Re: Good grief

1

Who knew Brit was such an expert on the Buddhist faith?


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:06 AM
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I had a funny moment (which I think I've mentioned here before) along these lines. I was at a trial training for my old job with associates from all over the country, and was sitting and chatting with a Mormon and a Jehovah's Witness, who were commiserating about how closed-minded people are about members of small, unusual sects, and how difficult it is being treated like a freak.

Just to be a jerk, I jumped in with, "Yeah, when they do polls on my religious views, it turns out that only a tiny percentage of the country would vote for someone with my beliefs for political office. [wait three beats] I'm an atheist."

And they both kind of looked at me, didn't say anything for a couple of seconds, and went back to commiserating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:21 AM
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A friend of mine was approached by a fellow student she might have identified as that bald guy with the loose cotton pants. Unprompted, he sized up the situation. "I can have sex with you, but we can't be in a relationship", he said. "Because I'm a Buddhist."


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:22 AM
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Wow, Buddhists are just like feminists!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:23 AM
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To defend ol' head-like-an-asteroid, just look at how readily the legions of cheatin' GOP worthies have been forgiven and redeemed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:24 AM
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Yeah, Brit's aiming really low. Tiger should convert and run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:29 AM
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Sure, if Tiger wants redemption, he should convert to a religion whose great old man in the sky will forgive any damn thing as long as you ask really really nicely before you die. It's a fortunate bunch of adherents whose deity sets the bar so close to the ground.

Furthermore, if Ricky Williams wants to be forgiven for his pot-smoking follies, he should convert to Rastafarianism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:36 AM
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Furthermore, if Ricky Williams wants to be forgiven for his pot-smoking follies, he should convert to Rastafarianism.

That article where the guy tracked down Ricky Williams living in a tent in Australia was such a fabulous piece of sports journalism. Not because it was so groundbreaking, but oh man the contact high.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:40 AM
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I'm well over 25 myself, yet I'm naive enough to continue to be stunned by Fox News. (Did folks see the Jon Stewart bit about Gretchen Carlson -- she of the "I don't even know what 'ignoramus' means"? Turns out she graduated from Stanford with honors -- elitist much? -- and spent time at Oxford. In Europe.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:42 AM
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Every day, in every way, the right feels less inhibited, less need to hide.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:48 AM
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Did she ever respond to that? It's got to be awkward to find yourself in the position of being accused of being intelligent.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:48 AM
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I'm pretty sure they spout shit like this quote, and the ignoramus quote, because they are over-acting like themselves, because they are on-camera, and the worst that happens is that it generates some publicity.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:48 AM
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Tiger could use some redemption and forgiveness from AT&T, Accenture, and Gillette, all of which have dropped him for endorsements.

The heathens at Nike and Gatorade remain unbowed.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:49 AM
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Since June or so, my partner (raised Baptist, still a believer) and my little old atheist self have been attending a local Baptist/Pentecostal almost exclusively black lesbian (and some transwomen and a billion kids) church fairly regularly, which is kind of a long story but something I think is important because we're trying to adopt from foster care and most of the kids there seem to have been plenty brainwashed into Christianity already and so it seemed like a good idea to have a homebase church we can stand.

Usually I can get a lot out of it in terms of personal insight and put on my sociologist hat enough to keep from laughing at the spirit possession stuff, but the one thing that really pushes me over the edge is when people go on and on about how they just don't know how anyone can get by in life without knowing God as they do. Because, dude, if God is such a fucking awesome creator, why wouldn't this God instill people with a tiny bit of imagination??? This makes me furious and I'm not really sure why.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:49 AM
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It's a fortunate bunch of adherents whose deity sets the bar so close to the ground.

There are counterexamples to this interpretation of the grace of our L.&S. J.C., but I am not foolish enough to think that they are anything like as widespread as the quasi-pagan "Jesus is my boyfriend Wal-mart" dogma promulgated by megachurches and wannabe-megachurches.

