Moderates, Fundamentalists, and Now Orthodox Sikhs

Gotta love Kim Bolan. For years, the Sikh-Canadian community’s favourite journalist has gotten tremendous mileage from the monikers “moderate” and “fundamentalists” that she has used to describe the BC’s Sikh population. Now, in her reporting of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple’s election, she’s created a new segment of Sikhs: the “orthodox youth”.

Orthodox youth group sweep all executive positions at Surrey Sikh temple (Link)

I guess just saying “youth group” wouldn’t have been malicious enough. That would have brought up images of young underdog activists who chose to actually make a difference in overcoming tremendous odds in beating a slate of grey-bearded (or no-bearded) uncles who have monopolized our institutions.

Instead, she (and the Vancouver Sun) chose to stick a loaded word in front that insinuates a group that’s rigid, backwards and slightly Talibanistic. Yes, I know the word orthodox technically means “Adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith” but the textbook definition of fundamentalist is someone who has ” a point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles”, and that’s not how it was used over the past decade to describe observant Sikhs.

I guess Miss Bolan still has a job to do. If Sikhs actually got along and there was no controversy (real or incited), she’d have nothing to write about.


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116 Responses to “Moderates, Fundamentalists, and Now Orthodox Sikhs”

  1. Prem says:

    Correction to this sentence in my above post:

    As long as individuals receive threats to their lives for what they say, what they are saying becomes obscured….in as much as the focus becomes on their safety, on the nature of the threats, on the violation of the principles of open debate, and so the counter-argument to be put to the journalism or points of view they make, the alternative perspective also becomes obscured.

  2. Prem says:

    Correction to this sentence in my above post:

    As long as individuals receive threats to their lives for what they say, what they are saying becomes obscured….in as much as the focus becomes on their safety, on the nature of the threats, on the violation of the principles of open debate, and so the counter-argument to be put to the journalism or points of view they make, the alternative perspective also becomes obscured.

  3. Prem says:

    Correction to this sentence in my above post:

    As long as individuals receive threats to their lives for what they say, what they are saying becomes obscured….in as much as the focus becomes on their safety, on the nature of the threats, on the violation of the principles of open debate, and so the counter-argument to be put to the journalism or points of view they make, the alternative perspective also becomes obscured.

  4. Prem says:

    Correction to this sentence in my above post:

    As long as individuals receive threats to their lives for what they say, what they are saying becomes obscured….in as much as the focus becomes on their safety, on the nature of the threats, on the violation of the principles of open debate, and so the counter-argument to be put to the journalism or points of view they make, the alternative perspective also becomes obscured.

  5. Kaptaan says:

    Prem, how many people/ journalists have taken up the mantle of political satire regarding Islamic militants after the Motoons murders and mayhem? How many stood with Theo Van Gogh after he was killed for making the movie "Submission"??

    If you think the flame of free speech can't be extinguished then explain the amount of self-censorship taking place in Europe today with regards to Islamic terrorism?

    It's simply not true that someone will always be there to "take up the mantle".

    Also, I find it idiotic that someone would find P. Singh's comments "sinister". P. Singh may be many things, but based on his many comments, "sinister" is hardly an apt description.

  6. Kaptaan says:

    Prem, how many people/ journalists have taken up the mantle of political satire regarding Islamic militants after the Motoons murders and mayhem? How many stood with Theo Van Gogh after he was killed for making the movie “Submission”??

    If you think the flame of free speech can’t be extinguished then explain the amount of self-censorship taking place in Europe today with regards to Islamic terrorism?

    It’s simply not true that someone will always be there to “take up the mantle”.

    Also, I find it idiotic that someone would find P. Singh’s comments “sinister”. P. Singh may be many things, but based on his many comments, “sinister” is hardly an apt description.

  7. Kaptaan says:

    Prem, how many people/ journalists have taken up the mantle of political satire regarding Islamic militants after the Motoons murders and mayhem? How many stood with Theo Van Gogh after he was killed for making the movie “Submission”??

    If you think the flame of free speech can’t be extinguished then explain the amount of self-censorship taking place in Europe today with regards to Islamic terrorism?

    It’s simply not true that someone will always be there to “take up the mantle”.

