Finished reading a biography of Gandhi that has come under scrutiny as not being hagiographic enough. I knew stuff about Gandhi already and wasn’t entirely impressed. This book did not improve my impression.
I understand liking various historical figures. My favorites are Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. I get people who like Gandhi in that way.
I do not, and don’t think I ever will, understand how Christians hold him up as a celebrated spiritual personality. I just don’t. Gandhi was Hindu and refused to convert to Christianity, so right there I have a problem.
Some think Gandhi personified Christ-like qualities, but outside of wearing a robe, not sure how. Here are some major differences between the two, in my opinion, which is probably far from humble.
1. Gandhi did self-denial to further political means; Jesus taught that self-denial should be practiced in private and no one should know about it.
2. Gandhi was a politician; Jesus was the Son of God. Gandhi did little in life that was not done to enhance his political image and promotion.
3. Gandhi vowed to be poor; Jesus just didn’t care about getting money. One of his aids quipped that it cost a lot of money to keep Gandhi poor. On one tour through India he raised over $1 million dollars for his organizations and was so fixated on getting money that women would take their jewels off before coming to his rallies so he wouldn’t take them.
4. Gandhi set up an organization to protect cows; Jesus gave His life to save humanity.
5. Gandhi abandoned his wife and kids; Jesus knew better than to even start down that road.
6. Gandhi was fixated on sex; Jesus rarely mentioned it. Gandhi throughout his life had various young women who would sleep with him. In order to prove his self-mastery he would sleep with a naked woman and not have sex with her. That is just odd. Will not even go further on his homoerotic relationships.
7. Gandhi was Hindu; Jesus is the only way to the Father.
8. Gandhi spent his life trying to get Muslims and Hindus to join together; Jesus came to bring division, even among families.
9. Gandhi refused to convert to Christianity as it would negatively hinder his Hindu/Muslim voting bloc; Jesus said you have to be born again.
10. Gandhi went out of his way to pick fights; Jesus was just righteous and the fights found Him. Gandhi spent his life purposely sticking his nose in trouble pretty much up to wanting to get assassinated.
I don’t like Gandhi. He is not my model for Christian living. He became a proud, self-righteous, odd individual. India may have benefited from him some (not sure that point is true or not), and that is fine.
Like him as a politician, but not as a spiritual guru.