When Buddhists call for genocide


The Buddhists in Sri Lanka haven’t always been very nice to their Hindu minority either. Buddhism probably isn’t any worse than any other religion, but the hippie stereotype of Buddhists as all-tolerant wonderful people doesn’t really hold up to reality.


We are all just a measurable amount of stress away from tribalism it seems.


Seems like a few more folks need to read the original texts and not just use the banner of religion as a social/tribal rallying call (sadly, buddhists as well…)

Probably one of the more relevant quotes from the article:
“In this culture of devotion, the teachings of the noble truths and
eightfold path, of nonviolence, mindfulness, meditation, and virtue, are
not emphasized. And the Buddha’s admonition to see and think for
yourself is lost entirely.”

And the most:

"Neither in anger nor hatred

Should anyone wish harm to another."

—The Buddha, in the Metta Sutta


Completely right, that the hippie stereotype is what makes this news article surprising to us in the West. Perhaps not as long and bloody as some other religions, but plenty of history to draw on:


Well thank goodness we Christians don’t have that problem. Peace on Earth, don’t’cha know?


Being a typically ignorant American with stereotypical views of Buddhists, I was surprised when I met a photojournalist who told me that he had taken pictures of Buddhist riots in southeast Asia. Buddhist? Riots?
I’ve come to think that religion is only “nice” when its practitioners are in a minority and have very little power. That’s when being “nice” is a good survival strategy. For a majority, being “nice” is not the only option. “Crushing your enemies” is often the preferred strategy.


The thing to remember about Buddhism is that all through its history, the leity have been largely separated from the “pursuit of enlightenment” that we attribute as the religion’s primary goal as exemplified by the culturally prominent monks of the religion.

It’s already hard enough to live “morally” and to seek wisdom as a privileged recluse in a monastery full of knowledge, removed from the hardships of everyday life among the ignorant peasantry. To expect much in the way of moral behavior from the uneducated masses has been seen as foolishness for centuries.

Hence you have monks being vegetarians while ostensibly “Buddhist” commoners eat meat; hence you have monks being chaste while ostensibly “Buddhist” commoners are decidedly unchaste; hence you have monks being pacifists while ostensibly “Buddhist” commoners are violent and murderous.

This is of course not to say that the leity are not held to any standards of morality whatsoever, but historically the standards and their enforcement have been very lax.


Y’all realize that most Chinese folks for, oh, 1500 years or so, have been Buddhist, right? Same goes for Japanese for the last 1,000.

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All Buddhists are peaceful pacifists in the same way that all Christians love their neighbors…


I think the award for “most ironic call for genocide of the week” still goes to this guy. It would be like someone from Liberia writing an op-ed advocating slavery.

You might want to double-check that, I don’t think it’s right.

Anger & hatred are fine motivators for doing someone wrong, but to be effective it is best to dismiss them entirely. Maybe ol’ Buddha was just reminding people of mindfulness when it came time to get all genocidal? Like, don’t think of your enemy or grievances when sharpening your swords, think of your swords? j/k/kinda

The article is specifically about an extremist fringe of fearmongering monks inciting violence.

Going to leave this link here, for anyone wanting further, though somewhat dry, reading on the history of the intersection of Buddhists and violence.

(There’s also Brian Victoria’s Zen at War for a narrower focus, but I can’t comment on that one as I haven’t read it. I’ve heard good reviews of it, but I found his section in Buddhist Warfare to be somewhat disappointing due to its defensiveness.)

You’re probably exactly right as far as being more effective when you’re not emotionally invested/have your judgement clouded, but methinks that’s not exactly the angle that old Siddartha was going for…

And if you want to get all Zen about it, you should only be thinking of sharpening your sword when you’re sharpening your sword. (be in the moment and all)… j/k/kinda…


Well, in this case you’re wrong. :slight_smile:

Victoria’s book has received some rather negative reviews in Buddhist Studies academia for taking evidence out of context (and maybe some outright untruths) to pain a picture in service of an agenda.


Seems like peaceful religions like to ignore the peaceful teachings.

You have learned that they were told, “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.” But what I tell you is this: Do not set yourself against the man who wrongs you. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him your left. If a man wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. If a man in authority makes you go one mile, go with him two. Give when you are asked to give; and do not turn your back on a man who wants to borrow.

Christian churches are baffled that the young folks are turning away from the churches, at a time when you’ll hear preachers cherry-pick the New Testament to fit their politically conservative agenda…

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This passage from the Christian bible is written in a libelous or misunderstanding manner. The Jewish bible, which comes with an intact legal system which does not support such punishments as gouging eyes or pulling teeth. This snippet of a snippet is actually intended to assess civil damages, what good does knocking out a co-religionists eye or tooth do?

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