    Also, I find it idiotic that someone would find P. Singh’s comments “sinister”. P. Singh may be many things, but based on his many comments, “sinister” is hardly an apt description.

  8. P.Singh says:

    Prem, no one on this thread has advocated anything “sinister”. You took one fragment from my post, and labelled it “sinister”, notwithstanding the fact, that the fragment is superceded by several paragraphs that make the intent of the fragment quite clear.
    Frankly, I find your analysis to be inaccurate, at best.

    Your question is a little bizarre, in as much as no suggestion was made that ‘freedom of speech’ should be limited because of the death threats that Kim Bolan receives. I said that I found the rhetoric of her being ‘a low life’ who has ‘made her own bed’ to be sinister because they echo so much of the rhetoric of threat and violence that underlies discussion of Kim Bolan by some Sikhs. Your freedom to say what you want has not been impeded — it still operates under less onerous conditions than Ms Bolan experiences, for example.

    You have stated you found the rhetoric of “made her own bed” to be sinister – this conclusion coming by looking at the fragment in isolation, without considering the paragraphs preceding it. Effectively, you are saying even fragments of sentences, taken out of context, are “sinister”, given the death threats Bolan has received. This doesn’t make sense.

    Such analysis of posts criticizing Bolan will almost always enable readers to pick out seemingly “sinister” fragments, or piece together threatening words. Sentences and fragments of sentences have to be looked at in the context of the entire post/message/letter etc.

    If readers will selectively choose fragments of writing, and interpret them in isolation, and not in context, then it is not the writing which is troublesome, it is the reader’s comprehension. No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  9. P.Singh says:

    Prem, no one on this thread has advocated anything "sinister". You took one fragment from my post, and labelled it "sinister", notwithstanding the fact, that the fragment is superceded by several paragraphs that make the intent of the fragment quite clear.

    Frankly, I find your analysis to be inaccurate, at best.

    Your question is a little bizarre, in as much as no suggestion was made that 'freedom of speech' should be limited because of the death threats that Kim Bolan receives. I said that I found the rhetoric of her being 'a low life' who has 'made her own bed' to be sinister because they echo so much of the rhetoric of threat and violence that underlies discussion of Kim Bolan by some Sikhs. Your freedom to say what you want has not been impeded — it still operates under less onerous conditions than Ms Bolan experiences, for example.

    You have stated you found the rhetoric of "made her own bed" to be sinister – this conclusion coming by looking at the fragment in isolation, without considering the paragraphs preceding it. Effectively, you are saying even fragments of sentences, taken out of context, are "sinister", given the death threats Bolan has received. This doesn't make sense.

    Such analysis of posts criticizing Bolan will almost always enable readers to pick out seemingly "sinister" fragments, or piece together threatening words. Sentences and fragments of sentences have to be looked at in the context of the entire post/message/letter etc.

    If readers will selectively choose fragments of writing, and interpret them in isolation, and not in context, then it is not the writing which is troublesome, it is the reader's comprehension. No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  10. P.Singh says:

    Prem, no one on this thread has advocated anything “sinister”. You took one fragment from my post, and labelled it “sinister”, notwithstanding the fact, that the fragment is superceded by several paragraphs that make the intent of the fragment quite clear.
    Frankly, I find your analysis to be inaccurate, at best.

    Your question is a little bizarre, in as much as no suggestion was made that ‘freedom of speech’ should be limited because of the death threats that Kim Bolan receives. I said that I found the rhetoric of her being ‘a low life’ who has ‘made her own bed’ to be sinister because they echo so much of the rhetoric of threat and violence that underlies discussion of Kim Bolan by some Sikhs. Your freedom to say what you want has not been impeded — it still operates under less onerous conditions than Ms Bolan experiences, for example.

    You have stated you found the rhetoric of “made her own bed” to be sinister – this conclusion coming by looking at the fragment in isolation, without considering the paragraphs preceding it. Effectively, you are saying even fragments of sentences, taken out of context, are “sinister”, given the death threats Bolan has received. This doesn’t make sense.

    Such analysis of posts criticizing Bolan will almost always enable readers to pick out seemingly “sinister” fragments, or piece together threatening words. Sentences and fragments of sentences have to be looked at in the context of the entire post/message/letter etc.

