Party Organizers in Thailand Get Sued By Shady Buddhist Sect Over Alleged Blasphemy

A week ago, a music, dance, and cosplay event in Bangkok featured projected slides that lampooned the controversial Buddhist sect Dhammakaya. The slides exuded humor that would be considered tame by U.S. standards — “photoshopped images of its UFO-shaped headquarters,” for one, and also “the temple’s infamous abbot Dhammachayo in [a] fabulous costume.”

Followers of Dhammakaya were outraged, claiming that the party antics were “blasphemous against Buddhism as a whole.” The sect is suing the party organizers (an outfit named Trasher), and hopes that other national Buddhist groups will join its lawsuit.


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37 Years After Its Release, Monty Python’s Life Of Brian Provokes a Constitutional Case in Germany

Martin Budich, the man behind a German group called Religious Freedom in the Ruhr, is in trouble with the law. It isn’t so much that, three years in a row, he dared put on a public viewing of the 1979 Monty Python movie The Life of Brian. That would have been fine on most days of the year. The problem is that Budich consistently did so on Good Friday — a religious holiday.


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Pakistani Father of 35 Wants One More Wife and 65 More Children, Claims “Religious Duty”

The proverbial ink wasn’t yet dry on my post about large families when I came across the case of Sardar Jan Mohammad Khilji. Now my head is echoing with Too Many Daves, the Dr. Seuss poem that’s long been a hit in my household.

A Pakistani father of 35 is now searching for a fourth wife as he romps towards his goal of 100 children, a dubious ambition in the conservative Muslim country where polygamy is rare but still practiced.


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The Dalai Lama Shocks Some Followers By Saying Germans Shouldn’t Invite Tide of Immigrants

On immigration and the refugee crisis in Europe, what distinguishes Buddhist superstar Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the Dalai Lama, from right-wing populists like Donald Trump or Geert Wilders?

At first blush, not much.


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Please Stop Assuming That People With a Lot of Children Must Be Religious

I have three kids, a fact that a commenter on these boards recently saw as an occasion for a joke — something along the lines of “They know what’s causing those now.” Har har.

No malice or hostility was intended, but it felt pretty weird to have a total stranger on the Internet voice an opinion about my presumed propensity to procreate. (All three of my children are in fact adopted.)

If having three kids draws comments, you can imagine what couples with four or six or nine children get to hear.


The Washington Post has a piece about large families who automatically get pigeonholed as religious by Christian and secular Americans alike.

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