Man infuriated by Buddha statues at zoo

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by YWN666, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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    Overland Park Christians Weary Of Your Non-Christian Religion’s Continued Dominance Of American Zoo Decor « State of the Line

    Geez, will Christians ever catch a break? Isn’t it bad enough that their faith is totally ignored by mainstream American society? Or that their holidays are never cause for celebration in this country? Ridiculous. Well, score another point for religions that aren’t based on talking snakes or underperforming carpenters: the Kansas City Zoo has found itself smack in the middle of a good ol’ fashioned interfaith donnybrook. It seems that the Zoo, in selecting the accoutrements for its Asian-themed “Tiger Trail,” made the incendiary choice of selecting two Buddha figures to grace the entrance. And my oh my, has this ever angered Overland Park resident and Mouthpiece Of The Lord David Engle.

    Mr. Engle was visiting the Zoo with his family recently when, to his horror, he gazed upon heathen zoo visitors daring to rub the belly of an Eastern idol. And then Jesus wept, and Mr. Engle somehow knew all about it.

    David Engle said he felt a chill down his spine Sunday on a visit with his family to the Kansas City Zoo.

    He could hardly believe it when he saw zoo visitors rubbing the heads and bellies of two large, smiling statues of Buddha at the entrance to the Tiger Trail area.

    “We can’t have a cross or a nativity scene on public property,” said Engle of Overland Park, who complained to a zoo employee. “It is phenomenal to me that the zoo would put up Buddha statues.”


    (Hey genius, the zoo is not government property, so you have no right to complain)

    Engle, who said he and his family are Christians, said it was idolatry and “infuriating to God.”

    Yes, you read that correctly: “infuriating to God.” Sigh. Where to begin? With Mr. Engle’s presumption that he is connected to the Supreme Being’s innermost thoughts? With the assumption that god would care in the slightest about this? With the amazingly disproportionate response to a simple decoration?

    No, how about we take this path: where did this woe-is-me attitude of persecution come from? Look, followers of the Christian faith: we’re very sorry, but the minute Pope Leo III placed a crown on Charlemagne’s head you lost your claim to the title of persecution. Do you think that Mr. Engle ever stopped to think, in the midst of his seething fury, why his children didn’t go to school on December 25? Or what book President-elect Obama will be placing his hand on in six days?

    Time to give it a rest. Think of the Buddha statues as providers of much-needed diversity in religious education for the children of Kansas City. And please take a break from being outraged at every perceived slight of your faith — not everyone believes your particular set of myths.
     
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  2. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Can you imagine the outrage if it was a Christian cross

    The ACLU would be going crazy!!!
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Whom ever this writer is he is a moron. Claiming that the US Society ignores the Christian religion is rich.
     
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  4. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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  5. YWN666
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    YWN666 Freelance Beer Tester Supporting Member

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    Apparently you're a stranger to sarcasm.
     
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  6. sky dancer
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    Thank you. Hotai appears in Chinese restaurants and is often mistaken as a Buddha. Hotai ("Hotei" in Japanese, "Budai" in Chinese) represents a jolly, plump Chinese Buddhist monk who lived in Later Liang Dynasty China (907-923 C.E.) in the town of Fenghua.

    He was famous for his girth, good nature, and great generosity. He could accurately forecast the weather. He was greatly loved and after death his reputation spread throughout China. Statues of him were made and placed in homes and businesses in the hopes of bringing good fortune. I think of him as the "restaurant Buddha," even though he isn't a buddha at all.

    After his death, several stories about him began to circulate. The most prominent story is that, because of his ability to forecast the weather, he was actually an incarnation of Maitreya Buddha - the Future Buddha. Who knows what the truth is?
     
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  7. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    awwww....boo hoo
     
  8. sky dancer
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    "After the wave of persecutions during the latter half of the T’ang dynasty in the 9th century, Buddhism in China declined as a state protected religion demonstrating the ruler’s greatness. Until then, some Chinese emperors had even claimed to be the Buddha incarnate.

    Buddhism became a religion of the common people. Among the monks who traveled the land, carrying all their worldly possessions in hemp bags, was an eccentric monk who lived more than a thousand years ago and who went by the name of Hotai. Because of this monk’s benevolent nature, Hotei went around taking the sadness from people and became known as the Laughing Buddha.

    The Laughing Buddha has become a deity of contentment and abundance and is considered the patron saint of restauranteurs, fortune tellers and bartenders, as well as the weak, the poor and children. His name means “The Merciful.”

    The fan in his hand is seen as the ultimate symbol of happiness and joy. The gourd that this Buddha carries on his staff is said to be filled with an elixir for eternal youth while the staff he carries over his shoulder supports a bag of infinite wealth. The cloth or sack (which never empties) is filled with many precious items including rice plants (indicating wealth), candy for children and food for the needy of the world.

    The begging bowl, often seen with him, represents his Buddhist nature but he is not Gautama Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism. However, he is identified as a “future” Buddha and a Boddhisatva.

    The term Bodhisattva was used by the Buddha referring to himself both in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life, prior to his enlightenment, in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation from the cycle of birth and death. When, during his discourses, he recounts his experiences as a young aspirant, he regularly uses the phrase "When I was an unenlightened Bodhisatta...". The term therefore connotes a being who is 'bound for enlightenment', in other words, a person whose destiny it is to become fully enlightened.

    In Chinese Buddhist temples, Hotai’s statue is traditionally placed in the front part of the entrance hall. He is depicted in the familiar likeness of the Laughing Buddha – a stout, smiling or laughing shaved man in robes with a largely exposed pot belly stomach symbolic for happiness, good luck and plenitude. The stomach is also considered the seat of the soul in Chinese mythology and so the large stomach can be taken as an allegory for Hotai’s open heartedness.

    One belief surrounding the figure of Hotai in popular folklore is that if a person is to rub his belly, it brings forth wealth, good luck and prosperity. This belief does not form part of any Buddhist doctrine, but it is certainly a very popular practice in China."

    SNAC Newsletter
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    There's a statue of George Washington in the Public Gardens of Boston.

    Apparently the people of Boston worship Washington.

    Speaking as some kind of Christian, should I be offended?
     
  10. del
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    del BANNED

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    that's just there to fool out of towners. we actually worship samuel eliot morrison on comm av.
     

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