[Buddha-l] Bourgeois Buddhism

andy stroble at hawaii.edu
Tue Oct 4 00:05:47 MDT 2011

> It's perhaps like when a politician says they are honest... or "I'm
> not a crook!"
> It doesn't present a problem, it's just somebody else saying they
> "are" this or that.
> Maybe, maybe not... no skin off this nose either way.
> Kobutsu

The "debate" so far has been quite enlightening.  I appreciate Kobutsu's 
assertion that  self-identification is not a matter to get ourselves all up set 
about. But. . . 

The tendency toward doctrinal purity seems to be very much a part of 
Christianity.  A while ago I read Elaine Pagels work (Oh, drat, what was the 
title, I think I gave my copy away to someone who needed education on early 
Christianity),  and it seemed to be the obsession of one person, Ireneus?  
that brought about the Nicean Council in order to codify doctrine.   Now this 
is especially interesting, since many of those discussing whether Catholics 
are Christian seem to sharec much with the Pricillianists of early 
Christendom.  But of course not of this concerns us here. 

Buddhism, as far as I can tell, has been extremely tolerant of doctrinal 
deviations.  My framing of that statement already, perhaps, reflects a bias.   
But why should we be concerned with someone calling themselves a Buddhist? 
Actually, my present concern is with Buddhists that call for violence, which 
strikes me as very non-buddhist.  But maybe it is not my place to object, or 
to point out the basic contradiction in this.   I am open to argument . 

Kobutsu, you said that anyone calling themselves Buddhist is "no skin off our 
nose", but in your original post you said, for Buddhadharma, that is another 
matter.  Maybe the other of the three jewels can stand some leeway, but 
buddadharma cannot?  This is what I would like to see clarified, by scholars or 
practitioners, I am not particular. 
James Andy Stroble, PhD

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