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Buddhist community ponders apparent link between their faith and Navy Yard shooter??

In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh? Not sure how to even explain it, as I'm a bit speechless? But at the same time I can see where they are coming from. I would like to discuss this with you guys.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/shooters-interest-in-buddhism-prompts-debate-about-stereotype-of-peaceful-faith/2013/09/18/f0ecd938-1fcf-11e3-94a2-6c66b668ea55_story.html
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Comments

  • Well, this certainly would not have helped his practice:
    He knew of the temple’s ban on drinking and violence, but he considered Heineken beer his drink of choice and carried a gun “at all times,” said Oui Suthamtewakul, a friend and roommate from the temple.
    The poor man obviously was suffering in a great way-- he desperately needed help. The precepts provide some grounding, but I think he needed something more than precepts and meditation beforehand.
    Kundo
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    The most key paragraph, in my view, was: "Buddhism can seem particularly appealing to “mentally unbalanced people seeking to right the ship of their lives, to self-medicate, to curb their impulses, or to give them a firmer grip on reality,” Clark Strand, a contributing editor to the Buddhist publication Tricycle magazine and a former Zen monk, said in an interview."

    But I also found interesting that: "They also spoke superficially about Alexis’ interest in becoming a monk."

    And: "Non-Asian Buddhists in America, Jones said, tend to be Theravada, Zen and Tibetan, yet generally they are separate from ethnically Buddhist communities."

    And: " the American Buddhist community is the most diverse in the world. But it tends to cluster people by ethnicity, groups of Asians in their own temples and then separate worship spaces for what Strand calls “the upper middle way” — a Buddhism that has tended to appeal to Americans with higher incomes and educations."

    You'll not I toughed on these last two points in a post a day or two ago, and several here disagreed that it had any relevance.
    riverflowCinorjercvalue
  • riverflow said:

    Well, this certainly would not have helped his practice:

    He knew of the temple’s ban on drinking and violence, but he considered Heineken beer his drink of choice and carried a gun “at all times,” said Oui Suthamtewakul, a friend and roommate from the temple.
    The poor man obviously was suffering in a great way-- he desperately needed help. The precepts provide some grounding, but I think he needed something more than precepts and meditation beforehand.

    Yeah, that's a great point. I believe he was getting help, but not enough. But then the article mentioned of him meditating for hours at end by himself? I find that a bit nerve racking? He needed a teacher, someone who could have guided him?
    riverflowcvalue
  • LeonBasin said:

    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh?

    That statement makes sense to me. I think it's true.
    The 4NT are an invitation to Buddhism for anyone who is suffering because it points to a solution from inside.
    I have known a number of people who have been damaged or are mentally ill to turn to JW or get born again, to get help from outside. Sometimes they get relief that way too.
    riverflowKundo
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited September 2013
    robot said:

    LeonBasin said:

    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh?

    That statement makes sense to me. I think it's true.
    The 4NT are an invitation to Buddhism for anyone who is suffering because it points to a solution from inside.
    I have known a number of people who have been damaged or are mentally ill to turn to JW or get born again, to get help from outside. Sometimes they get relief that way too.
    And I see it here in our forum. But I think it's true in some other religious settings, as well...particularly those that are different from the country's mainstream religion(s).
  • robot said:

    LeonBasin said:

    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh?

    That statement makes sense to me. I think it's true.
    The 4NT are an invitation to Buddhism for anyone who is suffering because it points to a solution from inside.
    I have known a number of people who have been damaged or are mentally ill to turn to JW or get born again, to get help from outside. Sometimes they get relief that way too.
    Yeah, I suppose that's true. I mean, I've had difficulties and I found a better explanation to my difficulties through Buddhism. However, I am a bit worried, as I had teachers and other guides who walk me through times of hardships and pain and I don't think this individual had enough guidance. Thus, causing havoc on his stability. Does that make any sense? I also think that article is kind of blaming things on Buddhism, which is bothering me, as any Religion could be a benefit or a destruction on an individual who does not know how to approach it, or relate to it.
  • vinlyn said:

    robot said:

    LeonBasin said:

    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh?

