[Buddha-l] A friendly Quaker-Buddhist debate

S.A. Feite sfeite at roadrunner.com
Sat Jun 11 10:59:25 MDT 2011

Hi Stan:

On Jun 11, 2011, at 11:45 AM, sjziobro at cs.com wrote:

> Your points may be well taken.  One can always build an increasing array of anecdotal evidence for making the case that there is violence in a culture.  Take, for instance, the incredibly bloody and violent non-Christian, atheistic regimes of the old Soviet Union - particularly under Stalin, China under Mao, Cambodia under Pol Pot, etc.  Although these dwarf any violence originating from the USA I suppose they ultimately are excusable because the context is non-Christian, the evil occurred in lands other than the USA, and so forth.

I wouldn't consider them excusable. I doubt many would.

>  Additionally, simply terming the USA a violent Christian nation because of iconic symbols which are rejected by the majority Protestant population strikes me as a bit simplistic.

I think you're confusing our violence with "truth in advertising". It's just an accurate symbol for the majority of followers of that religion and for our nation, as a Christian majority nation. 

Even at a local level, people are gunning up, esp. since Obama came into office. Entire states have sold out of ammunition and/or guns. In Maine we just had a law passed that allows people *to take their guns to work*, if kept in their cars! Now we could do a detailed demographic analysis to see what beliefs of these gun advocates are, but really, that's hardly necessary, is it?

The recent findings of extreme right-wing Christian groups within the US military is hardly surprising.

>  Such a view overlooks the complexity of the context in which events occur.  Just for the record, I made a point of including China and Cambodia as exemplars of extreme brutality and violence because of their connections with Buddhism, particularly Cambodia.  Apparently!

I think in these cases there was little or no connection to Buddhism, other than the fact that pacifists are more easily subdued, imprisoned or killed.


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