Harman Singh2
Media

The turban was made for man, and not man for the turban

 

The story has gone viral and circled the world. Harman Singh, 22, of South Aukland, New Zealand, was lounging around at home when he heard the screech of car tyres and then a lot of commotion. He went outside to investigate. “I saw a child down on the ground and a lady was holding him,” he said. “His head was bleeding, so I unveiled my turban and put it under his head.

The people marvelled: “He didn’t care that his head was uncovered in public – he just wanted to help this little boy,” said fellow Sikh Gagan Dhillon.

And so Mr Singh is being “lauded worldwide” for “breaking strict religious protocol” or “religious rule and strict tradition” to meet an urgent humanitarian need. There’s even a Facebook fan page, where one contributor has written: “Good on you, Harman!! You are a credit to your religion and just a damn fine human being!” Another exclaims: “Just wish there were more people in the world like you.” And another: “I am so glad you were driven by your humanity first… Love and respect.”

Mr Singh is rather taken aback by all the media attention. “I think anyone else would have done the same as me,” he said, in a matter-of-fact, unfazed kind of way.

Well, quite.

The amplified reaction to Mr Sing’s impulse in response to a medical emergency is indicative of the media’s fundamental religious illiteracy. It is almost as though they view Sikhism through the lens of Islam. Sikhism is not a religion of law. Unlike Jews, Christians and Muslims, Sikhs have no revealed, immutable precepts: there is no ‘book of law’, as such. The Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of devotional writings intended for worship. Certainly, there are certain dogmatic Sikhs who are are more militant in their interpretation of orthodoxy, and for whom the Guru Granth Sahib is more than a mere devotional, the precepts of which are absolute requirements of the religion. But Sikhs like Harman Singh understand that the Five Ks do not equate to the Five Pillars of Islam.

There is no ‘religious rule’ or ‘strict tradition’ that is set down by Waheguru and dictated verbatim to Guru Gobind Singh: practices such as the wearing of a turban are historic and cultural. Those Sikhs who do not wear the Five Ks are no less Sikh than those who do, though some of their orthodox co-religionists will doubtless disagree. And those who eat meat or drink alcohol are no less Sikh than those who refrain. Historically, Sikhs adopted practices which permitted them to be distinguished from Muslims: the kirpan was symbolic of their preparedness to die for their faith; not eating meat which had been sacrificed to Allah helped them to forge a distinct identity. And so now does the turban, which tends not to be worn by Western or subcontinental Muslims for that very reason (though there are regional cultural exceptions).

The turban was originally a means of covering long hair to keep the sand out of it. It was a practical garment, rather like a coat, which has metamorphosed into an ostentatious symbol of hierarchy and orthodoxy. Harman Singh’s turban happens to double as a portable first-aid kit. Religious ‘law’ which obstructs mercy and cripples acts of compassion is no law of God.

  • Ivan M

    I think its partly a matter of misidentification. The people lauding him are the usual idiots who identify the Sikhs with Talibananas since the buggers both have unkempt beards and turbans. This happens everytime some crackerjack wants to pot an Ay-rab. IIRC the only deliberate murder in the US, in the wake of 9/11, was someone killing a Sikh petrol station owner in the belief that he was the hated Muzzie.

    The Sikhs have their own brand of fundamentalists, last seen making a lot of noise somewhere around 1984/85. See GoldenTemple Amritsar or Indira Gandhi assassination.

    • The Explorer

      I’ll bet there are people seeing this story who are saying, “See, some Muslims are really nice.”

      • Ivan M

        Yes I think that is the case. I have to tell you that since working in Indonesia for the past one year, I’ve had to change my views on the Islamic threat. I no longer believe that it is inevitable that there will be a showdown. Rather what I found was the further away from pernicious Saudi influence the Muslims are, the more rational and reasonable they are. I already knew this from my observations of the workers in the Persian Gulf region; just had it reinforced. In Indonesia, there is no state religion, and the various religions have to fend for themselves without outside help.

        • The Explorer

          Some of my fellow believers will consider me a heretic for this, but I am enough of an inclusivist to think that there are those in other religions who know Christ. They just don’t know that they do. Yet.
          This may be in spite of their religions, not because of them, and is not an argument that all religions lead to God.

          • Ivan M

            Again, I have to say that I personally do not believe that God is going to bother too much about the route taken. I have atheist friends who are better than me in some (important) respects.

            Like Bertrand Russell answered the query on what he would do if he were questioned by (say) St Peter.

            “The evidence was a bit thin on the ground.”

          • HedgehogFive

            Bertrand Russell was brilliant in many respects: for one thing, he was one of the very few who recognized that the philosophy of Marx was both muddled and largely based on hatred.

            Nevertheless, he did have his blind spots. After all, have you ever met a (male) atheist who has totally shaken off the belief that he is God’s gift to women?

          • Ivan M

            Actually I have. Well at least one. He is neither attracted to female or male. Has no addictive vices. Visits his aged mother regularly. But I cannot quarrel with your larger point. Earl Russell was a well known humper of anything that moves.

          • Old Blowers

            “You always speak such sense…Look and learn,Jack *giggles*” Then you have to go and completely spoil it with utter tosh. You nana !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

          • Grouchy Jack

            You believe formal membership in the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation?

          • The Explorer

            Now don’t be contentious. Leave that to me.

          • Hmmm ….

          • The Explorer

            We all have blind spots in our theology. This may be mine. It’s one possible meaning of, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. And they will hear my voice.” ( I accept that the primary meaning is to the Jews about the Gentiles).

          • Here’s a quick summary of (much misunderstood) Catholic teaching on this.

            http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/is-there-really-no-salvation-outside-the-catholic-church

            Jack remembers one notable Catholic theologian )Father William Most) stating that Socrates was a Christian – controversial, or what?

          • The Explorer

            Not that controversial. Justin Martyr thought Socrates was a Christian ahead of his time. And Justin, after all, was martyred for his Christianity.
            Thanks for the reference. Will check it out as and when. They’ve upped my medication, and my body’s reacting to it. I’ve got to get to bed. For the moment, over and out.

          • God Bless, Explorer.

          • He does speak good sense, Blowers. Read and learn, Blowers.

          • “Those, who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may attain eternal salvation.”
            (CCC 847)

            Sincere non-Christians can be moved by grace to seek God and know and do His will. When they do so according to the dictates of their conscience they can be saved, for by God’s will they are associated with the paschal mystery of Christ.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. Karl Rahner’s view of “invisible Christians” is another Catholic viewpoint that has always been a great comfort to me. The idea that Socrates is condemned for not responding to Christ when he died before Christ was born has always seemed to me to be nonsense rather than justice.