8: That article was sort of depressing. I wanted to empathize with Ricky, and of course hated the ESPN and talk radio nonsense about his "quitting," but he seemed a repulsively weak, unsympathetic personality.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:53 AM
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Yeah, well, I don't know how anyone can get by in life without the endorphins that come from lifting really heavy things, but I try to limit the proselytizing to three or four times a month year.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:55 AM
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I have a friend who, following a particularly rough patch in her life, has rediscovered Jesus with a vengeance (concurrent with a 12-step recovery program, as is often the case). And hey, whatever gets you through the night. But. Her facebook feed is a dizzying ping-ponging between "everything in my life has gone to shit and I'm so miserable" and "Jesus is showering me with blessings".

I don't comment, but the furious back-and-forth makes me think, "Oh hon, Jesus is so obviously just fucking with you. You need to break up with him and be done with it already so you can get on with your life."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:57 AM
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16
I don't know how anyone can get by in life without the endorphins that come from lifting really heavy things, but I try to limit the proselytizing to three or four times a month year day.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:58 AM
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Baptist/Pentecostal almost exclusively black lesbian (and some transwomen and a billion kids) church

Does not compute. Brain cannot process.

There's a way in which I think that's great. These women want to practice a particular faith and they're not going to let the deep seated -- we need a much, much stronger word than homophobia, one that captures the "kill the faggots, rape the dykes" spirit -- homophobia scare them away. I can sort of understand a rational explanation, but I can't get away from my fundamental position of why would you want to be part of that? Of course, I feel this way about MCC, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 9:59 AM
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I'm behind for the day!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:00 AM
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how anyone can get by in life without the endorphins that come from lifting really heavy things

Opioids, for starters.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:00 AM
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14 is kind of fascinating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:01 AM
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14: I don't know you so forgive the presumption, and the fact that your local Baptist/Pentecostal church is almost exclusively black lesbian already tells me that I can't pigeonhole it, but still, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. Although if the lack of imagination is a bigger problem than the spirit possession, my assessment is probably off-base too.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:03 AM
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Isn't that Brit Hume line just a more crass version of what Ross Douthat said at the end of his pantheism column -- that since Christianity promises redemption and other religions don't, you should go with Christianity? I find this kind of move infuriating. I'm not sure whether Buddhism includes a concept of redemption that's comparable to the Christian notion, but my (tentative) understanding is that in Buddhism the emphasis is on understanding and accepting what is, including the human condition, and in turn being transformed by that awareness. That perspective makes redemption in the Christian sense look like self deception. Maybe Brit Hume needs to become a Buddhist.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:03 AM
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19: They're not actually in any way affiliated with Baptists or Pentecostals but are part of their own grouping with other similar churches in other cities. They're a very politically liberal group but their worship style is very much black Baptist/Pentecostal (or so I'm told) in terms of long, lots of drums and shouting, dancing, etc.

I try to be positive about it in saying it's good that they're co-opting the trappings of what they grew up in toward their own ends, and they're certainly nice people with good politics, which is all I was looking for in being able to sign off on going to church. This probably makes me sound like an idiot, though.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:03 AM
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Isn't that Brit Hume line just a more crass version of what Ross Douthat said at the end of his pantheism column -- that since Christianity promises redemption and other religions don't, you should go with Christianity?

Where does it say that?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:07 AM
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Cyrus, I tell myself obvious spirit possession is no stupider than any of the other things Christians believe/do, but intentionally choosing ignorance is more annoying. But I admit it's probably very strange that I'm involved with any of this at all, even as a bystander. Well, and as someone who tutors weekly and helps at the soup kitchen once a month.

My partner thinks the spirit possession stuff is really weird, though apparently it was something that went on in her parents' church and just not the one she and her brother attended growing up. I'm more casual about it, especially because it seems like one more way they're getting to co-opt the traditions they were raised in for their own purposes, and I suppose the black church has a long history of that anyhow.

I am just so fascinated by this place, but there's no way to get across all the weirdness. My partner was sort of chastised yesterday for not identifying as being part of a butch-femme couple (albeit by a "butch" woman who doesn't have any official standing in the church organization and is just nosy) and we're definitely far outliers for that reason and for being in an interracial and childless relationship. Seriously, it's so weird I can't look away! But they're good people and I try not to pigeonhole or gawk. And aaaaugh.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:08 AM
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but I can't get away from my fundamental position of why would you want to be part of that?

