14 December, 2017

Blog

The Land Like No Other: Why Did Mahinda And Sanghamitta Come?

By N.C.Rajendra

Constitutional obligations of the state to protect and foster all religion and thereby maintain peace and harmony among all

There was a time when Sri Lanka was a paradise and a pearl in the Indian ocean. There was a time when all the superlatives used to describe the country were found to be insufficient. There was a time when peace and happiness, love and friendship were the essence of life in Sri Lanka reflected in the joy and serenity of all Sri Lankans.

Can we not regain that Paradise? Can we not all be pearls for the whole earth to admire? Yes, we can.

Photo courtesy AFP’s Ishara Kodikara/ Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka Facebook page

The State which, we Sri Lankans have chosen as our means to that end, has first and foremost  to understand its obligations cast on it by us the Sri Lankan citizens. Their obligations are spelt out in simple easy to understand language in Article 9. The essence of our living and enjoyment of life springs from Article 9. This is the source from which all our rights, be they fundamental or common, arise.

These are the solemn words of that supreme law called the constitution.

“THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA……..having solemnly resolved by the grant of such a Mandate and the confidence reposed in their said representatives who were elected by an overwhelming majority to constitute SRI LANKA into a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC ………and assuring to all peoples FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, FUNDAMANETAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY  as the intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well being of succeeding generations of the PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA and of all the people of the world. ……..”

Where do these high sounding words and lofty ideals and utopian dreams come from?  From the Preamble to the Constitution of Sri Lanka-Paradise of the world and the land like no other.

What is of special interest here is the declaration that the INTANGBLE HERITAGE THAT GUARANTEES THE DIGNITY AND WELL BEING OF SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS OF SRI LANKANS AND ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD.

The intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well being of human beings is  the LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP that were carried in the genes of all the inhabitants of Sri Lanka. This is the heritage that the constitution woefully expresses in commands and prohibitions in its Articles.

There are many treatises by eminent jurists and renown scholars but this miniscule essay is an essay on how the present government honours its undertaking and mandate to uphold “the intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well being of succeeding generations of the PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA and of all the people of the world. ……..”  by discussing the Government’s observance of its obligations under Article 9, 10 and 14© of the SUPREME LAW in Sri Lanka, which the State undertakes to do under Article 9

Article 9 “ The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana. Though jurists and scholars have not thought it fit to explain how giving one religion the foremost place is not contradictory to the concept of EQUALITY- the maintenance and protection of which is the duty and mandate of the Government as explicitly stated in the Preamble and Equality is a Human Right acknowledged and accepted by the United nations of which Sri Lanka is a member.

But that initial violation by the Constitution makers themselves is forgivable because their obligation and duty is commanded in the next line “it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana.

Buddha Sasana is plainly and simply the teachings, practices and doctrines of Lord Buddha and one of the basic concepts taught by the Buddha is respect for all other human beings, however different they may be culturally or by way of religion. This would mean that we Sri Lankans who are living today, show respect for Islam and its followers, Hinduism and Hindu worshippers and Christianity and  all Christians regardless of the names by which they are known or called and all other religions or beliefs.

It follows just as night follows day in the tropics, that if the Government does its duty of protecting and fostering the Buddha’s teachings there would be no destruction of mosques temples and churches of other religions. There would be no hate,  animosity or hostility against other religions, races or tribes. There would be love and respect for ALL.

How has the Government failed in its duty under Article 9? The Government has failed to ensure that the monks observe the teachings of the Buddha. The Government has failed to ensure the contents of the Teachings in the Daham Pasalas. The Government has failed to bring a code of conduct so that Bhikkus behave according to the Buddha’s teachings. The Government has failed to set standards and qualifications for the RECRUITMENT OR ORDINATION of Bhikkus. The Government has failed to prevent politicians from manipulating Bhikkus or Bhikkus from manipulating politicians.

By permitting or condoning misbehavior among the Bhikkus, the Government is repudiating its obligation under Article 9 of the Supreme law.

The Government has another obligation under Article 9 of the Supreme law. “ TO ASSURE TO ALL RELIGIONS THE RIGHTS GRANTED BY ARTICLES 10 AND 14(1)(e)”

Has the Government failed here?

