Tag Archives: peace

Pope to Visit Myanmar

I like to string words together in unusual sequences, modifiers next to nouns or verbs where they wouldn’t normally belong. For instance, in Higher than my Nose there’s a line about how a particular school “exacerbates learning.”

This evening, I jumped in my wife’s car. She keeps it tuned to NPR. The story was about an ethnic minority in Myanmar called the Rohinga. The Pope, always favoring the oppressed, spoke on their behalf in August, and is planning to visit Myanmar soon. This sentence pegged my meter:

“The Pope was advised not to even mention the Rohinga for fear of reprisals by Buddhist fundamentalists.”

WHAT!?! To quote Sesame Street, “One of these things is not like the others.”

I have to admit, I hadn’t considered the possibility that there might be such a thing as a Buddhist Fundamentalist. But OK, so there is. And what should they be about? There’s a nice .pdf that does a pretty good job of summarizing Buddhism  

Bottom line: there is suffering in the world, and by faithfully following the 8-fold path, you can do your part to alleviate it. And first on the list is

1. Do not kill. This is sometimes translated as “not harming” or an absence of violence.

OK. That’s fundamental. And a fundamentalist Buddhist, I suppose, is one dedicated to following these 8 precepts as closely as possible. So maybe “fundamentalist” and “Buddhist” can coexist in the same sentence without the sentence bursting into flame.

I don’t see any room for “reprisal.” The radio story definitely intoned “violence towards the Pope.” The goal of this Buddhist board game (think chutes & ladders) is to live the 8-fold path diligently enough to end up in Nirvana. Maybe these guys gave up on that and are planning to come back as pond scum. Go figure.

Pray for peace!