Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Oh, No You Don't

From America, comes word that a man employed as a television personality has -- on the air -- suggested that another man employed as a sports personality should abandon Buddhism in favor of Christianity.

The matter arises from news that the aforesaid sports personality had extra-marital relations with one or more willing partners of the opposite sex.

The remarks are as follows:
"He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
This comment, if accurately quoted, bespeaks woeful misunderstanding of Buddhism, which is not necessarily a "faith" in the conventional sense of the word.

Let me also say that Buddhism isn't particularly interested in who sleeps with whom. In the final analysis, anything that did or did not happen is strictly between the parties involved, and doesn't really require "forgiveness" in any save the social contract sense.

As to the concept of "redemption," I cannot offer any opinion.

Redemption from what?

From life?

Nevertheless, the ignorant and insensitive remarks by the television commentator have offended many Buddhists in America and around the world. It is an extraordinarily insulting suggestion, insofar as it exhorts the Buddhist to forsake his refuge vows. It is also quite clearly contrary to the norms of polite, adult discourse, and exhibits unfair bias.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates matters such as these, and I believe they should investigate the incident in question to see if the network that employs the commentator might be instructively reprimanded or fined. Tips on filing a complaint with the FCC may be had by clicking here.

Keywords: Brit Hume, Tiger Woods, typical American bullshit, Christian bigotry, Fox network, FCC violations

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14 reader comments:

Rolf said...

All Buddhist morality is based on not causing harm/pain/suffering. The fourth moral commitment one makes when taking refuge is not to have sex with another if either party is in a committed relationship to someone else. It would appear that Tiger has broken this commitment with his wife on numerous occasions, and caused his wife great distress, based on the amount of damage she caused to their house, car and Tiger's face with a golf club. While 'redemption' and 'forgiveness' may be foreign terms to a Buddhist, purification and repair of one's broken vows and negative karma, and the generation of and sharing one's merit (although the divorce settlement will do a great deal of this, willing or not) should be foremost in the mind of someone who has suffered a moral lapse.

Anonymous said...

Hamish, I think your refuge ceremony must have been a lot different than mine.

A friend of mine asked a great lama what *exactly* "sexual misconduct" meant, and his first response was "Are you sure you really want to know?"!

Then he said that although there are various long lists of misdeeds (cf. the Vinaya, which applies to monks, not lay people), the most important elements are not to cause harm to others or cause them to break their vows.

I don't know what vows Tiger and his wife took or didn't take when they got married. So I'm not really in a position to know whether or not he broke any vows or caused harm, and I think the roughly 99.99% of us who don't know the two of them personally are probably in the same boat.

So why are we all so fascinated by him and his sex life?

Anonymous said...

It would be really good if christians could realise that when the die they may meet there enemies again. Also most christians believe when they die they will RIP, because of this they are a rule unto themselves.

Anonymous said...

There used to be and there are still many nations that are "Christian". Why are some now no longer Christian ? Why are some now only nominally Christian ? Obviously Christianity has nothing to offer. The USA was supposed to be founded by devout Christians and the majority of its population supposedly Christian, and yet it has a high drug, drinking, abortion and crime rate ! Many of Christians have led and are leading lives that are empty, suppressed, miserable, etc. Many turn to drink, drugs, adultery, suicide, etc. What kind of redemption and salvation can Christianity offer ? None.

Anonymous said...

Many Christians find the redemption and salvation of the "Holy Spirit" in a bottle of 5% alcohol. Just do some research on the high rates of alcoholics who are Christians, let alone dependent on other forms of substances. Enough said.

Editor said...

40% (80 proof) is quicker.

Rolf said...

"The precepts of lay ordination are to abandon killing, stealing, lying, adultery, and all intoxicants."

Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows
Ngari Panchen, Pema Wanggyi Gyalpo

stella said...

If Christianity was all it's cracked up to be, they wouldn't have to hard sell it like it was Oxy Clean. I'll complain. ;)

Editor said...

Several weeks ago, I personally heard HH Dalai Lama give what might have been the most liberal interpretation of the above five I have ever heard; this, to the effect that you can take as much or as little of these vows as you feel able to take, and that the honoring of the portion you do take, outweighs any breach of the portion you don't take. Sort of a single "step in the right direction," by its very virtue, outweighing any putative multiple steps in the wrong direction. Very optimistic view, on the order of, "I vow not to get loaded and chase hookers on every second Thursday of every other month," being sufficient to carry the freight of all those other days explicitly given over to the four joys, severe headaches, and empty pockets of slow song, barley wine, and bliss-emptiness in the flower houses.

Of course, that was not the example he used...

I wonder if anybody recorded him? This was in Long Beach, California.

Anonymous said...

Some seek very expensive redemption and salvation in children : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

Anonymous said...

Yet more at http://www.reformation.com/

Bob Sorensen said...

Funny how fake Buddhists take umbrage at such simple remarks instead of going on about their business. It is also interesting how, whenever a Christian speaks of his or her faith, the immediate response of disbelievers is, "STFU!"

Editor said...

Ain't no cowboys in Kingston, Bob.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... after filing a complaint with the FCC, I received PDF file containing a generic response of the following:

What Is the FCC’s Responsibility?
"The FCC is barred by law from trying to prevent the broadcast of any point of view. The Communications Act prohibits the FCC from censoring broadcast material, in most cases, and from making any regulation that would interfere with freedom of speech. Expressions of views that do not involve a “clear and present danger of serious substantive evil” come under the protection of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The FCC cannot suppress such expressions. According to an FCC opinion on this subject, “the public interest is best served by
permitting free expression of views.” This
principle ensures that the most diverse and opposing opinions will be expressed, even
though some may be highly offensive.
The FCC, however, does have enforcement responsibilities in certain limited instances."

Somehow I doubt those comments would have aired if said commentator had recommended a change from Islam to Christianity. I suspect this would have been deemed a certain limited instance.