    If readers will selectively choose fragments of writing, and interpret them in isolation, and not in context, then it is not the writing which is troublesome, it is the reader’s comprehension. No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  11. P.Singh says:

    Prem, no one on this thread has advocated anything “sinister”. You took one fragment from my post, and labelled it “sinister”, notwithstanding the fact, that the fragment is superceded by several paragraphs that make the intent of the fragment quite clear.
    Frankly, I find your analysis to be inaccurate, at best.

    Your question is a little bizarre, in as much as no suggestion was made that ‘freedom of speech’ should be limited because of the death threats that Kim Bolan receives. I said that I found the rhetoric of her being ‘a low life’ who has ‘made her own bed’ to be sinister because they echo so much of the rhetoric of threat and violence that underlies discussion of Kim Bolan by some Sikhs. Your freedom to say what you want has not been impeded — it still operates under less onerous conditions than Ms Bolan experiences, for example.

    You have stated you found the rhetoric of “made her own bed” to be sinister – this conclusion coming by looking at the fragment in isolation, without considering the paragraphs preceding it. Effectively, you are saying even fragments of sentences, taken out of context, are “sinister”, given the death threats Bolan has received. This doesn’t make sense.

    Such analysis of posts criticizing Bolan will almost always enable readers to pick out seemingly “sinister” fragments, or piece together threatening words. Sentences and fragments of sentences have to be looked at in the context of the entire post/message/letter etc.

    If readers will selectively choose fragments of writing, and interpret them in isolation, and not in context, then it is not the writing which is troublesome, it is the reader’s comprehension. No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  12. Satinder says:

    I have in an earlier post said that this blog is one of the best things that have happened within the Sikh Panth of late. So, many thanks for your clarification Maple Leaf. You connecting the supreme sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and the freedom of expression and conscience is a splendid proposal. I find it interesting that most active contributors here just ignored that. One wonders why? To keep on with your positive thoughts, it would be useful if the bloggers here were to propose what precisely are the ethics of journalism when reporting on the Sikhs. After all Kim Bolan is not making up the events she reports. Are her facts being disputed or the lexicon? If it is lexicon perhaps reporters should introduce the word Amritdhari to North American readers. Within Judasim, the talk of ultraorthodox, orthodox, and reform is quite common. As Sikh school children in France struggle for the right to wear a turban to school, bikers in Ontario to rescind helmet laws, and Quebc kids for the Five Ks, and now travelling ragis, it is paramount that Sikhs remain always at the front of all struggles for human rights and freedom of expression. Otherwise, it is easy to see that we want to be the exclusive bearers of rights but not extend the same to others. And that to be sounds rather unsikh like.

  13. Satinder says:

    I have in an earlier post said that this blog is one of the best things that have happened within the Sikh Panth of late. So, many thanks for your clarification Maple Leaf. You connecting the supreme sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and the freedom of expression and conscience is a splendid proposal. I find it interesting that most active contributors here just ignored that. One wonders why? To keep on with your positive thoughts, it would be useful if the bloggers here were to propose what precisely are the ethics of journalism when reporting on the Sikhs. After all Kim Bolan is not making up the events she reports. Are her facts being disputed or the lexicon? If it is lexicon perhaps reporters should introduce the word Amritdhari to North American readers. Within Judasim, the talk of ultraorthodox, orthodox, and reform is quite common. As Sikh school children in France struggle for the right to wear a turban to school, bikers in Ontario to rescind helmet laws, and Quebc kids for the Five Ks, and now travelling ragis, it is paramount that Sikhs remain always at the front of all struggles for human rights and freedom of expression. Otherwise, it is easy to see that we want to be the exclusive bearers of rights but not extend the same to others. And that to be sounds rather unsikh like.

  14. Satinder says:

    I have in an earlier post said that this blog is one of the best things that have happened within the Sikh Panth of late. So, many thanks for your clarification Maple Leaf. You connecting the supreme sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and the freedom of expression and conscience is a splendid proposal. I find it interesting that most active contributors here just ignored that. One wonders why? To keep on with your positive thoughts, it would be useful if the bloggers here were to propose what precisely are the ethics of journalism when reporting on the Sikhs. After all Kim Bolan is not making up the events she reports. Are her facts being disputed or the lexicon? If it is lexicon perhaps reporters should introduce the word Amritdhari to North American readers. Within Judasim, the talk of ultraorthodox, orthodox, and reform is quite common. As Sikh school children in France struggle for the right to wear a turban to school, bikers in Ontario to rescind helmet laws, and Quebc kids for the Five Ks, and now travelling ragis, it is paramount that Sikhs remain always at the front of all struggles for human rights and freedom of expression. Otherwise, it is easy to see that we want to be the exclusive bearers of rights but not extend the same to others. And that to be sounds rather unsikh like.