This. My liberal, Catholic mother and I have a standing truce about religion that failed a bit during the holidays. She often says things like, "I pray for you and brother" which I usually let roll of my back, but most recently led me to ask her (very nicely!) to please stop staying that because I find it condescending. She was shocked, and I'm pretty sure it hurt her feelings. Gah.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:08 AM
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24: Hilary Putnam remarked (I heard him with my own ears) that a telltale sign of an ideology is the resort to Pascal's wager.

From a theological perspective, I would say (and if they were not such dicks I might feel bad about it) that the "redemption" imagined by Douthat and Hume is not worth having, or even worth wanting.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:09 AM
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26: That's how I read the last few graphs, especially:

This is an agonized position, and if there's no escape upward -- or no God to take on flesh and come among us, as the Christmas story has it -- a deeply tragic one.

Framing things that way already tilts the game to JudeoChristianity, if not all the way to orthodox Christianity.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:11 AM
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From a theological perspective, I would say (and if they were not such dicks I might feel bad about it) that the "redemption" imagined by Douthat and Hume is not worth having, or even worth wanting.

Yeah, Christian heaven doesn't have that much appeal, does it? I seem to remember Mark Twain dscussing how great the sex in heaven is, but I suppoe he doesn't qualify as an orthodox Christian.
Mostly though it just seems like a better choice than eternal torment.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:18 AM
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29: That Putnam remark is great; I'll use it in the future.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:19 AM
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That RD column was so infuriating. No dude, really. I'm pretty fine with the 'tragic' position you describe.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:19 AM
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I think you're taking that line out of context:

Religion exists, in part, precisely because humans aren't at home amid these cruel rhythms. We stand half inside the natural world and half outside it. We're beasts with self-consciousness, predators with ethics, mortal creatures who yearn for immortality. This is an agonized position, and if there's no escape upward -- or no God to take on flesh and come among us, as the Christmas story has it -- a deeply tragic one. Pantheism offers a different sort of solution: a downward exit, an abandonment of our tragic self-consciousness, a re-merger with the natural world our ancestors half-escaped millennia ago.

I read that as saying that: The lack of religion is an agonized position (which I personally disagree with), and that all religions offer relief, for example here's how Christianity does it. (I also disagree that religions automatically offer relief, but that's not the point.) And then here's how Pantheism offers relief, since Americans are using it as a religion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:19 AM
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No, Heebie, you're reading Douthat out of context. The very last line is key: "But except as dust and ashes, Nature cannot take us back." As is the general, smug stench of Pascal's wager that hangs around Douthat and other theocons.

Douthat's saying that pantheism offers a relief that's ultimately false and unsatisfying, even though it's appealing to Americans because, you know, Tocqueville and all that.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:25 AM
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This probably makes me sound like an idiot, though.

It makes you sound deeply tolerant and understanding in a way that I simply am not. (That was already my impression from having read a little of your blog.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:25 AM
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On Facebook, my stepmother recently recommended a self-published religious book written by a strident pro-lifer.

WTF?!?!?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:26 AM
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37: Wait. The woman married to your father? That is...odd.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:29 AM
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The very last line is key: "But except as dust and ashes, Nature cannot take us back." As is the general, smug stench of Pascal's wager that hangs around Douthat and other theocons.

Douthat's saying that pantheism offers a relief that's ultimately false and unsatisfying, even though it's appealing to Americans because, you know, Tocqueville and all that.

Does it really mean all that? I mean, I agree with the statement "But except as dust and ashes, Nature cannot take us back." It's a big old naturalistic fallacy to think that Nature could take us back.

If I didn't know that Douthat has a different particular brand of asshat, I would argue that this whole thing was written by someone trying to say that all religions offer equally empty promises.

But since he does, I suppose you're right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:34 AM
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38:

yes. Very odd.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:36 AM
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gawk. And aaaaugh.

