Thursday, February 24, 2005

Buddhist fireworks

Someone on the buddhist chat line posted a moderately funny joke circulating among conservative blogs recently, concerning bin Laden's rough reception in the afterlife by various dead American heroes and Presidents, and this was one buddhist's response:

"The absolute violence of the aggression imbedded in this post exploded with the precision of colour coded smart bomb of bloodymindedness that dripped with slimy hatred, rotting smelly revenge and poisonous spitefulness so as to engender this response that though positively motivated somehow feels equally infected with aversion and washed with its glorious display of karma...I had to stop to double check that this was indeed being propagated by a member of the Buddhist Organisation and practicing Buddhist....May this be of benefit."

If this sort of purple prose isn't over the top, I don't know what is. If I were the writer, I would save this sort of pulling-out-all-the-stops response to a real event, rather than a harmless joke. When the UN is closed down as the morally bankrupt organization it is and demoed, then go ahead, scream and shout like crazy if you're a liberal. But unfortunately this hysterical style of argument is the norm rather than the exception...many liberals just can't get used to the idea of being contradicted, especially in their safe havens as the universities, major media, foundations and in this case, buddhism.

Being a conservative buddhist is not an easy position -- one's fellow buddhists are all liberal and can't believe you are quite sane, and one's fellow conservatives are doubtful of non-traditional religion, which might be pagan. But I maintain buddhism is inherently politically conservative in its karmically-based attitute that where and what we are is the direct result of our own actions -- no whining allowed. It also embodies the conservative values of justice and freedom for all in its emphasis on compassionate action in the world. The willingness of American soldiers to sacrifice their lives so that foreigner peoples are freed from oppression and tyranny is the highest example of bodhisattva activity.


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