Thoughts on Mother Teresa’s Canonization

220px-MotherTeresa_094I made two posts on Facebook regarding Mother Teresa’s Canonization. Both was not rejoicing on it but raising an opinion on how farcical and stupid it is.

My first post was to point why people who oppose Saibaba, Mata Amirtanandamayi and similar Godmen and Godwomen find a difference and rejoice in the glamorous event of bestowing a so called sainthood on a human being.

My second post was to point the foolhardiness of the claim that the Sainthood is being given because she did two miracles. My point is two miracles is so less a number, if miracles are true as per these people then why only two?

I got many responses, people who liked the post and people who thought it was insensitive of me to write about Mother Teresa who as per them had worked for the poorest of poor. One of the comments that really made me write this post was a comment from a friend who said “everything a religious person doesn’t become bad or good”

I think that was a very valid point because there are many people who feel that when you oppose religion and its lies you also oppose individuals who might be driven by religion but shine some light on the destitute population. I will structure this post through several points some on Mother Teresa and some on the way my thinking is shaped in this news.

  1. Firstly I do think that there are people driven by religious reasons or irrational belief in an almighty end up doing good to people just like people with no belief doing bad things. The fact that the people are in very dire state and they do not give a hoot to what the religion of the helper is, this acceptance is not an example of the truth of religion and God but the irrelevance of religion especially in time of serious human pain and agony. A hindu in pain will (and should) take help from a christian or muslim who comes to help and vice versa. The problem in the whole scheme of things is when the help is done in lieu of accepting a different kind of belief system to receive the benefit.
  2. One cannot blame an individual for changing religion in order to change his state of hopelessness. One cannot also blame a person who is by himself or herself deeply drowned in a pack of lies unable to see world differently. If their effort has helped anyone, appreciate it. The issue arises when a religious organization uses all this to further their lies in various forms. The exact thing that Vatican is doing with this canonization. Mother Teresa is not even in the picture of this canonization gimmick, she is just a name that is being used in the poster.
  3. Mother Teresa is a human being like many others and sainthood is an effort to put her in a pedestal of ‘no questions’ like many Godmen and Godwomen. And we should all agree that there definitely is a fair amount of criticism to her practices over the years including the zeal to convert, the honesty of the religious agendas she drove, the extremely dangerous and wrongful message that people’s sufferings are because God loves them and so on. Why is that last statement dangerous?, because in my opinion it closes doors for many people who think that if the almighty God is the reason for their suffering and it is his test they need to pass, they become more hopeless and when you do that to uneducated people in so much want for help, it is atrociously criminal.
  4. Mother Teresa is accused for converting dying people to christianity. This is a criticism, but as a rationalist, Atheist and Humanist, though I will not agree with the conversion agenda, I think for a person dying he can choose (and should do so) any path that gives him solace. I know as a rationalist that is not the right thing to say. But as a humanist I give value to a dying man’s solace even if that gives a few brownie points to a religious institution or agenda that I so much oppose.
  5. I feel Mother teresa is too over rated and glorified and that just falls into the Vatican propaganda. And the miracles humbug belittles the efforts of many doctors who spend life times in remote and dangerous places providing health and improving mortality rates. It also belittles the countless teachers who change ‘kids with no hope’ into shining stars. This is not an issue with Mother Teresa but with the Church and the religious marketing bandwagon. Miracles belittle human endeavors period…
  6. I will like you to do a thought experiment (the problem with sainthood is that once people bestow legal divinity then such thought experiments can be considered as blasphemy). Anyway lets do it here. So for someone who thinks the suffering of a person is god’s will and your role is to serve god and your primary aim is getting more people into your God’s path dead or alive (because for them God’s connection does not end with death). Then what is the incentive to keep people alive when it is easier to convert people while dying. If your intervention in the path of God’s will is only praying, you would have more happily (or deceived) dead people than survivors. Again it is not about Mother Teresa as a person but the dangerous precedence it can create in many parts of the world.
  7. Knowing that the Canonization effort is a Vatican’s divinity marketing gimmick, it is sad to see many world leaders giving into it because of a human being Mother Teresa and the stories retold over and over. The world leaders are also victims of a church marketing campaign.
  8. Finally I want to add that in India there are different responses to this news.
    1. One is by the hard core Hindu belt whose main opposition is the conversion effort of the Christian Church and they have always opposed Mother Teresa. I see that more as an anti western, ‘Anti-anything Non Indian’ , ‘Ghar Wapasi’ thought process
    2. The other is the people who oppose this as it is a religious gimmick and a rational mind should give way for questioning any effort with an ulterior religious motive. The need to understand that efforts with ulterior motives will have a flaw that should not be discounted. A flaw that should be discussed even while appreciating any positive outcome of an individual effort. This is where I stand.
    3. Many have already put Mother Teresa in a pedestal of no questioning, the sainthood given or not given does not change that thought.
    4. A good amount of people feel opposing canonization (without telling how great Mother Teresa is) is like blaming her. They think canonization is less of an issue and it is best to leave it as it is and just not talk against it.

You can disagree with me, but my 2 cents stays here on my bloc

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