    That statement makes sense to me. I think it's true.
    The 4NT are an invitation to Buddhism for anyone who is suffering because it points to a solution from inside.
    I have known a number of people who have been damaged or are mentally ill to turn to JW or get born again, to get help from outside. Sometimes they get relief that way too.
    And I see it here in our forum. But I think it's true in some other religious settings, as well...particularly those that are different from the country's mainstream religion(s).
    That's a great point! I suppose that is why many Westerners find Zen so appealing.
  • And: "Non-Asian Buddhists in America, Jones said, tend to be Theravada, Zen and Tibetan, yet generally they are separate from ethnically Buddhist communities."

    And: " the American Buddhist community is the most diverse in the world. But it tends to cluster people by ethnicity, groups of Asians in their own temples and then separate worship spaces for what Strand calls “the upper middle way” — a Buddhism that has tended to appeal to Americans with higher incomes and educations."
    I dont get it?, is this some swipe at mahayna? What's he talking about? Aren't most American Buddhists emulating the Tibetan tradition?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    LeonBasin said:

    ...I also think that article is kind of blaming things on Buddhism, which is bothering me, as any Religion could be a benefit or a destruction on an individual who does not know how to approach it, or relate to it.

    I really didn't see that.

  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited September 2013
    I don't think the article makes much of a case, but it's so short and lacking in anything but a couple of sound bites I can't be sure what the point of the article is supposed to be. Does Buddhism appeal to "mentally unbalanced people" more than other religions? Of course not. People who feel disconnected from society might find the foreign aspects attractive (and this man even talked about moving to another country) but since the problem is in his mind, not society, he won't be comfortable in the Sangha either.

    In fact, this case of the shooter illustrates this. He tried Buddhism but ended up rejecting it because of his unbalanced mind that he could not tame and the voices and disconnect got worse. However, do Sanghas overlook mental illness? I don't know. Every Buddhist I've known has been pretty normal for a given definition of normal.
    oceancaldera207riverflowDaltheJigsawNirvana
  • @cinorjer that's exactly what I thought about it
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I think Buddhism is strong enough to handle being under a microscope for a bit.
    42bodhi
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Someone who is struggling with untreated mental health problems is going to have problems no matter what they embrace. As far as Buddhism goes, this and the article by Time posted in the other Alexis thread here just show me more and more why a teacher and a supportive sangha is so important. Of course, for those things to be of benefit, one has to be honest with their teacher. So far I haven't seen where Aaron Alexis told anyone other than the cops when he was arrested, about the severity of his problems.

    Why the police did not/could not do anything about that at the time disturbs me. Intervention could have prevented this, yet again no one intervened. Our system makes it pretty hard to do so even if someone is recognized as a person in need of help. We've seen it time and time again. It always seems very unfortunate to me that anytime something like this happens, it comes out that the person had severe issues going on that needed attention, and at least some people recognized that, but either they did not do anything to intervene, or the system did not allow an intervention. Forcing someone into a mental health evaluation is akin to calling social services on the parents/guardians of a child you are concerned with. I think people worry they will intrude on someone's life who didn't deserve to be pushed into that system.

    Anyhow, meditation in particular (and Buddhism in general) cause one to face themselves, and that includes any "demons" that are present and have been hidden for years. It shouldn't be taken lightly. My sister ended up in therapy after she started meditating, but she recognized she needed it. Should someone other than Aaron Alexis recognized he needed help? He clearly realized what was happened with him was not normal, or okay, but did he truly seek help? I'm not saying he didn't, I just have not read that he has beyond telling cops what was going on.

    What can even be done differently? We see this play out at least a few times a year in the US, and we still have no solutions in how to deal with people who in hindsight clearly needed help. Rather than getting people help, we focus on the gun aspect. The gun aspect can be part of it, but it's really a fairly small part of the problem when you considering the suffering these people are going through before they resort to such acts.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • vinlyn said:

    LeonBasin said:

    ...I also think that article is kind of blaming things on Buddhism, which is bothering me, as any Religion could be a benefit or a destruction on an individual who does not know how to approach it, or relate to it.

    I really didn't see that.

