the sentence.

I suspect that the author of the article can enlighten you far better than i can.


April 27, 2008
11:19 PM


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