Politics and Religion Don’t Mix
I don’t tend do politics, especially not on this site.
But what started out as a brief post championing good moral values and Buddhist / spiritual beliefs in relation to politics, has spun off on a political tangent, with the bit of Buddhism I was going to expand on thrown in at the end.
I’m blaming the fireworks raging outside. It’s Bonfire Night here in England, the annual celebration of Guy Fawkes trying to blow up parliament. The mask of Anonymous and the Occupy Movement, is of course the face of Guy Fawkes, popularised the V for Vendetta graphic novel and movie.
Seems a good night to go on a political rant, doesn’t it?
Well, you’ve been warned…
But really, I don’t really think politics and religion mix that well.
Nagarjuna, a Buddhist master, prayed never to reborn as a politician, because of the huge potential to create negative karma. Given how quickly even this post went askew, it’s easy to see how even with the best of intentions that can happen.
Gandhi would beg to differ though, saying that “in politics also we have to establish the kingdom of Heaven.” He considered “politics bereft of religion to be absolute dirt, ever to be shunned.”
In an ideal world he’s right, but history is too full of atrocities committed in the name of God, or even a favoured Buddha, with a thinly disguised a political end.
We Have to Try and See Through the Lies
You only have to listen to Tony Blair’s messianic posturing, and his shameful assertion that ‘God guided‘ him in his decision to send UK troops to Iraq, to hear God’s name being taken in vain. Blair’s labelling of the so-called ‘War on Terror’ “a moral cause” was just insulting.
The majority of Iraqi’s being Muslim, you have to assume it was Tony’s god, and not theirs who gave the order.
Seeing as thousands of civilians in the Middle East, not to mention our own and US armed forces, died in a war that was in actuality an appalling abuse of power, political manoeuvring and greed; that’s a twisted definition of moral.
In fact Archbishop Desmond Tutu is now describing the Iraq war as “morally indefensible“, and even our current Deputy Prime Minister calls “illegal“.
It just seems that governing bodies are using a centuries old tradition – hiding monetory and political gain behind the veil of religion.
And they all lie, don’t they?! So obviously as well 😦
Your Vote is Important!
Most of us live in a democracy though, and as fragile as that ‘respect for an individual’s or community’s rights‘ may be; I do feel our vote is important.
I lost count of how many folk told me last UK election that they didn’t bother to vote, but if they had’ve, they’d have voted liberal. As it was nobody really won the election, and the liberal democrats only got in as backseat drivers in the conservatives’ limousine (coalition government).
Who knows what would’ve happened if all those who didn’t vote liberal, actually had put their cross on the voting slip. We might not be faced with a resurrection of legal hunting with dogs for one. And that includes fox, stag and mink hunting, and hare coursing – which had all finally been banned in 2005.
I think it’s worth voting for the party who’d appear to do the most good.
If enough people do that, they might just get into power.
And you never know, they might keep their promises.
Karmically speaking, we either use our vote or lose it.
Must get this post out now, before it gets too dark to take the dogs to the park, where they do their own little bit of wildlife hunting. (Not that they ever catch anything, anyway…)
And I want it out before the US election tomorrow (soz, running late as usual).
So basically, I don’t really think that voting is an ‘exercise in futility’, or that not voting is making much of a stand. Luna Kadampa, Madeleine and Vanessa Gobes assure me that democracy is in operation; and that Romney and Obama are different; though my view from England is that they seem only to differ in colour. And I’m not the only one! Check this out, from the awesome Juice Rap News Team, a rap parody of Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney… ‘I have a Drone’.
Back to a Kinda’ Kadampa Buddhism
(phew! I think I’m better at religion than politics.)
All told, it does seem to be the best thing we can do is continue to follow Buddha’s advice – cherish others, do our best not to harm them, and follow the liberating path to a happier life for ourselves and others.
The articles listed below, and their comments, discuss the election, highlight the need for keeping our own morality and wisdom strong while working in the material world:
Bringing up Buddhas –
going for the kill
Kadampa Life –
On storms and politics
Do liberals and conservatives share any common ground?
Cosmic Loti –
the 1st Bristol Mayor! a National Pioneer or Electile Dysfunction?