    I do, but then again...Perhaps I'm just ticked off, therefore, I'm looking at something that isn't there? LOL
  • vinlyn said:

    I think Buddhism is strong enough to handle being under a microscope for a bit.

    Very good point! Perhaps it's a good thing?
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    well perhaps it gives us a reason to pause even more when someone blames terror on Muslims or hatred on Christianity. No one likes being lumped in with someone who doesn't extol their belief system, and then have the belief system blamed for the problems. Every time this happens, the media looks for answers. They all need different angles to beat out the other guy. It really has nothing to do with Buddhism, and as usual is just about the media making a buck. It's nothing worth getting upset about, nor is the implication that people with mental illness are specifically attracted to Buddhism. I'd venture they are attracted to a way out of their pain. There is no assumption that the majority of Buddhists are suffering mental illness, though in reality, aren't we all to some degree?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    1. Lynchy grinchy said, "The sky is not falling, the sky is not falling."
    2. Yes, Buddhism has handled many storms in 2,500 years. This is barely an April shower.
    3. No one in this thread (yet), but we ought to remember the harsh light several in our forum have placed Christianity and Islam. Can we not weather a brief spotlight on our own religion. So, yes, it won't be a bad thing if people (including us) take a more critical appraisal/self-appraisal.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • riverflowriverflow Veteran
    edited September 2013
    I can't expect much nuance or close examination in a 500-word article. But it gets hits and sells since it is the topic du jour. I would welcome an in-depth examination on the matter, but that would require in-depth journalism (and an editor that actually cares about quality articles). Not likely to happen with a paper in which the purpose is to grab readers' attention rather than to inform.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    To put the article's key question in generic terms:

    "Do X and Xist sites deal directly enough with the topic of mental illness? And, in fact, might Xism hold a special attraction for people who are mentally ill?"

    Well, as volunteer organizations are open to everybody, I'd say Yes to the second of the two separate questions in this hit-or-miss article. Volunteer organizations are in the business of putting up with people that business will not generally tolerate. As for the first part of the question, I know of no one but mental health professionals who "deal directly enough" with the topic of "mental illness." I think most organizations are either in denial about this or intolerant of exhibtions of it —if for no other reason than fear of being put under hot water.

    No doubt the Buddhist community in Fort Worth is undergoing a bit of shock and trauma d/t this occurence. They were an object of fascination for a certain fella for a while but that apparently wore off. Maybe the "finger of blame" could be pointed at the town in which he grew up or the city block if he never moved, or whatever? Maybe his classmates for not befriending him? Who knows?

    Maybe it is true that religion holds a special fascination for nuts, as most religions are pretty damn crazy. Who knows?
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    LeonBasin said:

    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh? Not sure how to even explain it, as I'm a bit speechless?

    I don't see it as harsh. It's basically just saying that people who have more suffering are more likely to look for a remedy for it. Buddhism claims the removal of suffering. That is very appealing! Have you ever known a person who was happy with life to go and seek out Buddhism to try to remedy their suffering? I've never heard of such a thing! If you are already happy with your life, then what would you need Buddhism for?

    :om:
    riverflowcvalue
  • I think it's not much use to focus on individual cases if you want to characterize buddhism. This person ended up killing despite the fact that he was involved in buddhism. All this says is that being involved in buddhism does not guarantee that you won't do evil things. Isn't this obviously true? Who ever claimed that buddhism offers this unlikely guarantee?

    If think that if you claim that buddhism is a non-violent religion, you should expect a relation between practicing buddhism and being inclined towards non-violence. People on this forum probably believe that non-violence is increased by buddhist practices such as the precepts (training rules) about not harming, not lying, about speaking kindly, the practice of generosity and metta meditation. Are we wrong to believe this?
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    What do you need the Dharma for?

    Maybe if you're seeking truth and clarity?

    I know plenty of happy people who are interested in sanatana dharma. As Eknath Easwaran says in his introduction to his translation of The Dhammapada:

    "stand[ing] squarely in the tradition of the Upanishads...Vitality, a sublime self-confidence, an emphasis on direct experience in meditation without reference to any outside authority, and a passionate trust in truth, in the oneness of life, and in our human capacity to take our destiny into our own hands --all these are the very spirit of the Upanishads, and no one embodies it better than the Buddha."

