Posts Tagged “buddhism”

Monk attacked / KVAL-TVI’ve mentioned before that the Great Neocrusade has become violent. It became apparent in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino Islamist terror attacks, but it’s continued since then.

The latest example of the violent Neocrusade is yet another case of “mistaken identity.” As KVAL-TV reports, a Buddhist monk was attacked by an enraged, sanctimonious anti-Muslim crusader (WebCite cached article):

Kozen Sampson, a Buddhist monk and co-founder of the Trout Lake Abbey retreat, said he was attacked Monday during a visit to Hood River.

He doesn’t remember much, but says a man, who seemingly thought he was Muslim based on his clothing, attacked him for no reason.

“I pulled over, someone ran up and yelled. I turned around, they kicked the door, hit me in the side of the face and knocked my head into the frame of the car,” Sampson said. “I do remember [him yelling] an F bomb [about] Muslims, and that was it.”

Sampson expressed sadness rather than anger for his attacker, which is extremely generous. I’m not impressed with people who are so furious about the existence of Islam, that they not only feel the need to attack Muslims, they can’t even be bothered to figure out if the people they’re attacking are Muslims in the first place.

As I’ve said so many times before in cases like this … I get it. Really. I do. I honestly am aware that Muslim terrorists have attacked people in the name of their religion. I don’t see how anyone with a brain could fail to be aware of that reality. But randomly targeting Muslims — or worse, people who aren’t Muslim but who look different enough that they could be mistaken for Muslims — isn’t going to help stop Islamist terror. It just won’t. No amount of sanctimonious fury can ever change that.

Isn’t it time for Americans to fucking grow the hell up already?

Photo credit: KATU/KVAL.

Hat tip: Raw Story.

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Brit Hume of Fox News offered some unsolicited advice to the beleaguered Tiger Woods … and in the process, revealed his ignorance of religion. The (NY) Daily News reports on his stupid comments:

Fox News’ Brit Hume irks Buddhists by wishing Tiger Woods convert to Christianity — for forgiveness

Fox newsman Brit Hume is evangelizing to Tiger Woods — and upsetting some peaceful Buddhists along the way.

Hume, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said he wants the beleaguered golfer to convert to Christianity because he believes Buddhism leaves no place for the “redemption” Tiger needs.

“Whether he can recover as a person I think is a very open question, and it’s a tragic situation with him,” Hume said.

“The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith,” Hume continued. “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith.”

Hume said his message to Tiger would be, “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'”

Like most Christians, especially of the Religious Right sort, Hume has no clue how any religion other than his own works. I’m not a Buddhist myself, but even I know that the reality of Buddhism is that it has a great deal to say about both forgiveness and redemption. “Forgiveness” figures prominently in Buddhism, especially in that it helps ameliorate attachments. Here, for example, is a Buddhist meditation on it. As for “redemption” in Buddhism, that is integral to one of the core principles of Buddhism, Nirvana.

As is typical of Christians, Hume assumes Christianity to be utterly unique … so much so that no principle it deals with can possibly be found in any other religion. Unfortunately this is erroneous.

I’m fairly sure that Buddhism can find a better way to deal with the sin of adultery, in any event, than Christianity can. After all, the faithful Christian, Gov Mark Sanford of South Carolina suggested that, if adultery was good enough for King David, it’s good enough for him.

Finally, Hume’s claim that Buddhism offers no forgiveness or redemption, and only Christianity does, places him in my lying liars for Jesus club.

Update: Courtesy of Religion Dispatches, here is a Youtube video of Brit Hume revealing his brazen ignorance — and as RD suggested it might be called, “Christian chauvinism” — to the planet:

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The results of a newly-released Pew Forum poll show that the U.S. is fast becoming a vast soup of metaphysical gibberish. CBS News reports on it:

When it comes to religion, many Americans like the mix-and-match, build-your-own approach.

Large numbers attend services of traditions other than their own and blend Christianity with Eastern and New Age beliefs, a survey finds.

The report Wednesday from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life also shows tremendous growth over the past three decades in the number of Americans who say they have had a religious or mystical experience.

