Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pope and Buddhist "fundamentalists" (audio)

Bhante, Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Pat Macpherson, Crystal Quintero, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Mitch Jeserich (KPFA FM, Berkeley);; The World (; NPR (
Theravada monks with Pope Francis as he visits Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka (

Pope on sticks and stones: What did you call my mother? Bam! (
Pope Francis shows [his violent] side:
You'd better not insult my mother [or I will punch your face]
Pope Francis sits next to Hindu leader Ndu-Kurukkal Siva Sri T. Mahadeva during the Interreligious Encounter in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Jan. 13, 2015 (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters).
Pope Francis made an adept, subtle move to win over a nation alienated by a legendary predecessor -- and then showed off his straight-talking side Thursday, telling reporters on a plane he would punch out someone who insulted his mother.

He said "Yo mama," and I punched him.
The issue came up in a talk from the pope to reporters en route from Sri Lanka to the Philippines. "No one,'' the pope said, referring to last week's assault on the satiric [French] magazine Charlie Weekly, ''can kill in the name of God. This is an aberration [unless it’s one of our Crusades then it’s just business as usual over at the Vatican where we kill and torture in the name of our God and have for 1,000 years].”
The pontiff added there were limits to freedom of expression, however. “One cannot react violently, but if (someone) says something bad about my mother, he can expect [me to react violently with] a punch. It’s to be expected,” Francis said.

Not a "good" Catholic but Catholic: Hitler
[So let's see if we have this straight. This Catholic pope, there being non-Catholic popes believe it or not, will violently slam you in the face for calling his mother "fat"? How about calling his God something? How about satire, how does he feel about that? Catholicism and Catholic Church leaders have always had an affinity for censorship and fascism, as when the Vatican befriended and encouraged Nazi Adolf Hitler and dictator Benito Mussolini, both themselves nominal Catholics.]

Buddhist monks welcome Pope Francis (JC)
“There are a lot of people who speak badly about other religions. They make fun of them. What happens is what happens with my friend (who insults my mother). There is a limit.”
The long exchange followed a successful trip to Sri Lanka, in which he made a key symbolic addition on Wednesday: a quick visit to a Buddhist temple in the capital, Colombo. The pontiff removed his shoes and listened respectfully while monks chanted and prayed, and his hosts treated him to a rare view of some relics of descendants of the Buddha.
The brief temple stopover speaks to the success of Francis' two-day trip to Sri Lanka. The last papal visit to the South Asian island nation was 20 years ago, and Pope John Paul II was boycotted by Buddhist leaders on that occasion. More
Pope Francis releases dove while he visited a shrine in Madhu. He said there must be "reparation" for the "evil" Sri Lanka has suffered during its 26-year-long civil war (AFP/BBC).
Buddhist "elder" (thera), Pope Francis (center), Hindu swami bow heads as the Argentinian pontiff met leaders from many religious groups on Tuesday in Sri Lanka (Reuters/BBC).
Soft dictator "King" Rajapaksa's coup failed.
Pope Francis I is in Buddhist Sri Lanka, an island off the southern tip of India that is 70% Theravada Buddhist and a stronghold of early Indian Buddhist tradition.

He is there to rally 7% of the population, which is Christian, and to promote or at least give lip service to "reconciliation" among the formerly warring Buddhist Sinhalese (70%) and Hindu Tamils formerly struggling to split the island in two to have their own homeland (Tamil Eelam) in the north, just across the strait from the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

But a larger issue has arisen on the island during what was once Asia's longest running civil war: the ridiculous rise of "fundamentalist" Buddhist monastics and their lay supporters who resent the island long established Muslim minority.

The nearby Maldives were once Buddhist strongholds but were converted, it is said, when a Muslim merchant boat with Muslim saints was shipwrecked there. Muslims have long lived alongside Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Catholics, secularists, tourists, and the tiny and diminishing indigenous population of original aboriginal animists.
Are popes idiotic, hypocritical, or what?
Bravo, bravo to some acts of violence. And let's make the ETs Catholic! (
Catholic view: St. Michael (
Isn't it amazing how many times the great pontiffs put their foot in their mouths?
The Nazi Pope, the traitorous and hated retired Pope Benedict, was bad enough writing in his memoirs how he and his brother were members of the Hitler Youth, which much embarrassed the corporation's officials within the Vatican who then went on to lie in trying to deny it. But there it is in writing and widely published.