  15. Satinder says:

    I have in an earlier post said that this blog is one of the best things that have happened within the Sikh Panth of late. So, many thanks for your clarification Maple Leaf. You connecting the supreme sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and the freedom of expression and conscience is a splendid proposal. I find it interesting that most active contributors here just ignored that. One wonders why? To keep on with your positive thoughts, it would be useful if the bloggers here were to propose what precisely are the ethics of journalism when reporting on the Sikhs. After all Kim Bolan is not making up the events she reports. Are her facts being disputed or the lexicon? If it is lexicon perhaps reporters should introduce the word Amritdhari to North American readers. Within Judasim, the talk of ultraorthodox, orthodox, and reform is quite common. As Sikh school children in France struggle for the right to wear a turban to school, bikers in Ontario to rescind helmet laws, and Quebc kids for the Five Ks, and now travelling ragis, it is paramount that Sikhs remain always at the front of all struggles for human rights and freedom of expression. Otherwise, it is easy to see that we want to be the exclusive bearers of rights but not extend the same to others. And that to be sounds rather unsikh like.

  16. Prem says:

    P.Singh, thanks for your reply. Your final sentence sums up all I have to add in return to you too.

    No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  17. Prem says:

    P.Singh, thanks for your reply. Your final sentence sums up all I have to add in return to you too.

    No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  18. Prem says:

    P.Singh, thanks for your reply. Your final sentence sums up all I have to add in return to you too.

    No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  19. Prem says:

    P.Singh, thanks for your reply. Your final sentence sums up all I have to add in return to you too.

    No offense meant – just calling it how I see it.

  20. Prem says:

    If you think the flame of free speech can’t be extinguished then explain the amount of self-censorship taking place in Europe today with regards to Islamic terrorism?

    Some people self-censor. But people still do investigate, confront and discuss the issues related to extremist ideology associated with Islam. Do you think that if Kim Bolan was to be silenced through violence, that other journalists would not investigate and confront the forces that led to her being silenced? If anything, it would increase interest in the issues surrounding her silencing.

    Culture wars are taking place in Europe to prevent the closing down of debate over violent theology today. I can assure you, the debate is very much on, very much alive.

    It’s simply not true that someone will always be there to “take up the mantle”.

    I'm not sure if you say that with regret or satisfaction. I'll assume the former, because I am generally an optimist.

    Anyway, the presumption that nobody takes up the mantle when free speech is compromised by death threat and actual violence is the kind of apathy that the fascists rely on. The fear they inculcate will prevent further scrutiny falling on them. It's the logic and rapture of them mob, the fascist, the intolerant, that they can silence criticism, and internal dissent. In free, open, democratic societies, ultimately, it can't be done.

  21. Prem says:

    If you think the flame of free speech cant be extinguished then explain the amount of self-censorship taking place in Europe today with regards to Islamic terrorism?

    Some people self-censor. But people still do investigate, confront and discuss the issues related to extremist ideology associated with Islam. Do you think that if Kim Bolan was to be silenced through violence, that other journalists would not investigate and confront the forces that led to her being silenced? If anything, it would increase interest in the issues surrounding her silencing.

    Culture wars are taking place in Europe to prevent the closing down of debate over violent theology today. I can assure you, the debate is very much on, very much alive.

    Its simply not true that someone will always be there to take up the mantle.

    I’m not sure if you say that with regret or satisfaction. I’ll assume the former, because I am generally an optimist.

    Anyway, the presumption that nobody takes up the mantle when free speech is compromised by death threat and actual violence is the kind of apathy that the fascists rely on. The fear they inculcate will prevent further scrutiny falling on them. It’s the logic and rapture of them mob, the fascist, the intolerant, that they can silence criticism, and internal dissent. In free, open, democratic societies, ultimately, it can’t be done.