    If you're already happy with your material life, then look away whenever you see a possible window into a fuller life?

  • Nirvana said:


    Maybe it is true that religion holds a special fascination for nuts,

    So does politics hehe

    :D
    Kundopoptart
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Nirvana said:

    What do you need the Dharma for?

    Maybe if you're seeking truth and clarity?

    I know plenty of happy people who are interested in sanatana dharma. As Eknath Easwaran says in his introduction to his translation of The Dhammapada:

    "stand[ing] squarely in the tradition of the Upanishads...Vitality, a sublime self-confidence, an emphasis on direct experience in meditation without reference to any outside authority, and a passionate trust in truth, in the oneness of life, and in our human capacity to take our destiny into our own hands --all these are the very spirit of the Upanishads, and no one embodies it better than the Buddha."

    If you're already happy with your material life, then look away whenever you see a possible window into a fuller life?


    My point was that if you do not perceive any "dukkha" in your life, then you would have no reason to try and eliminate it. I would propose that everyone who is seeking more truth and clarity is doing so because of some kind of dukkha somewhere in their life, which I think is in alignment with the Buddha's teaching on "transcendental dependent origination".

    In it the Buddha said "birth is the supporting condition for dukkha, dukkha is the supporting condition for faith"

    The faith that Buddhism may be able to help you somehow. To find a fuller life, or more truth or clarity or less suffering from mental illness or whatever. For people who have mental illness, the dukkha is readily apparent, right in front of them a lot! But if you don't perceive any dukkha to begin with, which many people don't. Many people are perfectly happy to live life just pursuing money, power, sex, etc. so they would not be likely to seek out Buddhism because it is perceived that there is nothing lacking. If there is no perception that there is something lacking, AKA dukkha, there would be no reason to look for something fuller. If there is nothing lacking then the supporting condition is not there to give rise to the belief or the faith that Buddhism might help you somehow. Does that make any sense?

    :om:
  • @LeonBasin said:
    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh? Not sure how to even explain it, as I'm a bit speechless?
    I consider this as a compliment to Buddhism. Why people in need for help think of Buddhism instead of other religions? Buddhism must be GREAT!
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited September 2013
    concluding Quote from a couple posts above:

    "If there is no perception that there is something lacking, AKA dukkha, there would be no reason to look for something fuller. If there is nothing lacking then the supporting condition is not there to give rise to the belief or the faith that Buddhism might help you somehow. Does that make any sense?"

    Of course, you're making plenty of sense, Seeker, whereas the writer of the article does not, as Riverflow ably points out above. But there are always different perspectives to be found.

    I believe that this idea that "Buddhism claims the removal of suffering. That is very appealing!" is one smacking of substitutionary atonement. By that I mean it's a practice of laying all your hopes on something really beyond your control and trusting on your salvation. That's usually just a lazy way out, often allows for little questioning, and not in line with the Buddha's advice to his followers to be Lamps unto themselves...

    And if it's just substitutionary atonement (for it cannot be a promise), then why Buddhism and why not Christianity, as in the case of the Oslo slaughter?

    But that's just my take.

    I cannot imagine myself being happy without belonging in some way to the Triple Gem or the Holy Trinity. Firstoff, being drawn powerfully by The Highest Spiritual Potential inherent in all things including my own true nature, Then the Teaching, and then the Communion of the Saints living and dead. It's the arrow in me pointing at once both inward and outward that counts, not just the cessation of all sorrow. The latter is not a promise but just a remote destination on a roadmap. But it's the journey there where the true adventure and glory lies.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Nirvana said:

    concluding Quote from a couple posts above:

    "If there is no perception that there is something lacking, AKA dukkha, there would be no reason to look for something fuller. If there is nothing lacking then the supporting condition is not there to give rise to the belief or the faith that Buddhism might help you somehow. Does that make any sense?"

