Scripture, as most GetReligion readers surely know, can be read in a myriad of contradictory ways. That includes interpretations that justify racism, slavery and punishing or even eradicating those who believe or act differently.
Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and others are guilty of this. As are Hindus, despite their penchant for theological pluralism.
Now we have a politically influential Indian Hindu journal writing that the Vedas, Hinduism's oldest scriptural texts, say it is permissible to kill "sinners" who slaughter cows, which are revered in Hindu culture.
I doubt Mahatma Gandhi would have agreed with this. But then again, he was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who conceived the world through a darker and narrower lens.
If you're wondering about the news hook for this post is, it may be because other than The New York Times, American news media have paid little ongoing attention to this growing story (or so my relatively quick Web search found).
But look no further than the late-September killing of a Muslim Indian who was set upon by a Hindu mob acting on rumors that he had slaughtered a cow for food, an allegation that has not held up, according to later reports. He was one of three people to die in the last month in violent incidents related to consuming beef.
Note the Times story's critical political angle.