South Carolina, USA. A local church here has ordained a 55-year-old man named Bobby Haley as a bishop, raising a lot of eyebrows as Bobby is considered to be openly Hindu by most of the people. While the church has justified its move, arguing that it demonstrated the growing tolerance and acceptance for people belonging to the minority groups among the American Christians, others have termed the step ‘ridiculous’.
“If we hadn’t enough gays becoming bishops, now we have a Hindu bishop too. Are we living in a real world?” wondered Sandra Palin, a local community leader and a devout Christian, who feared that ‘false prayers’ by Bobby could spell doom for the community.
Many others supporting Palin over the issue have asked the local church committee to immediately repeal the ordinance appointing Bobby as bishop else they would stop supporting them through their donations. The community is meeting this Sunday to discuss future steps and could ask the committee to express regret for causing deep pain to the local Christians.
On the other hand, some Hindu groups like Hindu American Foundation (HAF) have lauded the appointment of Bobby as bishop, although they regretted that Bobby was rather restraining his feelings towards cows as just ‘love’ when he should have declared his reverence for them.
“We hope he comes out of the closet one day and declares his Hinduness more openly.” an HAF representative told Faking News, “say, he lights up the church for Diwali?”
Such statements have riled the groups opposed to the appointment of Bobby even further. But despite being in the center of a controversy and facing flak for its move, the church has refused to back off.
“Bobby has shown full commitment to the Christian faith and is also a patriotic American. Yes, he is openly Hindu and loves cows, but it’s alright, The Bible doesn’t prohibit bovine love.” Catherine Robinson, the head bishop of the local church said, who had earlier supported appointment of gay bishops.
Catherine also called upon the local community members to learn to live with different approaches to sexuality, spirituality and Christianity. In fact, she went on to announce that her church could even bless Hindu-Hindu marriages in future.
The man at the center of the controversy, Bobby Haley, too has defended his appointment and has claimed that he thoroughly deserved the post and the honor bestowed upon him through this act.
“I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and I consider Iran as my enemy.” declared Bobby amid applauses from a crowd gathered to celebrate his appointment.
“And yeah, I love cows.” he added, underscoring his Hinduness.