[Buddha-l] Watery dharma

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Tue Dec 18 16:23:30 MST 2007

On Tuesday 18 December 2007 15:59, SJZiobro at cs.com wrote:

> Actually, one finds clear evidence of religious tolerance in the 11th
> century relative to St. Bernard's advocacy for the Jews.  If one does not
> fall into the trap of anachronism one will find other evidence even
> earlier, for example, when Christians were themselves persecuted from
> roughly 90 AD to 313 AD.  It is also important to distinguish polemic and
> doctrines from actual practice.

A bit later than that, Buddhists met strong resistance when they entered 
Japan. Much later, after Buddhists became the dominant force, Christians were 
persecuted in Japan. And if one seeks more contemporary instances of 
persecution, Myanmar has been cited by Amnesty International numerous times 
for condoning Buddhist persecution of Muslims.

But talk of watery dharma has now turned into mudslinging dharma talk. It's 
time to get back to higher ground. If at all possible, I'd like to avoid more 
of these tedious sessions of recounting the past, present and possibly future 
sins of one group or another (except for Republicans, of course). That sort 
of discussion really gets no one any closer to either an understanding of 
Buddhist theory or solidity in Buddhist practice. Rather than promoting 
compassion, all this "They did this to us, and all we've ever been is sweet 
and reasonable" bullshit foments nothing but anti-compassion and therefore is 
anti-Buddhist. If anyone does it again, they will be chained in dungeons and 
forced to listen to the Lotus Sutra until their ears fall off. 

Thus have ye heard: a fatwa from a fat Buddhist.

Richard P. Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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