[Buddha-l] Return of blasphemy?

Curt Steinmetz curt at cola.iges.org
Sat Nov 5 15:10:58 MDT 2011

"Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, honors both ascetics and the 
householders of all religions, and he honors them with gifts and honors 
of various kinds. But Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value 
gifts and honors as much as he values this -- that there should be 
growth in the essentials of all religions. Growth in essentials can be 
done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in 
speech, that is, not praising one's own religion, or condemning the 
religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for 
criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor 
other religions for this reason. By so doing, one's own religion 
benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's 
own religion and the religions of others. Whoever praises his own 
religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the 
thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. 
Therefore contact (between religions) is good. One should listen to and 
respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King 
Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines 
of other religions."

[Rock Edict #12: http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html]

It is, of course, very difficult to know how to apply the above 
sentiment in the case of religions that define themselves by their 
rejection of and utter contempt for all other religions.

Curt Steinmetz

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