  22. Prem says:

    If you think the flame of free speech cant be extinguished then explain the amount of self-censorship taking place in Europe today with regards to Islamic terrorism?

    Some people self-censor. But people still do investigate, confront and discuss the issues related to extremist ideology associated with Islam. Do you think that if Kim Bolan was to be silenced through violence, that other journalists would not investigate and confront the forces that led to her being silenced? If anything, it would increase interest in the issues surrounding her silencing.

    Culture wars are taking place in Europe to prevent the closing down of debate over violent theology today. I can assure you, the debate is very much on, very much alive.

    Its simply not true that someone will always be there to take up the mantle.

    I’m not sure if you say that with regret or satisfaction. I’ll assume the former, because I am generally an optimist.

    Anyway, the presumption that nobody takes up the mantle when free speech is compromised by death threat and actual violence is the kind of apathy that the fascists rely on. The fear they inculcate will prevent further scrutiny falling on them. It’s the logic and rapture of them mob, the fascist, the intolerant, that they can silence criticism, and internal dissent. In free, open, democratic societies, ultimately, it can’t be done.

  23. kaptaan says:

    Democracy and an open society aren’t a given. They have to be fought for without compromise. Unfortunately this is not the case in Europe where civil liberties are going by the wayside as it integrates members of a religion that espouses non-integration. Self-censorship and the unchallenged use of sharia courts which inherently discriminate against women and non-muslims are the tip of iceberg.

    Most people are happy to just go along with whatever is happening around them. Hence, the formation of the Khalsa who for obvious reasons stand out and so can’t just go along anonymously like joe or jane public.

  24. kaptaan says:

    Democracy and an open society aren't a given. They have to be fought for without compromise. Unfortunately this is not the case in Europe where civil liberties are going by the wayside as it integrates members of a religion that espouses non-integration. Self-censorship and the unchallenged use of sharia courts which inherently discriminate against women and non-muslims are the tip of iceberg.

    Most people are happy to just go along with whatever is happening around them. Hence, the formation of the Khalsa who for obvious reasons stand out and so can't just go along anonymously like joe or jane public.

  25. kaptaan says:

    Democracy and an open society aren’t a given. They have to be fought for without compromise. Unfortunately this is not the case in Europe where civil liberties are going by the wayside as it integrates members of a religion that espouses non-integration. Self-censorship and the unchallenged use of sharia courts which inherently discriminate against women and non-muslims are the tip of iceberg.

    Most people are happy to just go along with whatever is happening around them. Hence, the formation of the Khalsa who for obvious reasons stand out and so can’t just go along anonymously like joe or jane public.

  26. BUCHANGI says:

    Sikh youth should challenge people like these to open debates on tv and radio.

    People like Bolan and Dosanjh will have nothing to say when they get direct answers and asked questions by Youth.

  27. BUCHANGI says:

    Sikh youth should challenge people like these to open debates on tv and radio.

    People like Bolan and Dosanjh will have nothing to say when they get direct answers and asked questions by Youth.

  28. BUCHANGI says:

    Sikh youth should challenge people like these to open debates on tv and radio.

    People like Bolan and Dosanjh will have nothing to say when they get direct answers and asked questions by Youth.

  29. BUCHANGI says:

    Sikh youth should challenge people like these to open debates on tv and radio.

    People like Bolan and Dosanjh will have nothing to say when they get direct answers and asked questions by Youth.

  30. BUCHANGI says:

    SGPC is a hijacked body and therefore nobody ready will take notice of such a directive, espically in west hemisphere.

    Akal Thatkt Sahib needs to decide on the issue, who bby the way is also hijacked by SGPC itself.

  31. BUCHANGI says:

    SGPC is a hijacked body and therefore nobody ready will take notice of such a directive, espically in west hemisphere.

    Akal Thatkt Sahib needs to decide on the issue, who bby the way is also hijacked by SGPC itself.

  32. BUCHANGI says:

    SGPC is a hijacked body and therefore nobody ready will take notice of such a directive, espically in west hemisphere.

    Akal Thatkt Sahib needs to decide on the issue, who bby the way is also hijacked by SGPC itself.

  33. BUCHANGI says:

    SGPC is a hijacked body and therefore nobody ready will take notice of such a directive, espically in west hemisphere.

