It's Critical Mass!
In the words of Lewis Regenstein, in his 1991 book, Replenish the
Earth (a history of organized religion's treatment of animals and the
environment), the Roman Catholic Church has gradually moved from
indifference to concern for animals.
In his 1903 book, On Behalf of the Creatures, the Reverend John Todd Ferrier, founder of the Order of the Cross (an informal mystical religious order, abstaining from meat and wine, and believing in reincarnation) wrote:
"It is hard to understand how anyone who has studied animals could come to the conclusion that they do not feel pain, and harder still to understand how any man who professes to have been moved by the compassion of God could believe and teach that we need not consider the feelings of the other species, as they are only things -- 'mere chattels.'
"Yet men do believe such things, and teach them. And when we realize how much the doctrine is held in 'high places,' it is not to be wondered at that cruelty abounds, and our fellow-creatures are made to pass through the fire of unspeakable suffering as sacrifices to the Moloch of human lust and scientific insanity.
"That the Church which has given the world some of the finest saints should directly teach inhumanity to the lower races, will no doubt amaze many of my readers. But it is only too sadly true... And how a teacher of high order can instill into the mind of young men such illogical, corrupt, and inhuman philosophy, is one of those strange contradictions we at times meet with in the religious world."
Reverend Ferrier quotes from the Catholic Dictionary, article on "Lower Animals," from 1897:
"As their souls operate through matter, so they spring from matter and perish with it. They are not created by God ('what a commentary on Genesis 1!' exclaims Reverend Ferrier)... The brutes are made for man, who has the same right over them which he has over plants and stones."
"The Church should be a leader in the movement for the protection of animals, but it is not even in the procession," wrote Helen Jones of the National Catholic Society for Animal Welfare in 1966. "The attitude of the Church today toward the suffering of animals is for the most part one of utmost indifference."
Voices within the Church calling for justice toward animals have been few and far between.
In an editorial that appeared on Christmas Day, 1988, Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy, a Catholic vegan, wrote:
"A long raised but rarely answered question is this: If it was God's plan for Christ to be born among animals, why have most Christian theologians denied the value and rights of animals? Why no theology of the peaceable kingdom?... Animals in the stable at Bethlehem were a vision of the peaceable kingdom. Among theologies mysteries, this ought to be the easiest to fathom."
Mother Teresa, honored for her service to the poor with the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote in 1992 to Marlene Ryan, a former member of the National Alliance for Animals. Her letter reads:
"I am praying for you that God's blessing may be with you in all that you are doing to create concern for the animals which are often subjected to much cruelty. They, too, are crated by the same loving Hand of God which created us. As we humans are gifted with intelligence which the animals lack, it is our duty to protect them and to promote their well-being.
"We also owe it to them as they serve us with such wonderful docility and loyalty. A person who shows cruelty to these creatures cannot be kind to other humans also. Let us do all we can to become instruments of peace -- where we are -- the true peace that comes from loving and caring and respecting each person as a child of God -- my brother -- my sister."
In an article entitled "The Primacy of Nonviolence as a Virtue," appearing in Embracing Earth: Catholic Approaches to Ecology (1994), Brother Wayne Teasdale wrote:
"One key answer to a culture's preoccupation with violence is to teach, insist on, and live the value of nonviolence. It can be done successfully, and it has been done for more than 2,500 years by Jains and Buddhists. Neither Jainism nor Buddhism has ever supported war or personal violence; this nonviolence extends to all sentient beings. Christianity can learn something valuable from these traditions. This teaching on nonviolence has been incarnated in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Fourteenth Dalai Lama with significant results..."
According to Teasdale: "... it is necessary to elevate nonviolence to a noble place in our civilization of loving-compassion because nonviolence as ahimsa in the Hindu tradition, a tradition that seems to possess the most advanced understanding of nonviolence, IS love! Love is the goal and ultimate nature of nonviolence as an inner disposition and commitment of the heart. It is the fulfillment of love and compassion in the social sphere, that is, in the normal course of relations among people in the matrix of society."
Brother Aelred (Robert Edmunds), a Catholic monk and Krishna disciple living in Australia during the '90s, discusses the moral issue of killing animals for food in his book, Encounter: Christ and Krishna. He points out that Jesus Christ greatly expanded the interpretation of the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" to include not getting angry without cause.