        • Malcolm Smith

          Actually, there are four state religions in Indonesia: Islam, Catholicism, Christianity (by which they mean Protestantism), and Hinduism (which includes the occasional Buddhists). Other religions are not recognized. In the 1970s at least, teachers were required to attend courses where the similarities of each religion were reinforced.) However, the Department of Religion provides most of its money to the Muslims.
          Islam in Indonesia is, to put it simply, slack. It is mixed with a lot of pre-Islamic superstitions, and most do not attend mosque. However, those who do are now showing a new militancy.

    • Uncle Brian

      Unkempt beards? Sikhs? Not any Sikhs I’ve seen. On the contrary, they have the kemptest beards imaginable, with the loose whiskers all drawn up under the edge of their turbans.

  • Inspector General

    Made very good soldiers in the Imperial British Army, so they did. Good chaps, but one knows little of their customs, that’s their business. A good officer would rely upon his senior NCOs to advise him where necessary. We learnt that much from the Mutiny.

    • Ivan M

      What are you talking about? The Mutiny was centered in the Hindu belt. Nothing to do with the Sikhs who were out in Punjab.

      • Inspector General

        The consideration of the customs of the natives, dear boy. All of them, whether Hindu, Sikh or Mohammedan…

        • Ivan M

          Thousand apologies, Burra Sahib,

      • Malcolm Smith

        That’s right: it had nothing to do with the Sikhs. The Mutiny was put own with the help of soldiers recruited from the newly conquered territories in the north west.

    • The Explorer

      The British East India Company fought two wars with the Sikhs: 1846 and 1849. Although enjoying superiority in field guns and numbers, the Sikh Khalsa was so democratic that it lacked decisive leadership when it mattered.
      Having defeated them, the Company recruited the Sikhs into the Company Army, and the Sikh Cavalry played an important role on the British side in the Indian Mutiny.

      • Ivan M

        Primary school jokes:

        A Sikh was arrested for some reason:

        Sgt: What is your name
        Sikh : Jasput Singh.

        Sgt: I know you are a Sikh, I want you full name
        Sikh : Yeah that’s what I said, Jasput Singh

        Sgt: Are you trying to be funny boy…
        …..

        Maths question
        Q: Supposing, Amarjit Singh, Beant Singh and Santokh Singh went for curry rice. Each meal cost $10. What was the total in the bill?

        A: $40, as supposing (Suppo Singh) is a also a Singh.

      • carl jacobs

        Explorer

        How can a company fight wars?

        • The Explorer

          Ellipsis. Like saying Russia declared war. Add ‘The army employed by…’ to the start of the opening sentence.

          • carl jacobs

            But that begs the question. Why would the British East India company have an army? To fight a war, the British East India Company would have to be a surrogate agent of the Empire. Only a nation state can declare war.

          • The Explorer

            I believe the two SIkh Wars are also known as ‘Campaigns’. So right, not a war: just a series of battles between two armies. The relationship of the British East India Company to Britain was a troubled one: impeachment of Warren Hastings etc. As far as I remember, after the Indian Mutiny (another contentious title: also known as the Sepoy Uprising) Britain took over direct control from the Company.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Wars existed before nation states. The Viking raids started before the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway came into existence. The (British) East India Company had an army because it ruled Bengal. Many colonies started as trading settlements, just as some of those in North America started as farming settlements.

          • Grumpy

            The EIC had its own army and navy as did the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company), the French Compagnie française pour le commerce des Indes orientales)–the Portuguese and Spanish traded as Crown monoopolies, although seeing the success of the other nations the Portuguese did found the Companhia do commércio da Índia (or Companhia da Índia Oriental). That private companies were so chartered eliminated the risk to the crown, diplomatic confrontation (Wasn’t me–it was some trader) and a little thing called “accountability”. Whenever someone with a chip on his shoulder about his great-great-great Grandad’s free cruise to the Caribbean complains about “the British” and slavery–he should be reminded that it was most likely the Merchant Adventurers Company Ltd. or The West Indies Company Ltd that gave him a better opportunity in life.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Hmmm ….

          • CliveM

            Carl

            As a short addition to Grumpy, it was only following the Indian Mutiny that the EIC forces were amalgamated into the British Army proper. At the same time the EIC had it prerogatives removed.

            The regulars were sniffy about them for a long time after that.

          • carl jacobs

            So … a private company went off and conquered India on its own? Where did it get an army? It couldn’t just go to the local dept store and buy an Army Corp. It needed equipment, and supplies, and officers, and NCOs and doctrine. And a logistics trail.

            Or was this a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” affair?

          • avi barzel

            Speaking of private companies, Carl, The Bay department stores in Canada are still remnants of the worshipful company of the Hudson’s Bay, once the veritable stewart of Canada. It is the odest still-functioning company in the world. It was established through a Royal Charter which can be issued by the Crown to corporations, cities, banks, colleges of physicians, societies of professionals and even individuals. The colonial companies essentially engaged, under their own initiative and expense, security forces, if that term is easier on your American sensibilities. While they served the interests of their companies, these “armies” were still subject to British laws and the will of the Monarch. Nothing nudge-nudge, wink-wink about that; the institution was openly formalized, legalized and made subject to all the mechanisms of governance.

          • CliveM

            Hi Carl,

            Remember when all this started was during the reign of Goid Queen Bess. There was plenty of adventurers (or pirates as the Spanish called them) willing to embark of foreign adventures using their own kit. Also the British in India didn’t conquer by force, we simply didn’t have the numbers. We struck trade deals, worked with the local rulers, set one against the other and gradually took over. It was really only following the Mutiny that it took on a traditional character of Empire.

            Look up East India Co in wiki, gives a reasonable potted history.

            Apologies for being slow in responding, very busy at moment.

    • avi barzel

      Many Sikhs in Canada join the police forces and the regulation turban with its red band and badge in the middle were accepted after some disgraceful grumbing by a few who don’t know of its established place in British military and police services. There were suggestions by the government to introduce the kippa, but was rejected by the Jewish constables as the regulation cap does the job of covering the head, which is the primary purpose of the kippa…and most don’t cover up in civilian life anyhow. There is one chap in Toronto who slips on a black kippa when on desk duty in the station or when testifying in court and no judge or division chief has bothered him about that. Given the crazy stuff people put on, tattoo or drill through their bodies, one would think kippas and turbans wouldn’t even be noticed nowadays.

