Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brit Hume is ignorant


We should forgive Brit Hume his ignorance, because the ignorance he displayed via his comment about Tiger Woods is, unfortunately, not limited to just a few people. For most monotheists, the idea of a religion that does not pay homage to a creator god is an anathema. Hence, anyone who practices Buddhism is incapable of obtaining forgiveness because only a creator god can forgive humans of their sinful ways. Of course, for we gays, the notion that being homosexual is a condition that requires one to be “saved” is an anathema to us.

Buddhism may actually be superior to monotheistic religions in guiding its practitioners toward a life of morality as opposed to a life of irresponsibility, as that is what the concept of “forgiveness” entails. It is a notion that when one “sins,” that action can be “forgiven,” or otherwise negated in that person’s life. The person is forgiven, the sin is forgotten.

This is not the case in reality, let alone Buddhism, as our actions set off a sequence of events that continue well on into the future, and if the action is considered a “sin” by others, the consequences will continue to manifest themselves well beyond any formal forgiveness. And besides, the act of forgiveness provides no assurance that the “sinful” act won’t be repeated.

Hence the beauty of Buddhism. As I have so frequently done, I will refer once again to the Rahula Sutta.

“In the same way, Rahula, when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, ‘I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.’”

What the Buddha was teaching his son was that to prevent the re-committing of an unskillful act, it was important to cultivate a personal sense of shame. It didn’t matter so much what others thought about the act; what was more important to a person was how he or she personally viewed and interpreted that act. Unless a person feels shame at an unskillful act, the act will be repeated, because all action arises from the mind.

I was unaware that Tiger Woods was Buddhist, although it makes sense considering his mother is Thai. But if he had been raised in a Buddhist environment, the best thing for him to do is return to that Buddhist practice where he can develop the type of mindfulness that he would need to cultivate the proper sense of shame over his action and develop the skills he will need to curb his sensual desires. Failure to do so would mean that whatever kammic reactions he has set into motion by his infidelity and unskillful actions will continue for some time and quite possibly intensify.

Christianity will not help him accomplish that.

Buddhism is a supremely moral doctrine. Anyone who suggests otherwise, such as Brit Hume, is simply ignorant.

7 comments:

  1. But, but, but....if there is no God telling us then how are we supposed to know what is right and wrong? Also, if no-one is punishing us for doing bad things what will keep us from doing those bad things?

    This is the same tiresome tirade that Christians throw against atheists all the time. Without Christianity we are morally defunct. What a load of prideful, arrogant, hateful shit.

    Can I say shit here?

    Cheers,

    John

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  2. Haha, you just did John! I also sent an e-mail to Fox News, but the e-mail link that Badger provided didn't work.

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  3. Hi,

    What is going on here?!

    One person, admittedly ignorant about Buddhism, gives his personal opinion on Wood's behaviour and he thinks Woods ought to do now from a Christian perspective, and suddenly the Buddhist blogsphere is lit up with talk of "being offended" and letter-writting campaigns, and attacks on the entire Christian religion!

    Quote: "Buddhism is actually superior to monotheistic religions..."

    I'm sure it is, but at the very least I would hope for a "in my experience" to preceed that sentence - otherwise, what is the difference between you and Hume?

    If one comment giving one person's opinion causes this outpouring of letters, and outrage, where does it stop? Do we end up carrying placards saying “behead those who say Buddhism isn’t a peaceful religion”?

    Wishing you peace,

    Marcus

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  4. Hi Marcus, I responded to your comment at Precious Metal. You comment is well-taken. You are probably right that I should have provided the context to my assertion that it has been my experience that Buddhism is superior to monotheistic religions. Or, I could have used the Buddha's own words from the many examples in the suttas where he states that while all doctrines contain dhamma, not all doctrines are all dhamma, and that his doctrine is the supreme Dhamma.

    Be that as it may, had Brit Hume made his comment in a medium other than a national television show, then perhaps such umbrage would be superfluous. But that was not the case.

    I have chosen my response. It is my kamma. I do not believe I have represented my faith poorly. Where does it stop? For me it has stopped. I've said my bit in response to one bit of delusion in this world. I'm done. I do not cling to anger or resentment in this matter.

    Thank you for the wish of peace. I gratefully accept it.

    With metta
    Richard

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  5. Your post was much kinder and tolerant than mine. Looks like it's back to the cushion for Metta and mindfullness for me or maybe I need the Boss-man up there to forgive and redeem me. What do you think?

    Namaste,

    Cathy

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  6. I did reconsider my statement regarding Buddhism's superiority over other monotheistic religions, changing my statement from an absolute to a conditioned statement. As I have only personally examined one form of monotheism, and there are several, this seemed the more skillful approach.

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