Thursday, February 19, 2009

An Open Letter to Harry Reid


Eric Holder


The Cowardice of Attorney General Eric Holder

Desert Shores CA
Dateline 2-19-2009

Dear Senator Reid

I am writing to discuss Attorney General Holder’s recent comments concerning RACISM. He argues that Americans “lack the courage” to address this issue.

My argument is that Eric Holder is the PERFECT EXAMPLE OF A COWARD.

This country has already entered into over 21 years of manifest Chemical Scorched Earth.

This is also a Hate Crime. Such is being organized under Gay Irrationalism-Gay Fascism. The Salton Sea in California is ruined.

My case is that I have consistently supported Heterosexual Marriage as Proposition 8 here in California.

My religious Hare Krishna beliefs are orthodox reflecting heterosexual marriage. However the Krishna Movement is splitting. Hridayananda Maharaj (Howard Resnik PhD) recently attempted to bless a Gay Union and was immediately rebuffed.

He is a diksa or living guru and I am ritvik follower of a deceased teacher Srila Prabhupada.

It is potentially dangerous for a ritvik disciple to enter a diksa temple.

In degree my religious background and my staunch advocacy of Traditional Marriage have destroyed my life at the hands of Gay Militants from LAPD and have also destroyed your legacy in upholding constitutional rights.

The discussion that needs to be addressed here is the COWARDICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER.

Thank you for your consideration.

David Nollmeyer

Desert Shores Ca


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hridayananda Goswami's Apology


Feb 07, CALIFORNIA, USA (SUN) — Hridayananda Goswami's Apology about Statements on Gay Marriage and Blessing.

Dear Devotees, Jaya Srila Prabhupada. A letter of blessings that I sent to a gay couple has caused an extraordinary amount of controversy, and so I am writing here to clarify my understanding of this issue, and the intention of my letter.

In the Bhagavad-gita 17.15, Lord Krishna states that “Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others…”
I have clearly failed to some extent in this duty as prescribed by Lord Krishna, given the bitter and insulting nature of some responses. I sincerely apologize to the devotees for this evident failure.

I have been accused of harboring thinly veiled political motives, or of seeking to impose upon ISKCON a new and de facto social reality regarding homosexual relations. To the devotees, even to the incredulous, I state here that none of this was my intention. In my letter, as I will later explain in detail, I sought, and apparently failed, to strike a balance that would not convulse ISKCON. The great agitation produced by my letter shows that I failed in my intent, for which I again apologize.

I am keenly aware that I do not have the right within ISKCON to unilaterally establish policy on this matter, and my intention was not to preempt, nor to pressure or coerce, a GBC decision on the issue.

Ironically, my own views on homosexuality are seen by the world in general as rather conservative and indeed those views often disappoint gay rights activists. As stated in an earlier paper I wrote on this topic:

1. I do not advocate, nor perform, gay marriage. I accept the view of Srila Prabhupada, (and, by the way, of the well-known gay musician, Elton John) that marriage historically has been, and should remain, a heterosexual institution.

2. Although science proves that a segment of the population is born with a homosexual orientation, and although homosexuality is thus natural for that group, I do not believe that what is natural for an individual or a group of individuals, is necessarily natural for society. Therefore I seek a balance that respects the genetically, unavoidably homosexual nature of an individual, as well as the natural right of society as a whole to privilege heterosexuality as its social norm.
In my letter, which was addressed to educated non-devotees, I began by saying:

"Our love for each other is a reflection of God's love for us. Thus, the perfection of every relationship is to see God in each other.”

Since Krishna’s love for us is pure, I believed that serious devotees would understand, from the beginning of my statement, that I was speaking of spiritual love, rather than mundane, bodily lust. I believed they would see that I was encouraging the persons involved to see Krishna within each other, and thus fully transcend the bodily concept of life. I then stated:

"May God bless [these] devoted souls, as they commit themselves to each other in the spirit of God's love for them. May [they] always please God through true love for each other.”

Clearly we please Krishna by renouncing all sinful activities and selfish desires, and I made this very clear to both parties in private conversations. In other words I offered blessings not for their sense gratification, but for the exact opposite: the giving up of any activity not pleasing to Krishna. I referred to them as “devoted souls” because I do not believe that a person genetically wired for homosexuality is necessarily “bestial” or “demonic” as some apparently feel.

Irrefutable history shows us that many sincere souls born with a homosexual orientation have struggled sincerely to serve Srila Prabhupada's mission, and to awaken their dormant love for Krishna, despite an often heavy private and social burden. I cannot see such souls, as some apparently do, as disgusting freaks, willfully and obscenely offending God and nature by their genetic makeup. I am well aware of Srila Prabhupada's statements on this matter and I am confident that a mature, thorough knowledge of Prabhupada’s preaching content and style makes possible a more moderate interpretation of those statements. I feel that I am well prepared to logically defend this view though I will not belabor it here.

I also do not go to the other extreme of denying that homosexuality, in some ways, is problematic within a spiritual society. The special burden of devotees born with this condition can only be fully eliminated by their own spiritual enlightenment.

