The government in the Indian state of Meghalaya has confiscated textbooks showing pictures of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette and a can of beer.
The book has been used for primary classes and has caused a furore in the north-eastern state, where more than 70 per cent of the population are Christians.
State Education Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said legal action against the publishers was being contemplated. The company, based in Delhi, has so far not responded to the complaints.
«We are now considering legal action against the Skyline Publications of New Delhi who published the controversial textbooks», Mr Lyngdoh said.
The controversial picture of Jesus was discovered in cursive writing exercise books being used at a private school in the state capital, Shillong.
«We are deeply hurt by the insensitivity of the publisher. How can one show such total disrespect for a religion?», asked Dominic Jala, the Archbishop of Shillong. The Catholic Church in India has banned all textbooks by Skyline Publications from all its schools.
«We have told all our member schools across the country to ban this publisher»,said Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) spokesman Babu Joseph.
«Jesus Christ is central to Christian faith and Christian life. The attempt to tarnish his image is highly objectionable and goes against the spirit of religious tolerance in India», Mr Joseph said.
According to the gospel of John, the first miracle of Jesus was to make water into wine. He also shared suppers with His disciples, who were drinking wine. The Jewish Apostles Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach problem. And Jesus him self might have taken quite a few drinks. And He might not.
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
So what is the fuzz?
The problem is that makers, promoters and defenders of images and idols are sinners. Such people claim to be Holy, but they mock God of the Bible, by breaking the second commandment. You can not tarnish the «image of Jesus», because the only valid «image» of Him is found in His Words. The Jew did not recognize Him neither by seeing His image, nor because they had seen a statue of Him.
Still thousands of Jews recognized the Messiah when He walked on Earth. How did they do that?
By reading the scripture, obeying the scriptures, and sharing the scripture with others. Thats why a blind man could cry out and say. «Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me».
Religious people who are offended by tarnished «images» of Jesus, please read:
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.