Now we get this great pope, but he goes around fondling and washing young boys' feet and calling it an act of "humility," holds and kisses baby boys in creepy ways, says "Who am I to judge?" when it comes to his fellow gay bishops and child molesting priests in the Catholic Church, denies nuns advancement and females a better place in the church, then says he wants to baptize space aliens when they arrive.

(He did not say if they arrive because he surely knows they are already here and have been for a long time, and the Church will eventually make the announcement because no one believes governments -- like England and Canada -- that disclose their official secret UFO files).

Pope in Asia: This is how I'd punch him if he called my mother a name (BBC video).

If this pope is not an idiot, which he probably is NOT, is he a hypocrite? Case in point: He goes to Buddhist Sri Lanka, with its own Buddhist "fundamentalist" hypocrites, to preach "truth and reconciliation" to the Buddhists and Hindus after a long civil war and to canonize the island's first "saint" -- then he ends up criticizing the Charlie Hebdo attackers AND in the same breath stating he would punch someone in the face for calling his mother a name.

On other occasions he, or his PR firm, say he has been misquoted or his words mistranslated. What will they say for him this time? [Today on The BBC Newshour (Jan. 15, 2015 podcast) and The World the rationalizing/PR damage control began by saying something to the effect of those Latins, unlike we Anglo-Saxons, have a frisky way of speaking, not literal like us.]

Q: Patty, Sandy, is this pope an example of how Catholics really are (like that Catholic website that quotes Jesus as saying he didn't come to Earth to do anything but wage war, allegedly a biblical passage), or is he an idiot, or a hypocrite? A: That's hard to say. He's much better than the previous pope, but he's no John Paul II, who almost singlehandedly dismantled the Church and its central tenets while being beloved by the whole world like the 14th Dalai Lama.  

Q: So not an idiot and not a great Catholic...a hypocrite then? A: Possibly. But a goodhearted one! Q: And why are so many of the right wing maniacs at FOX News Roman Catholic? A: Maybe they're trying to prove their mettle to FOX's largely white Evangelical Christian fundamentalist-leaning viewers. Q: Yeah, then, why not be fundamentalists?

A: That's hard to say for sure, but even if Puritans burned witches in Salem, they still didn't do half of what Catholics have done and still do in the name of religion -- wars, misogyny, torture, Crusades, Inquisitions, helping Hitler, anti-Semitism, fascism, corporate theocracy, hypocrisy, continuing the countless crimes of the "Holy" Roman Empire. Joining FOX News just seems like a nature offshoot of that behavior. Ask Garrison Keillor (see below). Sure there's angry Bill O'Reilly to be embarrassed about, but what about FOX's rabid Roman Catholic Judge Jeanine Pirro? All those Sunday masses and all that plastic surgery just to spew such venom? Fear mongering about a "reverse-Crusade" coming back to bite us:

FOX News' Roman Catholic Pirro: "We need to kill them. We need to KILL them...You're in danger, I'm in danger. We're at war...Our job is to arm those Muslims to the teeth" (FOX).
Entrance to Buddha Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka (Richard Silver/rjsnyc/
Sri Lanka was once an idyllic place, enchanted and full of serendipity, but was ruined by war.
The disastrous "Buddha Power Army"
Sri Lankan novelist Nayomi Munaweera helps expose fundamentalists (
Stupa decorating (
AUDIO: Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors, on the embarrassing "Buddhist fundamentalists," war crimes of the ousted political family, and strange recent Sri Lankan elections, where the winner seems to have come out of nowhere. The new leader was inserted into the process in November and is now in office with a mandate, after an alleged 80% of the island's electorate turned out to vote -- the typical pattern of a selection rather than election.

