Re: [SFVS] confessions
I will note Essene Priests and Priestesses value marriage, are vegan, and are dedicated to effective, appropriate divine service of humanity in our modern times.
If you'd like to come to the 2013 Modern Essene Gathering as an introduction, let me know.
Best to all,
Micha'el BedarShahOn Aug 5, 2013 5:18 AM, <vasumurti@...> wrote:My friend Greg, whom I've known since high school (a gay Catholic in San Diego), said that joining a celibate priesthood "...is a great cover" for gay Catholics.
On another occasion, Greg told me that in Catholic circles there were all kinds of rumors surrounding California governor Jerry Brown, who once studied for the Catholic priesthood before going into politics.
When running for president in 1992, Jerry Brown ran a truly grassroots campaign, and appeared on CNN's Larry King Live, where he said lightheartedly, "Do I like women? -- Yes I do."
When Greg's homophobic friend Blake from UCLA (an archconservative, whom Greg referred to as a "white Republican extraordinaire") decided to join the Catholic priesthood, it caused Greg to wonder about Blake's sexual orientation.
Greg said that Catholics tend to be liberal on social justice issues: poverty, the environment, the nuclear arms buildup, etc., and I told Greg, "I know. That's one of the things I like about the Catholic Church!"
(Even Al Gore, in his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, pointed out that while the Catholic Church still opposes birth control, they're good for things like literacy and education in the third world.)
Greg said that Blake, an archconservative, must really be optimistic, if Blake thought he could make the Church conservative on social justice issues.
The Catholic clergy have been criticized: here you have celibate men dictating morals to a sexually active America.
This prompted my friend Patricia Law, a lay person or congregational member in Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship, to comment that a married priesthood (which means women priests!) would be more in touch with mainstream secular American society on matters related to love and sexuality.
Patricia (a vegetarian and teetolaler) herself has admitted to going through long periods of celibacy. And a friend of hers, Madeleine, once joined the clergy of Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship, only to later step down and serve as a congregational member.
Madeleine, who attended a FOLK ("Friends Of Lord Krishna") congregational program in San Diego at the end of 1987 with Patricia, was pleased to see the emergence of a formal laity within the Krishna Consciousness movement, welcoming fallen initiates (disciples) into a lower echelon of service alongside those of us unprepared to take lifelong vows.
Similarly, the Catholic clergy also appear to gradually becoming in touch with reality.
As early as 1993, editor Laura Moretti and The Animals' Voice Magazine showed photos of slaughtered animals, like aborted fetuses, being discarded in garbage cans, with a caption reading: "If you were being treated like garbage, we'd be fighting for your rights, too!"
Priests For Life appears to have caught on! I must admit, as an organizational title, Priests For Life sounds redundant -- are there any "priests for choice"?
Well, maybe there are. In 1993, I asked my friend Ruth (a Catholic, sympathetic to the economic, human rights and social justice arguments supporting animal rights) about the ordination of women in the Catholic Church. Ruth dropped the word "little," and said there's a greater push for abortion than for women priests in the Church!
Along the lines of Laura Moretti and The Animals' Voice Magazine from a decade earlier, in 2003, Father Frank Pavone of Priests For Life sent out an email favorably comparing animal rights literature with graphic photos of animals being killed and abused in slaughterhouses and factory farms with pro-life literature showing graphic photos of aborted fetuses.
Rose Evans, pro-life Episcopalian, editor and publisher of Harmony: Voices for a Just Future (a "consistent-ethic" periodical on the religious left)who had been vegetarian since the '70s, was pleasantly surprised, saying, "It's not what you'd expect from a conservative Catholic group!"****A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes in The Path of Perfection:
"...for those who want to be initiated (ordained as disciples) in this Society for Krishna Consciousness, there are four principles (lifelong vows): no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating, and no gambling.
"We don't say, 'No sex.' But we do say, 'No illicit sex.' If you want sex, get married have sex only for begetting Krishna conscious children.
