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Christian friends

I don't "trash" Christians! *I'm* the one extending an olive branch to them, trying to make friends with them, saying our religions have a lot in common, and quoting *Christian* scholars and theologians far more knowledgeable than I in this regard: Dr. Harvey Cox, Dr. A.L. Basham, Dr. Larry Shinn, Dr. Klaus Klostermaier, among others. I'm not doing anything more threatening than George Harrison in this regard.

The Christians are demonizing *us*! They're approaching us for a position on abortion, and when we patiently explain abortion and war are the karma for killing animals (God's punishment, if you will, for killing God's animals), we can't end abortion till we first shut down the slaughterhouses, they don't have to "convert" to our religion, they can become Christian veg*ans, etc...

...they become angry!

They don't seem to appreciate the numerous theological similarities between our faiths, either. The Christians are NOT saying:

"We know. Dr. Diana Eck, professor of Hinduism points out that the bhakti tradition of devotion to a personal God within Hinduism, goes back to at least the 2nd century BC., and is older than Christianity."

"We know. Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins, author of the 1971 book, The Hindu Religious Tradition, points out that one of the earliest archaeological evidences for the worship of Krishna is a column erected in India by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador, 2,200 years ago. There were Westerners being converted to the worship of Krishna before Christianity even existed."

"We know. In his 1983 essay, 'A Jewish Encounter with the Bhagavad-gita,' Harold Kasimow points out that Krishna is an incarnation of God and that the doctrine of the incarnation of God is as central to the Gita as it is to Christianity and that neither Jews nor Muslims have been able to reconcile it with their own understanding of God."

"We know. At a Jewish-Vaishnava interfaith conference in 1986, none of the rabbis would take prasadam because it was food offered to idols. Catholic clergy, on the other hand, have defended Krishna devotees from charges of 'idolatry' from Christian fundamentalists and have favorably compared prasadam with the Eucharist."

"We know. John Plott has done elaborate studies comparing Vaishnavaism (the worship of Lord Vishnu) and Christianity, particularly the theology of Ramanuja (11th century) with that of St. Bonaventura (13th century)."

"We know. Geoffrey Parrinder wrote "The Significance of the Bhagavad-gita for Christian Theology."

"We know. William Blanchard entitled his PhD dissertation, "An Examination of the Relation of the New Testament to the Bhagavad-gita."

"We know. Theologian Rudolf Otto (1869 - 1937) wrote an entire book about what he called, 'India's religion of grace.'"

"We know. Dr. Harvey Cox compares Krishna Consciousness with Catholic monasticism and Appalachian folk religion."

"We know. Dr. A.L. Basham compares Krishna Consciousness to the Christian monastic orders."

"We know. During the Robin George case, one of the appellate justices in San Diego compared Krishna Consciousness to the Little Sisters of the Poor (a Catholic religious order)."

"We know. During the Robin George case, the National Association of Evangelicals and other Christian organizations sided with ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness)."

"We know. Dr. Duane Gish, a UC Berkeley professor and anti-evolutionist appreciated it when the Bhaktivedanta Institute sent him a copy of Origins magazine."

"We know. Dr. Klaus Klostermaier points out that the Trinitarian conception is the closes parallel to the worship of God in plural form as Radha and Krishna."

"We know. Jews and Muslims don't worship images. Jews and Muslims don't believe in the incarnations of God. Jews and Muslims don't worship a plural Godhead, like that of Trinitarian Christianity. Jews and Muslims don't worship other human beings, saints and spiritual masters in disciplic succession."

"We know. Father Bede Griffiths says of Bhagavad-gita, 'For a Christian, this is a wonderful confirmation of God's love as contained in the Gospel.'"

"We know. Christian theologian Keith Yandell loves Vaishnava theology." (He wouldn't say that if he were mistaking it for "moonies"!)

"We know. The ethics of the Buddha are similar to those of Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount. No one accuses the Buddhists of being 'moonies' because that would be stupid. Buddhism, like Pythagoreanism, is older than Christianity. Instead, they conclude the opposite: centuries before Jesus, an earlier teacher lived the Christ life."

"We know. In the 1980s, a female New Age Christian teacher studied Hinduism, saw theological parallels, and concluded that Lord Vishnu is 'the Christ light.'"
"We know. In his book, The Living God: Basal Forms of Personal Religion, Nathan Soderblom similarly observed: 'Warren Hastings was right in writing that of all known religions this comes nearest to Christianity.'"

There ARE Christian vegetarians and Christian vegans of whom I have the deepest respect. Srila Prabhupada taught us to oppose animal-killing, oppose meat-eating, not Christians. 

There was a Jewish woman who studied Christianity at length and was surprised by the similarities Christianity shares with its parent faith, Judaism. She wrote an entire book on the subject entitled, Christianity... Is Jewish.

That's my experience, as one who is not a follower of any of the Abrahamic faiths. I'm pleasantly surprised by the numerous theological parallels and similarities between Christianity and Vaishnavaism.

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