[Buddha-l] A friendly Quaker-Buddhist debate

sjziobro at cs.com sjziobro at cs.com
Sat Jun 11 07:32:20 MDT 2011

I noticed you spelled "Oh my Gosh!" out in its entirety and find it more aesthetically pleasing than the usual texting OMG!.  I also agree with you that it takes some cajones to transform an instrument of torture into a sign of salvation.  But why?  Even as an involuntary Catholic you were taught that the Divine Logos was not only incarnate and died, but rose from the dead.  That is the ultimate meaning of the Cross, and it is in this context that it makes sense.  Mocking, however seemingly cleverly or politely, a viable religious tradition of well over 1.4 billion people, and, knowing, whether you agree or not, that for these people the issue is God's mercy, love, and justice, hardly strikes me as exemplifying the Buddhist virtues of dispasssion, mercy, and wisdom.  It does smack squarely of bigotry, excuse me, intolerance, and a certain disingenuous stance purposely cultivated.

[Mandatory Buddhist content:]  Notions of sacrifice are really not lacking in areas of the Buddhist tradition.  Note, for instance, the Jataka stories, where the theme of sacrificing one's life for the liberation of others makes its appearance.  The theme is also implicit in the Bodhisattva vows relative to the efforts one intends in gaining wisdom, rooting out disordered passions, and to drop off notions of self in conformity with Buddhist teachings, all for the sake of liberating others.  These are not analogues of sacrifice, but actual elements thereof, and they are able to be discerned once one ceases setting up strawman arguments against cartoon-like notions of sacrifice relative to the Abrahamic religions.





-----Original Message-----
From: andy <stroble at hawaii.edu>
To: Buddhist discussion forum <buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com>
Sent: Sat, Jun 11, 2011 1:05 am
Subject: Re: [Buddha-l] A friendly Quaker-Buddhist debate

> Actually, Steve, Christ crucified is only one image Catholics and Orthodox
>  venerate, but there are many others which you apparently don't know about
>  or strategically ignore.  Peace loving as you are, your disdain and
>  intolerance seems a bit out of place here.  But then again, I suppose it
>  is a sign of superior intelligence.
> Stan

Oh my Gosh! (notice how I typed the whole thing out?) Here we go!  
Actually, when I was growing up as an involuntary Catholic, it was the sacred 
heart that probably freaked me out more.  But I often point out the complete 
subversion enacted by Christian symbolology (did I just go Dan Brown?).  To 
take the Roman instrument of criminal punishment, the crucifix, and turn it 
into a symbol of religious salvation, take some real, uh, cojones.   If Jesus 
was executed in the fifties, Christians today would be wearing tiny gold 
electric chairs instead of crosses.

[Mandatory Buddhist content:]  The point remains, however, of the sacrificial 
nature of Abrahamic religions. This is what Buddhism rejected in the Vedic 
tradition, and has an unfortunate tendency to translate into a "sacrifice your 
enemies before they sacrifice you!"  I don't think there is any such notion of 
purification by blood in Buddhism, and it is one thing that sets it apart as a 
religious tradition.  Not a sign of superior intelligence. 

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