"'No intoxication' means not even taking tea or coffee -- to say nothing of other intoxicants. And there is no gambling and no meat-eating (including no fish nor eggs)."
Since not everyone can be a brahmana or a priest, and most of the second-generation devotees (children born into the Krishna Consciousness movement) have gone astray or now lead secular lives, a lay community or congregation has emerged, consisting of fallen initiates or fallen disciples and those unprepared to be initiated or follow lifelong vows.
I understand FOLK ("Friends Of Lord Krishna") also known as nama-hatta ("the marketplace of the holy names") or congregational preaching programs are thriving in England.
In 1996 the British band Kula Shaker (named after the ninth century emperor King Kulasekhara, one of the twelve Alvars, or Vaishnavaite Hindu saints of South India) had a hit with their song "Tattva."
The lyrics to "Tattva" were based on the theology of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486 - 1534), the golden avatar, or most recent incarnation of God: achintya-beda-beda-tattva.
Mahaprabhu's theology differs from advaita vedanta or pantheistic Hinduism by stating that the individual soul is simultaneously one with, yet distinct from the Supreme Soul, or God, as a child of God.
A personal relationship with a personal God is only possible if we are individuals, separate and distinct from God, meant to love Him.
Kula Shaker's album K was released in 1996, with their song, "Govinda," hitting number seven on the charts, with the lyrics completely in Sanskrit!
Lead guitarist Crispian Mills is the son of British actress Hayli Mills, a longtime friend and well-wisher of the Krishna Consciousness movement (she wrote the foreword to Adiraja dasa's vegetarian cookbook in the late '80s).
Srila Prabhupada writes in The Path of Perfection:
"According to some religious processes, it is said that one can commit all kinds of sin and then go to church, confess to a priest, and be freed of all sin.
"Therefore people are sinning and confessing and sinning and confessing over and over again. But this is not the process of Krishna Consciousness.
"If you are freed, that's all right, but don't do it again. After all, what is the purpose of confession? If you confess, 'I have committed these sinful activities,' why should you commit them again?
"If a thief confesses that he has been pickpocketing, he is freed of his sin by virtue of his confession, but does this mean that he should go out again and pick pockets?
"This requires some intelligence. One should not think that because by confessing one becomes freed, he should continue to commit sinful activities, confess again, and again become freed. That is not the purpose of confession."****
There's the joke about a woman who goes to church and confesses to a priest that she stroked a man's penis. The priest tells her to go to a room behind the church and wash her hands with holy water.
Another woman comes in and confesses to the priest that she let a man fondle her breasts. He likewise tells her to go to the room behind the church and wash her breasts with holy water.
These ladies are soon joined by a third woman, and she says to them, "Move over girls, I have to gargle."
****At a Seamless Garment conference at the University of San Francisco in September 1997, Reverend Heng Sure, an American Buddhist monk, told progressive Catholics that as long as people are eating meat (killing animals -- where do they think meat comes from?!) there will be abortions.
Abortion and war are the collective karma for killing animals. We can't end abortion and war until we shut down the slaughterhouses.
George McGovern, the "peace candidate" (like Dennis Kucinich in the '90s and early '00s), smeared by the Republicans as the candidate of "acid, amnesty, and abortion," said in 1972, "I have no 'secret plan' to end the war, I have a public plan... I will halt the bombing on Inaguration Day."
When direct U.S. involvement in Vietnam ceased in 1973 (and the war on the unborn began!), we negotiated the same kind of peace treaty we could have gotten in 1969.
Direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War continued for four unnecessary years! Neither talk of "peace with honor" from Nixon and the right, nor political protest from the left ended that war.
You *have* to believe in karma!
My friend Greg Sims told me that an older relative of his once quipped:
"People told me that if I voted for Goldwater over Johnson, within six months we'd be at war. I voted for Goldwater, and sure enough, within six months we were at war..."