    Of course, you're making plenty of sense, Seeker, whereas the writer of the article does not,

    Ok! :) I didn't even read the article! :lol: I was just talking to Leon's question of individuals who are mentally ill being more likely to find Buddhism appealing. Which sounds pretty reasonable to me. As to why Buddhism and not other religions. I don't know, I guess that's a personal thing. Although, I do know this one guy who was a crackhead and has been in and out of jail, etc. He is now a born again Christian. He found Jesus while he was in jail. He stopped smoking crack and has not been in jail since. Maybe Aaron just could not believe in God so he went to Buddhism instead? Who knows!

    :om:
  • This entire article is full of 'what the hell' to me. "The tragedy has triggered “the beginning of the conversation that Buddhists are human beings, too,” with human flaws, said the Rev. Danny Fisher, a lay Buddhist minister and blogger who runs the Buddhist chaplaincy at the University of the West. “Which is good, we need to have that.” Excuse me Danny, you are popular bro and I like a great deal of what you write and respect your opinion, but who ever said that Buddhists were not human beings with human flaws, and by the way, who needs it? Your community or the average Buddhist who knows all to well they are human?

    Any of you floated off the ground? Anyone got a choir of red and green Tara's singing your praise? I don't follow that. Most of us grew up with David Carradine being the most 'Buddhist' moments in our lives. As a kid, it was a cool show, a Buddhist Monk who could take on the wild west, but I always knew it was a TV show, and I had a fairly well formed opinion that most Buddhist Monks were not trained in well-timed stunts in front of cameras.

    "Buddhism is particularly appealing to “mentally unbalanced people seeking to right the ship of their lives, to self-medicate, to curb their impulses,” said Clark Strand, a contributing editor to the Buddhist publication Tricycle magazine and a former Zen monk." Really? So is Clark Strand mentally unbalanced? Seriously, one of the editors of a Buddhist fluff publication is basically saying most of his readers are off in the head.

    Do we have to give any answer for a person who stopped regularly attending temple almost 2 years ago. He flourished for a year or had the semblance of it taking hold and it stopped. He had a gold Buddha, what does that mean really? Madonna used to wear crosses all the time, was she a fan of Billy Graham? Was it anything more than a prop? It obviously didn't do anything more than most statues do, they sit and that is it. This man carried a gun with him and drank beer, fine, so do a great deal of Americans, that doesn't mean they have any problems.

    All of these traits do not mean that Buddhism is tied to someone with mental issues. Are there Buddhists who have mental issues? Certainly, just as Christians, Muslims, Jews, Taoists, etc... can have mental problems that require help. And none of their places of worship are typically the best place to seek that help. This is a tragedy, was there more that could have been done to help this young man, certainly, there almost always is more in circumstances like these and far too often, they are too late. There is a report where the Navy failed to follow up on a warning about this person last month, a fairly serious warning of mental instability.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/18/navy-yard-shooting-aaron-alexis/2832451/

    The Buddhist temple didn't follow up, the above report says the Navy didn't follow up. In the end, who knows what was going through this young man's mind, only him. Sometimes, you can't place blame. The child shooter who killed so many school children, people look for answers and with death, there often are none forthcoming.

    I just really wonder if this person had been a Christian or a Jew if we would have heard statements like "This tragedy has triggered the beginning of the conversation that Christians/Jews are human beings too with human flaws" from some young laity Christian Minister or Jewish Priest. Would you expect to read from one of the editors of Christianity Today or The Jewish Magazine, the comment "Christianity/Judaism is particularly appealing to mentally unbalanced people seeking to right the ship of their lives, to self-medicate, to curb their impulses.” All Faiths have issues, albeit not many of them have people willing to stand up and say, look at us crackpots.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Punta Gorda, Florida, USA Veteran
    One thing to remember, the way the Washington Post categorizes mentally ill is to in essence say it means insane, where sane (opposite supposedly) is average in all respects (which no-one is all the time, sorry folks). So, those who are not average like Buddhism? Good, happy to be among them.
  • 'Enough now with teaching what only with difficulty I reached.This Dhamma is not easily realized by those overcome with aversion & passion. What is abstruse, subtle,deep,hard to see,going against the flow —those delighting in passion, cloaked in the mass of darkness, won't see.'

    "As I reflected thus, my mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html
    That is why practising restraint and taking the precepts are essential parts of the religion.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    ...

