February 20, 1894
.. It would have done more credit to our Christianity for the bishop to have accepted without comment Vive Kananda's assertion that there is comparatively little drunkenness in India than to have proved its falsity by admitting that a Christian nation, professing a civilization and a religion far in advance of that of Buddha, introduced that degrading vice to a temperate and religious people, and spread it broadcast there through insatiate love of gain. It is a more bitter reflection upon our boasted Christianity than any Vive Kananda made....
As for the "cracks at the Christian religion," the sting lay in their truth. This Hindoo knows where to find the weak joints in our armor. We ought to be grateful to him for the hits he didn't make. Do our missionaries treat foreign pagan we like to call them-religions as tenderly and inoffensively as Vive Kananda treated ours? He was not here to convert us; indeed, in his last lecture he expressly disclaimed any such purpose....
To tell the truth, his broad liberality, that recognizes in every human soul the effort toward freedom (his synonym of our "salvation") and light, and makes that effort religion, irrespective and independent of creed or dogma, shames us all. The spectacle of a Methodist bishop introducing a Buddhist monk in a Unitarian church to an audience composed of Christians, Jews and Gentiles, looked like a move toward the breaking down of the barriers of sectarianism. It seems a pity the bishop thought necessary to excuse his commendable part in it, to the extent of a quarter column of solid nonpareil in the morning papers, because a Brahmin of the Buddhists didn't preach orthodox Christianity.
- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.