July 15, 2007

Religious Bigots Attack Hindu Priest in U.S. Senate

Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.
President - International Sanatana Dharma Society
Press Release
July 12, 2007

Religious Bigots Attack Hindu Priest in U.S. Senate

History was made on Thursday, July 12th when a Hindu priest delivered
the opening prayer at the U.S. Senate for the first time ever. Mr.
Rajan Zed, a journalist and Hindu priest, delivered a minute and a
half prayer in which he offered God thanks and prayed for peace.

However, before Mr. Zed could offer his short prayer to God, three
Christian activists disrupted the ceremony with angry shouts and
denunciations of Hinduism to the shock of on-lookers. "This is an
abomination!" the Washington Post reports one of the disruptors as
screaming. "We are Christians and patriots!" yelled another before
being led away by police.

Shockingly, far from being an isolated and spontaneous incident of
hatred, it is reported that a large number of well-organized
fundamentalist Christian groups throughout the nation had been
clamoring against allowing a Hindu priest to lead a prayer in our
nation's capital. The American Family Association has been on the
forefront of urging Christians to take direct action against
religious tolerance and asked their followers to contact the Senate
to ban a Hindu from leading prayer.

For further information on this dark and disturbing incident, please
review the following sites:

USA Today:
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/07/christian-prote.html

YouTube:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=g8vENZwp1rk

America has been celebrated throughout the world as a society that
cherishes religious tolerance, freedom of faith, and respect for
different cultures. Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is the most ancient
continuously practiced spiritual tradition on earth. Hinduism is a
dignified and highly respected religion that has always fostered
peace, respect of cultural diversity, and freedom of thought.

As an American Hindu leader, and the President of the International
Sanatana Dharma Society, I would urge all freedom loving Americans to
openly reject such disturbing instances of hatred, bigotry, and
prejudice as we sadly witnessed at this event.

I also urge all Hindus to become actively involved in vocally
denouncing this incident of bigotry, and insisting that mainstream
American society extend the same respect and tolerance toward
Hinduism as it commonly gives to the Abrahamic minority religions in
our great nation. Together, let us create a nation of mutual
respect, and tolerance of diverse cultures and religions.

Om Shanti (May Peace Prevail),

Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.
(Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya)

President - Spiritual Director
International Sanatana Dharma Society

http://www.dharmacentral.com
info@dharmacentral.com
(608) 280-8375

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Morales:

Hinduism is not a necessarily a peaceful religion. I have Indian Christian friends in Indonesia who have recently reported to me a number of times that militant Hindus have burned down their churches, killed Christians, and are preaching hate against Christians. They claim to be faithful to Hinduism and they number in the millions. I also recently heard from another Christian Hindu that intolerate Hindus in India are attacking Christians. America is historically based on Christianity. The first congress printed Bible to win native americans to Christ. Having native american blood, I am thankful that the gospel came to this continent and nation through Christians. We need to keep the intentions of the fathers of this nation by only allowing Christians to pray in congress. Otherwise, we are reinventing the great Christian American experiment. May God bless you and help you come to trust in Jesus as your only savior and Lord (John 3:16-17 in the Bible records the good news about Jesus).

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Jay said...

I'm a bit surprised that so many people are stating that this country was founded for only the Christian religion as it was the religion of our forefathers. My parents are immigrants and have lived here for over 30 years and as practicing Hindus I believe that they should have the freedom to practice their religion as it was one of the founding principles of their country. By saying that Congress should only hear the prayers of the religion of the founding fathers we are essentially saying that no other religion is acceptable other than Christianity. What then is the difference between claims of that nature and the current fighting in Iraq between Shiites and Sunnis?

Anonymous said...

As for Jesus, here is what some eminent scholars tell us.:

Rudolf Bultmann: "The character of Jesus, the clear picture of his personality and life, has faded beyond recognition. I do indeed think that we can now know almost nothing concerning his life and personality, since the early Christian sources show no interest in either, are moreover fragmentary and often legendary..."

Ernst Käsemann: "One is overwhelmed by how little [of the accounts of Jesus in the New Testament] can be called authentic...the historical figure of Jesus is traceable only in a few words of the Sermon on the Mount, the conflict with the Pharisees, a number of parables and some further narratives."

Günther Bornekamm: "The attempt to reconstruct an original draft of the Gospel according to Mark is a hopeless undertaking..."


While more recent New Testament research sounds less depressing-especially with recent developments in New Testament scholarship in the United States-modern experts in general have gradually come to believe that no more than fifteen percent of the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament are his actual words. The rest have been attributed to him by generations of theologians and scribes.


In other words, the New Testament was not written by eyewitnesses. Rather, the four gospels gradually evolved, reflecting views of various Christian communities that existed from the time when the Gospel of Mark was written, around 70 AD.


The last gospel, the Gospel of John (125 AD), is now regarded as the least authentic because of its exaggerated Christological and Gnostic tendencies. Bultmann considers the Gospel of John a Tendenz Roman (i.e., tendentious literature).


As for the gospels of Matthew and Luke, written shortly after Mark’s (c. 80-85 AD), it is widely agreed upon that both drew on Mark for their plots.


Regarding the virtually identical instructional material in Matthew and Luke that is not in Mark, scholars have assumed that the authors of both similar gospels drew upon a common source, logia, labeled ‘Q’ (from the German word Quelle meaning "source"). Q is said to comprise written or oral sayings of Jesus that might have been in circulation around the time of the composition of the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., those of Matthew, Mark, and Luke).


This assumption in its most basic form is called the Two Sources Theory. It has gained considerable support with the emergence of the Gospel of Thomas (Nag Hammadi Codex, discovered in Egypt, 1945), which indeed turned out to be a Gospel of Jesus' sayings-the existence of the genre of a gospel of sayings thus being demonstrated.


None of the Gospels were written in Israel. All of them reflect the understanding of the evolving Christian communities in the various geographical locations they represent.


Hence at the heart of the argument is the idea that the Gospel stories that we have all known, loved, eagerly recited and reposed our faith in- from the manger in Bethlehem to the crucifixion at Golgotha and beyond, to the resurrection and ascent to heaven- rather than representing the Jesus of history are actually proclamations of the Jesus of faith: What Christian communities outside Israel had come to believe about Jesus after 70 AD.


Along these lines, it is quite certain that neither Jesus nor his disciples had any idea of him being the awaited Messiah, the Christ, God incarnate, the second person of the Trinity, or the savior bringing mankind salvation through his self-sacrifice at Calvary.


Even the Last Supper- first recorded in Paul’s letters ("For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed, took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me...’" (1 Corinthians 11:23-27)-even this might very well not be what those who actually physically associated with Jesus received (i.e., Peter, John and the rest of his disciples. John Dominic Crossan says the Didache, a second century document of the Jewish-Christian community–discovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios–says nothing about such an event. In other words, the immediate followers of Jesus were not Christians. Nor was Jesus one.


With much of Christianity’s most essential theological concepts being called into question- Soteriology (Jesus as the suffering savior) as much as Christology (Jesus as the divine second person of the Trinity)- Christianity is facing a major doctrinal crisis.


And, oddly enough, an incredible opportunity for revival...


Provided it could free itself from its superficial theological constructs that since the days of Paul have been superimposed and grafted onto the simple and perfect teachings of the Jesus of history.


Christianity has yet to discover the transcendental dimensions of God consciousness (or Krishna consciousness) possessed by Jesus, its founder, who declared: "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘It is here,’ or ‘It is there.’ The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).

yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati

"For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me" (Bhagavad-gita 6.30).

Christianity has not begun its transcendental task.