    I just really wonder if this person had been a Christian or a Jew if we would have heard statements like "This tragedy has triggered the beginning of the conversation that Christians/Jews are human beings too with human flaws" from some young laity Christian Minister or Jewish Priest. Would you expect to read from one of the editors of Christianity Today or The Jewish Magazine, the comment "Christianity/Judaism is particularly appealing to mentally unbalanced people seeking to right the ship of their lives, to self-medicate, to curb their impulses.” All Faiths have issues, albeit not many of them have people willing to stand up and say, look at us crackpots.

    With perpetrators that gain much public attention, their religion is often discussed in the context of what happened.

    Yes, all religions have issues...and YES, that includes Buddhists.

    Why all the angst? Jeepers. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

    KrustyCrabs
  • edited September 2013
    vinlyn said:

    With perpetrators that gain much public attention, their religion is often discussed in the context of what happened.

    Yes, all religions have issues...and YES, that includes Buddhists.

    Why all the angst? Jeepers. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

    The article made it a point to see a connection between mental issues and Buddhism, that is often not the case of other religions. Islam certainly gets tied in with most violence generated by their members, but this is one of the first times I have seen Buddhism listed as such.

    Exactly what I stated, all religions have issues. You add "and YES, that includes Buddhists." Yawn..I believe my first comment covered that as well as this one "Are there Buddhists who have mental issues? Certainly, just as Christians, Muslims, Jews, Taoists, etc... can have mental problems that require help."

    Jeepers, ? Please, me thinks thou dost protesteth to just protesteth and challengenth someone else too much. Albeit, the use of the word angst was a nice touch, classy. :)

    Addendum: Sorry about another comment I struck out Vinlyn, I mis-quoted you, and my apologies, but I think you are still classy and I am obviously needing to better read quotes.

    I suppose I protest too much as you say because I am constantly bombarded by people at work with how bad Buddhism is and I do not exaggerate how hard the pressing is. I have heard this article today, in numerous forms. I would say I project that frustration in other areas. My intent was not to be carried overboard.
  • These is my resume.

    Name: Hermitwin
    Gender: male
    Religion: Buddhism/Mentally ill
    Ambition: Mass shooting




    LeonBasin said:

    In the article they mention that individuals who are mentally ill, are more than likely to find Buddhism appealing. I find that statement a bit harsh? Not sure how to even explain it, as I'm a bit speechless? But at the same time I can see where they are coming from. I would like to discuss this with you guys.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/shooters-interest-in-buddhism-prompts-debate-about-stereotype-of-peaceful-faith/2013/09/18/f0ecd938-1fcf-11e3-94a2-6c66b668ea55_story.html

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    vinlyn said:

    With perpetrators that gain much public attention, their religion is often discussed in the context of what happened.

    Yes, all religions have issues...and YES, that includes Buddhists.

    Why all the angst? Jeepers. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

    The article made it a point to see a connection between mental issues and Buddhism, that is often not the case of other religions. Islam certainly gets tied in with most violence generated by their members, but this is one of the first times I have seen Buddhism listed as such.

    Exactly what I stated, all religions have issues. You add "and YES, that includes Buddhists." Yawn..I believe my first comment covered that as well as this one "Are there Buddhists who have mental issues? Certainly, just as Christians, Muslims, Jews, Taoists, etc... can have mental problems that require help."

    Jeepers, ? Please, me thinks thou dost protesteth to just protesteth and challengenth someone else too much. Albeit, the use of the word angst was a nice touch, classy. :)

    Addendum: Sorry about another comment I struck out Vinlyn, I mis-quoted you, and my apologies, but I think you are still classy and I am obviously needing to better read quotes.

    I suppose I protest too much as you say because I am constantly bombarded by people at work with how bad Buddhism is and I do not exaggerate how hard the pressing is. I have heard this article today, in numerous forms. I would say I project that frustration in other areas. My intent was not to be carried overboard.
    I appreciate your comments. And your addendum.

    I probably don't succeed, but I often try to bring balance to a setting. For example, I happen to be from the town in western NYS where Joseph Smith started Mormonism. One day at my school in Virginia, one of my secretaries, who was a born again Christian, brought up that topic, and ultimately said, "Well, if the Golden Plates were real they could show them to us. Since they can't, clearly they never existed." My response was, "Can you show me the stone with the Ten Commandments?" And of course the response was, "That's different."

