If this quote is accurate, the contest to determine what will be carved on the Episcopal Church's tombstone is officially over:
The Bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles has issued an apology to Hindus worldwide for what he called "centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them" reports India Abroad. The apology was given in a statement read to over 100 Hindu spiritual leaders at a mass from Right Reverend J John Bruno. The ceremony started with a Hindu priestess blowing a conch shell three times and included sacred chants.
This meeting was the result of a dialogue, started three years ago, between Hindu leaders and Rev. Karen MacQueen, who was deeply influenced by Hindu Vedanta philosophy and opposes cultivating conversions. "There are enough Christians in the world," she said.
I left the following comment:
I, too, was deeply influenced by Vedanta Philosophy. To a certain extent, you can subsume a lot of Christian belief within it. That's one reason why it's extremely difficult to convert Hindus. Christ becomes an avatar of Vishnu, Christian faith becomes a yoga of devotion that leads to enlightenment, and all you have to do is focus almost entirely on mystical experiences.
I'm not explaining this well, but it is the faith that many liberal Episcopalians believe. It's important to note that they are not Christians in the traditional sense -- they are essentially Hindus working with Christian symbols and mystical practices. That's why I see this "liberal" Christianity as a separate religion altogether. It's basically hippie Buddhism (or Hinduism) dressed up in Christian clothes, and reinforces certain liberal precepts, especially tolerance.
Within this paradigm, Christianity is a much less sophisticated yoga (paths to God) than Eastern mysticism, but enlightened Westerners can increase that level of sophistication by removing certain benighted elements of Christianity.
Do you follow? Christianity is not Christianity because it's true, but because it tapped into a universal mystical spirit. In other words, God just went with it when Christianity was invented. In my case, I investigated Christianity, Christian mysticism, Christian mysticism within a Hindu context, a form of Hindu mysticism and eventually Zen Buddhism.
My conclusion was unexpected (for me): That the most orthodox Christian claims are true -- and that the rest, while containing powerful religious experiences, are coming from real spirits that are in opposition to the Spirit of Christ. I had to choose.
I think if liberal Episcopalians would really delve into both Vendanta and Christianity, they would find the same thing to be true. But instead they stay on the surface of both, without really investigating either. And as a result, they're patronizing and condescending to both. Does this make sense?
It can be difficult discussing this stuff since Hindu categories don't match up with Christian categories. For example, when Muslims and Christians argue, we are arguing for the most part in the same fundamental terms. But with Hindus/Buddhists and Christians, the categories not only don't overlap, Christian categories can be easily subsumed into Hindu ones. We are truly NOT speaking the same conceptual language in a dialogue with Hindus. My two cents.