May 11, 2006

Religious Intolerance

Right wing Christians? Islamofascists? No--the Dalai Lama:
Although he is known for his tolerant, humane views, he is a surprisingly harsh critic of homosexuality. If you are a Buddhist, he says, it is wrong. "Full stop.

No way round it.

"A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife - astonishing. It is the same with a husband and wife using certain sexual practices. Using the other two holes is wrong."

At this point, he looks across at his interpreter - who seems mainly redundant - to check that he has been using the right English words to discuss this delicate matter. The interpreter gives a barely perceptible nod.

"A Western friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it," the Dalai Lama continues, warming to his theme. "But the purpose of sex is reproduction, according to Buddhism. The other holes don't create life. I don't mind - but I can't condone this way of life."
He does not call for any beheadings, or other punishment--a Buddhist wouldn't anyway--but he plainly states that according to Buddhist practices, such lifestyles are "wrong". Hmmm, I wonder what the Left would say about this--or stay quiet as they apparently have.

The point is not that the Dalai Lama declares such behavior wrong, and therefore it is wrong. The point is that very enlightened people can have serious disagreements on what constitutes proper conduct in life. Opposing politically (public life) or on spiritual/ethical/moral grounds (private life) the conduct of another's life does not amount to discrimination or intolerance. Unfairly labeling those who oppose your own preferences, however, does. Unfortunately many on the Left seem to have forgotten that.


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