Hindu activist: Christian, Jewish and Buddhist leaders condemn Asheville Brewing’s Shiva beer

Full announcement from Hindu activist Rajan Zed:

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Christian-Buddhist-Jewish leaders have backed Hindus upset over Indian Pale Ale beer brewed in Asheville (North Carolina) carrying the name-image of Hindu deity Lord Shiva.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, taking up this issue, has earlier stressed that Lord Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, has urged Asheville based Asheville Brewing Co. to apologize and withdraw its Indian Pale Ale beer bearing the image of Lord Shiva, calling it highly inappropriate.

This beer, named as “Shiva”, displays the image of Hindu Lord Shiva in Nataraja form.

Father Stephen R. Karcher, prominent Greek Orthodox Christian clergyman in Nevada and adjoining California, in a statement today, stressed: I sympathize with our Hindu friends who are distressed to see their revered Shiva portrayed on the side of a beer can. This shows a complete absence of cultural sensitivity and religious awareness, and is degrading not only to Hindu people but to all who take faith seriously and practice it freely in our great nation.”

Richard L. Smith, a highly respected United Church of Christ pastor, in a statement today, noted: I support the protests of Hindus who are offended by the name and image of the god Shiva being used to sell ale, just as I would be if a winery decided to name one of its products “Sangre de Christo.” I urge the Asheville Brewing to find another approach.

Well known Buddhist minister Jikai’ Phil Bryan, in a note to Rajan Zed, said: I agree completely with your objection to the use of Lord Shiva as the name of a beer…It will be to the great credit of the brewing company to honor your request and change the name of the beer. I trust they will hear your message and respond sensitively to it.

Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer, Jewish leader in Nevada and California, argues that inappropriate placing of a religious group’s deity is a serious affront to the many Hindus who worship Shiva. We fully back Hindu statesman Zed’s initiative on this issue.

Luther James DuPree Junior, a Bishop in the Church of God in Christ, has also supported Hindus disturbed over the trivialization of their revered deity.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed points out.

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Asheville Brewing, launched in 1995, offers three locations in Asheville; which besides brewery, also includes restaurants and Dine-In Theater; and distributes its beers in stores and restaurants in Western North Carolina. It describes Shiva beer as “crisp, citrusy” and adds “Your palette will be lifted to higher planes of consciousness”. It is also available in 12 ounce cans and 22 ounce bottles. Asheville, incorporated in 1797, has reportedly reigned the champion “Beer City USA” each year from 2009 to 2012.


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0 thoughts on “Hindu activist: Christian, Jewish and Buddhist leaders condemn Asheville Brewing’s Shiva beer

  1. boatrocker

    Ok, they all have a point about fictional characters being used to hock beer. But….

    Sadly this has been going on for quite some time- long before Shiva had a beer. Greek guys adorning NASA capsules in the social comments is a good example.

    The real question is how far should society be willing to go to prevent anyone from ever been offended? I used the term emotional entitlement in another post to describe it. Christians seem to play both sides of the fence by claiming a “War on Christmas” while at the same time using the same holiday to sell everything under the sun.

    And this might be splitting hairs, but arguably the ‘first’ religions originated in Africa, aka the cradle of mankind with animism and ancestor worship, not Hinduism. Archeological sites and carbon 14 datings of various wooden objects have consistently supported this theory, but at the end of the day aren’t we all just arguing over whose fairy tales are the best?

    • Kill the Demon

      Hinduism is a monotheist religion. You won’t find a single quote in the religious texts of Hindus indicating it as polytheistic religion. I am quoting few verses from Vedas & Upanishads here:

      Yajurveda 32:3

  2. brebro

    I expect the Church of Satan to send a stern letter to the Underwood company, decrying the frivolous use of their Lord as a spokesman and label design for that company’s deviled ham product.

  3. bsummers

    As I understand it, Satan worship is technically not a religion distinct from Christianity, but a heretical sect within Christianity. So they are probably impatiently waiting for the Baptists to do something about the ‘deviled ham’ labels.

  4. D. Dial

    And what about all those people making “deviled eggs” for picnics and other events? Shouldn’t they be held accountable? The horror!

  5. Arun Gupta

    HELLO B.
    Hinduism is not a religion as popular view like Christianity,Islam etc.Its real name is Sanatan Dharma(eternal religion).Its a collection of different views and philosophies of leading life to attain Moksha(salvation).Whether God Shiva of the Holy Trinity is a fictitious one or Jesus is a false prophet depends on your view.Hindus believe in all pervading God.You can achieve the Supreme in many ways.Its true that for many ages many people have used religion for creating fissures in society.

    The ancient holy books of this oldest religion on earth are the Vedas and Upanishads.There is not a single verse depicting Hinduism as a idol-worshiping or polythesitic religion.

    And about that animism and ancestor worship in religion,you are welcome to come to India or atleat have a view of Vedas or anyother Hindu scriptures.We have special ceremonies in Holy Ganga river worshiping ancestors.And yes Hindus neither worship cows nor consider it as their deity.Every religion(JESUS,BUDDHA WHATEVER) on earth has stunning similarities with the core principles of this Dharma.


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