This trend is offset by the fact that these same Americans who are having more religious or mystical experiences, are increasingly unable to understand them:

Though the U.S. is an overwhelmingly Christian country, significant minorities say they hold beliefs of the sort found at Buddhist temples or New Age bookstores. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed overall and 22 percent of Christians say they believe in reincarnation, the idea that people will be reborn in this world again and again.

As for the significant numbers who visit more than one place of worship, it’s not just an occasional visit while on vacation or for special events like weddings and funerals.

One-third of Americans say they regularly or occasionally attend religious services at more than one place. One-quarter say they sometimes attend services of a faith different from their own.

I used to be concerned about fundamentalists and religionists whose ferocity of belief in specific packages of dogma — and who by definition refuse to negotiate on any of it — were the biggest religious problem in the US. Now I’m no longer sure about that. A significant number of Americans are playing “metaphysical draw poker,” exchanging components of belief almost at random, with no attempt at any kind of cohesion. This means one is dealing not only with people who may not really comprehend the beliefs they claim to hold, but they may just change them, making it impossible, at any given moment, to know what it is they believe.

I don’t see this as much of an improvement.

More information on this poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life can be found on their Web site.

Update: Robert T. Carroll of the Skeptic’s Dictionary has even more to say about the results of this poll.

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The widely-exalted Dalai Lama, considered one of the wisest people in the world, has come up with a solution to human ills. It’s a solution one might expect of him — given his personal history and vocation — but I’m not sure how realistic this advice is. If everyone followed the Dalai Lama’s advice, humanity would be doomed — not saved — because that advice is not to have sex:

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, on Friday said sex spelt fleeting satisfaction and trouble later, while chastity offered a better life and “more freedom.”

“Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in a Lagos hotel, speaking in English without a translator.

He said conjugal life caused “too much ups and downs.

“Naturally as a human being … some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases,” the Dalai Lama said.

He said the “consolation” in celibacy is that although “we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it’s better, more independence, more freedom.”

Celibacy as a spiritual ideal is widely observed, and in more places than just in Tibetan Buddhism … many Greco-Roman mystics, such as the Pythagoreans, had ascetic and celibate lifestyles. Christianity itself adopted something of a celibacy ethic early in its history, as found in the New Testament:

For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it. (Matthew 19:12)

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. (1 Corinthians 1:7)

However, becoming a eunuch or remaining celibate was never an expectation of all Christians, as Paul acknowledges later, himself:

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:7-8)

So celibacy — while still viewed as a kind of ideal spiritual state — has never been a requirement, even in otherwise-furiously doctrinaire Christianity.

Yet the Dalai Lama never acknowledges this, and happily declares it to be a universal goal.

As I said, this is not unexpected, since the Dalai Lama was raised a monk from the age of 2 and knows no other life. For him, sex perhaps truly is optional. Aside from his travels and public-speaking, he was raised in, and remains in, isolation. Which only exemplifies how “out-of-touch” with reality he is — through no fault of his own.

As an aside, the manner in which he was selected for his exalted spiritual (and political) office is a curious and somewhat hilarious tale. After the death of the 13th Dalai Lama (Thubten Gyatso) in 1933, monks followed various omens throughout the land, in search of his successor. (The Dalai Lama at any given moment is believed to be the reincarnation of the first Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, who was the reincarnation of Chenresig, a bodhisattva or an “enlightened” soul who could ascend to Nirvana but chooses, out of compassion for others, to reincarnate and guide the unascended masses). These monks found a house in a village which matched one that a monk had seen in a vision; inside was a two-year-old Lhamo Thondup, who — upon seeing some of the most recent Dalai Lama’s things that the monks had brought with them — exclaimed “That’s mine!”

The rest, as they say, is history.

When I first heard this story, I found it difficult not to laugh. This is no way to select a nation’s sovereign (which the Dalai Lama was, prior to the PRC’s invasion and annexation of Tibet in the 1950s)! It reminds me far too much of this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (Can you imagine a similar dialog being played out in Tibet? Instead of, “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government,” you’d have, “Little kids claiming ownership of trinkets is no basis for choosing the Fount of All Buddhist Wisdom!”) If by chance you’ve never seen it before, this movie scene is available on YouTube.

At any rate, if everyone followed the Dalai Lama’s advice, I suppose contention among human beings would end … because within a generation there would be no more human beings to contend with one another! It’s not a solution to a problem, any more than amputating a limb is the way to heal one if it breaks.

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