Detroit Free Press
February 18, 1894
The fundamental principle of the Hindoo religion is the absolute tolerance of all other religions, and it strikes me that the learned bishop has displayed a great deal of intolerance in advocating his own cause. He states that he inferred, when called upon to introduce the speaker, that nothing would be said that showed any religious bias. May a layman be permitted to ask why should we not have one Hindoo missionary among us when we send hundreds to India? Is not turn about fair play? What, then, about the quality of the distinguished brother's moral teachings? He says we should live up to the doctrine that all self is bad and all non-self is good. Is not such teaching grand and ennobling? Is it not as beneficial to poor human nature as the golden rule? The Hindoo religion being the most spiritual in the world goes further than the golden rule. It teaches its followers to treat your neighbor better than you would expect to be treated. Can anyone question such morality as this?
... It seems strange that the bishop should resent the expression of his views from the visitor. Do not the missionaries of the church he so ably represents intrude their views upon the benighted heathen, who in their five daily worships show that the unselfishness of the Hindoo religion, is something beautiful to contemplate? I know full well that Vive Kananda will not reply to the bishop's letter because his theory is that silence is golden when a religious controversy is impending. He says there should be no quarreling among the representatives of the creeds, for he who casts a reflection upon another creed casts a slur upon his own faith. He casts no reflection upon the Christian religion. What he said was that different people have different religions, and that is well. The Christian religion may answer the needs of certain people, but the Hindoo religion answers better the needs of the people of India, because it teaches them higher doctrines of morality than other nations are prepared to receive.... The sublime religion of the Hindoo we are unprepared for and therefore the Christian religion answers every purpose. This is a cutthroat generation and the gentle doctrine of the divinity of non-self is too far in the future for us....
"Lover of Fair Play"
- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.