      • carl jacobs

        Canada has a police force? Like with guns?

        • avi barzel

          Yes, nice and hefty Glock M&Ps for the regular constabulary, Hechler Koch rifles gor the tactical boys. What’s more, if push cones to shove, they are fit guys and gals and they can actually draw their weapons. I’ve often wondered how your American cops can use their guns while holding onto their cofee and donuts in the left hand and trying to find their weapon underneath their jiggling rolls of fat with the right.

  • Dreadnaught

    Read all about it.
    Read all about it.
    Sikh takes off turban in New Zealand …
    eh?

    • The Explorer

      Remember the 2002 fire at a girls’ school in Mecca? Fifteen girls died because the religious police forced them back into the building for not wearing correct Islamic dress. Clothing can be a life-and-death affair.

      Liberals worried about Islamic clothing stories like the Mecca one are probably reassured by the New Zealand story, arguing as follows.

      Sikhs can do kind things.
      Sikhs are just Muslims at one remove.
      Therefore, Western fears about Muslims are groundless.

      Unfortunately, I’d say only one of those three statements is true.

      • Dreadnaught

        Says more about the stupidity religion brings out in the human kind.
        Look at the silly hats the clerics wear and the lacy pinafores favoured by priests – how silly looking I say. I often amuses me when I see such a sight, to imagine a solemn looking bishop parading in his pointy hat only dressed as Rab C Nesbit.

        • The Explorer

          As the article says, the turban was a practical way of keeping sand out of long hair.
          If you emigrate to a non-sand environment, the turban is no longer needed, It’s purely cultural. But the long hair IS still needed: it’s part of the religion.

          • Ivan M

            The Sikhs evolved their system in the face of massive depredations from the various Muslim empires to the North and West. Basically, for a long time, they were seen as the avante guard of the Indian frontier. Hence their uncompromising militancy. It is a similar evolution to that of the Serbians and Hungarians who were faced with the same threats. Their kirpans, beards, turbans and bangles are reminders that they have to free the world of oppression, while at the same time being good car salesmen and lawyers.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            “But the long hair IS still needed: it’s part of the religion”
            But a part not followed by every single Sikh. My wife went to a Sikh colleague’s wedding and in preparation for it he grew a beard and learnt how to tie (wrap?) a turban. The latter hid the fact that he had short hair.

            The wedding was at at Sikh temple and noone in either family questioned the length, or shortness, of his hair.

            And as soon as he could afterwards he shaved the beard off.

            As HG said:
            “Those Sikhs who do not wear the Five Ks are no less Sikh than those who do”.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed. I suppose I meant that the kesh (uncut hair) is one of the five k’s of the khalsa Sikhs, and the turban isn’t. SO the kesh is more intrinsic to the faith than the turban.

        • avi barzel

          Guilty as charged. I wear a silly little hat on my head, at home and outside and much, much worse; I let my tzitzit/ritual fringes, dangle for all the world to see. I can do this in Canada and the US with total impunity, safely and without drawing more than a curious look once in a while…even on construction sites and truck parks… but not in Europe nor in most parts of the “developed” world. Whenever I absolutely and reluctantly must travel to Europe to visit relatives, I must concede to my hosts’ abject terror of being seen with me with my Jew-flags flying, so to speak, and make do with a baseball cap and the fringes in the trouser pockets. It pisses me off and I subject my hosts with annoying questions about how they can stand hiding in a stupid country amidst stupid people.

          Religion and tradition is behind the peculiar paraphernalia and get-up of Orthodox Jews. But there is another interesting collateral benefit; it provides a test. A place where a moderately different garb…a kippa or a turban… which neither indecently exposes, disturbingly disguises or unsafely hobbles…especially in times when people go about in various states of dress and increasingly, undress…evokes disapproval or violence tells committed Jews and perceprive non-Jews that regardless of its cultural charms, cozy cafes and impressive monuments, it’s really another hovel to avoid, not a fit or decent place to live in.

          • Dude

            I’m starting to wear a floppy fedora alongside the kippah, but I’m resisting my better half in wearing a shtreimel for Shabbat. Instead I follow the family tradition of wearing a top hat .

          • Top hats are cool!

          • avi barzel

            And you, Miss, you’re encouraging him!

          • avi barzel

            What? You’re going Poylish Hassidish? Thought you’d be wear ing a Tsfardi turban. But a top hat tops it, Shmulyee; no one will ever mess with you with one or dare to look you in the eye for that matter. Who still makes them? Not Borsalino, I’m sure

          • Dude,

            I’m rockin with the fedora ! 🙂

            Not for any religious reason, I’m going for an Indiana Jones jewish crossover. Anyway when I’m out on town, dressed to impress, it’s the only way I can get a table at pizza express.

            My better half is Ashkie, a Nigella Lawson lookalike , less 30 years. We banter about hats , but I’m apparently sexy in a fez , fedora, top hat or turban… Jews in the UK do have quite tradition of top hats:

            http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oHvH1T5Q_ds

          • avi barzel

            One must always do as our better half demands, Shmuel, that goes without saying. Count your blessings that the lady has not demanded that you go about the neighbourhood in matted dreadlocks and one of those goofy Peruvian peasant knit hats…or bunny ears and wire whiskers, for that matter. Women can have unusual tastes as well, you know. However it goes, in top hats or bunny ears, all the joy to you, friend.

            Judging by the archival pics some synagogues display, top hats were de rigeur in Toronto in Orthodox synagogues and Reform “temples” as well. Must have been easier to snatch an invigorating power nap, hidden from view of the rabbi and the gabbai behind a veritable forest of black stove pipes.

          • IanCad

            I hope you don’t consider the UK any less welcoming than Canada/USA. I assume you have no relatives here.

          • avi barzel

            I have plenty of relatives in the UK, non-Jewish ones in London, Hastings, Islay and Edinborough on my wife’s side. She is a convert. Apart from an older sibling, all her brothers and sisters are born here and are thoroughly Canadian with all but my wife completely uninterested in family origins or home country as is the norm here. Of our own children only one, the youngest, is intensely interested in her Anglo-Celtic half of her heritage and has absorbed my Monarchism. We hope to take her on a trip through the UK soon. My aim will be to drag along my wife and daughter, in the comfort of a rented houseboat and with a nautically attired, pipe-puffing and grog–sipping Captain Barzel at the helm, on a life-long wish of mine to replicate the canal tour of the chacters in Jerome Klapka Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat which I read in Czech probably a dozen times over when I was eight or nine.

