Friday, August 11, 2006

Buddhist Baby Killers

I have no doubt that Zen Buddhist teacher Tony Somlia is sincere in his yearning for peace. Somlia wrote an article in the Journal Times today entitled "For true peace to appear, worry about all babies."

Somlia writes, "No one owns the truth. To proclaim there is only one path to peace is arrogant and divisive." And, "People continue to make unfortunate choices under the erroneous impression that they are right. The skills needed to enact peace are buried under the arrogance of being strong-headed. We fail to listen to each other because of the attachment of anger in our heads. Sharing resources scares us to death because we selfishly cling to a quality of life that is an illusion. Never wondering about our culpability in the creation of massive killing machines, we sleep well at night foolishly believing that our God supports this insanity. As a result, many babies die."

Now, at the risk of being called an arrogant, angry, strong-headed, selfish, foolish, baby killer, I wonder how Somlia would address the problem with Islamic extremists who would like to slit the throats of non-Muslims.

Somlia does not address the Islamic extremist problem, but he does offer one path to peace. "We do believe that there is suffering in this world, that there is cause to this suffering. Our contemplative practice looks deeply to find the medicine for the human sickness that creates war and kills indiscriminately. Our goal is to realize the role we play in this madness and then act on the peace found naturally in our hearts and minds. Our Zen Center's current effort is the creation of a peace garden, which has been five years in the making, on the grounds of the DeKoven Center."

So there it is. Let us all grow peace gardens. This will surely stop the terrorists in their tracks.

Somlia is a dangerous man. No, you don't have to cross the street to avoid him. I am sure he is quite pleasant. But his philosophy is dangerous. He thinks that there is no evil that can't be overcome by peaceful means like planting gardens. Ignoring evil, or engaging in fanciful, child-like notions that planting gardens can melt the hearts of terrorists, are dangerous ideas because they suppose the real evils that we face will go away. They will not. Only we will be less prepared to fight the evil that needs fighting. If Somlia's philosophy prevails, we will all forcibly become Muslims, or we will have our throats slashed. Needless to say, many more babies will die.


Preachrboy said...

Well said, as usual, Denis.

Note the assault on absolute truth - "No one owns the truth, to proclaim there is only one path is arrogant and divisive". Typical post-modern tripe. Even while asserting an supposed truth himself, he denies truth. So is he "arrogant and divisive" or just hopelessly inconsistent?

Denis Navratil said...

Thank you preachrboy. It is interesting to dissect the thinking, if you can call it that, of the "peace" philosophy. I put peace in quotes because the philosophy can only lead to violence and oppression, as it ignores the existence of the evil which must be confronted.

Anonymous said...

Denis, I don't believe Mr. Somlai was implying that merely the United States was somehow wrong and that we should lay down and let extremists over run us. Rather, he means that ALL who chose violence as a means to "solve" their problems needs take a closer look at themselves-- which means not only us, but also the Islamic extremists and anyone else who thinks killing other people will achieve anything other than bringing more killing.

Denis Navratil said...

To anonymous. I think that you are being a bit generous in your assessment of what Mr. Somlia meant. He did not mention terrorists but he did find us, as in the USA, guilty of needless violence. Now I suspect that we may well have made numerous tactical mistakes in our fight against terrorism, but I do think that violence is sometimes needed to confront evil. And if throat slitting, hijacking, suicidal and homicidal Islamic (their claim, not mine) terrorists are not an evil that we must confront with deadly force, and other means, then the word evil has lost all meaning. Regarding your last sentence, the killing of terrorists, before they detonate themselves on a bus, will not neccessarily result in more killing. It might result in a busload of innocents spared a gruesome death.