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One of you introduced me to Rajiv Malhotra. I thank you for that. He has some interesting criticisms of Christian Faith. In one of his videos he says Christianity is the largest MNC in the world. I provided the link below if you want to watch it. He says ‘Christianity is the largest Multinational Corporation in the world. In Germany there is a church tax. Christians collecting taxes from the people is not right. Liberals should protest these Christian activities. Every priest is a salesman. Christianity is all business. Constantine established this religion and the Vatican took over it and spread it around the world.’
His first charge is Christianity is all about money
You see, religion has a complex relationship with the money. Our savior Lord Jesus Christ did not focus on the money. He worked hard to help his parents. He was never married. But he worked as a carpenter to take care of his parents. When he was around 30 years-old, Jesus started his public ministry. He had chosen 12 disciples. One of them was Judas Iscariot, who would later betray him for 30 pieces of silver. When Jesus looked at Judas, he knew one thing: this guy is all about money. In fact he would as far as betraying me for the silver, as far as back stabbing me for the money.
He gave the money bag to Judas. For our blessed Savior, it was never about money. His central teaching was about the kingdom of God. Read the gospel of Matthew, chapter 6. Jesus says,
Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moths
and vermin destroy, and where thieves
break in and steal. But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where
moths and vermin do not destroy, and
where thieves do not break in and steal.
Don’t store up money in this world. It will decay, rust and disappear. But store up your treasures in heaven. Jesus set an example before us. When Jesus died on the cross, he died as a poor man. He was not a rich man. From the cross, he had to ask his close friend John to take care of his mother. He had to be buried in a rich man’s tomb. Two thousand years ago, rich Jews would prepare a tomb for their burial. Jesus could not even afford a burial place for himself. He had to be buried in someone else’s tomb. Such is the great example Jesus set before us.
Even the apostles followed that example. When Christianity got legalized under Constantine the Great, the Church started to enjoy more power and prosperity. Then corruption entered and many church leaders focused on amassing wealth rather than focusing on the souls of their congregation. I agree we have corrupt Christian leaders today who should be brought to more accountability from their congregants. Rajiv Malhotra talked about it. But he said nothing about the corruption of Hindu leaders.
Sri Sri Ravishankar is worth 150 million dollars
Mata Amritanandamayi is worth 200 million dollars
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is worth 20 million dollars
Asaram Bapu is worth 50 million dollars
Morari Bapu is worth 75 million dollars
Avdhoot Baba Shivanandji Maharaj 6 million dollars
Deepak Chopra is worth 100 million dollars
Baba Ramdev is worth over a billion dollars.
Acharya Balkrishna is worth 6 billion dollars
Rajiv Malhotra has no problem with these Hindu gurus reeking billions of dollars from their followers. These gurus have been going all over the world, selling their spiritual messages and making millions and millions of dollars. We have hundreds of millions of people in India living in stenching poverty. Right now many people are living in starvation due to the Pandemic. Why can’t these gurus donate their wealth to the poor of India and live like simple saffron clad hermits? That is what Jesus told the rich man: Give all your wealth to the poor and follow me for the kingdom of God.
Government should stay away from Christianity
Then Rajiv Malhotra says, in countries like Germany governments are collecting taxes for the church.
Many countries in Europe have state sponsored churches. In England, the Anglican Church is the primary church. In Greece, Eastern Orthodoxy is the state church. In many countries like Argentina and Peru, Roman Catholicism is the state religion. In Denmark, the Lutheran church is the state religion. Majority of people in these nations follow those religions and governments made those religions as their state religions.
I take the position that the government should not promote any particular religion by taxing people. If you love your religion, support it with voluntary donations. Don’t tax people. I agree with Rajiv Malhotra on that. But his criticism is only one sided. He has no problem if governments promote his religion which is Hinduism. Yogi Atidyanath is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. As the head of the largest state in India, he actively promotes Hinduism in all areas of life. Taxpayer money actively flows into his religious programs. Rajiv Malhotra has no problem with it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi actively promotes the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Whenever he visits, his first stop would be a visit to the local Hindu temple. Hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money is being spent on the security as the Prime Minister visits all these temples to promote his religion. Rajiv Malhotra has no problem with it because Modi belongs to his religion.
Finally, Rajiv called on liberals in the West to work on stopping endorsement of Christianity by the government. He should also call liberals in India to work on stopping endorsement of Hinduism by the governments in India.
He is welcome to question the corruption among Christian leaders. But it will be fair if he takes a first look at his own backyard.