I will have to steal that at some point.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:38 AM
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A read a piece a while back (probably could have been any time in the last 10 years) by an evangelical christian who took the contrarian (for his milieu) position that public prayer at school events is a bad thing. Seems that the author had spent time in Hawaii (probably military) and had attended a football game on the North Shore of Oahu, where Buddhism is the faith of a plurality of the population. The guy had to sit (or stand) respectfully through a Buddhist prayer. The experience of feeling coerced into participation in an act of piety that offended his personal religious beliefs opened his eyes.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:50 AM
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That was here -- I posted on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:53 AM
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31: Sex in heaven.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:54 AM
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Buddhist football.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 10:55 AM
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The guy had to sit (or stand) respectfully through a Buddhist prayer.

Heavens! How perfectly beastly! Just horrid.

His conclusion is all right, I suppose, but for some reason the correspondent's tone reminds me of the pluperfect First Things editorial where John Neuhaus described the plight of the nuclear silo officer who found working as a nuclear silo officer fine and dandy but having to share said nuclear silo with a female officer an egalitarianism too far and an insupportable challenge to his chastity.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:00 AM
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As an atheist I am wholeheartedly in favor of government mandated religious observance. Few things are more destructive of faith than having it associated with political bureaucracy. The major downside of the ceremonial deism that permeates US government is that it's insufficiently specific to really undermine anything. We should require teaching of premillenial dispensationalism in our schools. Fundamentalist churches should get government money to pay their staff. Corporate boards should be required to have at least 51% representation by Biblical literalists. There should be a special tax on non-christians. People like me should be whipped in the street.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:01 AM
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I'm not sure whether Buddhism includes a concept of redemption that's comparable to the Christian notion,

While enlightenment and moksha are generally conceived very differently by Buddhists than salvation is conceived by Christians, the ideas do play basically the same role in the two religions. The religious studies guys call it the soteriological function. Its the end state, the thing you are going for.

Really, though Buddhists set the bar even lower than the followers of our L&S J.C. Buddhists believe in universal salvation. We are all Buddhas--we just don't know it.

Further, the Buddha taught that we should not only forgive our enemies, but be grateful to them. So H.H. the D.L. is grateful to the Chinese for invading Tibet--without them he would have never learned about western science, etc.

If anything, Tiger is much better off looking for forgiveness in than Christianity.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:01 AM
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The guy had to sit (or stand) respectfully through a Buddhist prayer.

At one point I dated a guy who was related to the author of "When Bad Things Happen To Good People". A copy was laying around, and I picked it up.

It opens with the author talking about how he was 35 when his son was diagnosed with that super sad disease where you age 10x faster than normal. He thought "How could this happen to me? I've lived such a good life!" And so he was motivated to think about it and write the book which I never read any further because that opening bit was so infuriating.

I was so appalled that you could make it to 35 without ever having that thought challenged. So incredibly insulting to anyone who has problems.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:07 AM
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Buddhists believe in universal salvation. We are all Buddhas--we just don't know it.

Interesting. I thought we were all supposed to be a little more removed from enlightenment than that (hence our need for the example/aid of the bodhisattvas, even though their second album never lived up to the promise of the first EP), but my knowledge of Buddhism is pretty meager.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:09 AM
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An interesting book on foregiveness is Amish Grace.

Maybe Hume should suggest that Tiger's wife become Amish.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:11 AM
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Just to complete the record, I'll tell y'all that after spending about three months last summer thinking hard about forgiveness and reading what I could find on it (most stuff was either religious or based on Worthington's work), I decided I wasn't interested. I finally found a few essays against forgiveness, liked them and quit the project.

Forgiveness: overrated.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:17 AM
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My uncle once said "Buddhism is the religion designed to help people cope with a life where thousands of generations before them live the same life that thousands of generations to come will live."

This imprinted on me as the lens through which I see Buddhism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:19 AM
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53 -- Ie, everyone. Or do you think your toys make you different?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:22 AM
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54: You don't think Buddhism might be have developed differently if there were a new set of toys every generation?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:24 AM
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If Buddha had a Wii, he might never have founded a religion.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:26 AM
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Buddhism is the religion designed to help people cope with a life where thousands of generations before them live the same life that thousands of generations to come will live

But all religions are like this because almost all of human history has been like this. If you want a religion for an era when each generation is supposed to get progressively more and more, you will have to look at one that developed after industrialism.

hence our need for the example/aid of the bodhisattvas

Generally, they are just there to help us become what we already are. But there are so many Buddhisms, and I am such a neophyte that I won't claim any knowledge.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:26 AM
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Hasbroism?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:27 AM
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49

I was so appalled that you could make it to 35 without ever having that thought challenged. So incredibly insulting to anyone who has problems.

