Questions the Dalai Lama is never asked…

…nor are Buddhist monks or nuns, or celibate Buddhists or Taoists:

But what about SEX? Are you going to live without SEX? You can’t really live without SEX can you? Aren’t you curious about SEX? Don’t you want to have SEX? Aren’t you repressed if you’re not having SEX?

They never ask this of the Buddhists or the Taoists because…well, those are the “good” religions, the “enlightened” religions.

But if you’re a Christian – especially a Catholic – it’s a backward thing, and you’re uptight.

That’s hung up.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Zorro

    Great point. I don’t think I’ve ever read/heard anything from the Dalai Lama on this. He’s a good guy, would love to hear the response.

  • Fr. Steve Leake

    I saw the interview and I agree that the media is really lost regarding this issue! It is so sad that the interviewer couldn’t come to really listen to the responses of these young women. Most media folk are fairly clueless on matters of faith. Thank goodness these women held their own and did a good job with the interview. Thanks for posting this!

  • Carol

    There was an article in a French magazine several years ago where the Dalai Lama was asked about sex, abortion and homosexuality and he answered all questions truthfully although he never brings up these issues himself. It is interesting how similar their beliefs are to those of the Catholic church except that they do not advocate the “foolishness” of preaching so, many of their beliefs are not publicly known.

  • ultraguy

    Such questions (or as you point out, a conspicuous lack of questions to some parties and not others) nearly always reveal more about the questioner’s frame of reference (world view, obsessions, cultural assumptions, etc.) than the do about the one to whom they were directed.

  • Gayle Miller

    What the media doesn’t seem to “get” – what the general non-Catholic population doesn’t seem to understand – is that living without sex is actually quite liberating and frees a person to explore OTHER aspects of living without the frantic flapping about in the “relationship pool”. There are a lot of people who are chaste or celibate by their own choice and yet they live in the secular world and quite happily, I might add.

    And it certainly leads to less mess in one’s life, that’s for sure!

  • Dave Justus

    I’ll grant that I have never heard that question asked about the Dalia Lama, but I’ve never heard it asked about the Pope either.

    It is asked about Catholic Preists, and not about Buddhist monks, but I don’t necessarily think that reveals all that much about the questioner. Catholic Preists are so much more frequently encountered then Buddhist monks in our country that the two really are not comparable. It is also worth noting, that unlike a Catholic Priest a Buddhist Monk can ‘give back’ their vows up to three times, abandoning for a while the monastic lifestyle and then later returning to it. I think that does change the nature of those questions somewhat.

    To me, the demand that a someone always ask the same questions of different groups, even though different circumstances apply is just silly.

  • Bridey

    Good points, Dave, about the relative lack of access to Buddhist clerics and their different circumstances, and I’m sure that has something to do with it. But who is “demanding” that anyone “always” ask anything?

    What would be nice would be if Catholics — particularly, of course, clergy and religious — were questioned about their sex lives or lack of them a great deal less frequently and, when the issue reasonably arises, with a great deal more taste and civility than is generally shown.

    I, at least, can’t imagine a member of the press treating someone whose choice to remain chaste stems from Eastern beliefs being treated with anything like the same dismissiveness and disrespect as the Catholic women in the article the Anchoress links to. Nor, of course, would I, or anyone, like to see anyone else treated so uncivilly.

  • Regina

    I read the link and the reporter strikes me as downright creepy! Why that unnaturally (to me) high level of interest in someone’s sex life? Those two women had more patience than I would have – my answer would be MYOB.

  • dellbabe68

    Dave makes some good points, but I gotta agree in general with the others. There is no way the press would afford the same level of respect to Catholic priests that they would to the more exotic (to them) eastern religions. There is a strong streak of “if it’s different than what we normally encounter it’s therefore better” and you can almost see how enthusiastic they are to educate us on stuff we *might* not know about, because of course we are all rubes.

    It’s okay: people are onto their crappola.

  • JMC

    Boy, doesn’t that sum up today’s mentality. When I was in my 20s, people used to act as if I had a communicable disease when they found out I was still a virgin. And the 18- to 20-year-olds in my squadron when I was in the military flat-out harrassed me because I wouldn’t “put out,” and my commanding officer was no help; in fact, he was worse than the “kids” I complained to him about. When I told him I had seen this type of behavior before and that there was going to be violence soon, he accused me of making a threat rather than voicing the very real fear I had—a fear which turned out to be justified only a few days later, when I found that someone had disconnected the brakes on my motorcycle (fortunately, BEFORE I started it up). I had to go all the way to the Inspector General to get anything even remotely resembling an investigation, and he was the first—and ONLY—person to agree with me that someone had just tried to kill me, all because I wouldn’t “put out.”

    And, yes, sexual harrassment policies were supposedly in place at the time, but they don’t do much good when they aren’t enforced.

    Gee, what would those guys say if they knew that here I am, in my 50s, still single, and still celibate?

  • deedledee

    50 year old virgin here! I didn’t get here because I am so pure of heart, but being a shy social phobic not particularly attractive to men didn’t hurt. I admire those who have had relationships with the opposite sex and were able to maintain their virginity. As far as the lust question posed to those in the article, I think I lusted everyday since I was 11 years old. I always had one boy/man I was obsessed with for years at a time and thought eventually they would see the light and notice me…not. Thank goodness I went through early menopause at age 48 and that really put a damper on my yearnings. It’s funny, though, because just yesterday as I was walking and praying I went through a listing of my sins which are mostly sins of omission or sins “in my thoughts” “in what I have failed to do” and I sighed silently to God and thought if only I had developed relationships outside of my family and had fallen a little sexually maybe I would be like friends and family who are forgiven much because they have loved much. I stayed away from temptation, but I also cut out potential humanness from which I could have gained much. As Dawn Eden said in the article, I don’t want to give scandal, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that.

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