"My position is that Jesus' teachings on mercy in the Beatitudes require an open-ended ethical inquiry," writes Brother Aelred. "I ask, for example, how a Christian may speak of 'mercy' in the terms of Jesus Christ, and deny mercy to creatures of God who, as we do, experience fear and suffering. Isn't it the case that Jesus constantly went beyond the 'letter of the law' to its spirit?"
Brother Aelred quotes the prophecies of Isaiah (11:6-9, 65:25) concerning the coming Kingdom of Peace. "The passage sees a time when pain and bloodshed will be no more; when prey and devourer will be reconciled. What a vision! Even if the passage is seen as just poetic exaggeration, it is clear that there is hope for a future which will be very different to the world we know. And surely we, as Christians, must be part of this 'peace process.' Perhaps our main burden, as Christians, is to be part of this message of hope and reconciliation."
Brother Aelred concludes with the following:
"An Anglican Franciscan superior, in Australia, tells his novices that if they wish to eat flesh they must go out and themselves kill the animal. The moral responsibility must be theirs alone. I consider this a thoroughly sound position, and any Christian reading this article might well reflect on the brother's teaching.
"In conclusion, I must report a sad truth. My own Christian formation taught me many things of great value, but 'respect for all things living' was not part of that formation. It was other religious traditions and 'secular' insights which gave me teaching in this area."
"Actually, one who is guided by Jesus Christ will certainly get liberation. But it is very hard to find a man who is actually being guided by Jesus Christ... violence is against the Bible's injunctions. How can they kill if they are following the Bible?"
--A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
"If you love your neighbor as yourself, then why this 'civilization' which claims to be 'Christian,' is slaughtering so many animals, and why they are constantly slaughtering each other in wars, in the streets? Jesus says you will not kill... and my spiritual master is giving love of God, he is giving love of God to the world."
--A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam lecture, 1971
According to Reverend Marc Wessels of the International Network for Religion and Animals (INRA): "The most important teaching which Jesus shared was the need for people to love God with their whole self and to love their neighbor as they loved themselves. Jesus expanded the concept of neighbor to include those who were normally excluded, and it is therefore not too farfetched for us to consider the animals as our neighbors.
"To think about animals as our brothers and sisters is not a new or radical idea. By extending the idea of neighbor, the love of neighbor includes love of, compassion for, and advocacy of animals.
"There are many historical examples of Christians who thought along those lines, besides the familiar illustration of St. Francis. An abbreviated listing of some of those individuals worthy of study and emulation includes Saint Blaise, Saint Comgall, Saint Cuthbert, Saint Gerasimus, Saint Giles, and Saint Jerome, to name but a few.
"We recognize that many animal rights activists and ecologists are highly CRITICAL of Christians because of our relative failure thus far adequately to defend animals and to preserve the natural environment. yet there are positive signs of a growing movement of Christian activists and theologians who are committed to the process of ecological stewardship and animal liberation."
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, wrote in Harmony: Voices for a Just Future, a "consistent-ethic" periodical on the religious left, in February 1995:
"...the survival of our planet depends on our sense of belonging -- to all other humans, to dolphins caught in dragnets, to pigs and chickens and calves raised in animal concentration camps, to redwoods and rainforests, to kelp beds in our oceans, and to the ozone layer."
Talking Points: Krishna Consciousness and Christianity
1. "The Hare Krishna religion is a bona fide religion with roots in India that go back thousands of years."
---New York Supreme Court Justice John S. Leahy, People v. Murphy
2. Reverend Norman Moorhouse:
"The rosary is chiefly associated with Roman Catholics, but many members of the Church of England also use it. And there are many Russian orthodox Christians who chant the name of Jesus several hundred or thousand times every day. In the Book of Psalms there are biddings to praise the name of the Lord and to sing...I remember that during the Second World War, I was in Greece for Easter, and it was a wonderful thing to hear all the people chanting and singing 'Christos anesethe' -- Christ is risen."
3. Dr. A.L. Basham:
"...the old-fashioned type of missionary was quite certain that Hinduism was the work of the Devil, and hence that it was very evil. It did all the things which Christianity, especially Protestant Christianity, said you shouldn't do, such as image worship and the worship of many gods.
