This bit is getting edited out of my memoir, Train-wrecks and Transcendence: My collision of Hardcore and Hare Krishna. I’m editing it out for the sake of brevity and focus, but I don’t want it to just disappear immediately into oblivion, so here it is as a post.
Issue Four of Enquirer also published a letter from one of the most outspoken anti-Krishna voices in the scene.
…I feel your zine is a total waste. [My zine] In Memory Of was pretty much anti-everything included in your zine, esp. Cappo.
Religion is for the weak-minded. The “Supreme Being” just does not exist except in books. Anyone who puts their faith into a “Superior Being” is mentally insecure and/or afraid of everything.
Here is a sample of the less pompous sections of my reply:
Don’t think that religion only happens in Bible studies. If your religion doesn’t come from a pulpit, it comes from your TV, your friends, your magazines, your records, or from the crazy little ideas that pop up in your mind… (which are nothing more than habitual responses to environmental and genetic stimuli).
You are very religious (just a different kind of religion). You have firm faith in what you believe, but there is no actual substance behind your arguments against the existence of non-material reality or its source, the Supreme Living Entity. Throughout your entire letter, not once did you provide a single argument for anything at all. You just shouted accusations. Any religious zealot can do that… Do you expect me to accept the religion you are so forcefully proselytizing simply because you said so? Isn’t this what you profess to be against?
You put tremendous faith into a “supreme being” – your fantasy image of yourself as the strong-willed John Mayne combatant of religious weak-mindedness. In this way you put your faith into a person “who just does not exist,” except in your head.
The opening article, “Atheism: What’s it Doing in Hardcore?” was a similarly bold counter-attack on the enemy – describing atheism as another type of religion, whose tenants undermine many of the most important values of Punk Rock, like individuality, and equal rights for humans and animals. Atheism, I argued, describes life as an unintentional, chance combination of chemicals and electricity – which would mean that there is no real substance to personality, emotions, or any other aspects of individuality. And if individual life has no real meaning or purpose, I argued, there is no compelling reason to protect it or improve it.