Buddhist Activism in an age of neo-fascism and “alternative facts”

I sit in a basement cafe in downtown Seattle. I worry a bit about finances here, or class sign-ups there. But I'm okay. And odds are, so are you. Who is next? We're in the midst of something, though, that could change all of that. There is a range of wise view on just how quickly that will happen and how severely, from the oft-quoted "we're screwed" to the increasingly pollyannish "wait and see."Already, if you're one of estimated 100,000 people who had your visa revoked due to the recent … [Read more...]

“Korematsu! We stand up for what is right!”

Fred Korematsu is an American hero worth celebrating. And California is doing just that today, with their seventh annual Fred Korematsu Day. Google, too, is getting in on the action with their "doodle" honoring him, surrounded by cherry blossoms and the bars of the American flag.Fred was a Japanese American minding his own business on a day in late may, 1942. His family, along with tens of thousands of other Japanese Americans had already been rounded up for internment camps, as per an … [Read more...]

On Kant, Contempt, and our Buddhist path(s) forward

Karen Stohr, associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown University and senior research scholar at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, wrote a thoughtful piece for the NYTimes this week titled, "Our New Age of Contempt." Her article concludes: Privately expressed contempt may be cathartic. Publicly expressed contempt, however, is perilous. As Kant recognized, it threatens the foundations of our political community by denying the central moral idea on which that community is based — tha … [Read more...]

Trump has already led me to the Bible: 7 Passages near to my Heart

Many of my Christian friends over the last few months have assured me that part of their reason for supporting Donald Trump for the presidency has been his grasp of Christian values. "God will be back in America," they tell me.I'm still not entirely sure what that means. "Did He leave?" Is He in Canada? That's where I hear a lot of people are thinking about moving to, so maybe God's already up there? Just waiting?But today I've had a bit of a "come to Jesus" moment of my own.With the … [Read more...]

We Cannot Report a Lie: Has NPR been Gaslighted by Trump?

If you've never had to look up "gaslighting" in the dictionary, consider yourself lucky. I have - twice now - been so thoroughly deceived and subtly manipulated that I began to question my own grasp on reality - my own memories, my own emotional balance and response in a relationship.Each time it took months to regain my confidence and reclaim the truth that these people were manipulative, narcissistic, and deceitful (i.e. lying). Having that realization, and being able to say it, … [Read more...]

Women’s March on Montana in Photos (UPDATED)

I have seen the future. And the future is WOMEN. Today, women and allies from across the state (and no doubt beyond) descended on Helena for a sister-march in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. It was one of hundreds of marches around the world, gathering an estimated 2.5 million people globally. Facebook 'registrants' were up to around 5400 at the time of the march and organizers estimated 10,000 were actually there. Further details on that as they become available. I had the … [Read more...]

The Arc of the Moral Universe, January 20, 2017

The local store is out of White Poster Board. Hmmm... I wonder where it all could be. The quote, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" is often attributed to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is thanks to him that the phrase has become part of our American lexicon. Yet the exact wording predates his use of it by around half a century, and the origins go back further still to the Unitarian minister Theodore Parker.Theodore Parker, born 1810, was a minister … [Read more...]

Buddhists in a Democracy: Be Political, but not Partisan

This year's election and the impending inauguration of Donald Trump have drawn out some heated discussions about the role Buddhism ought to be playing in our political system. Two articles that come to the forefront, in part for espousing different views on the topic, are Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler's article Buddhism is Apolitical? (Or, Stop Trying to Wiggle Out of the Damn Koan!), updated at Lion's Roar as Isn’t Buddhism Supposed to Be Apolitical? and Brad Warner's Should Plumbing Be Politic … [Read more...]