The Constitution right at the outset, in fact, in Article 9, lays down what is considered the most important requirement for anyone to govern the country. That important requirement is the duty to protect and promote the Buddha Sasana, implying that once that is achieved everything will give rise to peace and happiness and in turn respect for all the rights granted in Articles 10 and 14(1)(e)

Let’s examine the rights under Article 10 and 14(1)(e) and appreciate how the objective of peace and happiness is achieved by the State if it fulfills its obligations under Article 9.

Article 10 “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including the freedom to have or adopt a religion of his choice”

What is the Freedom envisaged here?

It is the right to have and cherish the idea or matter thought out, studied and embraced by a thinking or rational  individual. Article 10 also refers to a thought, religion or belief of the family the individual was born into and later customarily adopted or a religion chosen after study and deep thought knowingly accepted by that individual with conviction or faith.

Logically following from this premise, no Guru, priest, monk or teacher, parent or any other person  has the control of the thought, religion or belief of the individual whose thought, religion or belief which he himself has moulded in process of acquiring the ultimate content of his thought, belief or religion.

Following from this point, it is impossible to permit a Buddhist monk, Hindu priest or sage or one of the million Christian priests or leaders to assert that they are spiritual leaders of an individual unless that individual has manifestly accepted that guru, monk, priest or teacher as his Thought Controller with the right and power to protect him from different other favourable thoughts.

Any one, be it the Ravanna Bala Sevava or the BBS or any other Rabble-monks, claiming to be the Religious Thought Controllers of every Buddhist individual is violating Article 10. By permitting this wrongful assumption of the position of Thought Controller or turning a blind eye to it, the Government is failing in  its duty under Article 9 to assure the rights granted by Article 10.

Recently, there were reports that Buddhist monks or those dressed in yellow robes had humiliated and assaulted certain Christian groups because those groups were distributing Christian literature. In fact those Yellow robed ruffians had in many instances prevented members of those Christian groups from entering certain towns and villages, claiming that they had no right to talk to those townsfolk or villagers, although these villains did not know and do not know to this day what the thoughts, beliefs or religions those individual villagers had adopted for themselves.

To explain further, the individual having the freedom to practice his religion, implies that he must have an array of religions to choose one religion from that array. Knowledge of this array of religions  he can acquire from sold at bookshops or from books delivered at his home. He can study these books and other literature by himself or by means of a teacher at a public place or at his home.

It is only after study, thought, analysis, comparison and reflection that an individual can make a choice.

It follows, therefore, that by preventing evangelical missionaries from entering villages the Bhikkus are instrumental in violating the fundamental right under Article 10. The Police in permitting this behavior of the yellow robes is aididng and abetting the offence of violating the right of all the villagers granted by Article 10.

Destruction and mutilation of mosques and places of worship constitute offences under the Penal Code and should be dealt with under the Criminal Procedure Code or the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Now, let’s turn our attention to Article 14(1)(e).

ARTICLE 14(1)(e) “the freedom either by himself or in association with others and either in PUBLIC or in private TO MANIFEST his religion or belief in worship, observance ,PRACTICE and TEACHING

It must be understood that Article 14(1)(e) is supplementary or an extension of the freedom defined in Article 10, which deals with the mental element of the individual, while 14(1)(e) deals with his expression of that element in words, deeds and public conducts.

Article 10 is a definition and declaration of the freedom to think and to believe anything. Belief in a god or not.  It also declares the freedom to believe in a religion, which necessitates the existence of a God.

Article 10 also implies the freedom to continue one’s   belief in a religion or codes of conduct or teachings acquired by the mere fact of birth into a family and it declares the freedom to CHOOSE A RELIGION OR BELIEF and adopt it replacing the one he was born into.

Logically following from this declaration under Article 10 is the freedom to change or replace one’s religion acquired at birth and replace it with a different religion, belief or thought. e.g.  A Christian born into Christian family ,educated in a Christian school and changing from the Christian religion to another religion or system of thought, whatever the reason for that change may be. There are many prominent examples of this change (look to your right you find a thousand and look to your left you will find twenty thousand.) Ask any of the thousand Darwin-mice or hundreds of the Dawkins-mites and they will tell you “they learnt from books and men” and learnt to play the game their way (different from their parents or families). They will tell you that they learnt at school at home, in libraries and at lectures  in PUBLIC PLACES AND PRIVATE. Some of them will tell you how their gurus visited them at their home and inculcated those anti religion doctrines into their empty vacant minds or fertile but non-irrigated minds. (forget the Western intellectuals of the 19th and 20th century who entranced some of our pseudo intellectuals)

What has to be observed here is NOT ONLY the freedom they had to change and adopt another religion or system of thought (ART10) but also the Freedom that permitted the Guru to visit his home or any other public place and TEACH him directly by means of the oral word and indirectly by means of the printed word and now by means of audio-video technology.

