July 22, 2009
Erik Curren, Democratic candidate for Virginia's House of Delegates, is a practicing Buddhist who also calls himself a Christian. Curren says practicing Christianity and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive, according to The News Leader, which covers the central Shenandoah Valley and the district in which Curren is running.
But Curren can't expect a Buddhist bounce. At least that's what Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles thinks: "I asked Curren about his faith and he told me he is a Buddhist, and for me, that is an issue... I don't see this district electing a Buddhist."
Pyles, a fellow Democrat, made an unsuccessful bid for the same seat in 2001.
Sour grapes? Maybe. But Curren may have sour karma: he wrote a book called Buddha's Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today.
Pyles, a member Jerusalem Chapel United Brethren Church, in Churchville, VA, says he's voting for Curren anyway.