Comments Posted By Radha Krsna dasa

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Atheistic or religious regimes … who has the highest death toll?

In his recent article “Atheistic or Religious Regimes” Ekendra Prabhu seems to commit an important mistake. He states that “the world’s foremost genocides have all been committed by secular, atheistic regimes.” He lumps in together the terms “secular” and “atheistic” more than once and confuses them with a third term, “totalitarian.”

The regimes that Ekendra refers to–Nazi Germany, the USSR, China and Cambodia–all share one characteristic: They were all totalitarian regimes, not secular or atheistic ones. It is this totalitarianism that matters. A totalitarian regime, even if it brands itself as religious and even enemy of atheism, can be highly deadly.

Various examples of genocidal regimes during the 20th century show that they were totalitarian, but not atheistic: Franco’s Catholic Spain, Hussein’s Muslim Irak (he even added a Koranic legend to the national flag), South Africa during the Apartheid regime, and various Catholic Latin American regimes during the Cold War (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, etc.)

A secular government, on the other hand, is one that does not tout any specific religious practice but leaves up to the individual his/her choice of beliefs, including atheism. A case in point is the U.S. where Krsna Conciousness can be practiced freely.

In the context of ISKCON, the lesson to be learned here is the ill effects of totalitarianism. I am of the idea that within the organization there are a number of totalitarian practices that don’t help positively to the development of the Movement. In the name of religion and theism many mistakes can be committed, and ISKCON as a society is not exempted from committing them.

Radha Krsna dasa

Comment Posted By Radha Krsna dasa On 16.06.2007 @ 20:10

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