Evangelical Christians in Sri Lanka are doing the same thing. They are commissioned by the bible to find Sri Lankan citizens who wish to exercise their right to hear from others what they have to teach in order that they may CHOOSE AND ADOPT a religion (Belief in an almighty god) or a system of thought.

Now can this RIGHT UNDER ARTICLE 10 BE DENIED? Who can deny it? Can thugs robed or unrobed deny it? Can the State turn a blind eye to it? Should not the State prevent it? Has the State condoned it?

This is the right of the willing learner yearning to fill his mind with new thoughts and judge for himself whether “to be” (what follower he is presently) “or not to be” (to change and adopt another) “whether it is nobler in the mind” to change or not to change.

What right does the practicing evangelical Christian have to go looking for the Article 10 free thinker? Is it granted in Article 10? Let’s examine the contents and what is grounded in it.

Article 10 “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including the freedom to have or adopt a religion of his choice”

It is here that Article 14(1)(e) shines  like the Sun on a cloudless day in Sri Lanka, where only the blind cannot see the Sun but feel its heat.

ARTICLE 14(1)(e) “the freedom either by himself or in association with others and either in PUBLIC or in private TO MANIFEST his religion or belief in worship, observance ,PRACTICE and TEACHING”  (repeated for emphasis)

Dwelling on the words “manifest his religion” in worship, practice and teaching, it is obvious that the evangelical Christian has the right to teach. But whom does he teach?  Is it NOT the Sri Lankan citizen who is recognized in Article 10?

Evangelical Christians are not individuals who confine themselves to buildings but who worship, observe and practice their religion anywhere and at any time without infringing the rights of others

Evangelical Christians are footstep followers of Jesus Christ – their Leader. Jesus Christ went from house to house, village to village to village, city to city, looking for people referred to in Article 10. Paul, a footstep follower of Jesus Christ did the same and, in addition, from one country to another. In fact all the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ did exactly the same thing. There are many scriptures which state that worship means and includes teaching others the word of God. There are other scriptures which enjoin Christians to declare the name of God to every one possible. These scriptural behests and commands are being followed everywhere in the world, even if “hell should bar the way.”

What Sri Lankans do not realize is that Evangelical Christians are doing exactly what the bible commands them to do and describes teaching others and declaring God’s name as essential ingredients of worship as opposed to rituals and ceremony.

Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam were brought to this country by non Sri Lankans in the same way that they were taken to other countries. Christianity was brought here 500 years ago and there are many others, including atheism that arrived in this country and are flourishing here.

How did Mahinda convince Devanampiya Tissa that the teaching of the Buddha was superior to the religion (Hinduism) or form of worship prevailing in the country at that time? Was it not by teaching him at his home? Arts 10 and 14(1)(e)? What did Sanghamitta come here for? Teach wasn’t it?  To whom?  Aricles 10 and 14(1)(e) resound like a nuclear blast.

What did the Chinese and the Siamese come here for? To be taught. Did we not send monks to China to teach the Chinese?

CONCLUSION

There is no doubt that an eager and willing pupil has the right to be taught under Article 10 and that he can be reached at his home to be taught in the traditional manner of ORAL TEACHING or in any way that he chooses.

There is no doubt either that the TEACHER has a right to teach his religion to a willing pupil anywhere in terms of Article 14(1)(e).

What is not understood is that the Teacher has a common right to traverse the streets of Sri Lanka and villages in search of the citizens referred to in Article 10.

But what brings sadness to the hearts  and tears to the eyes of those Sri Lankan citizens who hope and depend on the State for protection is that the State has failed to understand its obligations “to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana” under Article 9 of the constitution.

If the State were to protect, control the ordination of the monks by selecting them after a rigorous examination of their motive and inclination, there would be no monks who would be accused of crimes or of destroying Mosques and causing harm to non Buddhists.

The State has failed in not enacting a code of conduct according to the precepts of the Buddha for Bhikkus and ensuring that the code is strictly followed and enforced by a Bhikku court.

