March 8, 2019

Nathaniel Fajardo                                                   

Religion Mixed with Politics Brings War, Never Peace

Quotable Quote

We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us only God knows.

– Imran Khan, prime minister of India

(See “India, Pakistan Down Each Other’s Jets as Kashmir Conflict Heats Up.” Reuters, 2-27-19)

 I still recall the gentler yearswhen I was young, whiffing the fragrant talcum, “Cashmere Bouquet” when my dear sisters powdered it on. It was so irresistible I used it too when they weren’t around. From the gentle Cashmere Bouquet to the bloody Kashmir Conflict. That says it all on how things have changed from bad to worse. I think you get it.

The above quote of the current prime mister of India is loaded with ramifications in the escalating tensions and specter of a catastrophic war between these two Southeast Asian nuclear powers–India and Pakistan. In my pedestrian view, it even has greater and graver concerns, as bad as the former forebodes. Yes, it’s a new and added threat to the tenuous peace and security of that region and its repercussions outside of it—an unavoidable by-product of the globalized interdependence and technology-enhanced-and-driven interactions among nations and societies. 

In the larger context, racial profiling and prejudice are really only onion skin-deep. A far more insidious, uglier, deeper-rooted problem exists beneath that ugly surface. Here’s a current-event proof, the one I am invoking above.

Determining ethnicity, race, and religion and human value by the skin color is myopic and self-deceiving that leads to prejudice and profiling. It is so unChristlike.

Somewhere in the first and second grades I honestly thought that every fair-skinned people were “espanol” or “mestizos” and that all white-skinned, English-speaking “americanos” or “kanos” were “protestante.” I even coveted and tried aping—which turned into exaggerating the English slang and twang, a largely nasal effort and thought I had it. The blonde hair furthered this hang-up, resulting from believing too much of the western TV shows I managed to watch in homes of friends who lived outside the campus. We never owned a TV at home. Attached to this color-driven puerile perception that the whites were superior in intellect, beauty, and just about everything else over those who sported a darker shade of skin, including my brown one that had grown darker, sunburned in the iweltering Philippines summers.

Please don’t laugh. I actually thought that the poo-poo of our white missionary neighbors was also “white”—until one eventful day I chanced upon seeing the soiled diaper of their infant boy. It wasn’t white! That was so profound I still remember it today. These colored misconceptions faded out as I grew older, learning these were manifestations of a colonial mentality that bred prejudices and superiority and inferiority complexes. It took a long time, however to fully outgrow these egregious ideas.

That was the lighter side of things. The darker side follows.

A simplistic question quickly arose in my mind. What really is the problem between Indians and Pakistanis (as in other conflicts taking place among other look-alike, same-color-skinned people in the world)? A quick search on the web quickly provided the answer, confirming my initial thought it was religion and its negative byproduct of radicalized sectarianism–not really skin color or geographic divisions, although such branch out of it. This perception, of course, was borne out my studying the great controversy and the prophecies explaining it.  

The following is from ThoughtCo. “What Was the Partition of India” by Kallie Szczepanski, updated 9-19-2018. I will quote certain portions, underlining them and inserting thoughts in brackets which underscore the point.

      “The partition of India was a process of dividing the subcontinent along sectarian lines, which took place in 1947 as India gained its independence from the British Raj. The northern, predominantly Muslimsections of India became the nation of Pakistan, while the southern and majority Hindu section became the Republic of India. 

       “Fast Facts: the Partition of India

        Short Description: At the time of Indian independence from Great Britain, the subcontinent was broken into two parts.

         Key Players/Participants: Muhammed Ali Jinah, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas [Mahatma] Gandhi, Louis Mountbatten, Cyril Radcliffe.   

         Event Start Date: End of World War II, the ouster of Churchill, and the ascension of the Labor Party in Britain.

         Event End Date: Aug. 17, 1947.

         Other Significant Dates:  Jan. 30, 1948, the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi; Aug. 14, 1947, the creation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Aug. 15, 1947, the creation of the Republic of India.

          “Little Known Fact: In the 19th century, sectarian Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu communities shared India’s cities and countryside and cooperated to force Britain [the “common enemy” then] to “Quit India’ [not Pakistan]; it was not only after independence became a potential reality that religious hatred began to roil. . . . .

