Politics

  • Boycott Whole Foods? No Way, says Way. Paid Member

    So, have you decided to boycott Whole Foods because the very green grocer's Libertarian founder John Mackey sounded off against universal health care in the Wall Street Journal? If you haven't yet decided, you should read what our favorite green Buddhist has to say first. The Elephant Journal's Waylon ("Way") Lewis made it pretty clear over at the Huffington Post last week that things are never as simple as they seem. Take a look—Way has initiated quite the lively exchange. Why am I writing about this now? More »
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    Political Religion Paid Member

    It is generally accepted that the intermingling of the religious and the political is not always fortuitous. However, political protests led by Buddhist monks in Burma were received sympathetically in much of the world. The Dalai Lama’s position as both political and religious leader of the exiled Tibetan community is, largely, unquestioned. Certain situations seem to warrant, indeed demand, a sympathetic view of religious forays into politics. In this light, news about the eviction of Thich Nhat Hanh’s followers from their monastery in Vietnam by the state police is particularly appropriate (if a little late). Hanh, who is well known for his criticism of the Vietnam War, has urged the Vietnamese government to “disband religious police.” My question, then, is, “When is ‘religious intervention’ all right?” Should religious groups stand up to totalitarian regimes? More »
  • Remembering Buddhism in Afghanistan Paid Member

    On the eve of Afghanistan's presidential elections amidst increasing unrest and violence, CNN contributor John Blake details the history of a country strikingly different than the Afghanistan we know today. While recent media coverage has centered on America's troops in Afghanistan and the wave of violence leading up to tomorrow's elections, Blake instead focuses on the country's untold story, exploring the social climate of Afghanistan during the "golden era" of the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. Back then Kabul was known as "the Paris of Central Asia," the moderately religious government recognized women's rights, and the country was politically stable. Blake delves into the roots of this peace and tolerance, interviewing Afghanis who believe that it can be traced back to a time when Afghanistan stood at the crossroads of ancient civilizations and the Silk Road allowed people of many cultures and religions to mix easily. More »
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    Females Fighting for Freedom Paid Member

    A recent article published by the Buddhist Channel points to two of the world’s most influential forces in advocating for social change—and both happen to be women.  Former President of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, as well as Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma have both worked to promote democracy and equality in the East. Aquino, who recently passed, mobilized in large part the take-down of the former dictatorship in the Philippines. “Her rallying of common folk in pacifist protests sent a ricocheting message to the world that inspired uprisings from South Korea to the Soviet bloc.” More »
  • Sri Lanka's "blend of faiths" a cause for hope Paid Member

    In the September issue of the Atlantic, Robert Kaplan writes that any hope for a lasting peace in Sri Lanka will depend on its ability to reconnect to the "blend of faiths" that lay at the very foundation of the ancient Kingdom of Kandy, from which the famous city in the island's heartland takes its name: More »
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    Aung San Suu Kyi Convicted Paid Member

    Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years' hard labor for violating the terms of her house arrest, but that sentence was quickly commuted with the result that her existing sentence of house arrest was effectively extended. “The outcome of this trial has never been in doubt,” Jared Genser, her international counsel in Washington, said Tuesday after the verdict was announced. “The real question is how the international community will react — will it do more than simply condemn this latest injustice?” An American, John Yettaw, who trespassed on the property where Aung San Suu Kyi was held and was accused of violating immigration laws, was given a seven-year sentence, including four years' hard labor. More »