"Catholics were always much more tolerant of this sort of thing. Though he may be theoretically monotheistic, the simple Catholic will, to all intents and purposes, pray to quite a wide range of divinities, including the Blessed Virgin Mary and various important saints, often in the form of physical images.
"But Protestant Christianity was founded on the basis that there is one God only, divided into three persons, and that worship of images is sinful. To the Protestant of the old-fashioned kind, this was a terrible thing to do, almost as bad as it was to a traditional Jew or Muslim. So the missionaries, I think, are largely responsible for the polytheism stereotype and the 'caste-ridden' stereotype.
"Well, I think you (Krishna devotees) have quite a lot in common (with the Christian monastic orders). You take a vow of poverty. You live very simply--without superfluous material comforts and possessions. As for chastity, your monks...live strict celibate lives. Even...the married members, abstain from sex unless they wish to conceive children.
"As far as obedience is concerned, reverence for the teachings and guidelines laid down by the scripture and by the guru are certainly quite important in your order. To live in your ashrams, one must follow certain strict rules concerning diet and conduct and so on. So you have much in common with the Christian monastic orders. Certainly, you dress much more gaily, though...
"In monastic life the whole world over, there are many things in common, if not in theology and dogma, then at least in moral and spiritual practice. Especially in olden times, the monasteries used to feed travelers, the beggars, and the poor, and you do the same. They were religious centers of prayer and song, music, literature, and story telling, and you're doing pretty much the same thing. There is quite a lot in common between you.
"Usually the monastics have a good grounding in theology and they approach their theological dogmas in a rather different spirit from that of the lay person. Their involvement is obviously more experientially oriented, as is yours. Yes, I'm sure you can find quite a lot in common with Benedictine and Cistercian monks.
"The bhakti tradition is very close to Christianity--Christianity of the devotional type--in its psychological attitudes. It comes particularly close to some aspects of mystic Catholicism. If you read the poems of mystics such as St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa, you find attitudes rather close to those of the bhakti poets of medieval India.
"I would say, for this reason, among others, that one shouldn't look on Krishna Consciousness as a rival of Christianity...there's really no need for the Christians to look on you as their rivals...They ought to recognize you for what you are: a movement with doctrines and ideas very close to their own, with much the same aims and rather an ally than a foe."
4. Dr. Diana Eck:
"The Krishna Consciousness movement is part of an important and distinctive tradition of devotional faith, the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which began in the 16th century with the great saint Sri Chaitanya, but which participates in a much older move ment of devotion dating back to at least the 2nd century BC.
5. Dr. Harvey Cox:
"...there aren't many examples around of people who choose a path of religious asceticism, and devotion... The people who understand the Hare Krishna movement better than many others are people who have a relative who's become a Benedictine monk or a nun. They know somebody who has chosen to do something which appears to be crazy: giving up television, giving up family life, leaving professional careers and going off to live in a monastery. But that's legitimated in the Catholic system. I've talked with people about the Hare Krishna movement in this way and they can easily make the connection.
"I've heard Catholics say how comforting it is to walk into a Mass anywhere in the world and see the same gestures and hear the same words, especially during the old days of the Latin Mass. You can walk into any temple in Vrindavana, or in ISKCON, and pretty much the same thing is going on.
"You can see the obvious similarities. here you have the idea of a personal God who becomes incarnate... revealing what God is about and eliciting a form of participation in the life of God.
"I think a Christian will have some natural sensitivity to Krishna devotion...devotion of the heart, that is, pietistic Christianity...We noted several surprising similarities between what you might call Appalachian folk religion and Krishna Consciousness. Both religions put a big emphasis on joy, the spiritual joy of praising God... both traditions emphasized puritanical values and practice certain forms of asceticism such as no drinking, no smoking, no non-marital sex and no gambling...Both seem to put more emphasis on a future life or another world.
"You have to remember that if you had been there at the early Methodist frontier revivals here in America... you would have seen some very ecstatic behavior...jumping up and down and singing. This sort of ecstatic religious behavior is, of course, associated with religious devotion from time immemorial in virtually every culture. We happen to be living in a culture which is very restricted, unimaginitive, an d narrow in this regard.
