Friday, September 19, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Dalai Lama lite
by Patrick French
A New York Times online article - they make you sign in.

Lee Penn: For your information. It appears that liberal Westerners have a distorted view of what Tibetan Buddhism actually is.

Money quotes:

"The Dalai Lama has become whoever we want him to be, a cuddly projection of our hopes and dreams. This enthusiasm, though, has not translated into any tangible political benefit for Tibetans. He has been seen on advertisements for Apple computers and software; significantly, he was not paid for either of these uses of his image. Some of the books that purport to be written by the Dalai Lama are scarcely by him at all, but have his face on the cover to increase sales.

In reality, Tibetan Buddhism is not a values-free system oriented around smiles and a warm heart. It is a religion with tough ethical underpinnings that sometimes get lost in translation. For example, the Dalai Lama explicitly condemns homosexuality, as well as all oral and anal sex. His stand is close to that of Pope John Paul II, something his Western followers find embarrassing and prefer to ignore. [Which is why the Dalai Lama's picture and a quotation are on my prolife page.] His American publisher even asked him to remove the injunctions against homosexuality from his book, Ethics for the New Millennium, for fear they would offend American readers, and the Dalai Lama acquiesced."

The foregoing speaks for itself ... [End.]

Also recommended today: Touchstone's blog, among the permanent links at the bottom of this page.

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