The State has failed in its religious education. It has failed to ensure that the Buddha doctrines are taught with the objective of practicing the teachings of the Buddha. It  has failed to ensure that those who attend Daham Pasala have a continual education even in adult life.

Should the State accepts its obligations under Article 9 by protecting and fostering the Buddha Sasana, it will ensure “to all religions the rights  UNDER ARTICLES 10 AND 14(1)(e) of the Constitution and the state will be true to its constitution and an example to the world. What is more we will be proud to call Sri Lanka a land like no other.

LET’S DO IT, Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

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    The government is simply doing the bidding of the majority. A majority of the majority who turn a blind eye when minorities are discriminated against and places of religious worship vandalised are just rabid nationalists and not true Buddhists.
    This is no longer an island paradise but a land of “anything goes” where people happily believe the lies, damned lies and statistics propogated by opportunistic politicians and racist monks who dance to the tune of the despotic family regime that runs this country.
    One day this majority will wake up and kick the ruling family out, but only after the economy has been turned into a bankrupt Zimbabwe style economy. By then it will be too late to salvage anything…this is already a paradise lost…the blunder of Asia.

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      Percey Jilmart

      Buddhism is the curse of Lanka. It was consolidated by Monk Mahanama, with Myths and lies.

      Lanka was Hindu and Jain, before Buddhism, and before demonizing the NATIVE Vedda and others.

      This is all about the Monk Hegemony, and the rulers using the monks to maintain the hegemony.

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        Yes Amarasiri, we can still see the remnants of Rituals and Practices of Hinduism which are Propagated and Practised as True Buddhism.

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        So true! ..at least it is consistantly apparent!
        The present dictator obviously does not care about Buddhism…at least tHis Excellency the late Premadasa did a better act..

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        At last someone who knows the Lanka history !!! Exactly…Buddhism came to Sri Lanka as a politcal instrument… which is being used by stupid monks… and cunning politicians !!!

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    I agree with you on this Percy, Buddhism really is the curse of Sri Lanka. people worship monks like their gods.

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      irrational religous begots are the curse, no matter what religion they are from.

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    Can we not regain that Paradise? Can we not all be pearls for the whole earth to admire? No we can’t – at least not in the foreseeable future.

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    SRI LANKA VERY BADLY NEEDS A MODERN RELIGION, LOOK FOR IT AND YOU WILL FIND IT!

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      Please read The Dalai Lama’s Book – ‘Beyond Religion’ That should solve your search!

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      modern religion? scientology?

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      Why don’t you become a Wahabi and blow up ?

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    What ever the christianity is; Jesus did not preach a religion. He was trying to save JEws from the Roman. It is the Roman who used this underground movement as a political movement. That is why christianity is a political religion.

    Today church is a business and They sell Jesus and the bible. Evangelism is just one denomination of over 38000 of different versions of christianity.

    buddhism is not aggressive as christianity or Islam and buddhism never convert buy fraudulent or any other means.

    Because, of that, Sri Lanka should ban conversion of buddhists by any means. Another such country which accepts minority religions but bans conversion of muslims to christianity or other religions is IRAN.

    Sri Lanka should follow that example.

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      You Christian Convert,

      What are you talking about you dick head. buddhism is not aggressive as Christianity.
      You are right mate under BBS they are not just aggressive but extremely VIOLENT.

      Because, of that, Sri Lanka should ban conversion of buddhists by any means.

      CORRECTION:

      Sinhala Lanka should ban Civilised Sinhalese ( if any left) conversion to Virulent BBS.

      IRAN is Sinhala Lankas best friend giving Cheap Petrol and millions of pounds

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      MONGOLS, JAPS ‘BUDDISTS’; VIOLENCE EXPERTS
      THIGHLAND ‘BUDDIST’; INTERCOURSE MERCHANTS, CHILDREN INCLUDED.

      OUR MONKS KILL PM’S, KILL EACH OTHER IN TEMPLES, RAPE TOO AND SPONSOR RACISM; VIOLENCE EXPERTS WITH THE ‘DARLING’ MYTH.

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    Evangelical christianity is the american version of christianity. It is highly commercialized version of the church.

    How many Evangelical priests were caught in Corruption, sleeping with prostitutes and cheating people ?

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      You are also doing the same thing in Sri Lanka! what is the difference? Do you ever practice Lord Buddha’s teachings?