"I find Vaishnavaism and ISKCON itself, a fascinating and challenging spiritual and theological movement. My interest in it probably stems, in part, from the fact that it touches certain aspects of my own spiritual tradition, my own spiritual trajectory, in a way that other movements do not."
6. Dr. Klaus Klostermaier:
"In Christianity, too, you have highly personalistic ideas, like those of the medieval Beghines--female devotees of medieval Germany. They envisioned the playfulness of God in highly personalistic terms, according to private revelations, and there were other, similar schools of thought. The Puranas--like the Bible--deal with creation, history of dynasties, biographies of saints, moral laws, human wisdom, the first created being, a Noah-type personality, the birth of the saviour, miracles of all sorts. These things are there and they can be elaborated upon with volumes of commentary.
"For the Christian, the Trinity represents the deepest mystery of faith...Similarly, the Radha-Krishna relationship cannot be fathomed by paralleling it with romantic love poetry or late medieval Marian devotion, as some writers have tried to do. The mystery of these things goes very deep, and there is no earthly symbolism that can accurately convey its truth."
According to Dr. Klostermaier, meditation and prayer are "important in the Christian tradition, at least for certain sects and monastic orders...In thePhilokalia and in the path recommended by The Pilgrim, you find the...'Jesus Prayer,' which may be unknown to most Christians today, but was very powerful in its time.&nb sp; So people are aware of the potency of 'the name' and the importance of focusing on it as a mantra...But it must be done with devotion...The idea of logos, or 'the Word,' has elaborate theological meaning that is intimately tied to the nature of Jesus and, indeed, to the nature of God."
7. "All the basic principles of bhakti yoga are richly exemplified in Christianity."
---Dr. Houston Smith, The Religions of Man, 1958
8. In his monumental work, The Story of Christian Origins, secular historian Dr. Martin A. Larson notes that
according to Hindu, Buddhist and Pythagorean thought:
"...hell itself was actually a kind of purgatory, since it was a place in which perhaps a majority of all people underwent repeated refinement and punishment," before being reborn as a plant, animal, or human being.
9. Dr. Larry Shinn:
"...there is a similarity in the Krishna and the Catholic traditions in their stress on formal rituals, the abundant use of iconography, their hierarchical institutional/authority structure, their strong emphasis on the private prayerlife, and their ideals of the monastic life of full time religious service and personal piety."
10. Srila Prabhupada on the Fall from grace:
"When a living entity disobeys the orders of God, he is put into this material world, and that is his punishment ...The real fact is that the living entity is eternal, and the material world is created to satisfy his false existence...The individual is thinking that he is independent of and can act independent of God. That is the beginning of paradise lost, of Adam's fall.
"When Adam and Eve thought they could do something independently, they were condemned. Every living entity is the eternal servant of God, and he must act according to the desire or will of the Supreme Lord. When he deviates from this principle, he is lost. Losing paradise, he comes into the material world...That is the process of transmigration, the rotation of the cycle of birth and death. This is all due to disobeying God... Having rebelled against the principles of God consciousness, we are cut off from our original position. We have fallen."
11. Father Bede Griffiths says of Bhagavad-gita, "For a Christian, this is a wonderful confirmation of God's
love contained in the Gospel."
12. "When we say God is 'eternal,' we mean God is eternally young." ---Meister Eckhart
13. Protestant theologian Rudolf Otto (1869-1937) called Vaishnavaism, "India's religion of grace."
14. In The Living God: Basal Forms of Personal Religion, Nathan Soderblom similarly observes:
"Warren Hastings was right in writing that of all known religions, this comes nearest to Christianity."
15. In Bhagavad-gita:
Lord Krishna reveals Himself as an incarnation of God to His disciple Arjuna. According to the Gita (11.48), one cannot come to know God personally by study of the scriptures, nor by performing sacrifices, nor by charity, nor by good deeds, nor by penances.
The Gita (11.54-55) teaches that God can only be known through love and devotion. The Gita (Ch. 12) explains that one must lead a life of devotion to a personal God. Those completely devoted to God are not affected by worldly conflicts, concerns, and entanglements, and are very, very dear to Him.
