The trouble with Satiricus is that he is an ignoble Indian ignoramus. He is so ignorant that he doesn'tknow he is a lost soul, direly in need of a saviour. What is worse, he doesn'tknow two basic requirements about his saviour: first, Satiricus is an Indian, so his saviour has to be an American. And secondly, Satiricus is a Hindu, so his saviour must be a Christian. Fortunately, both these requirements are so reasonable that the situation is far from hopeless.
Satiricus now has a doubly-qualified divinity at hand?there is Hinn for this Hindu. Last month St. Benny Hinn from America came all the way to Mumbai to ?pray for India?, and what the newspaper described as his ?spiritual hungama? was so loud and tumultuous that God must surely have heard the prayer.
And if, perchance, God was a little too busy to listen to blessed Benny live, He could always rely on a replay on ?God TV?, which sponsors American angels like Benny Hinn and telecasts on a 213-nationwide network. Now, Satiricus does not know how many nations there are in the world, but if more than two hundred of them switch on to God'stalk-show on God TV, more or less the whole world is as good as saved, no? For if Benny Hinn, described as ?mighty man of God?, tells God to do something, can God ignore the directive? Satiricus thinks not. For we have it on an unimpeachable authority?that is, Hinn'sclaim?that he has spoken to God, who first appeared to him when he was just eleven-years old, and has been appearing to him ever since. Good God! Are God and Benny Hinn such old friends? But then, Satiricus knows of little boys of India, that was Bharat, from Dhruva and Shuka Muni of the Puranic period to Jnaneshwar of historical times, to whom God appeared, so he is not surprised to see that in keeping with modern trends of modern times, God should go West to bless Benny boy with his darshan. But even then, was it really necessary for God to call on Saint Benny so frequently? For Indian saints, one darshan of God was enough, then why were there so many repeat performances for this Archangel of America? Oh well, maybe it does take repeated meetings and extensive discussions to fill in the details of how to save the world.
After all, the globalisation of salvation is big business, in which even God needs back-up from buddies like Benny. Still, the straightforward simplicity of Benny Hinn'sbusiness methods is truly appealing. It is almost like ?cash and carry?. Hinn prays, and God pays.
And why not? After all, in God the American dollar trusts, as the motto on the dollar coin devoutly declares. Then how can God neglect the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ numbers? Consequently, for those who want to invest in a piece of paradise, it is a heavenly scenario. But in that case, how come the recent Mumbai Mela was billed as Hinn'sbiggest show? If Benny Hinn is an American evangelist, should he not have had his biggest show in America?
Before the Benny bash was held in Mumbai, one of its organisers declared that ?people from across the world as well as India will attend it to witness the power of God moving among the faithfuls?. But are there not far more ?faithfuls? in ?God'sown country?, as the dictionary calls Benny Hinn'sAmerica, than in once-Hindu-cum-communal and now secular India? The answer, alas, is that this number is fast and fatally falling. Dr David Frawley and Dr N.S. Rajaram say, ?The major problem faced by Christianity today is its collapse in the West.? Dr Koenraad Elst says, ?Christianity is in steep decline.? Foremost British investigative reporter, David Yallop says in Rome itself, the home of Christianity, there were ?many parts of the city with Church attendance less than three per cent of the population…?
And finally what about America? In 1984, Yallop quoted a secret Vatican study saying that during the previous 20 years, the number of priests in America had fallen ?from 50,000 to 12,000?. When the Pope visited the US in 1995 it was only 3,500, and today it is less than 3,000. Then what is Hinn doing in Hindustan?
Had Satiricus not been a devout secularist, he would have suspected that Hinn was here ?praying for India? because his Christianity does not have even a prayer of a chance in his America.
But he will not commit such blasphemy against Benny. In fact he was moved when he read the report that Benny boomed, ?In the name of Jesus, bless the people of India, the Government of India…? As the people of India include sinful Satiricus, Benny'sblessings must surely have washed away the sins he must have committed as a horrid Hindu. But so far as the Government of India is concerned, Satiricus wonders if Benny'sblessing is not a mixed blessing!
For now that we are in the election mode, which government can claim the blessing? Is the present NDA government the rightful claimant, or should God Jesus and Benny Hinn wait till the election results are out, to see if New Delhi has become the new capital of Rome Rajya?
But there again Satiricus has a problem. For what should he make of the call of the Catholic Archbishop of Mumbai not to attend Benny Hinn'sJesus jamboree? The Archbishop has charged Benny of ?misquotations and misinterpretations of the Bible?, ?false prophecies…?, and ?alleged visions of angels?, finally saying that Hinn'spreachings ?do not fall under the tenets of Catholicism?.
Now this is really a bit too much. How can poor Benny misquote the Bible when nobody knows what the Bible really said? In the first place, the Bible was written half a century after Jesus died. Secondly, it was written on highly perishable papyrus paper. And thirdly, nobody knows who really wrote it.
So if nobody knows the correct quotation, how can there be a misquotation? As for misinterpretation of the Bible, the charge can be dismissed as untenable. For in the Bible, Jesus told his apostles?go into the world and convert it. Today Hinn prays ?in the name of Jesus? as an evangelist, and the dictionary says to evangelise means to convert to Christianity. Or should Satiricus shy away from such semantics?
From Dhruva and Shuka Muni of the Puranic period to Jnaneshwar of historical times, to whom God appeared, so he is not surprised to see that in keeping with modern trends of modern times, God should go West to bless Benny boy with his darshan.
For Indian saints one darshan of God was enough, then why were there so many repeat performances for this Archangel of America?