            Orthodox friends who have relatives in London report no problems in the English areas. They stay away from the Muslim ones. But my father in law, a Cambridge-schooled C of E Englishman can’t stand visits to his neighbourhood in East London because it’s now…well, no longer as it was in his day; an unpretentious working and lower middle class, but decent English community.

            It is something to keep in mind; whenever a Jew cannot walk safely about because he is a Jew, soon enough no other decently attired middle class person can do so as either. When that becomes a general rule and a norm for substantial parts of a country, it means that the general state of the people has declined, the economy is tanking and the authorities have failed in their primary function…to provide basic security… and that means that the country is lost. I hope to vist England and Scotland (a Johnson and Boswell tour?) and will report. Because of my life-long Anglophilia I’m perhaps more hopeful and favourably biased, as with the two Eastern European countries I grew up in (both which are fairly safe and decent in most parts ).

          • IanCad

            Avi, Until you visit our welcoming shores here’s something to whet your appetite:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05t7kc1/all-aboard-the-canal-trip

          • avi barzel

            Video only available to viewers in the UK unfortunately, but fear not; I’ve a few brochures and have scoured the Net for info on the boat tours. Even have my Ontario boater certificate in case and my wife is a former Royal Canadian Navy reservist with service experience on patrol craft in the turbulent Pacific coastal waters! But it’s my dream and I get to wear the captain’s hat and clench the briar pipe between my teeth.

          • Dreadnaught

            I imagine I would get similar treatment hanging around the Wailing Wall or Dome ot R wearing an ‘A’ for atheist teeshirt with a picture of Darwin on the back. But then why would I want to – it’s my own personal take on life and religions.

          • avi barzel

            Certainly not. No one would even comment. You would need to cover your head with a kippa or a hat, like everyone else. Millions of visitors of all natuonalities and persuasions have visited the Kotel and if they behave themselves the most stress they’ll experience is getting through the armies of beggars.

            You seem to think that atheism and evolution evoke passions in religious Jews. Not really; atheism in non-Jews especially, is a personal choice no one would challenge (i.e., just another religion) and the number of Orthodox, even “ultra-Orthodox” who accept evolutionary theory is quite substantial. In any case, most of the old timers would assume that the bearded Darwin with his cravat on your t-shirt is an image of your personal Hassidic rebbe and that the star is another Cabalistic symbol.

        • Anton

          Whenever someone gets pompous with me I imagine them sitting on the toilet.

          • avi barzel

            There was a set of superb digital paintings by someone of dignified folks on the toilet, their pants and undies around their ankles. It included Obama, known judges, a rabbi, the Pope and others. The “egalitarian levelling effect” is really quite surprising.

          • Ivan M

            Even on the highest throne in the world, man sits on his arse.

          • Anton

            Montaigne said that, if I recall.

          • Ivan M

            I got it from a later author.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            So at the end of the corridor, any man or woman can make a pronouncement ex cathedra.

      • Old Blowers

        You always speak such sense…Look and learn,Jack *giggles*

    • avi barzel

      “Eh”? You’re culturally appropriating a Canadian heritage expression, just so know.

      • Dreadnaught

        My Mum used to tell me off for saying ‘eh’ at the end of a sentence. I had not heard it used so much as when in conversation with a New Zealander while down that way. I had the same maternal rebuke ringing in the memory then. Just goes to show you colonials are as common as the rest of us!

        • avi barzel

          Kiwis as well! Could be that originally this was a common working class English expression that was retained in the colonies but went extinct in the home country due to class pressures. “Eh” is fast disappearing here too, with the decline of the rural population, gentrification and the influence of Los Angeles English from our new nobility, the Hollywood celbrities. Had you tried to argue linguistic history and a passion for archaic expressions and their revival with your mum, though, she would have most likely gone after you with the kitchen ladle. One can fool anyone in the world, never one’s mum.

          • Dreadnaught

            Yes that’s for sure, certainly in Liverpool from where I come it was regarded as very common – eh?

  • The Explorer

    Child injured in traffic accident. Muslim woman removes her niqab to place beneath child’s head, What would be the ramifications of that?

    • cypruspete

      Where?

      In Saudi she would be taken to a sharia court then stoned

      • The Explorer

        Exactly. And not just Saudi. Presumably any place where women are obliged to wear the niqab.

  • Busy Mum

    A child was knocked down outside our school; a teacher removed her coat to cover him. No less humane but because free of religious garb, somehow regarded as less noble.
    The dangers of outward trappings of religion….

  • carl jacobs

    Most (western) people think that removing the turban is a severe religious violation. So the removal of this turban has become a symbol something larger – the subordination of religious law to human need. And since modern man has difficulty distinguishing between needs and desires, he will read this event as proving religion may be subordinated to desire as well. This is what religion is supposed to do in the modern world – learn its place.

    The story has become a metaphor for the idea that religion shouldn’t and mustn’t bind the conscience.

    • Dreadnaught

      Makes more sense to cut the hair; cooler, more hygienic too
      and less likely to be swung upon in a fight. As for cultural observance; so is/was the Hindu culture of suttee but that was positively challenged during the Raj. It wasn’t all post modern and multiculti or PC then:

      “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom;
      prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is
      consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

      Sir Charles Napier.

      • carl jacobs

        Dreadnaught

        But Sir Charles Napier was referring to ‘custom’ in an ironic sense. He was in fact imposing a very different moral code from what he observed and did so because he had the power to do so. That was a day when people believed in objective morality and acted upon it. What do people believe today?

        • Dreadnaught

          More people in the Uk I believe, at least are tired of accommodating religions to the point that if we did as Prince Harry suggests, and brought back national service, we would be just as likely to be handing a loaded weapon to a ‘British’ Muslim and asking him/her to watch our backs as we take a stand against IS.
          This is where religious tolerance has brought us.

          • The Explorer

            When Europe took Christianity seriously it kept Islam out: and fought wars to do so.

            When Europe stopped taking Christianity seriously, it let Islam in.

          • Dreadnaught

            When was that then?

          • The Explorer

            Somewhere post-Darwin. It escalated after WW1 and became fully apparent after WW2.