This seems like a silly objection. Lots of people in fact make it to advanced ages without anything very bad happening to them. What's wrong with a book aimed at them? Of course it may not be a book which appeals to you.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:27 AM
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||

Why does the training program for our company's new software feature a five minute video explaining how to use the log in page for the new system--you enter your user name and password, just like every damn system on the planet--but no information anywhere on where exactly the log in page is?

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:31 AM
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Lots of people in fact make it to advanced ages without anything very bad happening to them.

I find it appalling that they assume that the bad things that happen to everyone else is because those people had it coming. I find the existence of this book a bit boggling.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:33 AM
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Lots of people in fact make it to advanced ages without anything very bad happening to them.

If they've also managed not to be aware of anything very bad happening to anyone who didn't deserve it, they're either implausibly sheltered or awfully unfeeling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:35 AM
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But all religions are like this because almost all of human history has been like this. If you want a religion for an era when each generation is supposed to get progressively more and more, you will have to look at one that developed after industrialism.

Oh sure. I think the statement has holes in it. But yet it imprinted on how I think about Buddhism.

Maybe the right way to read the quote is: different religions primarily answer different questions, and this is the one that Buddhism addresses particularly well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:35 AM
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||

This happens with training materials everywhere I go. They know that they need to explain some very basic things, but they never know which basic things. And they never think about what is actually going to be important for a user. I've been to three training sessions for this software that began with a description of the history of the decision to adopt the software. Just because you've been engrossed in the process for five years doesn't mean we need to know about it.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:36 AM
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60: I guess Megan really means it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:36 AM
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I've never read the book, but I've heard interviews with the guy -- and I think that it's not that he thought bad things happened to people because they deserved it, but that he was surprised to find himself thinking that way (despite not thinking he thought that way) when something quite awful finally happened to him.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:36 AM
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Why does the training program for our company's new software feature a five minute video explaining how to use the log in page for the new system--you enter your user name and password, just like every damn system on the planet--but no information anywhere on where exactly the log in page is?

Ha ha! Is it PeopleSoft?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:37 AM
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No need for speculation-- Buddhism developed pretty differently in the different places that it settled, and indeed has basically died along the Ganges, its place or origin.

Tian tai Buddhism is a Chinese branch, an interesting response to both doctrinal uncertainty (each new wandering monk brought new contradictory teachings, roughly speaking) and social change in the province where it arose.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:38 AM
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63: I wonder how your uncle would describe Christianity: "Christianity is the religion designed to ..."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:39 AM
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66 seems quite reasonable. I still think the opening of the book did not accomplish that nuanced position, though.

(But I was surprised to realize recently that I dated this guy a decade ago. I wasn't the most nuanced person then, either. Shocking!)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:40 AM
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they assume that the bad things that happen to everyone else

I haven't read the book, so I'm speaking purely ex recto but other people probably don't much enter into that sort of mindset. When tragedy strikes, though, "why is this unfair thing happening to me" is a standard part of the grieving/coping process.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:41 AM
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"Christianity is the religion designed to ..."bring salvation to all mankind.

Duh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:42 AM
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I wonder how your uncle would describe Christianity: "Christianity is the religion designed to ..."

I would answer this as "...give people hope that their life will pay off in an afterlife, while sabotaging their belief that it could improve in this life."

Maybe I'm being too cynical.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:43 AM
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but other people probably don't much enter into that sort of mindset. When tragedy strikes, though, "why is this unfair thing happening to me" is a standard part of the grieving/coping process.

I know. But "Therefore other people..." is an immediate corollary, which hugely aggravates me. Even if generally people aren't taking the sentiment there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:45 AM
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I can sort of understand a rational explanation, but I can't get away from my fundamental position of why would you want to be part of that? Of course, I feel this way about MCC, too.

