On Buddhist Tolerance at American Buddhist Perspective
Justin Whitaker at American Buddhist Perspective has a lovely post today On Buddhist Tolerance sharing the remarks of many wise teachers. To start the discussion off with a few essential definitions (revealing his own philosophers’ inclinations), he includes a summary from a talk by Lord Parekh he had the luck to attend.
The real meat of the post that interested me, however, were the lineup of YouTube videos of various Buddhist teachers from various Buddhist traditions sharing their understanding of Buddhist tolerance. These range from a Theravadan teaching which can be summed up (perhaps unfairly) as tolerance of people but not of wrong views within one’s own mind. To a teaching by Shinzen Young about Buddhist meditation’s compatibility with all beliefs, even those of those most fundamentalist sects, and his grab-bag approach to Buddhism. I’ll admit I did not watch a couple of the longer videos, but I have no doubt they are just as interesting for anyone who’d like to delve into them.
The post concludes, perhaps slightly off-topic but nonetheless welcome, with the remarks of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, given just recently at the commencement of Gonzaga University. If you want to get past the introductions, thanks yous, and a few humorous but unrelated stories, skip to 10:00 minutes in. Tutu points out (in not quite so many words) that God knew each of us personally at the dawn of creation – including what we would all become in all our diversity, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists, too. God knew and created us anyway. I think this is a lovely statement of Christian tolerance. Tutu delightfully includes a knock knock joke featuring the archangel Gabriel (worthwhile for that alone) and an impassioned exhortation for young people to dream big and change the world for the better – where sexism, homophobism, racism, religious persecution no longer exist.