26 Letters

posted Apr 12, 2018, 9:23 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 9:24 AM ]

Patriarchy or Pure Evil?

Sir, Women's Day saw the usual platitudes bewailing the patriarchal society that puts the life of over fifty per cent of the world's population - children and females - at risk before birth and throughout life! Christians tend to ignore the first symptoms of this social disease displayed in the response of Adam and Eve to God and the murder of Abel by Cain. It was exacerbated by the introduction of contraceptives in European society in the early twentieth century and its rapid legalisation across the world in the 1930s. Homosexuality, or rather its predecessor, same-sex attraction, was deliberately removed from the list of mental health conditions in 1971, and today it is a crime in many countries to diagnose it.

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Kind deeds

Sir, This refers to "In his final act of kindness, Hawking funds homeless meals" (TOI, dated April 4). The article states that Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist who passed away, paid for a grand Easter meal for hundreds of homeless and needy people. It is interesting to note that on the day of the funeral, Hawking's family made the donation which helped the charity.

The Bible consistently reveals God's special concern for the poor, and connects His blessing with our generosity to the poor. "If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD, and He will repay you!" (Prov. 19:17) Consider Deuteronomy 15:10 - "Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for God will bless you in everything you do." Jesus Himself linked our care for those in physical need with divine blessing (Mt 25:31-46). Thus, though we should care for the poor out of compassion and out of obedience to God's commandments, we are encouraged to do so also because God promises to bless those who are kind to those who are in need. 

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"I am Malala"

Sir, She just wanted girls her age to be able to go to school. Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan was the youngest recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in advocating the right to education for children and women. In 2012, she was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gun-shot when returning home from school. The then-15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating education of girls. After recuperating, she continued to speak out despite death threats. In 2013, she addressed the United Nations Organisation exhorting that, "One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world."

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Zero Waste Weddings

Sir, Wedding season is already at hand. If there is a wedding in your family this season, here is an opportunity for you to take the example given by Shyamala and celebrate a Zero Waste Wedding. This will be a noble way to begin your married life.

Shyamala says, "An average wedding with 1,000 people attending will have two truckloads of garbage going to the landfill. But at the wedding of one of my friends, there was just one small bag of things."

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Plastic ban – crack the whip!

Sir, The ban on plastic/thermocole items by the Maharashtra government has, as expected, created a furore in the state. Large sections of society, manufacturers, businessmen, etc. are being affected and are agitated, understandably so. A petition challenging the ban has been filed by the Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association, before the High Court of Bombay. They claim over 8,000 industries would be affected, and around 20 lakh people would be rendered unemployed. A few days after the ban came into effect, a post was doing the rounds on WhatsApp, countering the ban, explaining why plastic should be preferred to paper, etc.

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'Siberian Spring'

Sir, "Twelve months of winter, and the rest is summer" was an expression known by every Zek (prisoner) in the Gulags during the Soviet era, and I understand that much of Europe has had a share in the Siberian Spring this year. Coldness is unpleasant, and the more severe and protracted, the more painful it becomes.

It's not the only thing that has gone cold in Europe though; they made the same mistake as the Soviets, as Solzhenitsyn put it describing his nation's woes: "Men have forgotten God."

Recent studies among European youth back this up; even the leftovers of a vague identification with cultural Christianity are evaporating with only small percentages in some countries still believing, even less attending church weekly.

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