          • Dreadnaught

            Can’t see how you can blame ‘Europe’ when the Church’s followers were the ones who ‘drifted’ and during the two world wars both sides were told they had God on their side. Could it have been that People were realising the that Wizard of Oz wasn’t all he was cracked up to be.

          • The Explorer

            I’m not blaming Europe; I’m just saying that Islamic immigration is a Europe-wide phenomenon.

            Peter Hitchens sees WW1 as the destroyer of European Christianity, and I think he’s possibly right. I’m sure you’re right that both sides claimed God in WW1: part of the reason for the disillusionment. Less true of WW2 since the Soviets were explicitly atheist and if the Nazis had a god it was probably Wotan.

          • Dreadnaught

            I don’t think the Soviets were as ‘atheist’ as you say. That view is more suitable if aimed at Marx. Speaking of Islamic expansion, the Orthodox Christian presence has been virtually expunged from the Middle East ; how come that’s any different to what you see in Europe?

          • The Explorer

            I do think the Soviets were as atheist as I say: look at all the churches they dynamited.

            Christian presence in the Middle East has been expunged because Christians were in a minority relative to Muslims. In Europe, Muslims are in a minority relative to non-Muslims.

            I’d say that’s irrelevant, though, to the contention that Christianity was the driving force behind Islamic immigration. That came after WW2, by which time Christianity was a spent force in Europe.

          • Dreadnaught

            It gets dangerous when using generalisations such as ‘the Soviets’. That must by definition mean the population as much as the politicos. The great majority of Russians had their religion sidelined by the politics of the Stalinist elite, much against their will. It’s the same when you use the word ‘atheist’ in the same context. My atheism for instance has bugger all to do with politics of any shade yet to some here, declaring to be such is regarded as the same as being left wing, satanical, Hitlerite, Stalinist, Maoist, Khamerist or whatever.
            I just don’t do God but I’ll always be curious to see how and why others do.
            If Christians believe the hold the key to the ‘Truth’ why then are they so accommodating to hosting other religions who also believe that they hold the key? The only earth the Meek will inherit is the same that covers them and the rest of mankind.
            No God religion ever held a right to any land or power, but followers prepared to use brute against others did.

          • alternative_perspective

            The politicos systematically visited churches throughout the land, persuading, cajoling and arguing against Christian belief… this was eventually backed up with bullets.

          • The Explorer

            Put it this way. State atheism was the official Soviet belief system. The Soviet leaders could hardly tell the Russian soldiers that God was on their side although God didn’t exist.
            Nietzsche said that centuries of disgusting Christian compassion had resulted in the sickly European herd animal. The Nazi leaders listened. The Nazi leaders could not tell their soldiers that the Christian God was on their side when they thought that the Christian God was a wuss.
            Traditional Christians believe their religion to be true, and that where other religions disagree with it they are in error. For this, they are not blamed by the secular great and good for accommodating other religions. They are blamed for being bigots, and guilty of hate speech.

          • Busy Mum

            Hitchens was not the first…

            “Limitations of freedom commenced with the commencement of the tribulation of 1914, and ever since then, liberty has been lost to the world, and this limitation continues to narrow down, till life is becoming the expereince of the grand universal prison cell………in view of the present position, both in the world and the attitude of the averaghe individual in relation to the church, it is not difficult to foresee how things will go…..what will it be when pressure will be brought to bear not to attend or accept the Christian faith? To declare oneself a Christian will mean starvation, unemployment or no medical service. Probably even housing will be questioned, all being state controlled….But orgainsed Christendom will seek to save itself and find a compromise, construct a formula by which means a modus vivendi will be possible for a time.
            Will such a compromise satisfy Christ? Will it satisfy the beast? Half measures will prove unsatisfactory and the complete collapse of Christendom will take place”

            From ‘The Coming Crisis’, an essay written in 1947 by the Rev I E Davidson, MA, who himself was instrumental in independently rescuing Jewish children from Germany during the 1930’s.

          • Anton

            Atheism has always contained the seeds of its own destruction. But Hilaire Belloc, doctrinaire Catholic though he be, deserves credit for seeing Islam coming a generation ahead of time.

          • The Explorer

            Dreadnaught is arguing, I think, that immigration (and thus Islamic immigration) was/is Christian driven.
            I’m arguing for a different explanation, since by the time Islamic immigration started, Christianity was no longer influential.

          • Busy Mum

            Christendom thought it could manage without Christ. Christendom will therefore pay the price.

          • avi barzel

            For the current demographic predicament Europe is in, the Venice Declaration (1972?) offers the best explanation. It was decided to build closer ties with the Muslim world, to open Europe to mass Muslim immigration and to legitimize and empower politically and financially the PLO with the dashing Arafat at its helm. In other words, Europe buckled under the terror threat, accepted a form of dhimmitude and committed to tribute payments in the hope of being spared from attacks and having trouble-free access to oil. The current attempts to meddle and take charge of the “peace process” is a continuation of this policy.

          • Anton

            They had an antichrist: Hitler. (NB “anti” means not only “against” in Greek but also “alternative”.) Mao and Stalin were also antichrists in the sense that the New Testament understands the term. And Kim JongUn.

          • alternative_perspective

            No, the slide began in the 1800s if not slightly earlier. Islamic apologists are still spouting the now rebutted arguments initially propagated by German academics in the early 19thC. The corridors of power were quietly deistic, agnostic and atheistic well before the 20thC.
            Nietzsche, the great prophet of atheism died in 1900. He didn’t really advance atheistic arguments but drew out the existential consequences of atheistic beliefs that were circulating at the time.
            In my opinion the rot probably set in in the mid 19thC. They say the philosophy of one generation is the common sense of the next. Thus it seems to me that by about 1850 popular atheistic principles were filtering into common thought but had yet to coalesce.
            Nationalism is often considered a proxy for atheism in that it replaced or augmented the societal glue that was previously provided by the church. We can see that moves towards unification in Germany and Italy solidified in the early 1800s and were achieved by the mid 19thC, thus it seems to me that the rise of atheism must have begun before then, as I alluded to earlier, in the late 18thC. This would tally with the prominence given to thinkers like David Hulme, who died in 1776, although an earlier date may be appropriate given popular opinion towards his works even though they were successfully refuted by contemporaneous theistic thinkers. This seems to suggest to me that “polite” society was looking to throw off Christian beliefs by the mid 1700s but atheistic concepts were so undeveloped and national Christian inertia so great that it took another century before something more concrete emerged.

          • The Explorer

            True enough. One could argue that the rot began with the Renaissance.

