Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Jesus Christ did not show the other cheek

Some Christians say they are opposed to death penalty because they are Christians. There is nothing is Christianity that is against death penalty. Jesus did not preach against death penalty. Throughout centuries many persons were burnt at stakes for heresy. The church declared crusades.

Jesus spoke of forgiveness. He spoke of showing the other cheek when one is struck on one cheek. But he did not show the other cheek when he was struck during the trial by Jewish leaders. He said “If I have said something wrong, show me where I am wrong. If I am right, why do you strike me?”

At the temple Jesus got angry and whipped the merchants. He did not reply when asked what authority he had to do it. He asked a counter question.

Jesus spoke of casting millstones around the necks of people who cause little ones to sin and throwing them into the sea.

Let not opposition to death penalty be linked to Christianity.

Midnight masses

Christians have traditionally had midnight masses for Christmas, New Year and Easter. Some years back the Supreme Court of India banned use of loudspeakers in open spaces between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. The Central Government passed a law permitting such use on 15 days in a year to be decided by State Governments. When the Supreme Court judgment came many churches held those masses at 8.30 p.m. of the previous day. Christians should fight for their right for midnight masses. Those 15 days can be increased to 18 days. Or midnight masses can be held within churches with use of loudspeakers.

Ministers without portfolios

Natwar Singh is minister without portfolio. Manmohan Singh holds External Affairs Portfolio. Previously too there were ministers without portfolios at certain times. Mamata Banerjee was minister without portfolio for some time. Dinesh Singh and Jaffer Sharief were ministers without portfolios when they did not resign. At the time of Nehru there were some ministers without portfolios.

It is meaningless to have ministers without portfolios. They do not do any work as ministers and are entitled to benefits due to ministers. Most of the times they are made ministers or allowed to continue as ministers due to political compulsions. This has to stop. Taxpayers’ money should not be wasted on them.

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