STOCKTON, Ca.: In an editorial comment, the Stockton Record emphasized the need for better understanding with one another. The comment came in the wake of misplaced threats by Hindus against local Sikhs without realizing that the allegedly offensive banner proclaiming “Sacred Cows Make Great Hamburgers”, was actually put up by a Catholic Priest, John Fallon. The Editorial goes on to say that:

“John Fallon, a Catholic priest, borrowed it to enliven the ever changing bulletin board in front of St. Mary’s High School in North Stockton.

“Raj Ramaiya, a Hindu, read it as a slur on his religion, which considers cows sacred. “It gave me the feeling that here’s one religion slurring another,” he said.

“Fallon, who certainly hadn’t intended any slur, removed the sign.

The ensuing publicity prompted threats of violence against local Sikhs, who are engaged in a holy war with the Hindus in their native India.

“Was there something wrong with the sacred cow aphorism?

“In India, there might have been; 84 per cent of the Indian population is Hindu and the cow is sacred to the Hindus.

“But in America the sacred cow is nothing more than a ‘clearly understood figure of speech. It has no religious connotations.

“What was wrong was the reaction, Ramaiya drawing an incorrect inference from the St. Mary’s sign and then hooligans exhibiting their ignorance by threatening Sikhs.

“There are few better examples than this one involving Christian’ and Jew, Hindu and Sikh to demonstrate the need for greater mutual understanding and knowledge of our fellow human beings”.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 24, 1987