          • alternative_perspective
          • Dreadnaught

            Nothing to do with the division of the Roman Empire and Orthodox vs Roman Christianity?

          • Anton

            No! Harry is right for the wrong reason. The army and police combined are too small to be decisive factors in any future civil war against jihadists when the demographics are more in their favour. But if the entire citizenship knows how to handle arms and is given a gun each then the jihadists lose.

          • The Explorer

            That would be like the Swiss citizens’ army. Good idea. But if you give a gun to each citizen, and the jihadists are citizens, then you give guns to the jihadists.
            The Swiss army is based on the assumption of an external enemy, not an internal one; although that perception may be changing. I wonder what their solution is/will be to this problem. You can refuse a gun to a known jihadist. But what about the unknown jihadist?

          • Anton

            It’s partly about training. But when the stuff hits the fan you hand out arms only to the good guys.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s a debate that was never had by any government. If this country ever came under direct attack again, we might find ourselves fighting the enemy within as well as without..

          • Dreadnaught

            That makes sense – Not! IS is already infiltrating Europe with sleeper cells via returning jihadis and illegal immigrants boat groups and you want to give British Muslims the keys to the armoury?

          • Anton

            No, but there are too many of them for the police and army by themselves to handle on our streets. But if every man is given a gun and training in how to use it then, even if jihadist citizens get that, they lose to the armed forces plus the rest of us. It’s simple maths. And in any case the arms will get handed out only on the start of a civil war/attempted revolution in which case they get handed out only to the right guys (although armouries should be kept on army bases where they can’t be raided).

          • Dreadnaught

            Yes that’s the point – give every man a gun means Every Man. The trouble is ‘they’ will always have the element of surprise and this country is too blind to accept the blindingly obvious.

          • Anton

            Not “the people” but its leaders.

          • Dreadnaught

            No, I think the people is about right.

          • Anton

            The politically correct don’t see it coming, but they are a minority among the people although a majority at Westminster in both parties. There is plenty of inchoate rage and justified concern among the people about the rise of Islam here.

          • carl jacobs

            Giving out guns to an undisciplined mob and telling them to go fight a civil war is a sure recipe for slaughter and mayhem. Mobs don’t fight. They find easy targets and commit murder. To do this, you would need to establish an actual standing reserve with command structure and recurring training.

            When you give people guns and the authority to kill in the name of the state, you need to place those people under strict control.

          • Anton

            The model would be National Service as it once was here and is now in some places.

          • carl jacobs

            When you say “National Service” this is what I hear. Every male at the age of 18 receives something like one year of military training. He is than discharged from active duty and assigned to a reserve unit until he is (say) 40. He is subject to periodic recall for training, and when in uniform is subject to military law. If he is ever called up, he operates with his unit under the control of his officers and according to the laws of the state.

            Is that what you mean? Because that isn’t what I understood from what you said. I heard “We are going to teach you how to shoot, and give you a gun when the balloon goes up.”

          • Anton

            Yes, something like your first paragraph is what I meant. This subthread began with a comment on Prince Harry calling for the return of National Service.

          • carl jacobs

            OK. Just understand that when you write …

            they lose to the armed forces plus the rest of us

            … there is no “rest of us.” There is only the Armed Forces.

          • Anton

            OK, I meant “the fulltime armed forces plus the rest of us.”

          • CliveM

            Civil war is the nastiest most bloody war going. To be avoided at nearly all costs. The English Civil War led to a greater proportion of deaths in England then the Great War.

          • bockerglory

            ISIS is a trained army ….

          • Dreadnaught

            How profound!

          • tiger

            Somewhat off track here but…………………
            As someone who has seen civil war at close quarters let me tell you that those motivated by some delusional quest for power have zero chance against units specifically trained to kill. My observations were kill rates in the thousands by special force units despite the fact that the enemy was armed nearly as well.
            Its all in the training, selection and discipline. The enemy is motivated only by a cause. The motivation disappears rapidly when confronted by someone with superior skills.

        • alternative_perspective

          People still believe in objective morality, take Linus and Sarky who frequently use language with objective meanings and invoke concepts of transcendent morality in their discourse.
          The problem doesn’t lie there. In fact I’m glad they do so. When humans abandon objective morality things get scary.
          The problem lies in people’s philosophical understandings. They don’t realise that unless God exists, objective morality doesn’t exists. They don’t realise that when they invoke concepts of transcendent morality they are invoking God’s eternal law. They don’t realise that without God words like “good, bad, right, wrong, true and false” are all subjective and purely relative to the individual’s perceptions. In other words they could (and should) be replace with “in my personal opinion, although the [whatever] stirs unpleasant feelings within me I cannot state that there is anything actually wrong in it.”
          What is frustrating is that even when you point this out they steadfastly refuse to re-appraise their assumptions. They continue to deny God but invoke theistic language when it serves them. Not only is this highly inconsistent, if not incoherent, it also proves people deny God not on the basis of argumentation but will. Wills that cannot accept a subjective moral existence but which refuse to acknowledge the God who created such a realm and gives it meaning.
          Perhaps we could translate that as:
          “I reserve the right to judge others by objective standards but I refuse to submit myself to the same.”

  • preacher

    I’ve found the Sikhs to be very friendly & hospitable, with a great social conscience.
    About two years ago we visited Southall in West London & while watching the people entering & leaving the temple & admiring the architecture we were approached by a gentleman who asked if we were visiting the area. When we confirmed that we were visitors, he enquired if we had anywhere to stay, as if not we were welcome to stay at his house. We replied that we had stayed at a hotel the previous night & were heading home, then he invited us to enter the temple & see what went on. To which we readily agreed, we told him we were Christians & he just smiled & assured us that it made no difference.
    Inside we were welcomed & offered food & refreshment & allowed to wander at will, sit & listen to the music & talk to the people. All very relaxed & friendly with lots of smiles from the people scattered about.
    I remember remarking to my wife that the Church could learn a lot from those folks & how natural & happy the atmosphere was.

    • dannybhoy

      Me too!
      Our local (and only) shopkeeper is a Sikh, and his family are a valued part of our community. Overall the Sikhs in Britain have proved to be law abiding, loyal and honourable citizens of our nation.

  • Uncle Brian

    Harman Singh’s turban happens to double as a first-aid kit. Congratulations, Your Grace. That line deserves to find its way into the anthologies.

