[Buddha-l] Can an Air Force cadet have Buddha nature?

curt curt at cola.iges.org
Mon May 16 11:11:37 MDT 2005

One of the best ways of countering the Christian Right is to exercise
the rights they would like to take away - in particular the right to not
be a Christian. Finding ways to make the public aware of the ongoing
existence of Buddhist practicioners in our midst - without engaging
in crude proselytizing - strengthens the first ammendment right to
freedom of religion by simply practicing it. Finding a local Sangha
that one can support - or starting one of one's own - would be a way
of helping to increase Buddhism's "visibility".

Of course there are other things that can be done - like joining in
coalitions with others to engage in political action to defend basic
rights against Right-wing attacks. Something that might not come
to most people's minds right away is the issue of immigrant rights.
Immigrants are the a favorite scapegoat of the Right these days,
and those who take Niemoeller's quote to heart ("First they came
for the Jews....") can see that one of the most logical things to do
in the present political situation is to be vocal supporter of immigrant

Or maybe we could buy thousands of copies of "The Bible According
to Mark Twain" and Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" and air-drop
them over Colorado Springs?

- Curt

Richard P. Hayes wrote:

>A while back I tried to get folks here interested in the recent Harpers
>magazine issue dedicated to influences the Christian right is exerting
>in the United States (and therefore the rest of the world). Somehow that
>message trailed off into oblivion after some folks got obsessed by a
>side issue--whether Max Scheler had really denounced Hitler, as Manfred
>Frings had claimed. Perhaps this message will not be similarly hijacked.
>One of the Harpers articles I suggested reading was about the city of
>Colorado Springs, which many born-again Christians are calling the new
>Jerusalem or the Mecca of Protestantism. The story is told in the
>Harpers piece of a mega-church that has been built on land visible from
>the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The mega-church is
>reportedly making huge efforts to win converts among Air Force cadets
>and their mentors. The following NY Times item from the Op Ed page
>suggests that these evangelical efforts have paid off. A recent film
>about the multi-denominational character of America was censored by the
>Air Force Academy's head chaplain. Parts about Buddhism, Judaism and
>Native American religions were excised. When an ecumenical chaplain
>complained of the censorship, she was relieved of her position. More
>details can be found in the editorial, given in full below.
>How much more of the kind of overt prejudice against non-evangelical
>Christians reported in this editorial are we Buddhists, Jews, Catholics,
>Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims and Sun dancers expected to tolerate? And if we
>agree not to tolerate it, what is the most effective way to resist being
>overwhelmed by the Christ-blinded Bush administration? 

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