No, I've never had any great urge to join the Marylebone Cricket Club either.

The only Buddhist I'm at all close to was raised in the bosom of Mother Church, but converted after her life went temporarily down the shitter, and has never looked back since.

Mostly though it just seems like a better choice than eternal torment.

Eternity in the company of Oral Roberts and suchlike differs from eternal torment hoiw, exactly?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:46 AM
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Helpy-chalk gets it right in 48. In any case, it's not Woods's own faith that's the problem, it's the failure of the self-styled Christians who decline to forgive him.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:47 AM
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"Christianity is the religion designed to ..."

... ensure that Caesar gets rendered unto that which is his.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:48 AM
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"Christianity is the religion designed to..."

I call category mistake. What we call "Christianity" tends to vary: Do we mean the Nicaean Creed? The Old Testament stuff that we sort of inherited and sort of ignore as we choose? The apparatus of congregation, clergy and hierarchy? The things we do in company in imitation of the Last Supper? The putative intention of Paul?

I suppose something similar could be asked about Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:55 AM
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I was so appalled that you could make it to 35 without ever having that thought challenged. So incredibly insulting to anyone who has problems.

No, it means there are people who have never had any earth-shattering problems and aren't close to anyone who has any earth-shattering problems and therefore don't know how to cope.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 11:58 AM
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Ooh, pwned by JBS, yet again.

As far as the point of Christianity goes, I find the prospect of an afterlife one billion times less depressing than the prospect of no afterlife, so I can see why people aren't eager to jump at Richard Dawkins's promise of freedom from dogma.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:01 PM
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55, 56, 68 -- There are variants, but, I'm going to guess, they have central core tenets in common: the nature of life, the overarching solution to the problem life presents. You'd always get cultural baggage of one sort or another, but those are details.

I'm sure the Buddha would say that his pre-enlightenment life was every bit as exciting as having a wii.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:02 PM
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Lots of people in fact make it to advanced ages without anything very bad happening to them.

Including the Buddha himself, according to the story. (This would clearly fall under LB's "implausibly sheltered" exception, of course.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:04 PM
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it's the failure of the self-styled Christians who decline to forgive him.

It annoys me that I'm supposed to take a Christian redemption (in Tiger's own and other Christian eyes) as a sufficient credential for rehabilitation, even though it isn't my faith. Or that's how I understand the blog-telephone version of what Hume said.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:07 PM
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even though it isn't my faith

Then whether you take it as sufficient or not is immaterial. You aren't saved anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:09 PM
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83: It should annoy you more to be drafted into the ranks of the real redeeming rehabilitators against your will: we should be conscientious objectors in the war against the last iota of celebrity vice.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:10 PM
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I'm having trouble understanding that Christian football fan's objection to remaining respectfully silent during a Buddhist or Shinto prayer. Granting that he sees it as paganism, is the only acceptable Christian response to storm out or loudly denounce the worship of false gods or something? Hundreds of years of religious tolerance are out the window? Does his congregation go picket Hindu temples to denounce their idolatry?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:10 PM
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Neither saved nor chosen. Half-breeds have it rough.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:13 PM
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67: Ha ha! Yes it is!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:13 PM
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Ha ha! Yes it is!

I'm sorry.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:14 PM
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Ha ha! Oh man.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:15 PM
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Granting that he sees it as paganism, is the only acceptable Christian response to storm out or loudly denounce the worship of false gods or something?

I believe I said something about "Wal-mart Christianity" above. "Witnessing" (i.e., being unforgivable rude and obnoxious) to people from different places, who have different histories and the thoughts and desires that often accompany them, is one of the most important aspects of the exurban Christian's life. One has to ask the new neighbors whether they've accepted Jesus as something Martin Luther wouldn't recognize, has to throw a tantrum about Darwin in high school biology, has to make a big public point of declining the Chinese neighbor's offer of a moon cake, because Someone is watching. It's always Rush Week at Jesus House.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:16 PM
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As I understood the letter, he thought that his options were (1) stand, which is what all the people worshiping false gods were doing, so he couldn't do that as a matter of principle (which, a little loopy but I can see), or (2) remain quietly seated, which he believed his hosts would find offensive. I kind of doubt that anyone would find quiet non-participation offensive, but if you believe him about what his hosts would be offended by, then he didn't have a non-obnoxious way to not participate in the heathen worship.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:16 PM
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It annoys me that I'm supposed to take a Christian redemption... as a sufficient credential for rehabilitation, even though it isn't my faith.

