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Author Topic: Church Scandals
Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 08:41
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The link below is to an article about corruption in the Thai Buddhist establishment.

http://www.atimes.com/article/thailand-tackles-its-bad-boy-buddhist-monks/

I thought it might be instructive to point out that corrupt behavior exists, not only in the Catholic Church, but throughout all religious institutions because they are made up of human beings.

I think the reason most of us find this so offensive is that these institutions are supposed to help and succor the rest of us. But we must never forget that institutions of any kind try to build up their power in one way or another and certain people will always try to use such institutions to gain what they want. Remember Lord Acton's dictum, "Power tends to corrupt." I don't think he was only talking about political power.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 08:45
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You'll recall that a bunch of Buddhist monks contributed to Slick Willie and the Goracle in 1996. So we know this is nothing knew with some Buddhists. Evil is everywhere. How good, really, were the Buddhist monks 55 years ago who flamed themselves to get rid of a Christian president of South Vietnam?

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 09:03
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When I lived in Asia, it was not uncommon for silly Westerners romanticize the East and point out how peaceful Buddhists were. Even more admirable, in their minds, was the lack of interest in material gain which seemed to radiate from these Buddhists.

Of course, only someone ignorant of history could believe such fairy tales. One has only to read about the many conflicts between adherents of various Buddhist sects to laugh at such naivete'. Many Buddhist monks were happy to slaughter each.

And as to greed, many perhaps most Chinese believe in an interesting mix of Buddhism and Taoism. No one who has had more than a few dealings with the Chinese would say they are "not materialistic" as a group. The story of the corrupt monk is not uncommon in Asia.

Buddhists are susceptible to the same temptations and desires as the rest of us. I figure they probably live up to their religious ideals about as much as others do, which is to say, "not much."

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 11:09
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Buddhism ain't what it used to be...assuming it ever was. I forget the details, but apparently there was a ambitious sort of bad monk who split from Siddhartha and started a competing faction. It reminds me of the ambitious monk who took over from pious (in the true sense) St. Francis....and put the Order on the way toward being more like a Corporation than a society of Holy Brothers. Keeping things unattained in this world is next to impossible.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 11:37
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Well, I suppose there's a reason Buddhism has several branches. But I'm reminded of the scene in A Fish Called Wanda in which Jamie Lee Curtis, schooling Kevin Kline in some errors he has picked up in his philosophical readings, tells him, "The central tenet of Buddhism is not 'Every man for himself!'" This was only the second of 3 idiocies she mocks him for. ("Aristotle was not Belgian!" and "The London Underground is not a political movement! Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked 'em up." I verified the precise wording on wikiquotes, knowing they just had to include that one.)

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 11:54
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I’d done some reading of Buddhism. And it’s doubtful a Buddhist can tell you what it’s about. It’s a rhetoric-based philosophy/religion with several layers of conceits and convolution rolled up inside each other. They have a metaphor about pealing away the various layers of the onion. But in my humble opinion, they just add more and call it something else.

I will say that all religions lend themselves to self-absorption, conceit, and various forms of a clubby holier-than-thou. Buddhism has become the darling of libtards. And it fits because it’s the “feel-good” therapeutic religion for those who just want their as-is behavior sanctified by a bunch of feel-good gobbledygook rhetoric.

This is what so fascinates me about St. Francis. No man is perfect. But here was a doer, not a rhetorician. He didn’t pretend at saintliness or being closer to god. He didn’t speak in riddles that both bamboozled the masses and sounded clever to the intellectuals. There was a sincerity and lack of self-deluding ego in the man that is rare to find in any human being. Francis so enlivened the spirit of the law. And that is something threatening to those who simply would like to anoint themselves with words, beliefs, and the pleasing conceits of ego.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 13:56
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By coincidence this article was on Drudge Report today.

301 ‘Predator Priests’ Named In Pa. Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report: ‘They Were Raping Little Boys & Girls’

I have no doubt similar things have happened around the world in various religious orders, but the Catholic Church in America seems to be "special."

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 14:31
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Not all of them priests, and it covers 6 dioceses over decades, but still -- 301, including 99 just in Pittsburgh diocese. Yes, indeed, the Catholic Church is something else. I wonder how many other religions have clerical celibacy, and how that may affect these numbers.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 15:25
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I have no doubt similar things have happened around the world in various religious orders, but the Catholic Church in America seems to be "special.”

When God has an anointed institution (the Church), the tendency can be to overlook the minutia and protect the institution to the exclusion of specific ideas and behavior. The Church *is* the big idea. If reform means bad press for the Church, it’s probably easy to justify sticking your head in the sand.

The ills of Hillary Clinton aside, many conservatives are doing so today regarding Trump. “America” or “Conservative” as an idea must be preserved. Don’t bother me with the details of ethics and behavior.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Church Scandals
on: August 14, 2018, 15:34
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In one of Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories, something like this comes up. Darcy notes that one can either be perfect, or be honest about the imperfections. (I don't recall what scandalous crime led to the discussion). To pretend to perfection leads to a much more serious blow to the reputation when the imperfections are exposed.

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