Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday wanderings

I vaguely remember Pooh Bear wandering around a tree, it may have been one of the other characters. It was in a book not some animated rendition. Anyway, seems that each time they went around a tree in the snow they found more footprints.

I don't think I'm going around the tree but there sure are a lot of footprints in the snow.

Seems there is a video game where the object is to convert folks to Christianity. If they don't convert it's OK to kill them. Part of the title is "left behind" so does that mean the authors of that series think its a good idea? Then we have Representative Goode (Va) who warns folks that laws needd to be changed or we'll have more Muslims here to contend with. And a recent Op-Ed piece refers to a book about howe Britain by being PC has too many Muslims.

So since I'm in the forest seeing all of these footprints I'll go out on a limb.

Like it or not we are involved in "an idealogical confrontation" (I almost said war) and the dominant players seem to be fundamentalists from both sides. In the middle we have folks who don't know what is going on or who don't want to get involved. So we seem to throw gasoline on the fire.

I think to some degree (no I don't- to a large degree) the Islamic terrorists have a fundamentalist approach to their religion. If they can't convert you then killing you is OK. (Gee sound like a Christian game I mentioned above?) And we have a President (and portion of citizens) who respond with a similar fervor. "Be democratic or die" being their battle cry.

And I guess I'm one of those guys on the sidelines. Let's face it since Buddhism doesn't have a creed or dogma (some may disagree based on experience with some smaller schools) it's rather hard to be a fundamentalist in my approach. After all, I'm the guy who suggested at a temple (years ago) that we put a sign out front "Come on in, we're just sitting around."

Somebody better wake up. When fundamentalists like the intellectual skills to convert their "opposition" (or accept them the way they are) then they take a position that it's OK to demonize them and "kill" them. Not the way to really "win the day" but I guess if you eliminate enough of the "bad" guys you can at least go to sleep without keeping one eye open.

My suggestion is to learn how to deal with the ideology that is causing the problem. Yeah, it's going to be a challenge. I just don't want to wake up one morning and find out that there is some video game where with enough skill the character barges into a Buddhist temple with a machine gun and mows down people meditating. Talk about suffering. Buddha had no idea.