It’s good to see a voice of reason and sanity coming out of ISKCON.
Giridhari Das, an ISKCON preacher in Brazil, in his blogpost here ,raises a critical question of dealing with homosexuality in ISKCON movement by recounting an incidence in brasilia, Brazil.
He says, (emphasis mine)
During my touring of Brazil I came across the following administrative situation: an initiated devotee who had graduated from our 9 month Bhakti-shastri Seminary had been giving classes at the temple, and also teaching a bhakti-shastri course to the other devotees. She had been doing that for some time, to the satisfaction of the leaders and congregation. Then she decided to move in with her girlfriend and they signed some paperwork between themselves, making it as close to a legal marriage as they could. The other girl also became a devotee by her influence.
So, a female-female devotee couple was formed. Because she did not hide the situation, the local leaders became disturbed. They then banned her from giving further classes and canceled her bhakti-shastri course to the local congregation.
(At the same time, in this same congregation, a male initiated devotee is living with a bhaktin, and they are not married. He not only teaches the bhakti-shastri course, but also cooks for the congregation.)
That’s typically how you expect religion to respond and ISKCON is as fundamentalist as an organization would get. (besides .. is that what people come to temple for? to find a mate for themselves?Holy molly! that’s some dating service you are running there.. well, after all, I guess Lord Krishna inspires that naturally)
He further says,
The general question I raised when discussing the issue with the local leaders, and for which they could not give me a satisfactory reply, is whether it is fair to ban someone from doing some kind of service on the basis of how they were born.
Why? I guess there are probably gazillion question which they don’t have satisfying answers for. In fact, the only reply you get in ISKCON is – It’s all written in scriptures by God himself.
he then goes on to recount his argument with temple authorities and concludes the post by saying,
It seems to me that IF it is the case that homosexuals are BORN homosexuals (and as far as I am aware, science strongly supports this claim), then ISKCON must deal with this ethical issue urgently, lest we be guilty of the grossest kind of prejudice – that based on the way a person is born, regardless of his possessing all other qualifications.
Okay. Two things sir. First, did you just say science? Religious authorities are way more knowledgeable and superior to science – well, at least in the view of ISKCON. You should have known that. Second, there are million things that science says and ISKCON (or any other religious fundamentalist crook for that matter) doesn’t accept, why do you expect them to make a concession in this case?
I still wish to thank Giridhari Das for expressing voice of reason – some glimpses of sanity and reason from otherwise arid land of banal hypocrisy.