Open letter to a holier-than-thou foreign preacher — Sheela Raghavan

AUGUST 16 — I owe you a debt of gratitude for enlightening me on the means and ways of propagating religious ideologies. Foremost from you, I have learnt:

  1. Not to glibly quote non-existent verses from religious texts, especially those belonging to persons of different faiths. For, such words used loosely, only goes to show one’s lack of depth and intellect.
  2. Not to be escorted to lectures in an over-the-top, grandiose vehicle, replete with outriders. For, such ostentatious displays of “greatness” smack of vulgarity and do nothing to display the humility a religious leader is supposed to eschew.
  3. Not to insult or accuse hardworking, taxpaying citizens of being traitorous to their homeland. It should be obvious that to disparage others is not befitting of any decent human being and is completely unbecoming of a religious teacher.
  4. Not to confuse citizens of the nation with “guests” of the nation. To avoid making a similar faux pas in the future, one should not hesitate to invest in a rudimentary civics textbook, to educate oneself on what every primary school-going child of this nation knows, with regards to race and citizenry.
  5. Not to complain to have been misquoted during a sermon, particularly when videos on the same abound the internet for all and sundry to see. Such churlish outbursts do little to uphold the dignity of a righteous individual, let alone a religious leader.
  6. Not to make spurious scientific claims, touting the superiority of one’s religion. While this may work with a gullible audience, it is quite plainly, a dishonest and unconscionable act, unworthy of a religious icon. Instead, exaggerated displays of pseudo-scientific knowledge is likely to earn an individual the reputation of being a charlatan.

May the Almighty grant all other individuals with a similar insight to discern the truth, as I have, with your valuable help.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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