My first post here, but I found the Catholic Answers radio show a few years ago and have taken the magazine now for a couple of years. I really enjoy the website, and while I have my favorite Catholic Answers authors, I find all of the content really strong.
Now to my question … hope I’ve classified this into the right forum …
I work with a number of individuals who are Hindu and are currently celebrating Diwali. I really haven’t given it much thought in the past and would likewise wish them a Happy Diwali, or whatever the holiday was.
However, through reading other Catholic literature and listening to the local EWTN radio, I’ve come to understand that many of the “spirits” in these pan-theistic religions are actually demons in disguise.
And so my quandary. If I wish my colleagues Happy Diwali, am I endorsing the demons at the root of their spirituality? If they wish me the same and I say “thank you”, am I tacitly accepting the “blessings” of their false theology? If I’m invited to a Diwali celebration, is that similar to attending, say, a Wiccan wedding, and would doing so put me at a risk of influence from the demonic spirits that are implicitly worshipped at these celebrations?
No, you are being polite and wishing them a happy holiday.
No, you are accepting their polite gesture. If they already know you are Catholic and do not believe as they do, that’s all it is, a polite gesture.
Are you participating in any sort of religious rite as part of the celebration? You shouldn’t do that, not because it will open you up to demons, but because it is against Catholic religion to worship a pagan god.
If the celebration is not a religious rite but is simply a secular celebration party of some sort, it’s not a problem.
This is my 2 cents and I’m sure there will be other Catholics who worry more about demons. I personally do not worry much about demons. One who believes in God, stays close to him, and does not engage in breaking his commandments by idol worship and also does not engage in activities that might open a portal such as occult stuff, also does not have to worry that demons will reach out and grab them every minute.
Hello Franklin you could always just wish people to “have a blessed day”.
I doubt anyone will take that out of context because it’s a polite and kind thing to say.
You know that what you really mean is that may the God of Abraham, Issac, and Joseph, the God of Moses, David, and Solomon the Father of Jesus Christ the Son of God in unity with the Holy Spirit the One-True-Triune God bless them and keep them.
You know this is what you mean when you tell people “God bless you” it’s no different when we say “have a blessed day”.
Also while yes the Bible does say in Psalm 95 that all the gods of the gentiles are demons Hindus do believe in one god but that he has ten avatars.
This is of course a perversion of the Holy Trinity and a result of the Fall and the scattering of Nation’s at Babylon.
I had a guy at work who was Hindu very kind man very enthusiastic about his religion I learned a lot but I do believe that yes these avatars are demons.
Do your best to avoid taking part in any religious activity which is your right as an employee.
When I was employed, I worked with several Hindu coworkers. They celebrate Diwali day by bringing delicious food and sweets and invite everyone for a free lunch at the conference room. I’d attend and thank them for the food.
That’s all. I didn’t greet anyone with a Happy Diwali day. Just said thank you for the food.
I’ve had this said to me by evangelists on the street and one bloke who wouldn’t stop bugging me at work many years ago. In fairness the bloke at work really did believe this and was in his own way probably a better Christian than many Catholics but it was just impossible to correct his ignorance about Catholicism and get him to see it was nowhere as exciting as he thought it was. No worshipping ‘scarlet whores’ as I grew up or the Pope or swearing to murder anyone who wasn’t Catholic if you became a Jesuit etc. etc. But this sort of nonsense about other stuff sells, caricatures require a lot less time to invest in than actually learning about someone else’s faith.
I’m sorry to hear your daughters wouldn’t come to your wife’s confirmation. That’s painful.
I’d just smile and be kind. No need to wish them a happy feast day of their religion. Honestly wouldn’t expect a Hindu to wish me a happy all Saints day or happy feast of our Lady of Guadalupe for example.
Hindu religion has many statues. Those statues depict godly characters. Each god has philosopical teaching which they teach in the form of fables. For example the story of Rama & Sita depict faithful love between husband and wife, which being tested by others, Rama & Sita stay strong in their faithful love toward each other.
From those fables, a hindu person who has never known Jesus, he learns good values and try to recognize those among the bad ones, in those fables. The root of believe in Hindu is not necessarily worshipping demons. It could open to both good & bad spirits, though.
Light need to be separated from darkness (Genesis 1). The hindu fables are about the struggle of good versus evil, but good and evil sometimes not very clearly discerned. light & dark characters are in balance, exist together, and not necessarily discerned as neither good nor bad.
The separation of light from darkness is by the Name Jesus Christ, by which God create everything that exist, because only in Jesus, all things come into being (Genesis 1:1-3, John 1:1-3). And that light is actually life for humans(John 1:4)
So, a person who is born Hindu, he may seek for the good qualities among the bad ones in those fables, which basically a way of discernment: that is to find “enlightenment”: an attempt to separate light from darkness, to discern good & bad.
Similarly, we also try to discern good moral from bad moral values, but ours with guidance from Jesus in the gospel stories, the torah, and the prophets. The Word of God came into the world to become flesh (incarnate) in order to reveal God in the person of Jesus Christ.
When a hindu person welcome us to their feast, it is a good quality they show. All good quality in a person comes from God, even our human goodness. So it is a duty for a good catholic to respond with open heart such good gesture.
We do not need to bow down to the statues. It is wrong for us to do so, because our God is above all gods. So we should never bow down to worship other gods (to offend our God). But we have a duty to love our neighbor as ourselves.
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
John 1:1-4 The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God;
3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.