Barbara O’Brien’s blog the day after the demonstration. Had I known about this event, I would certainly have gone.
There was also a related demonstration in Long Beach, Calif. I love the quote from the Orange County Chapter of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which organized the two demonstrations: “It’s a different religion, but it’s the same story.”
I wrote about this situation not too long ago, and my conclusion then remains the same: There needs to be some type of oversight of these temples, regardless of whether they be Theravada, Zen, Tibetan – whatever. But the reality of the situation remains true as well, because these organizations do have members, and these members are the ones who should be raising hell about this.
As mentioned in my earlier post, I had contacted some monks I know for their thoughts. Two replied to my queries with the same message: While the monk’s action is deplorable, these “ethnically oriented” temples are not interested in outside pressure to police monks and we “outsiders” should just leave them alone and let them figure out how to deal with this on their own.
Now this is where my reaction could easily be taken out of context to portray me as a reactionary anti-immigration xenophobe, because to that notion of just “let them deal with it themselves” I say a loud and forceful, “Fuck that!”
We are in America, not Thailand or Cambodia, or anywhere else where the locals might sheepishly avoid confrontation with their religious leaders. And while I have no problem with immigrants bringing with them their homeland culture to add richness and diversity to our American culture, when that culture is one of silence and fear, then fuck that. You can send that attitude back on the boat.
Regardless of what this monk told his Sangha, regardless of what the Vinaya says about this, there is the Third Precept, which in numerous places throughout the Tipitika identifies inappropriate sexual contact with a child as constituting sexual misconduct.
This monk doesn’t need to go back to Thailand. He needs to go to jail.
BTW, the photo with this post is from Bali and has nothing to do with the temple in Chicago. It's just a nice photo of some cute boys with slingshots. Yes, they had slingshots. Hunting for rats maybe?
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