NY Times Publishes HAF Letter to the Editor: Pantheism Not  Empty but Full

To the Editor:

Ross Douthat’s column treats pantheism with straw-man condescension. It is simply not true that there is no demanding Almighty in pantheistic religions. In Hinduism — my religion and probably the oldest surviving religion with a pantheistic element — stories abound of divine exhortations and actions against evil.
 
Nor is it true that there is no escape except downward into ashes. The laws of karma and reincarnation are deeply moral constructs that specify a cosmic calculus matching each human action to a just reward or punishment, always fair, yet always allowing second chances to achieve Moksha, our interpretation of salvation.
 
These beliefs are nonverifiable scientifically — no more or less so than Mr. Douthat’s own, I might add — but it is a mistake not to discuss them when making claims about pantheism’s theological implications.
 
Raman Khanna
San Francisco, Dec. 21, 2009
The writer is a member of the Hindu American Foundation Working Group.