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        Yes, Stay calm and quite until you all muslims and 38000 denominations of Christianity finished converting.

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      JM
      Why you are comparing Buddhism with Christianity, Islam and Hinduism? I don’t see there is constructive argument. Whether Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are good or bad, once again it is not going to shape Buddhism as a great religion. I think we should discuss about our religion, our faith, our future religious harmony, and our blood thirsty MONKS goals. Look at their faces and attitudes in the picture and then compare with Lord Buddha’s face and faiths and ask yourself do these MONKS have LORD BUDDHA peaceful face, conviction, discourses, love, and kind-heartedness. How do people go to temple and touch these monks’ feet and get blessing? Can you do this after all looking at these nasty faces? I really concern to know whether these irresponsible monks wearing the peace cloth and eating free food have seen Lord Buddha face? I think you need to clean your closet before get others.

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    Just google and see the word, Evangelical and corruption, to see how corrupt this church all over the world is.

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    Not only Buddhisn, also Catholism are curses to the country.
    These followers have forgotton the principles of their Masters.

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    The mixing of religion and politics is the most toxic to man and has led to much unhappiness and bloodshed where it has. Sri Lanka has been yoked with a curse that will take centuries to throw off. Suffice to note that the blessed Mahinda handed the poisoned chalice to the island but he could not have in his wildest dreams imagined the mayhem and sorrow that it was to bring upon this beautiful and tranquil island. So much for the five precepts.

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    We should go back to the old constitution – Prime Minister, Parliament, Senate and good old CEYLON

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    THIS IS THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY INTERTWINED WITH AMERICAN POLITICS.

    ‘ Evangelical Christians have gotten a bum rap. And this is a Jew speaking.

    Many Americans operate under the grade school notion that it was the Puritans who introduced religious freedom to the New World. They didn’t. In escaping their own religious persecution in England, they came to America to set up a theocracy in which tolerance of other religions was considered heresy. Among those exiled from the Plymouth colony was Roger Williams, an English Protestant theologian, who later established the Baptist Church in America. Williams was one of the earliest proponents of religious freedom in the colonies. He established Providence, R.I., as a refuge for religious minorities and espoused the radical notions of separating church and state, freedom of conscience and the abolition of slavery.

    Sounds suspiciously like liberalism to me.

    If you go to the Merriam Webster Dictionary definition of liberalism (a term first used in 1819), here’s what you find:
    a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity
    a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard
    a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically: such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class).
    Applying each of those definitions illustrates my point: liberalism and evangelical Christianity are intimately linked.

    Starting with No. 1, Roger Williams was ousted from the Plymouth colony as a heretic, but he took with him the powerful intellectual tradition of the Puritans. At that point in American history, schools were employed in the service of the Protestant ruling group. As I’ve written elsewhere, “Despite its seeming narrowness, education was the Puritans’ great gift to our nation. Puritans, like Jews, cherished learnedness and detested ignorance. They demanded literacy and scholarship in their clergy. Puritan logic was almost Talmudic in its minute weighing of alternatives.” It was this intellectual tradition that Roger Williams applied to his constructs of religious liberty.

    How did we get from there to the perceived anti-intellectualism that is often associated with the religious right today? What about intellectual liberty viewed through “the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity”? A core belief of many evangelical Christians is that redemption is freely available through Christ and that it is their duty to spread the good news of that forgiveness through vigorous proselytizing. But many also view it as their duty to share the Gospel by serving as exemplars and by modeling Jesus’s life through humility, care for the needy and the pursuit of justice. I’ve heard this echoed by the Chairman of the Tanenbaum Center of Interreligious Understanding, an evangelical Christian. In his practice, proselytizing is not as much about preaching to others but about being an example through living God’s love. Interestingly, our Chair, a staunch Republican, considers himself a liberal.

    Moving on to definition No. 2, American evangelicalism arose in the midst of rapid industrialization that created seismic shifts in the social compact. In light of dramatic inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the relationship of capital to labor became a flashpoint. Concerns about the impact of industrialization on the poor, the aged and the otherwise disenfranchised gave rise to the articulation and pursuit of the Social Gospel. One of the early Christian theologians of the Social Gospel, Walter Rauschenbusch, was also a strong advocate of the labor movement. Yes. The labor movement!

    This smacks of the “L” word — two “L” words, in fact!