    Right now, this topic is news. And I think it's important that we be aware of news that relates to Buddhism...whether it's this senseless slaughter or monks acting against Buddhist teachings, etc. Which is why I started the other thread. To be aware. To remind those who condemn Muslims and Christians regarding certain acts, that Buddhism and Buddhists are not immune from the same temptations and degradations that affect other religious people. Only when we understand that, can we have true compassion.

    KrustyCrabs
  • Buddism does not kill people
    Sadly some Buddhist do.

  • vinlyn said:


    You'll not I toughed on these last two points in a post a day or two ago, and several here disagreed that it had any relevance.

    I think the Buddhist connection is a red herring, IMO the story is basically about mental illness and lax US gun laws.
    David
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    The guy carried a gun with him at all times and obviously paid no mind to the dharma.

    I can't consider him Buddhist but that hardly matters. He was a fellow human that lived in fear and died in fear.

    @vinlyn;
    Right now, this topic is news. And I think it's important that we be aware of news that relates to Buddhism...whether it's this senseless slaughter or monks acting against Buddhist teachings, etc. Which is why I started the other thread. To be aware. To remind those who condemn Muslims and Christians regarding certain acts, that Buddhism and Buddhists are not immune from the same temptations and degradations that affect other religious people. Only when we understand that, can we have true compassion.
    I can have compassion for the people while at the same time condemn the holy books calling for violence.

    Buddhism has no such battle cries but yes, people are people.


  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Buddhism comes up because not everyone is Buddhist. Christianity doesn't come up, because the majority of people in the US identify as Christian. If it were another outlier religion, the result would have been the same. I can imagine what kind of conversations would be taking place if the guy had been Wiccan. It is a way for media to get viewers/readers by taking a single statement made by a friend of Alexis initially and trying
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Buddhism comes up because not everyone is Buddhist. Christianity doesn't come up, because the majority of people in the US identify as Christian. If it were another outlier religion, the result would have been the same. I can imagine what kind of conversations would be taking place if the guy had been Wiccan. It is a way for media to get viewers/readers by taking a single statement made by a friend of Alexis initially and trying to figure out Alexis from that statement.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Actually, I find Christianity constantly under the microscope here in the States. Far more so than most other religions (with the possible exception of Islam).
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    I agree, but it doesn't seem to come up so far as when there are headline-worthy crimes. Unless the person was not Christian, religion doesn't seem to come up. Or perhaps it does and I just don't notice it. Both Holmes and Lanza were as far as anyone knows, Christians, or at least from Christian families with no reason to think they were anything but Christian themselves. But religion was never mentioned as a motivation for their crimes. Lanza's family was Catholic and no one had to defend Catholicism like people had to defend Islam like they did after the Boston bombings. It makes one curious how often religion plays a part. Holmes injured people via shooting them an d not bombs, but his apartment was rigged with bombs and very well could have killed and injured people, yet he wasn't charged with any terror crimes while the Boston bomber was. It's just a curious thing to me.

    Anyhow, overall I agree that the tone in the country questions and investigates Christianity quite a lot. But it's pretty rare that when it comes to crimes, Christianity is blamed for contributing to the crimes, while other religions are.
    riverflow
  • vinlyn said:

    Actually, I find Christianity constantly under the microscope here in the States. Far more so than most other religions (with the possible exception of Islam).

    I would agree with your conclusion yet what places them sometimes under the microscope is their very nature of how they decide to witness. One example:

    http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html

    One of the more bitter and outrageous examples albeit but it doesn't always get much better. Catholic priests and the pedophile scandal, while not a witness decision, does present a witness through deliberate decisions made by some members of their priesthood. The pain and hurt is real and people watch it.

    The over-zealous Christian who places 'Chick' publications and tracks in bathrooms, so while taking a bladder break you get to see things such as this:

    http://www.chick.com/catalog/tractCustombykeyword.asp?subject=Buddhism

    I have actually had this one placed in my chair at work as well, so far 14 total have been delivered, this one also a favorite of a 'Christian' at work:

    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1080/1080_01.asp

    What about the Christians who picket the abortion clinics, the houses of ill repute, the liquor stores. We have it all here in the South, they make the news and they like it from what I can tell. They are witnessing at most of these events and they want the microscope on them.