In the last paragraph of my letter, I said:

"By such true spiritual love, may they always be, each for the other, a source of spiritual inspiration and happiness. May their relationship lead them, patiently and steadily, back to our real home in the spiritual world, where all relationships become eternal and perfect."
I believed that devotees would recognize the language of true spiritual love as referring to pure Krishna consciousness, far beyond the bodily concept of life, far above any form of sexuality. And clearly a relationship that leads people back to the spiritual world must be a relationship which, through genuine devotion and sacrifice, has become fully pleasing to Krishna.

Not a word in my letter addresses current social or political issues related to homosexuality. Not a word in my letter claims a legal status for homosexual couples, be it marriage or civil union.. As a Vaishnava teacher, not as a political operative, nor as a renegade policy maker, I prayed to Krishna that He guide two sincere souls to His lotus feet.

That I expressed this sincere wish in a manner that was not sufficiently sensitive to the concerns of other sincere Vaishnavas, I admit. I truly regret this failing on my part. However, that I acted with political motives, I vehemently deny.

Let us take this situation as an opportunity to earnestly discuss how we may best preserve our sacred principles: both our moral rigor as well as our deep compassion.

With best wishes,
Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

ISKCON Fragmentation

As ISKCON's Members Move Apart

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Submitted by krishna-kirti on Sun, 02/17/2008 - 14:42.
This is what a friend suggested an ISKCON of the future might look like, as bifurcated by the divergent tendencies of each group towards traditionalism and progressivism. The rest of his comment is as below:

I suggest that perhaps like other churches ISKCON may want to split up into these two. In other words why not have
International Society for Krsna Consciousness (Orthodox), and
International Society for Krsna Consciousness (Reformed)
Both could be parts of the same society and be governed by a common (orthodox) GBC or there could be a real split and there could be a separation or dividing up of properties and separate governing bodies constituted.

These terms are non-political non-threatening and are the ones that most Churches use. Both have an air of respectability about them.

ISKCON (Orthodox)

Non-Democratic (Social Hierarchy of Varnas and Ashrams)
No meat, fish or eggs and many other restrictions based on smritis.
No Spiritual Divorce (Legal Divorce OK, Separation OK, Remarriage OK, so that members can be polygamous and/or polyandrous in societies where this is not legal, once married always considered by Church as spouses, responsible for each other and children.)
No Dating. Arranged Marriages preferred.
No Contraception except abstinence.
No Abortion.
No taking of Varnaprastha or Sannyasa without providing for wife and family.
Tighter interpretation of other principles, investment/speculation/lottery tickets, etc. = gambling; tobacco, tea, coffee, chocolate, prescription drugs, etc = intoxication (as well as other illegal drugs).

Strict adherence to Vedic standards and Church rules required for membership. Breaking of standards and Church rules requires prayascitta and/or punishment by authorities. Excommunication for non-compliance. Reinstatement of membership after repentance, punishment, sastric prayascitta and long grace period.
Emphasis on minimum 16 rounds of japa and strict daily attendance of Temple program.

Church aims at having all members take harinam and diksha. Members who remain without any diksha will not be allowed to hold any Church office or lead any Church gathering or program (lecture, kirtan, cook, etc). Thus respect amongst members is based upon formal diksha as well as scriptural knowledge and strict adherence to Vedic standards.

Church structure: GBC members must be held to a very high Vedic standard (the standard for GBC must be more than for any other position, sannyasa, guru, whatever) and must immediately be removed for non-adherence. GBC then authorizes other positions, like TPs, Sannyasa, Guru, etc. All positions appointed from the top down.

ISKCON (Reform)
No meat, fish or eggs.
Spiritual Divorce and Remarriage OK (Monogamy including Gay Monogamy OK)
Dating one prospective spouse at a time OK. Relationships arranged by individuals.
Prevention of conception methods OK.
No Abortion.

Looser interpretation of other principles. Casino gambling and drinking of hard liquor forbidden (as well as hard drugs) (beer and wine acceptable in private moderation). Distain for those who smoke or use tobacco and/or marijuana (public smoking unacceptable). Other lesser forms considered acceptable (practically harmless).
Public adherence to Local State Laws required for membership. Public breaking of principles requires member to confess the sin and thus be forgiven. Excommunication only for leading others astray and engaging them in extremely sinful and/or illegal conduct. Reinstatement of membership after confession, expression of repentance and short grace period.

Emphasis on kirtan/bhajan and Sunday Temple attendance. Other sadhana encouraged but not required.

Church encourages members to take at least harinam. Members who remain without any diksha should accept siksha from SP's teachings or a siksha guru. Members who are simply Siksha disciples of SP (without any formal diksha) can be given as much respect and position as those with formal diksha (this would be akin to rtvikism). Thus respect amongst members is based solely on observable devotion and advancement.

Church structure: Temple Presidents elected by congregations. GBC elected by TPs. Bottom up Democratic system. Sannyasins accepted by sannyasa assembly and ministry. No objection to Sannyasins or Gurus by GBC unless there is a history of extremely sinful and/or illegal behavior on the part of the individual.

Haribol Krishna Kriti Prabhu,

What you are proposing as reform has no basis in guru, shastra, or sadhu. Bhaktivinoda has described sani-sahijaya as practices that equate mundane sex life to sadhana practices.

I find this ironic as ISKCON diksa practioners reject ritvikism but are accommodating this type activity as Prabhupada Seva. The GBC proclaims it has no other reason for existence other than to execute the orders and directives of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Are any senior devotees or GBC on board with this type of discussion?

Your Servant
Bhakta David Nollmeyer