    Akal Thatkt Sahib needs to decide on the issue, who bby the way is also hijacked by SGPC itself.

  34. kaptaan says:

    Balbir Singh Sooch, you might want to use the enter key when posting it makes your comment that much more readable if you break your thoughts up into paragraphs that have some coherent point.

  35. kaptaan says:

    Balbir Singh Sooch, you might want to use the enter key when posting it makes your comment that much more readable if you break your thoughts up into paragraphs that have some coherent point.

  36. kaptaan says:

    Balbir Singh Sooch, you might want to use the enter key when posting it makes your comment that much more readable if you break your thoughts up into paragraphs that have some coherent point.

  37. kaptaan says:

    Balbir Singh Sooch, you might want to use the enter key when posting it makes your comment that much more readable if you break your thoughts up into paragraphs that have some coherent point.

  38. Satinder says:

    Just read an interesting article in the New York Times on the Jewish Community in Mumbai. It freely uses the terms Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox in describing the Jewish faith. Given that the Jews are a minority and the the Times has such high standards this item may be of interest.

  39. Satinder says:

    Just read an interesting article in the New York Times on the Jewish Community in Mumbai. It freely uses the terms Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox in describing the Jewish faith. Given that the Jews are a minority and the the Times has such high standards this item may be of interest.

  40. Satinder says:

    Just read an interesting article in the New York Times on the Jewish Community in Mumbai. It freely uses the terms Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox in describing the Jewish faith. Given that the Jews are a minority and the the Times has such high standards this item may be of interest.

  41. Satinder says:

    Just read an interesting article in the New York Times on the Jewish Community in Mumbai. It freely uses the terms Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox in describing the Jewish faith. Given that the Jews are a minority and the the Times has such high standards this item may be of interest.

  42. Camille says:

    There’s a difference in using that terminology to refer to the Jewish Orthodox community, where that’s an actual term for one of the methods of practice (along with Conservative, Reform, Hassid). It has a very different connotation and meaning when leveraged against a community that has no similar internal distinction.

    For example, if you undergo your bar mitzvah in ANY “division” of Jewish practice (I apologize I don’t have a better term — these are not sects or denominations, but if someone can provide the more accurate label I would be happy to edit/amend), you are confirmed in the faith. It doesn’t change what kind of Jew you are. I think the analogy is comparable in Sikhi. Taking amrit does not change your faith basis itself; it confirms a commitment to a specific series of lifestyle and faith concepts. Concepts that exist across ALL Sikhs, even if not all choose to follow all parts at all times. I think this distinction is significant and shouldn’t be cast aside in favor of throwing inappropriate Judeo-Christian terms on a non-Judeo-Christian faith.

  43. Camille says:

    There’s a difference in using that terminology to refer to the Jewish Orthodox community, where that’s an actual term for one of the methods of practice (along with Conservative, Reform, Hassid). It has a very different connotation and meaning when leveraged against a community that has no similar internal distinction.

    For example, if you undergo your bar mitzvah in ANY “division” of Jewish practice (I apologize I don’t have a better term — these are not sects or denominations, but if someone can provide the more accurate label I would be happy to edit/amend), you are confirmed in the faith. It doesn’t change what kind of Jew you are. I think the analogy is comparable in Sikhi. Taking amrit does not change your faith basis itself; it confirms a commitment to a specific series of lifestyle and faith concepts. Concepts that exist across ALL Sikhs, even if not all choose to follow all parts at all times. I think this distinction is significant and shouldn’t be cast aside in favor of throwing inappropriate Judeo-Christian terms on a non-Judeo-Christian faith.

  44. Camille says:

    There's a difference in using that terminology to refer to the Jewish Orthodox community, where that's an actual term for one of the methods of practice (along with Conservative, Reform, Hassid). It has a very different connotation and meaning when leveraged against a community that has no similar internal distinction.

    For example, if you undergo your bar mitzvah in ANY "division" of Jewish practice (I apologize I don't have a better term — these are not sects or denominations, but if someone can provide the more accurate label I would be happy to edit/amend), you are confirmed in the faith. It doesn't change what kind of Jew you are. I think the analogy is comparable in Sikhi. Taking amrit does not change your faith basis itself; it confirms a commitment to a specific series of lifestyle and faith concepts. Concepts that exist across ALL Sikhs, even if not all choose to follow all parts at all times. I think this distinction is significant and shouldn't be cast aside in favor of throwing inappropriate Judeo-Christian terms on a non-Judeo-Christian faith.