    Finally, No. 3: The Social Gospel, embraced by the liberal wing of evangelical Christians, emerged in the early 20th century. Its goal was to bring the Gospel to the whole person, and not just to the spiritual experience of being “born again” in Christ. Confronted with an excess of poverty, alcoholism, illness, inequality, racial tensions, problems faced by immigrants, crime, the evangelical Christian conscience responded with social activism. Many from that community were immersed in the abolition movement, public health measures, the settlement house movement, the establishment of adoption agencies, the temperance movement, improvement of schools, enforced education for the poor, women’s suffrage, among others — and ultimately, the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these movements in the pursuit of social justice required the intervention of government, and this was, in fact, partly driven by the contribution of evangelical Christianity to progressive social causes.

    In one of his essays, Paul Toms, a former President of the National Association of Evangelicals, explains the overlap of government, the evangelical Christian community’s social activism and societal ills: “We are concerned with the place of Christians in government, the feeding of the hungry and starving, and the meeting of physical needs. We give attention to the hurts and problems people have, especially those problems that are inadequately handled by government.” He goes on to quote from a pamphlet, Evangelicalism and Social Responsibility, authored by Dr. Vernon Grounds: “Three passions … have governed my life: The longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” Toms also quotes Frances Schaeffer, “Christians are not to love their believing brothers to the exclusion of their non-believing fellow men.”

    How did evangelical Christians, who have been dedicated to the care of all people and at the forefront of social reform in America, come to be broadly identified with intolerance and a lack of compassion?

    According to the 2011 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, evangelical Christians make up more that 26 percent of the U.S. population — the single largest religious denomination in our highly pluralistic country. Yet, in a recent New York Times opinion piece, “The Decline of Evangelical America,” John Dickerson, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Arizona and an evangelical Christian himself, notes that the evangelical church has lost both numbers and power.

    The Pew survey results are revealing:

    Among evangelical Christians, 50 percent percent either identify as Republican or lean toward the Republican Party.
    In political ideology, 52 percent are Conservative.
    On the size of government, evangelicals today top the list with 48 percent of the former advocating smaller government and fewer services.
    50 percent of evangelicals believe that government should be more involved in protecting morality.
    When it comes to abortion or homosexuality, evangelicals top the list of those religious groups that are opposed.
    When it comes to stricter environmental laws, at 54 percent, evangelicals are close to the bottom of the list of groups in support.
    However, on the issue of whether the U.S. should be active in world affairs or focus on domestic issues, evangelicals match the national total of 36 percent supporting an inward focus. Interestingly, this means that the majority of evangelical Christians is more outward looking and engaged in global issues than historically Black Churches, Muslims, Hindus and Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is the only category where the majority of evangelicals are in the “liberal” camp.
    So what does all this mean? If one compares where evangelical Christians stand on these measures to the rest of the U.S. population, they stand in contrast to the national mood. (The sole exception is engagement in world affairs.) Dickerson has an explanation: “Evangelicals have not adapted well to rapid shifts in the culture — including, notably, the move toward support for same-sex marriage. The result is that evangelicals are increasingly typecast as angry and repressed bigots. … Instead of offering hope, many evangelicals have claimed the role of moral gatekeeper, judge and jury.”

    Yet, for each measure in the Pew survey, there are substantial percentages of evangelicals who remain identified with “liberal” positions. Indeed, 41 percent define themselves ideologically as liberal or moderate. This, in itself, makes clear that evangelicals are not a monolithic community.

    The ongoing tensions within evangelical Christianity are eloquently explained by Ron Sanders in writing about the Campus Crusade for Christ in “The Gospel in Action”:
    Since the turn of the 20th Century and the fundamentalist controversy, social justice concerns have often been linked with theological liberalism. While churches on the left focused on managing the sin(s) of society, the more conservative churches focused their theology and practice on the evangelization of individuals. With the exception of a few, the conservative churches withdrew from social justice practices to (1) focus on the evangelization of individuals and (2) not be associated with the theologically liberal churches.
    Recently, conservative protestants have been moving toward including social justice concerns in the theology and practice of their spiritual journey. Instead of being a marker for theological liberalism, social justice has become a benchmark for a richer and more full gospel. They contend that the numerous old testament and new testament passages that talk about caring for the poor, the stranger, the marginalized and the disadvantaged must be taken as a serious element of the Kingdom of God.