That's why, for the sake of us more secular types, Tiger will also be expected to go on Oprah.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:16 PM
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I'm having trouble understanding that Christian football fan's objection to remaining respectfully silent during a Buddhist or Shinto prayer.

Me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:16 PM
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I'm having trouble understanding how one plays Buddhist football.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:19 PM
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78.last: That was my point, though CC makes a case for certain central shared tenets in strands of Buddhist thought; yet I find it nearly impossible to identify such things in Christianity. For example, while there is an afterlife in all versions, the notion that it's the payoff for this here embodied life is not universally shared. Original sin? Mm, not unique to Christianity, but insofar as salvation is key, it might be a start.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:19 PM
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94 before seeing 92.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:20 PM
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It's always Rush Week at Jesus House.

Brilliant.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:21 PM
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While Christianity might be sufficient for Tiger, someone like Newt Gingrich needs to try something stronger.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:26 PM
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98: Agreed. Flippanter is one of my commenter heroes.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:26 PM
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Lots of people in fact make it to advanced ages without anything very bad happening to them reading the book of Job


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:26 PM
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AWB and I saw Wm. Blake's Job illustrations at the Morgan yesterday. Amazing stuff. (Sadly if you missed it, yesterday was the last day of the show.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:28 PM
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I'm having trouble understanding how one plays Buddhist football.

It's great when you get to hear the sound of one helmet crashing.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:29 PM
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how one plays Buddhist football

With full awareness in the moment. When one is playing Buddhist football, one is playing Buddhist football.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:30 PM
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||

No more masturbating to Mary Daly

How inappropriate can I get

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:32 PM
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With full awareness in the moment. When one is playing Buddhist football, one is playing Buddhist football.

You have offended my family and you have insulted the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Shaolin. Prepare to receive.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:32 PM
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I'm having trouble understanding how one plays Buddhist football.

Mindfully.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:32 PM
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Buddhist football

It can get tedious when you get penalty after penalty called for "illegal receiver downfield" everytime the QB calls for the receivers to run the "Noble Eightfold Pass".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:37 PM
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One play at a time?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:37 PM
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Buddhist football fans: they always root for the om team.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:45 PM
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One play at a time?

That's recovering alcoholic football.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:45 PM
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recovering alcoholic football

Nobody wants to play DT in that league.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:47 PM
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Nobody wants to play DT in that league

...and it's so hard to follow the action when there are no names or numbers on the jerseys.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 12:49 PM
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in Buddhism the emphasis is on understanding and accepting what is, including the human condition, and in turn being transformed by that awareness

Interestingly, this describes fairly well the philosophy of my personal little makeshift understanding of Christianity. Which (1) perhaps is why I've abandoned nearly all hope of ever finding a church I'd be comfortable attending and (2) apparently suggests I may have inadvertently converted to Buddhism.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 4:10 PM
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102: I haven't seen all of his engravings from the Book of Job, but there was an amazing exhibit of his work at the Petit Palais last year that I loved. So much fun!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 5:01 PM
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(Or really, so much suffering and torment and dark ecstasy. But fun for the viewer!)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 5:07 PM
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I can't figure out if Hume's underlying belief is
(a) that Tiger wouldn't have screwed around with so many different women if he were a Christian like Mark Sanford, just with one; or
(b) No True Scotsman -- when a purportedly Christian person commits adultery, Hume simply assumes that they aren't *really* Christian.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 01- 5-10 2:25 PM
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No results found for "jesus is my wal-mart"

walmart sells 1/3 of compact dics (recorded mucis.)


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:42 PM
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huh, i clicked on thron an remembered she had some other thread where i just didn't get what was going on too.

i always felt a bit weird witnessing, but since then i've also felt weird doing things like flirting or political door2door


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:02 PM
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