Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Oh Mother: Eh Tu!

Updated: March 28, 2015 10:55 am

SATIRICUS is a Hindu, and he likes to think he is a good Hindu. But is being just good good enough? Should Satiricus not try to be a better Hindu? He should, but, as he explained to a Hindu friend, there is a problem—it is that Mother Teresa is no more around to better him. The stupid Hindu friend was stupefied. What rot are you talking, he demanded. Has not the RSS chief said she was engaged in conversion, and has not BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi quoted Congress loyalist Navin Chawla’s book saying the same? Mocking his friend, exactly like Chawla reportedly mocked Lekhi, Satiricus retorted—what Lekhi said was a miserable moron’s misquote, for Chawla wrote that Mother Teresa said, ‘I convert, but I convert good Christians into better Christians—and good Hindus into better Hindus.’ So there! Isn’t that crystal clear?

Alas, it wasn’t so for Satiricus’s stupid friend. With pernicious persistence he pointed his finger at a woman called Susan Shields, who worked for Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity at various centres in the world for nearly a decade, but finally quit in dastardly disgust and wrote a wretched revelation titled “In Mother’s Home”—In the homes of the dying, Mother taught the Sisters how to secretly baptize those who were dying. The Sisters were to ask each person in danger of death if he wanted a “ticket to heaven”. An affirmative reply was to mean consent to baptize. Then the sister was to pretend she was just cooling the person’s forehead with a wet cloth, while in fact she was baptizing him, saying quietly the necessary words. Having thus devilishly described the sacred shenanigan, Shields added secrecy was important, so that it would not become known that Mother Teresa’s Sisters were baptizing….

Now, tell me, is that not conversion, Satiricus’s friend fiendishly asked. Well, columnist Satiricus did feel flummoxed—but in the nick of time a well-known columnist came to his rescue. In an oh-so-learned column titled “Mother Teresa did something beautiful for God” he wrote in a priceless peroration—“Did Mother covertly convert people to become believers in Christ? She didn’t have to. Because the Christ she believed in was in all of us.” See? Is there a more beautiful way of saying nothing in so many words—and of protecting the unvarnished truth from getting uncovered?

                But then, it takes all sorts of doubting dimwits to make the world, and the said friend of Satiricus is one of them. He could not understand why his Hindu heart had to drive out Rama and Krishna to make way for Jesus Christ because of Teresa’s certificate that he is in all of us. On the other hand this heretic Hindu asked—if Teresa believes Jesus is in all of us, does that ‘all’ include crooks and swindlers? Satiricus was shocked and demanded in dismay—what on earth are you saying? In answer he nefariously narrated the story of Charles Keating, an American crook who is currently serving a long sentence in a jail in California. He had cheated his depositors and investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, many of whom lost their life savings. The California attorney, Paul Turley, who prosecuted him stated in court that Keating stole more than 900 million dollars. This same Keating gave Mother Teresa a donation of a million dollars. Naturally there was a pious response from the merciful Mother. When the case was being tried she wrote to the trial judge Lance Ito asking him to show clemency towards Keating, because : “He has always been generous to God’s poor”. In addition, she made a pious appeal to the judge—“Look into his heart and do what Jesus would have done in those circumstances.”

How noble!—But what happened? When attorney Turley came to know of the appeal he wrote back to Mother Teresa : “I submit the same challenge to you. Ask yourself what Jesus would have done if he were given the fruits of the crime, ….Money that had been stolen…. I submit that Jesus would promptly return the money to the rightful owners…. Do not keep the money. Return it to the rightful owners.”

Mother Teresa did not. Why? Maybe because the Jesus in her heart was away on vacation. Or maybe there was no Jesus for the Mother to believe in. Why else would a Westerner write a whole book titled “Did Jesus exist”? And in answer to that question of questions, the Dead Sea Scrolls very clearly hint—probably not.

But if there was no Jesus Christ there can be no Christianity, right? And if there was no Christianity there can be no conversion to Christianity, right? Then how can poor Mother Teresa be accused of it? Case dismissed. Simple logic, right?

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