Jul 28, 2017 WATFORD, ENGLAND (SUN)
Hanuman das has tried to blame Radhanatha Swami for a recent harinama during a "Pride in London" event in which gays, lesbians, bisexuals etc. take to the streets. The truth is, although there are many Radhanatha Swami disciples in London, very few attend Saturday night harinama. I am not aware of any being present on that night. The harinama is organised by devotees living outside the temple, so the temple authorities had nothing to do with it either.
The harinama party did not specifically choose to go to this event. The event took place outside the Soho temple and in surrounding streets, and the harinama party followed its usual route. For years the harinama party has gone out during this annual event.
The party goes out every week and has no intention of stopping just because there are lots of gays etc. on the street. Even on normal Saturdays, the area is well populated with gays, as Soho is the gay centre of London.
Some devotees think that it is bad to chant amongst gays because it makes ISKCON look pro-gay. The fact is, Lord Caitanya instructed us to give Krsna to everyone. Let us not forget that Srila Prabhupada lived and preached amongst hippies who were addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex. Does that mean Prabhupada was pro-drugs etc.? Of course not. Was Prabhupada giving Vaisnavism a bad name by preaching to degraded hippies? No. So it does not follow that by preaching among gays one gives ISKCON a bad name.
Also, if chanting with gays makes us pro-gay then chanting in China Town makes us pro-Chinese, and chanting amongst drunk people makes us pro-alcohol. Clearly bad logic.
Of course, if devotees are adversely affected by the sinful atmosphere then they should not preach in degraded places. But the overall experience of Saturday night harinama devotees is very positive. Devotees feel spiritually enlivened, and that should not be forgotten.
"In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity, the members of the Panca-tattva distributed love of Godhead." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 7.23)