Friday, February 22, 2013

Conversion corrupts?!

Back in 1993, I had posted this on soc.culture.indian, thinking it to be a joke.  Yet, there appears to be a recurring minor theme in 19th century literature about India that conversion to Christianity by Europeans resulted in a corruption of the natives.  

Title: In the spirit of the Maharaj :-)  {Jai Maharaj was a poster on s.c.i., considered by many to be a joker}
"The British census of 1881 gives the record of {criminal} convictions:
        Europeans                1 in 274
        Eurasians                1 in 509
        Native Christians        1 in 799
        Mahommedans                1 in 856
        Hindus                        1 in 1361
        Buddhists                1 in 3787 
These statistics were reprinted in the leading Catholic organ
in Britain, The Tablet, with the comments: 
"The last item is a magnificent tribute to the exalted purity
of Buddhism...It appears from these figures that while we effect
a very marked moral deterioration in the natives by converting
them to our creed, their natural standard of morality is so
high that however much we Christianize them, we cannot succeed
in making them altogether as bad as ourselves."" 
(From an introduction to "The Light of Asia", for original reference,
see Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery, compiled and edited by
Joseph Head & S.L. Cranston, 1977, Warner Books).