    Has anyone here seen the Spike Lee film Inside Man? I recall a moment in which a man of Indian appearance has his turban forcibly removed, possibly by a police officer searching for concealed weapons. His uncut hair is seen to be something like waist-length and he protests that it was wrong for them to do that to a Sikh, though I don’t remember his exact words. Would this be an instance of Hollywood misrepresentation of the true facts of the case?

  • Well I’ve got no problems with Sikhs or Hindus. Great entrepreneurial skills, family orientated and they don’t proselytize. I think Jews have been in India for 2,000 years and didn’t suffer persecution.

    As Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar said :

    “our way is to honour every nation according to their paths, as it is written in the book of prophets: ‘because every nation will go in the name of the L-rd.'”

    • Hi Sam

      our Sikh friends are fab!

    • Anton

      In 2003 I was in the USA at a physics conference and at a nearby tourist site we visited there was a Sikh in full kit. A young American boy said loudly to his parents “He’s from EYE-RAQ”. I thought it amusing, as I did also on a local train in Tokyo where I was the only Westerner in the carriage and an approximately 3-year-old Japanese boy pointed at me and shouted “GAIJIN!” (foreigner). I smiled at his mother but that was when I learnt that Japanese people can blush. Give me freedom of speech over political correctness (in which those boys would have had it noted on their school reports) anyday.

      • Indeed my fine goy…

        I often get confused for being Greek or Cypriot. When I was at university I went to a “vicar and tarts” party . One of the other students thought I was a priest and wanted me to do confession. I said Oy vey , but she thought I’d said okay.

        • avi barzel

          Dare one ask what a vicar and tarts party is? Best not to. “Tarts” lends itself to different interpretations. Hat fetishism, especially when tolerated and in your case encouraged by your wife is, I’m sure, a halakhically approved idiosyncracy within marriage, especially when it leads to shalom bayit.

          • carl jacobs

            A tart is a pastry of some sort, isn’t it?

          • The Explorer

            Soliciting prostitutes would call out, “Ello, sweetart.” They became known by a shortened version of their advertising slogan.
            Also a pastry as in, “The Queen of hearts she made some tarts.” But if her husband had made some tarts, there might have been a different connotation.

          • carl jacobs

            0:-)

            Note my natural American innocence.

          • The Explorer

            That’s a Henry James theme: innocent Americans encountering corrupt old Europe.

          • Inspector General

            Thought it indicated a bald pate….

          • carl jacobs

            Not moi, thanks. Not even close. I really should get a haircut.

          • Inspector General

            Hmmm. All the Anglo Saxons in Gloucester come in just one style. Hairless. Are you SURE you need a haircut….

          • carl jacobs

            Absolutely sure. I will probably lose between one and two inches. It’s getting long enough to annoy me.

          • avi barzel

            Yes it absolutely is, as far as married men like us are concerned. I see Explorer beat you to the etymological explanation.

          • carl jacobs

            I had absolutely no idea.

            0:-)

          • Dude,

            There is indeed the bakewell tart….. named after a place in Derbyshire. But here’s the rub: when I visited the place there seemed to be numerous tea rooms that claimed to be the “original” place where this pastry was developed. And secondly, when I nipped in to get a coffee at one of these places and wondered out aloud if bakewell tarts were kosher, a portly lady behind me chipped in and said “they’re not tarts but puddings!”

          • Dude

            It was in the glorious days of youth when I was 19 . It’s basically a traditional British eccentricity, a fancy dress party: lads go dressed as vicars (priests) and girls as “tarts” (um I’d say prostitute but that probably sounds dodgy). All done, of course in the best possible taste and with a British stiff upper lip.

  • Mike Stallard

    My father was a Jap POW in Taiwan (Formosa). He told me that the Sikhs went over to the Japs and were used to patrol the outside of the camp. they looked, in the early morning mists, he said (He was a Padre), just like Jesus!

    • Ivan M

      Just like Jesus when they have their snowy white khurtas on; but not otherwise. Then it becomes hazardous to let the soap slip from the hand.

  • The Explorer

    Gay cake verdict in. Guilty of discrimination. Not trying to divert current topic, but get your thoughts ready. I imagine it will be the subject of a future thread.

  • Inspector General

    The Office of Inspector General takes the unusual step of interrupting this thread to announce that at 13:20 BST, this 19th day of May, year of our Lord 2015, the Inspectorate issued an emergency statement. Here it is reproduced for Cranmer’s faithful.

    God save the Queen!

    “It should not surprise that organised buggery considered the cake case in the bag weeks ago. When bad law exists, it is shameful for us all. When bad law exists that is quite unambiguous in what it seeks to do, we are all lessened by its existence. You see, when the law is used to beat up a section of the community, Christian, by another, Activist Homosexual, we are in the realms of evil.”

    “Organised Buggery has since moved on to a new target, however. The rented accommodation sector. Complaints are coming in thick and fast of individuals having arranged such, and then being free in broadcasting their homosexuality, only to find the arrangement cancelled by the other party. Whether you approve of this or not is secondary. The fact remains that property owners are just that. Owners of property. Theirs to do with as they please. If they’d rather not let to, say, people who smoke, then so be it. Same for people who queer, then. Expect a sting operation by the sexually indignant, and very soon.”

    “Enoch Powell warned against minorities and their whip hand. He was an intuitive fellow. It causes fear and resentment, and these militants who press on with their mischievous campaign are so wrapped up in their anger, they cannot see it mounting.”

    • avi barzel

      Saw that as well, Inspector. As Busy Mom said, it was predictable. It’s what our lofty declarations of liberty have come to; judicial ciphers spinning up the small print of the law to miraculously arrive at a “decision” their keepers desire.
      On a positive note, one sees that Trish, Nicki and Vikky have your back again.

    • The Explorer

      Man was made for the law, and not the law for man. If man and the law are out of alignment with one another, man must be adjusted.

    • Anton

      All landlords in the people’s democratic republic of Liverpool have to register with the council at 3-figure cost and sign a contract stating that they will not discriminate in their letting on grounds of religion or sexual orientation, among other things.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector, who’s curled up on a sofa doing nothing right now, has issued the following advice to bakeries…

    Order the following sign to be displayed in a site of prominence within the shop.

    “No ‘if’s or ‘but’s, we don’t do slogan cake. We’ll bake you a cake, but don’t expect us to put ‘abolish the male age of consent’ on it, or anything else morally disgusting. If you want that, you put it on.”

    Advice ends.

    • Ayn Randall

      Wrong post?

