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

Dan Lusthaus dlusthau at mailer.fsu.edu
Tue May 17 14:39:34 MDT 2005


> Something else that I have been thinking a lot about recently is whether
> the time is coming when Buddhists should consider whether their words
> are being used against them. [...] I can imagine that the tendency
> that Buddhists have to question their own doctrines and assumptions and
> teachings, which is one of the noblest and most effective of all
> practices in Buddhism, could produce statements that anti-Buddhists
> could use against us. So what should we do?

Some years ago I was part of a panel on Buddhism at a conference in Taiwan.
A Korean Christian scholar posed the following question to the entire panel:

"If Buddhists are nonattached to views, can you have a commitment to
anything? What are you committed to? Isn't that a violation of Buddhist

My fellow panelists, sadly, offered lukewarm, even evasive responses. When
it was my turn to respond to the question, I adopted a type of dialectic
well honed by Korean Buddhists:

"As a Buddhist I am committed to no particular view; as a non-Buddhist I am
committed to the urgent need to preserve the Buddhist critique of all

He liked that.

> people can see that not all
> Buddhists are quietists, not all Christians are fundamentalists, not all
> Jews are Zionists, not all Muslims are terrorists, not all Jains are
> self-starving nudists and so forth.

Zionism is racism? Time to wash away the brainwashing, my friend. Or are
Jews alone supposed to practice the nonattachment to geography that
everybody else gives lip service to but never follows (including certain
neue mexicanische leuten)? They should rely on the largesse of the Christian
and Muslim nations in which they've been dispersed (even while having
maintained a continuous presence in the Land)? We have two thousand years of
data to see how that thought experiment worked out.

Dan Lusthaus

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