Who meddled in Sri Lanka's democracy? The usual suspects used to be India and the UK but now it looks like it may have been the USA. Letters and Politics (Jan. 13, 2015, 10:00 am download this clip (MP3, 10.27 MB) or PLAY clip on computer's media player. Also on this episode, "The Battle for Radio" with Victor Prickard, author of America’s Battle for Media Democracy
Why does Sri Lanka have Catholics?
Newly minted "St. Vaz" of Sri Lanka holds disfigured crucifix of Catholic God (AP).
Get me Vaz, I need Vaz before I visit.
(WQ) The Island of Lanka (Ceylon, Serendib) has long been attractive to merchants and European imperialists such as the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, who set up a fort at Galle and a large stronghold in Goa, India. Joseph Vaz was born in Goa and came to Sri Lanka to spread Catholicism.
  • Born in Portuguese colony of Goa in 1651, arrived in Sri Lanka in 1687
  • Jailed multiple times by Dutch authorities for helping Catholics, dressed as a beggar to hide himself
  • Produced prayer books in Sinhalese and Tamil
  • By his death in 1711 he had earned himself the title Apostle of Sri Lanka
Pagan glory in Catholic hands.
Who was Sri Lanka's first canonized Catholic saint? One is voted into sainthood in Catholicism, which is not nearly as difficult as it used to be when the Vatican had the Office of the Devil's Advocate, its actual name, to test, verify, and debunk claims of sainthood from proposed candidates. Without anyone formally adopting the contrary position in an adversarial legal system, it is only a matter of popularity, money, and expediency to get canonized. For example, just about anything will count for a "miracle." Vaz died centuries ago, I get told by my doctor that I have diabetes, I pray to Vaz, "OH, cure my diabetes!" On my next check up I'm fine. Miracle! MIRACLE!

We rule Europe and the world like royalty!
He's a saint, a saint, canonize him quick! This testimony by me will be put in Vaz's file as proof of sainthood, no Devil's Advocate will come and question me or possibly even verify my claim at all. But Vaz would not be canonized for that. No, he would be canonized for political reasons when a pope visits a land the Church wishes to advance Catholicism. That's why he gets rushed to the front of the canonization line. And what does Catholicism even think a "saint" is? From what we have been able to gather, if one is in heaven then one is a saint. That's it. That's all. Surely the connotation is wider than that, but the denotation does not seem to amount to any more than that.
  • Sri Lanka statistics: +70% Buddhist, 12% Hindu, 9% Muslim, 7% Christian/Roman Catholic, less than 1% aboriginal.
Say You’re One of Them, Nayomi
(New York Times, 9-26-14)
In one of the many startling scenes in Island of a Thousand Mirrors, Nayomi Munaweera’s first [fictionalized] novel [based on real life events], a Sri Lankan girl riding the train to school is suddenly surrounded by a machete-wielding [Buddhist] mob, who demand proof she isn’t [a minority Hindu] Tamil.

In her panic, she recites the Buddhist sutras “preaching unattachment, impermanence, the [impersonal nature of life and] death,” an unholy trinity that could apply to all civil wars.

This chilling exchange reminded me of a conversation I once had on a London bus with a Somali refugee, who swerved from banal chitchat into dark reminiscence. He recalled a moment in Mogadishu when he was forced to recite his genealogy, the string of grandfathers’ names that place all Somalis within their clans, and he borrowed a school friend’s lineage, as his own would have marked him for death.

Rajapaksa: I kept the civil war going, like past leaders, to consolidate my powers. Then I ended it decisively with war crimes. Then when you wouldn't vote me into a third term, I planned a coup de tat, which failed because the military wouldn't back my plan.
The weight of these humiliations, momentary yet everlasting, is the ballast of a narrative that ebbs and flows in time and space.

From the maternal expanse of the Indian Ocean to the sterile swimming pools of Los Angeles [with its large Sri Lankan Sinhalese Buddhist population], the lives of Munaweera’s characters are defined by bodies of water that reflect the state of their [minds], including the corpse-clogged wells and lagoons of the Tamil north and the playful shores of the Sinhal[ese] south, alive with flying fish and ancient turtles. More

Pope Francis disembarks from the plane upon his arrival at the airport in Manila, Philippines, on Wednesday. In comments to reporters aboard the plane, Francis said though the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine was an "aberration," free speech "cannot make provocations," especially against people's faith.
Jet set pope does Asia hop from Buddhist to Catholic lands. Seen here arriving in Philippines, the most Catholic place in Asia (Ettore Ferrari/EPA/LANDOV).

Pope Francis backs freedom of speech -- but "within limits"
Krishnadev Calamur (NPR, Jan. 15, 2015)
The pontiff said there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it concerns religion. He was answering a question about the deadly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Weekly.

Pope Francis says there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it comes to someone's religion, in comments aboard the Papal Plane that made reference to the deadly attack last week on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Francis defended freedom of speech, calling it a fundamental human right, but said it must not cause offense.
"It is true we cannot react violently," he told reporters today en route to the Philippines. "But if Dr. [Alberto] Gasbarri here, a great friend, were to say something insulting against my mother, a punch awaits him."
Gasbarri, the official who organizes papal trips, was standing next to the pope at the time of the comments.
"You cannot make provocations," Francis added. "You cannot insult people's faith." More

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