  45. Camille says:

    There’s a difference in using that terminology to refer to the Jewish Orthodox community, where that’s an actual term for one of the methods of practice (along with Conservative, Reform, Hassid). It has a very different connotation and meaning when leveraged against a community that has no similar internal distinction.

    For example, if you undergo your bar mitzvah in ANY “division” of Jewish practice (I apologize I don’t have a better term — these are not sects or denominations, but if someone can provide the more accurate label I would be happy to edit/amend), you are confirmed in the faith. It doesn’t change what kind of Jew you are. I think the analogy is comparable in Sikhi. Taking amrit does not change your faith basis itself; it confirms a commitment to a specific series of lifestyle and faith concepts. Concepts that exist across ALL Sikhs, even if not all choose to follow all parts at all times. I think this distinction is significant and shouldn’t be cast aside in favor of throwing inappropriate Judeo-Christian terms on a non-Judeo-Christian faith.

  46. Satinder says:

    The terms listed: Conservative, Reform and and Ultra Orthodox are all of relatively recent vintage, nineteenth century. They emerged as the Jewish community left the Great Pale of Eastern Europe and walked into Central and Western European cities. As different members of that diaspora adopted different religious attitudesin places like Germany these terms arose. Sikhs too are confirmed in their faith through Amrit and are called Amritdhari Sikhs and this contrasts with those who are non-Amritdhari. So distinctions exist and many other shades besides, but the issue here is what lexicon is ethical and respectful.

  47. Satinder says:

    The terms listed: Conservative, Reform and and Ultra Orthodox are all of relatively recent vintage, nineteenth century. They emerged as the Jewish community left the Great Pale of Eastern Europe and walked into Central and Western European cities. As different members of that diaspora adopted different religious attitudesin places like Germany these terms arose. Sikhs too are confirmed in their faith through Amrit and are called Amritdhari Sikhs and this contrasts with those who are non-Amritdhari. So distinctions exist and many other shades besides, but the issue here is what lexicon is ethical and respectful.

  48. Satinder says:

    The terms listed: Conservative, Reform and and Ultra Orthodox are all of relatively recent vintage, nineteenth century. They emerged as the Jewish community left the Great Pale of Eastern Europe and walked into Central and Western European cities. As different members of that diaspora adopted different religious attitudesin places like Germany these terms arose. Sikhs too are confirmed in their faith through Amrit and are called Amritdhari Sikhs and this contrasts with those who are non-Amritdhari. So distinctions exist and many other shades besides, but the issue here is what lexicon is ethical and respectful.

  49. Satinder says:

    The terms listed: Conservative, Reform and and Ultra Orthodox are all of relatively recent vintage, nineteenth century. They emerged as the Jewish community left the Great Pale of Eastern Europe and walked into Central and Western European cities. As different members of that diaspora adopted different religious attitudesin places like Germany these terms arose. Sikhs too are confirmed in their faith through Amrit and are called Amritdhari Sikhs and this contrasts with those who are non-Amritdhari. So distinctions exist and many other shades besides, but the issue here is what lexicon is ethical and respectful.

  50. Camille says:

    I agree that the conversation is about which lexicon is ethical/respectful. I just draw the distinction between a faith community adopting its own terms/labels (the case with the Jewish community) versus having meaning transposed onto them from those outside the faith community.

  51. Camille says:

    I agree that the conversation is about which lexicon is ethical/respectful. I just draw the distinction between a faith community adopting its own terms/labels (the case with the Jewish community) versus having meaning transposed onto them from those outside the faith community.

  52. Camille says:

    I agree that the conversation is about which lexicon is ethical/respectful. I just draw the distinction between a faith community adopting its own terms/labels (the case with the Jewish community) versus having meaning transposed onto them from those outside the faith community.

  53. Camille says:

    I agree that the conversation is about which lexicon is ethical/respectful. I just draw the distinction between a faith community adopting its own terms/labels (the case with the Jewish community) versus having meaning transposed onto them from those outside the faith community.

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