His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist leader, symbol of unity for the oppressed Tibetan peoples and their diaspora, and source of wisdom which I mostly access through Facebook. Gems such as My dedication is to serve the 7 billion human beings on this planet and the other creatures with whom we share it. If you can, help and serve others, but if you can’t at least don’t harm them; then in the end you will feel no regret. posted on Tuesday 12th.
And then I see that while he is against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation, he has said Buddhists should only have penile-vaginal sex.
What of, We must be willing to be revolted when science — or for that matter any human activity — crosses the line of human decency. Here, the wider context seems unobjectionable. The basic goodness of human nature, which Catholicism does not recognise, is a good basis for allowing people to make their own decisions and not rushing to judgment.
Then I remember my Chinese friend. Religion performs two discrete functions. It gives a simple world view with comprehensible rules, so that those who obey the rules, and act normal, are all right. This is the “mostly friendly policeman in the sky” religion that Benedict caters. And, it gives freedom through mystic contemplation and knowledge of reality. This does not necessarily mean the ultra-liberal religion I follow, it can be much more orthodox than that. Most British Buddhists are converts, and have the latter purpose, but C told me that when she was growing up Buddhism performed the former role, even if it did not have just the one policeman.
So, there. I planned one blog post, contrasting silly, out of touch Benny with the cuddly, lovely Dalai Lama, and end with two more nuanced posts. Tenzin Gyatso the Ocean Guru has to lay down the law for some people.