The Lord's devotees are lifted into a state of spiritual grace; free from the entanglements of the world and the flesh, because--by His mercy--they are able to serve Him personally. (Gita 14:26-27) One can understand God only by devotion. (Gita 18:55) Only through devotion can one enter into the kingdom of God. One must sur render oneself completely to God. By His grace ("tat-prasadat") one receives everlasting peace and the spiritual kingdom. (Gita 18:58-66)
16. The spiritual master suffers for the sins of his or her disciples:
"..the spiritual master, after accepting a disciple, must take charge of that disciple's past sinful activities and ...suffer--if not fully, then partially--for the sinful acts of the disciple." (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.9.5, purport)
"the spiritual master...has got the responsibility of absorbing the sinful reaction of his disciple's life. This is a great responsibility of the spiritual master...To accept disciples means to take up the responsibility of absorbing the sinful reaction of life of the disciple." (Letter to Satsvarupa and Uddhava, July 27, 1970)
"Regarding your question about sufferings of master, you can simply ponder over Lord Christ's crucification." (Letter to Rebatinandan dasa, December 31, 1972)
17. Srila Prabhupada opposed birth control and divorce. According to the Vedic Village Review:
Mahavishnu Swami recalls Srila Prabhupada at one time recommending devotees to investigate the structure and principles of the Roman Catholic Church as far as its applicability in ISK CON. However, Yasodanandana dasa relates an exchange between Srila Prabhupada and Tamal KrishnaGoswami in Vrindavana, 1977. "Don't turn my ISKCON into another Gaudiya Math, or the Catholic Church," instructed Srila Prabhupada. "Don't worry,Srila Prabhupada, we won't," replied Tamal Krishna Goswami. (Vedic Village Review, #14, September 1990, p. 17,20)
Srila Prabhupada would not have made either of these statements if he were not aware of already existing similarities between these two great religious traditions.
18. The earliest moral and legal codes (Dharma-sastras and Niti-sastras) originated in India, as did the
earliest representative institutions (Sabha and Parishad). A Western text, India: Yesterday and Today, also reports that "the four orders...of Hindu society...were classes in the Western sense rather than castes in the Indian manner."
19. Prana Krishna dasa (Frank Morales) wrote in June 1993:
"I am currently majoring in philosophy and minoring in theology at Loyola University of Chicago, a Catholic university...I've had many opportunities to have friendly discussions with Christian clergy and laymen about Vaishnava philosophy--usually with the result that we are all surprised at how many similarities there are between Vaishnava and Christian (pre-Thomist) theologies."
20. In an October 1993 letter, Prana Krishna dasa explained further:
"...in my fifteen years of studying religion, I, in concert with many other scholars and devotees, have found the similarities between Vaishanvaism and Christianity to be quite striking. Indeed, Vaishnavas seem to have more in common (theologically, as opposed to culturally or historically) with Christianity than with any other world religion.
"This is most especially true of early, Pre-Thomist Christianity. Most early Christian theologians and philosophers before Thomas Aquinas were influenced by the Platonic school of philosophy. Plato's teachings, were, in turn, very Hindu-like.
"He believed, for example, in reincarnation, the separateness, qualitative superiority and ontologically antecedent nature of the soul in comparison with the body/matter; and the primacy of a transcendent reality, of which this world is but a secondary (and inferior) reflection. Pre-Thomist Christians were allgreatly influenced by these (and many other) Platonic ideas.
"With the triumph of Thomism as the predominant Christian paradigm in the Fourteenth century, and the consequential decline of the Platonist world-view, Christianity took a radical turn for the worse. Aquinas based his theology on the philosophical works of Aristotle, who was a materialistic, empirical philosopher.
"By stressing Aristotelianism, Aquinas grounded his theology (later to become the official theology of the Catholic Church!) upon the philosophy of a materialistic world-view; and, as you and I know well...one cannot build a theology upon the ideas of an atheist. From that point on, Christianity has plummeted downward."
21. The Reverend Alvin Hart (an Episcopal priest) confirms Prana Krishna dasa's statements:
"Christian doctrine was essentially Platonic--all the way up to the time of Aquinas, when Aristotelian philosophy started to infiltrate Church teaching."