  • preacher

    The verdict comes as no surprise, it simply shows how far the empty philosophies of Nietzsche & his ilk have come over the last 70 years since the Nazis were defeated.

    It seems that the devil slunk off to wait for a more advantageous time to try again.
    Nietzsche believed that since God is dead, that universal truth & absolute moral values were dead as well. Thus mankind was free to make their own rules & play at being God.

    Francis Schaeffer foresaw the eventual outcome of this as the rise of governments that without the stability of universal truth & moral values would gravitate to some form of human authoritarian rule – an impersonal person or group of people who would eventually seize power & eradicate the freedoms that we enjoyed in the West & pitch us into a state of anarchy.
    Schaeffer quotes William Penn as saying: ” If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants ! “. It seems that we may be well down this road already.

  • Merchantman

    Obviously the law as interpreted in todays Britain is made for gays and not Christians.

    • Anton

      Northern Ireland is not Britain, although it is part of the UK. But I note what you mean and agree with it.

  • Shadrach Fire

    I understood that the legal argument was not about sexual discrimination against the client but a refusal under the political promotions section of the law which I thought was permissible.

    • Let’s pray this obviously unjust verdict proves a tipping point and legislation is passed providing protection for those appropriately exercising their Christian consciences. The DUP are already onto it. It may even influence the up and coming referendum on homosexual ‘marriage’ in Ireland.

      • Like EU referenda, if the public dare to vote against ‘progress’ our rulers will repeat it until they get the ‘right’ answer, which will them be set in stone until the end of our civilisation. Say about 2080.

  • So society values homosexuality over faith and especially those who try and hold to the Christian faith. With each step forward of militant homosexuality over others they are building up a bank of deep silent hatred that will violently erupt like a roaring volcano one day in the not too distant future.

    • DanJ0

      Wishful thinking about the violence on your part, I think.

    • I think you are mistaken Marie.

      What I see is willing or sullen acceptance of the New Order. There may in time be State connived mob violence against the property of the last Christians who refuse to be ground down by the steadily growing stranglehold of bureaucratic Newthink. But it will mainly be depriving people of their business and livelihoods through deliberate entrapment and enthusiastically anti-Christian interpretation of laws as in the disgraceful Leslie Pilkington case.

      The next stages in the long war against Christendom will probably include demands for all charities (including churches) to sign up to homoenabling clauses in Theresa May’s new Bill of Rights (which will probably be more PC and homoenabling than the Human Rights Act) or else tax exempt status will be withdrawn.

      If there is a violent backlash against the 0.01% or whatever of the population who are actively involved in militant homosexuality (and the far greater number of militant atheists, liberals and leftists who are using them as a battering ram against the church) it will come after Islamification.

      Faithful Christians will see though the propaganda and entrapment, the vilest aspect of which is to portray them as haters simply because, like the Ashers, they will not worship the idol of sexual libertarianism.

      Meanwhile we have a window of opportunity to honour God and His Christ in this dying civilisation. Lets not talk of an anti gay backlash, there should not and will not be one.

  • Getting back to the OP, when I was a council estate GP, the only family who ever asked me round to their home for hospitality every Christmastime were the Sikh corner shop owners, who plied me with whisky, beer and samosas. I have a lot of respect for Sihks.

    My grandfather who fought with the Desert Rats told me about Sihks legendary courage as fighting men. Don’t cross them ( remember what happened to Indira Ghandi) but leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.

    A completely different group to that other lot.

    • Ivan M

      The example of Indira Gandhi is not an apposite one. She was advised to remove the Sikh cowards who murdered her from her security detail, but refused as she was a brave woman, indifferent to danger, and had a high regard for the Sikhs as fellow Indians. You may be thinking of General Dyer.

      While Sikh bravery is legendary, Adolf Hitler, ever the racist, had no great regard for the Indians including many Sikhs in the INA, which fought under the Waffen SS. He reserved his praise for the Europeans, suggesting that the Indians return to India to spin wheels with MK Gandhi.

      • I have a clear memory of the assassination of Mrs Ghandi. A spokesman for the Sikh community said in an interview after she ordered an assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar that he was certain she would be beheaded within a week for the sacrilege. He was mistaken, she was machine gunned.

        I can’t approve of the act (although I have often, God forgive me, dreamed of shooting Kenneth Clarke after what he did to the NHS and my profession in 1990) but it was hardly the act of a coward. The Sikh bodyguard who shot Ghandi knew he was certain to die, and he was duly executed.

        not approving, just recalling.

        • Ivan M

          It was a difficult time, for until then the Sikhs were highly regarded among the Indians, forming among other things the elite in the armed forces. But someone had to ensure the territorial integrity of India, menaced as it was by the machinations of Zia ul-Haq in neighbouring Pakistan. The Indians could not afford to let the crucial border state of Punjab go the way of Kashmir. Mrs Gandhi did what she had to do preserve the Indian Union. She had a premonition of her death. According to my wife, (I have not been abe to verify this,) on the night before her death she sent an air force plane to get a particular Bible which is now preserved in her memorial.

          Sikhs paid heavily too, upto 3,000 were massacred in New Delhi in the aftermath. A shameful period.

          • Thanks for the information Ivan. All very sad.

          • Ivan M

            Welcome, Stephen.

  • pascal78

    You say “Unlike Jews, Christians and Muslims, Sikhs have no revealed, immutable precepts: there is no ‘book of law’, as such”

    I would point out that Catholics don’t fit this sweeping profile. Catholics are not bound to a Book like Protestants are (sola scriptura), and Jews and Muslims. Catholics do not rely solely on every word written down in the Bible. Roman Catholics also have Tradition. A living tradition passed down from the Apostles through the ages and guaranteed protected from error by God the Holy Spirit.

    • Leacock

      What’s your point? If said tradition is guaranteed from error etc. then it is a revealed immutable precept. You also seem to be ignoring Anglicans and many other Christians in your comment regarding tradition too,

      • pascal78

        Thank you for your comment. Anglicans and other protestant communities are separated from the Holy Catholic Church. Therefore they do not enjoy the blessing of the Holy Sprit who Jesus sent to guide and protect His Church from error.
        The protestant communities by democratic vote have approved artificial contraception to give just one instance. I could give lots of others . . . .
        Jesus Christ desires all people of the world to join the true Church that He founded on Peter.
        That’s it. . . .

  • Sirbastion

    “Religious ‘law’ which obstructs mercy and cripples acts of compassion is no law of God.”

    A capital aphorism!