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On bin Laden, Buddhists More Cold-Blooded Than Christians
« on: May 06, 2011, 03:34:35 PM »
By Alex Moore Thursday, May 05, 2011


dalai-lama-climate-change - On bin Laden, Buddhists More Cold-Blooded Than Christians - Talk of the Town


The image of the Dalai Lama as the human embodiment of compassion and spiritual enlightenment has always been somewhat remiss with the current Dali Lama. Born in Tibet in 1935, this Lama presided over a period of violent conflict with China, saw his long-standing Tibetan government abolished and absorbed into the People’s Republic of China in 1959, and took about $2M per year from the CIA during the ’60s to train resistance fighters.

Not your average Lama.

So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he indicated yesterday that, at least in some sense, Osama bin Laden’s murder was justified.

Speaking at a crowd at USC, the Dalai Lama, according the Government in Exile’s official report, said, “In the case of bin Laden, his action was of course destructive and the September 11 events killed thousands of people…so his action must be brought to justice.” The reductive old proverb taken from Buddhist ideas has perhaps never been more accurate: karma’s a bitch.

The Government in Exile disagreed with the assessment, however, noting that “we must have compassion and a sense of concern” even with a terrorist like bin Laden. But you can’t have it both ways: either the murder was justified or not justified. If it was justified it’s still a religion-approved murder, whether or not that murder was carried out compassionately.

Meanwhile Archbishop Williams, British leader of the Anglican branch of the Christian faith, today offered a similarly contradictory line of thought: It was wrong to kill bin Laden, but only because he was unarmed in the house. “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done,” he said, as if after coordinating the deadliest terrorist attack in history bin Laden’s death would have been made just simply by being armed when Navy SEALS stormed his room.

Possibly the most compassionate religious stance, almost unbelievably, came from the Vatican. Historically Roman Catholicism has made all kinds of enemies (Muslims, gays, small boys) but the Vatican released a statement that while Chistians “do not rejoice” over a death, bin Laden’s murder serves to remind them of “each person’s responsibility before God and men.” The Vatican added it hoped this “would not be an occasion for more hate, but for peace.”

It’s hard to imagine the Catholic Church beating out the competition as the most tempered, reasonable religious voice on the scene. But there you have it.


http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/


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