Re: Religion & politics

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Posted by David on November 07, 1998 at 06:32:02:

In Reply to: Religion & politics posted by Bob Gould on October 28, 1998 at 21:29:22:

Not now! :)

Seriously, it's a good question Bob. Hopefully it will stimulate some discussion.

I think voting is important, and of course I vote one way or the other based on my views - what is important, what is beneficial. These views change all the time (as you told.. Peter, was it?). And they change partially because of my practice. For everyone, I imagine, it is the same, whether it is based on religious beliefs or experience, or, most likely, both - a person's religion influences their politics.

But, I also feel that whenever possible, it is safer for the good of all that the religious organization be kept aloof from political affiliation. In some cases this may not be possible, for example HH the Dalai Lama, being the political and religious head of a country. I only hope that, like with the Dali Lama himself, all of his followers can also be without anger and hatred in their plight. In other cases, however, keeping a separation it certainly possible.

You probably know of the recent Hsi Lai Temple "scandal" with vice-president Gore. My feeling is that now, the image of Buddhism is a little more ugly to some of the population in the U.S. Because Buddhism has something very valuable to offer everyone, this is unfortunate. Even if it had all been done legally (maybe it really was, I don't know), still, now people who identify with being Republican will possibly be turned away from Buddhism, or at least that temple (which may be close and available to them). Because Buddhism points one to non-discrimination, it seems unbeneficial to, in the name of Buddhism, support one political party or another (a concept that causes much division among people).

How about you Bob, and others, what do you think?


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