"The first schools in America were generally run by religious organizations and helped to maintain the authority of both government and religion. The very Protestant influence in schools inspired Catholics to open their own educational institutions (Spring, 2001, chap. 2). Arguing over whether Catholic or Protestant doctrine should be taught in school became more prevalent after a huge Irish Catholic migration in the mid 19th century." Read full article.
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Posted by praghosa das @ 11/25/2005 04:48 PM PST
Not sure what the ultimate purpose of this article actually is. Most knowledgable individuals recognize the "Training" - in the spiritual sense - is the monopoly of the Parampara. All other attempts at "educating" the masses in what is and more importantly - is not religion simply lick the outside of the bottle. Srila Prabhupada initiated the gurukula system precisely to fill THAT void. This lack of knowledege in the Absolute sense disqualifies all but the devotees from teaching dharma or religion.
It is therefore the duty of the parents and the Brahmana class to teach by precept and action each successive generation WHO is God and HOW to connect with Him through devotional service.
If you read the 1st Chapter of the Science of Self Realization, part II entitled "What is Krsna Consciousness?" the purpose of education from the position of what is and what is not is covered very expertly by our Srila Prabhupada. In this discussion with Ms. Nixon, Srila Prabhupada states "You must be a SERIOUS student to understand what is God and how to love Him. Otherwise - you will simply WASTE your time."
This is the verdict of Srila Prabhpada - right out of the box. The First Amendment of the US Constitution advises correctly that Congress shall make no law that would ESTABLISH a state sanctioned religion, nor can it interfere with genuine practice of real Dharma. That is the only really valuable element of the United States Constitution. All other aspects of this document are relative to this one single freedom; the freedom to liberate our "ORIGINAL KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS" if we are made fortunate by the Lord's Pure Devotee and his assistants and are given knowledge of our eternal relationship with Lord Krsna and the chance to connect with Him through this great mission of Lord Chaitanya.
This is why Srila Prabhupad so urged his American disciples to do their utmost to place ALL of his books in EVERY SINGLE HOUSEHOLD of these United States! This way - no matter what was happening in the public educational institutions or the private institutions - this Krsna Consciousness could easily spread like wildfire!! Srila Prabhpada said "Go on with your lifetime plans for distributing MY books! To every town and village!!"
All other efforts to understand God are ultimately a "Waste of time" and we could care less if these efforts are impeded or supported. In the end - all efforts to know and love God must be guided by the Lord Himself - through His own disciplic succession if they are to be successful.
Like the dictaphone - invented for this or that but was ULTIMATELY used by the Lord's emmissary Srila Prabhupada to widely distribute Krsna Consciousness - this so-called "FREEDOM" of religion - denied millions and millions of people all over the Globe is allowed here in the US and thus we have a most grave responsibility to make the most of this so-called freedom and affect as many as possible with Srila Prabhupada's most endearing and confident explanations of devotional service and Hari Nama Samkirtan. Then as those countries who have some degree of freedom to pursue Krsna's devotional service, like this United States become affected by this movement - they can in turn affect a change elsewhere in the world.
This movement is NOT a threat but a boon to mankind. In time - the world will see this and take great support and guidance from Srila Prabhupada. Already this is happening in a small way. This will increase more and more.
Mother Urmila's article is nice however in the end we must conclude that the struggle outside this movement for religious freedom - is wasteful unless this freedom leads to the lotus feet of Krsna. It is just more quarrel over less important issues.
If two men are "FREE" to argue over a mathematical problem - each concluding incorrectly what is the product of 434 X .043 - then though they are "free" to calculate all they like - the answer they come to is incorrect.
It is the freedom to make such "calculations" that is desireble. Likewise - the freedom to discover Lord Krsna is the quintessential benefit of FREEDOM of Religion.
In America, they want FREEDOM FROM religion MORE or at least as much - as they wish for freedom OF religion. But if or when it serves their purposes - they will invoke religion or "God" if it can facilitate their sense gratification.
Lord Chaitanya told the Chand Kazi - "Don't interfere with the samkirtan mission! You can go on with your nonsense - but DO NOT EVER interfere with MY samkirtan devotees! Ever! Period! Or I will personally come back here in this form of Sri Narasimha you see above you - and personally KILL YOU AND ALL THE MEATEATERS!!"
So this is the nondevotees "freedom of religion"! They can practice any religion they like and the Lord will freely allow - provided they DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE SAMKIRTAN! If they interfere - the Lord will excercise His committment!
This is their freedom.
It is for this reason that Srila Prabhupada claimed that the Lord Chaitanya would shower His mercy upon any country that assisted him with men, money and facility to spread this mission of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Freedom of Religion means - the freedom to read and distribute the books of Srila Prabhupada and to accept and act upon the guidance contained within them!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Posted by mahaksadasa @ 11/25/2005 02:02 PM PST
Srila Prabhupada has worned us all that to hear about God from non-devotees is like drinking milk touched by the lips of a serpant, and has poisonous effects.
While devotees certainly welcome the religious impulse in humankind, we also know that Guru Tattwa is something that is not in the hands of educationsl systems, political parties, etc. Devotees also, in a very rudimentary sense, understand tha Krsna tells Arjuna to give up all varieties of religion and simply surrender to Him.
Therefore, I personally oppose all such teaching of religion in schools. I favor access so devotees can preach there, but even then, not as a forced curriculum, nor as part of bogus comparative religious studies programs.
In my own case, I learned about God, not in school, but in the parking lot. This is where students exchange realizations and by inquisitiveness, invoke guru tattwa to take place in the core of the heart.
ID is a non-god subject as well. I would not refer to Krsna as an Intelligent designer, this phrase is reserved for the scientists at lawrence livermore or princeton. In the ultimate sense, one who fully surrenders to ID is at best, a Mormon worshipper of Lord Brahma as Supreme, but Narada Muni knew better, seeing Lord Brahma also engaged in worshipping one much Higher than Himself.
Hare Krsna, ys, mahaksadasa
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