22. In his 1983 essay, "A Jewish Encounter with the Bhagavad-gita":
Harold Kasimow discusses ideas "which seem totally incompatible with the Jewish tradition. The most striking example is the doctrine of incarnation, a concept which is as central to the Gita as it is to Christianity. According to the Gita, Krishna is an incarnation (avatar), or appearance of God in human form.
"A study of the Jewish response to the Christian doctrine of incarnation shows that Jews, and I may add, Muslims, have not been able to reconcile this idea with their own scriptural notion of God."
23. Jews don't worship statues.
Madhavendra Puri dasa (Steve Bernath) of the Bhaktivedanta Institute reports that at a Jewish-Vaishnava interfaith conference in 1986, none of therabbis would take prasadam, because it was food offered to idols. Catholic clergy, on the other hand, have defended devotees against charges of "idolatry" from Christian fundamentalists, and have favorably compared prasadam with the Eucharist. Reverend Alvin Hart says, "It's like the Mass, where the Host is considered nondifferent from the body of Christ..."
24. Jews don't worship other human beings:
In his anticult book, Where is Joey? Lost Among the Hare Krishnas, author Morris Yanoff, a retired Jewish schoolteacher, is disturbed at the thought of his grandson Joey worshipping another human being (Srila Prabhupada). A friend tells him, "If Jesus Christ were to return, don't you think a lot of people would be bowing down?"
25. Until 1990, comparisons between Vaishnava and Catholic spirituality were commonplace:
In a spring 1990 publication, The ISKCON Journal, for example, Satyaraja dasa (Steven Rosen) discusses the ritvik theological controversy by comparing ISKCON to the Catholic Church and its gurus to Popes:
"Isn't this the main problem with Christianity today? Although they say that they accept Christ as their savior, they do not have a practical guide, a 'living' teacher in disciplic succession. Protestant Christianity, especially has fallen victim to a sort of ritvik system. They teach that faith in Christ (as their onlyguru?!) and personal interpretation of the scriptures is enough for salvation.
"Ultimately, as a result of this thinking, they totally reject the Pope and consequently there are literally thousands of Protestant sects, with differing interpretations (from subtle to gross variations). Initially, it seemed like a good idea. The Pope was corrupt. What were they to do? Martin Luther reacted by protesting (is Rupa Vilas the Martin Luther of ISKCON?); St. Francis reacted by going inward. Inner meditation. Seeing God within. Of the two, I would probably side with Francis. But perhaps there's a better solution. Before this schism, the Church of Rome had remained unified for some 1500 years--but then the Popes (the gurus) became corrupt and were abandoned..."
Ironically, Satyaraja dasa (Steven Rosen) is Jewish! Similarly, in a 1979 Back to Godhead article entitled "Celibacy: Exquisite Torture or a Yes to God?"Ravindra Svarupa dasa (Dr. William Deadwyler) compares Vaishnava and Catholic spirituality in discussing his encounter with Catholic seminarians bitter at their lifelong vows and lack of a married priesthood.
26. Brother Aelred (Chaitanya dasa), a Catholic monk and Krishna disciple, writes:
When Father Bereza, a Benedictine monk in Lubin, was asked why Buddhism was more easily accepted in Poland, Fr. Bereza replied that Buddhism--when compared with Roman Catholicism--was different. The Vaishnava tradition, on the other hand, is "uncomfortably close" to Christianity...and "brothers will fight each other."
27. Srila Prabhupada acknowledged Christ's divinity:
"Jesus Christ was born without contact of any material father. He was divinely placed in the womb of Mary."
---Morning Walk, Los Angeles, June 8, 1976
"Fools thought that Lord Jesus Christ was dead by crucifixion, but he resurrected."
---Letter to Mr. Dambergs, April 12, 1967
"Lord Jesus Christ, he is shaktyavesha-avatar, God's son..."
---Srimad Bhagavatam lecture, 1976
"Jesus Christ is accepted as the son of God. He presented himself as the son of God. And here Krishna says that 'I am the Father.'"
---Chaitanya Charitamrita lecture, 1968
"...He (the guru or spiritual master) takes responsibility for all the fallen souls. That idea is also in the Bible. Jesus Christ took all the sinful reactions of the people and sacrificed his life..."
---Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
"...there is no difference. Christ came to preach the message of God. If you actually become Christ conscious, you become Krishna conscious...Christ consciousness is also Krishna consciousness, but because at present people do not follow...the commandments of Jesus Christ--they do not come to the standard of God consciousness."
---The Science of Self-Realization
"Actually, one who is guided by Jesus Christ will certainly get liberation. But it is very hard to find a man who is actually being guided by Jesus Christ...violence is against the Bible's injunctions. How can they kill if they are following the Bible?"
---Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
"...and you can develop so simply. You just hallow the name of the Lord. Jesus says, 'hallowed be Thy name, my Father.' And we are also hallowing the name of the Lord. We don't even demand you say 'Krishna.' You can say 'Jehovah.' You can say 'Yahweh.' You can chant the names of God..."
---Srimad Bhagavatam lecture, 1972
"But Jesus Christ never said that he is God. He said 'son of God.' We have no objection to chanting the holy name of Jesus Christ. We are preaching, 'Chant the holy name of God.' If you haven't got any name of God, then you can chant our conception of the name of God, Krishna. But we don't say only Krishna...
"And it is such a simple thing. They don't have to go to a church or temple. It doesn't matter if they are in hell or heaven. In any condition they can chant the holy name of God...There is no charge, there is no fee, there is no loss. If there is some gain, why not try for it?...
"So what more do you want? Therefore, let us cooperate. Don't think that it is against Christianity or that it is sectarian. Let us cooperate fully. Jointly let us preach all over the world, 'Chant the holy names of God.' Let us join together. That should be the real purpose of devotees of God. My students are preaching love of God. Why should others be envious of them? We don't say that you must chant Hare Krishna. If you have a name of God, chant it."
---Room conversation, London, August 14, 1971
28. Christianity is a bona-fide path to God:
"Bhakti-yoga means connecting ourselves with Krishna, God, and becoming His eternal associates. Bhakti-yoga cannot be applied to any other objective; therefore in Buddhism, for instance, there is no bhakti-yoga, because they do not recognize the Supreme Lord existing as the supreme objective. Christians, however, practice bhakti-yoga when they worship Jesus Christ, because they are accepting him as the son of God and are therefore accepting God. Unless one accepts God, there is no question of bhakti-yoga. Christianity, therefore, is also a form of Vaishnavaism, because God is recognized...However, where there is no recognition of a personal God...there is no question of bhakti-yoga."
---The Path of Perfection
29. Krishna Consciousness is open to all:
Ravindra-Svarupa dasa (Dr. William Deadwyler) says: "...there's absolutely nothing wrong with the movement's having all kinds of people who aren't following the strict regulative principles. Where we have a problem is with people who have at one time or another taken formal vows to follow the principles...and then found themselves unable to keep them." (Back to Godhead, Nov./Dec. 1991, p. 31)
30. Father Raymundo Pannikar says:
"It is within the heart that I embrace both religions (Hinduism and Christianity) in a personal synthesis, which intellectually may be more or less perfect...Religions meet in the heart rather than in the mind."
In his 1995 article, "Abortion: A Lincolnian Position," which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, George McKenna writes:
"Since 1972, pro-choice feminists have become increasingly important players in Democratic Party councils... No Democrat with serious national ambitions would ever risk offending them...
"A long list of Democrats who were once pro-life -- Edward Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, even Al Gore and Bill Clinton -- turned around in the seventies and eighties as the lobbies tightened their grip on the party...
"If Democrats are pro-choice for political reasons, Republicans are pro-choice in their hearts. Talk radio's greatest Republican cheerleader, Rush Limbaugh, has also been an outspoken pro-lifer, but even Limbaugh has been softening that part of his message lately -- and small wonder. Here is Limbaugh castigating the environmental movement:
'You know why these environmental wackos want you to -give up your car?- I'll tell you the real reason. They don't want you to have freedom of choice.'
"There it is. Freedom of choice: the philosophical center of modern-day Republicanism... If this analysis is correct," reasons McKenna, "it follows that the proper philosophical home for pro-lifers right now is the liberal wing of the Democratic Party."
Like animal rights! Vegan congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was pro-life throughout most of his political career.
It's Critical Mass!