Our Readers' Opinions
July 2, 2004

Don’t get bogged down by semantics

Editor: I get very discouraged with the human condition at times.
All this malice emanating from supposed Christians, regarding burning homosexuals and not accepting gifts from Buddhists. All that sounds very human to me, not very godlike. But then, what do you expect? Christians, like all human groups, have made the history books with their acts of ill-will towards others; for instance in the 15th century alone the persecution of “witches” started as well as the execution of “heretics” in the Spanish Inquisition. Both lasted hundreds of years.{{more}}
Let’s not cast the first stone, however.
I do wish, though, that those who pontificate would get the few available facts straight, as opposed to suppositions, beliefs or merely spouting through the mouth.
For example, I’ve heard the supposed learned say that Buddha is a god. When asked just that question, “Are you a god?” Siddhartha Gautama of the Sakyas (his real name) reportedly said, “No.” “An angel?” “No.” “A saint?” “No.” “Then what are you?”
Siddhartha answered, “I am awake.” And this became his title, for that is what Buddha means. The “Enlightened One” or the “Awakened One”.
I think we should all wake up and see things the way they really are and, “Do not judge by appearances.” I mean, in the grand scheme of things, who really cares if needed supplies are given to Christian organizations by Buddhists? It’s just human pettiness to say that it is wrong.
A review of the Ten Commandments might be in order as an examination of our own behaviour; it’s a start in striving to be more god-like. But don’t get bogged down by semantics if you think other religions worship false gods (perhaps that commandment meant other things like money?). Someone once said that there is only One Creator – sages just call it by different names.

P. Ratti