    In essence, Sanders suggests that within conservative Protestant Christianity, there are distinct movements involving both the saving of individual souls and those who engage in the public square. This tension has an additional dimension that has emerged among some within the evangelical Christian community: whether to engage in the public square by focusing not on serving the disadvantaged but on utilizing political power for moral ends.
    For Dickerson, the power of evangelical Christianity is not in its political action but in its core beliefs of social justice. “How can evangelicalism right itself? We can, and must, adapt the way we hold our beliefs — with grace and humility instead of superior hostility.”

    It is that grace and the deep caring for humanity that characterizes the evangelical Christians who are my personal exemplars. It is that compassion that made evangelical Christians the first liberals.

    And that’s why this Jew feels that evangelical Christians have gotten a bum rap. ‘

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      Jim you Christian Covert now turned in to a Jew.
      You are wasting the space man by writing rubbish like this.
      Stop this please in the name of God and Humanity.

      If you cannot stop Jump into a well and save mankind from further misery.

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

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    Article 10 “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including the freedom to have or adopt a religion of his choice”

    This is different from the abuse of this clause by fraudulent means. govt should clarify that to missionaries.

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    Article 9 “ The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana. Though jurists and scholars have not thought it fit to explain how giving one religion the foremost place is not contradictory to the concept of EQUALITY- the maintenance and protection of which is the duty and mandate of the Government as explicitly stated in the Preamble and Equality is a Human Right acknowledged and accepted by the United nations of which Sri Lanka is a member”

    That’s right,that’s the article9. If anyone has any problem with it, the answer was given by the former Australian Prime minister Julia Gillard.”we didn’t ask you to come here,if you don’t like the way we live you can go back to where ever you came from. Don’t expect us to live according to your beliefs.
    Today the Buddhists in this country are 74% but before those who clamour for eqality came here it was 100%.It was the Buddhists who allowed those who follow other faiths to practice their religions.
    Buddhism was the religion of this country for over two thousand years and who are these late comers to question that.
    U.N and their charters are only 60 years old and no one can or should expect to override or disregard traditions and practices that continued uninterrupeted for thousands of years in this country.
    74%of this country are Buddhists and they pay the larger share of the governments expenditure and that gives them the right to call the shots,that’s what happens in the UN as well.As the highest contributor to UN US behaves as if it owns it.
    The problem here is the whiners who look at what others have instead of looking at what they have. If one has the right and the freedom to practice one’s religion as much as the Buddhists,what more equality are you asking for?
    Since Veddha community too are Buddhists now, no special mention was made!

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    Mahinda & Sangamitta touched the Lankan shores by mistake while on their way to Bali the mast of their sail broke and they had to make an accidental landing into this mysterious monkey island.

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    Constitutional obligations of the state to protect and foster all religion and thereby maintain peace and harmony among all

    This clause should be changed.

    Because Christians and Muslims are political religions who do not know how to live in harmony with other religions. They don’t know co-existence and they know only domination. See how they killed each other in former Yugoslovia and how they do in Africa, and in the middle east.

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    Rajendra,

    1)Article 10 “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including the freedom to have or adopt a religion of his choice”

    Which planet are you on mate. Article 10 ECHR only applies to Civilised Countries not to Lawless Sinhala Lanka.

    2) There was a time when Sri Lanka was a paradise and a pearl in the Indian ocean. There was a time when all the superlatives used to describe the country were found to be insufficient. There was a time when peace and happiness, love and friendship were the essence of life in Sri Lanka reflected in the joy and serenity of all Sri Lankans

    Let me ask you a question? Which millennium did this happen. If you care to remember please let know as I will be delighted.

    3)ARTICLE 14(1)(e) “the freedom either by himself or in association with others and either in PUBLIC or in private TO MANIFEST his religion or belief in worship, observance ,PRACTICE and TEACHING

    My comment for the above is the same as for Article 10

    My friend you are Preaching to the Un Preachable and putting your life in danger . Go and do something useful and try to stay alive.

    May god be with you.

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    All this will end predictably. When you create or sponsor extremist elements, they will eventually turn on you when you try to exercise some control. We have enough examples – after all, who killed the following?

    SWRD Bandaranayaka
    Indira Gandhi
    Rajiv Gandhi

    Their own creations.

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    Sri Lanka is a pearl of an Island which is inhabited by swine..go figure.

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