          “The Rise of Sectarian Separation. In 1885, the Hindu-dominated Indian national Congress (INC) met for the first time. When the British made an attempt to divide the state of Bengal along religious lines in 1905, the INC led huge protests against the plan. This sparked the formation of the Muslim League, which sought to guarantee the rights of Muslims in any future independence negotiations.  Although the Muslim League formed in opposition to the INC, and the British colonial government attempted to play the INC and Muslim League off one another, the two political [note that] parties generally cooperated in their mutual goal of getting Britain to ‘Quit India.’ As historian Yasmin Khan has described, political events were to destroy the long-term future of that uneasy alliance. [Students of Bible prophecy studiously avoid joining religious, political or a combination of both alliances, confederacies, councils, leagues—knowing what the prophets declared them to be in the scheme of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, Bible truth and error, especially in the last days of earth’s history].

          “In 1909, the British gave separate electorates to different religious communities, which had the outcome of hardening of boundaries among the different sects. The colonial government emphasized these differences [as in divide and conquer], by such activities as providing separate restroom and water facilities for Muslim and Hindus at the railway terminals. [The foolishness of man!] By the 1920s, a heightened sense of religious ethnicity became apparent. [Result?] Riots broke out at such times as during Holi festival, when sacred cows were slaughtered, or when Hindu religious music was played in front of mosques at prayer time. [Such disgusting provocations in the name of religion is fodder for skeptics and atheists. It is so unChristlike, thus, antichristian].

        “World War I and Afterward. Despite the growing unrest, both INC and Muslim League supporting Indian volunteer troops to fight on Britain’s behalf in World War I. In exchange for the service of more than 1 million Indian soldiers, the people of India expected political concessions up to and including independence. However, after the war, Britain offered no such concessions. In April 1919, a unit of the British Army went to Amritsar, in Punjab, to silence pro-independence unrest. The unit’s commander ordered his men to open fire on the unarmed crowd, killing more than 1,000 protesters. When the word of the Amritsar Massacre spread around India, hundreds of thousands of formerly apolitical people became supporters of the INC and the Muslim League. . . . .

         “A Separate Muslim State. The Muslim League’s leader, Muhammed Al Jinnah, began a public campaign in favor of a separate Muslim state, while Jawaharlal Nehru of the INC called for a unified India . . . .since Hindus would have formed the vast majority of the Indian population, and would have been in control of any democratic form of government.   

        “As independence neared, the country [India] began to descend toward a sectarian civil war. Although Gandhi implored the to unite in peaceful opposition to British rule, the Muslim League sponsored a “Direct Action Day’ on Aug. 16, 1946, which resulted in the deaths of more than 4,000 Hindus and Sikhs in Calcutta (Kolkata). This touched off the ‘Week of Long Knives,’ an orgy of sectarian violence that resulted in hundreds of deaths on both sides of the in various cities across the country. . . . .

       “Aftermath of Partition. On Jan. 30, 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated by a young Hindu radical for his support of a multireligious state. Separately from India’s partition, Burma (now Myanmar) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) gained independence in 1948; Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971.

       “Since August 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three major wars and one minor over territorial disputes. The boundary line in Jammu and Kashmir is particularly troubled. These regions were not formally under part of the British Raj in India, but were quasi-independent princely states; the ruler of Kashmir agreed to join India despite having a Muslim majority in his territory, resulting in tension and war to this day.

        “In 1974, India tested its first nuclear weapon. Pakistan followed in 1998. Thus, any exacerbation of post-Partition tensions today could be catastrophic.” 

The Origin and Purpose of Nations and Races Formed After the Flood

God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa. 55: 8. Man’s lower thoughts, quantified by the measureless expanse separating heaven from earth, inevitably leads to a corresponding lower way in forming nations, empires, and kingdoms. The given example above clearly attests to this.

First, the Bible says: “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. . . . and from these [three] the whole earth was populated.” Gen. 10: 5, 31, 32. “Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japeth. And sons were born to them after the flood.” Gen. 10: 1. “From these coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families into their nations.” v. 5.  “And from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.” vs. 31, 32.      

God’s penwoman writes:      

       “In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.

      “In words of matchless beauty and tenderness, the apostle Paul set before the sages of Athens the divine purpose in the creation and distribution of races and nations. ‘God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, since He gives to all life, breathe, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and boundaries of their habitation [for what purpose?], so that they should seek the Lord in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17: 24-28. . .  .“

      “In the history of nations the student of God’s word may behold the literal fulfillment of divine prophecy. . . . The power exercised by every ruler on the earth is Heaven-imparted; and upon the use of the power thus bestowed, his success depends.  . . . And to each the words spoken to Nebuchadnezzar of old are the lesson of life. “Break off your sins by righteousness . . Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity (tranquility).’ Dan. 4: 27.” – E. G. White, Prophets & Kings, pp. 499, 500.     

(To be continued next week)