    The Jim and Tammy Baker's of the charismatic scene, they haven't all disappeared. On TV every Sunday asking for that money while living in luxury.

    I do try to not focus on it but it is there constantly. People see and experience these things and it can leave a bad taste in them and it sticks as it is being repeated. It is the delivery that garners the attention and some do love the attention. As long as this continues, there will be avenues that are more than happy to turn the spotlight on as well.
    oceancaldera207
  • There will be those who will link this violence to Buddhism, just like terrorists and Islam; but those will always be. Instead we should see this as a means to follow the path, and live our faith.
  • oceancaldera207oceancaldera207 Veteran
    edited September 2013

    vinlyn said:

    Actually, I find Christianity constantly under the microscope here in the States. Far more so than most other religions (with the possible exception of Islam).

    I would agree with your conclusion yet what places them sometimes under the microscope is their very nature of how they decide to witness. One example:

    http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html

    One of the more bitter and outrageous examples albeit but it doesn't always get much better. Catholic priests and the pedophile scandal, while not a witness decision, does present a witness through deliberate decisions made by some members of their priesthood. The pain and hurt is real and people watch it.

    The over-zealous Christian who places 'Chick' publications and tracks in bathrooms, so while taking a bladder break you get to see things such as this:

    http://www.chick.com/catalog/tractCustombykeyword.asp?subject=Buddhism

    I have actually had this one placed in my chair at work as well, so far 14 total have been delivered, this one also a favorite of a 'Christian' at work:

    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1080/1080_01.asp

    What about the Christians who picket the abortion clinics, the houses of ill repute, the liquor stores. We have it all here in the South, they make the news and they like it from what I can tell. They are witnessing at most of these events and they want the microscope on them.

    The Jim and Tammy Baker's of the charismatic scene, they haven't all disappeared. On TV every Sunday asking for that money while living in luxury.

    I do try to not focus on it but it is there constantly. People see and experience these things and it can leave a bad taste in them and it sticks as it is being repeated. It is the delivery that garners the attention and some do love the attention. As long as this continues, there will be avenues that are more than happy to turn the spotlight on as well.
    OMG I clicked on that "chicks buddhism" link...I almost lost my dinner. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.
    Subject - Buddhism

    A Buddhist learns Buddha didn't die for his sins. Jesus is the only way to heaven.
    Bbbwwwwwaaaarrrrrfffffff :zombie: omg I'm physically ill now
    That cartoon...the stupidity....so...profound......
  • oceancaldera207oceancaldera207 Veteran
    edited September 2013
    chick.com/catalog/tractCustombykeyword.asp?subject=BuddhismOMG guys don't look at it it's ...so...hideous. !
    Using cartoons... That's just pure pure evil!





  • chick.com/catalog/tractCustombykeyword.asp?subject=BuddhismOMG guys don't look at it it's ...so...hideous. !
    Using cartoons... That's just pure pure evil!


    That's pretty funny. Loved it!


  • They leave those things on krustycrabs desk....I'm truly astounded.
  • They leave those things on krustycrabs desk....I'm truly astounded.

    Sadly, it is true. I have a fairly good collection, at least for a Buddhist, 14 in total. It is one person in a fairly big corporation, no one else, just the Buddhist. :) It has been going on for about 3 years so while it is not rare for me to find one, it is not very frequent as far as averages.

    I have ideas as to who it might be, but with no proof, and honestly I would be making an educated guess at best. I hear apologies for the trouble but it is basically shrugged off. To the HR department, it is not causing any great harm, just someone being over-zealous occasionally in placing a tract in my chair or on my desk. One of the HR people even said one day, 'Well, they are just worried about your soul." It is tolerated and I need a job, not had much luck finding anything better so what do you do?

  • They are worried about their own soul. Making merit. They are spending their own money. Like a gift.
    No real harm in it. Maybe accepting them gracefully makes merit for you too.
    KrustyCrabs
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