Multi-Faith Trauma: How to Become Resilient in a Religiously Plural World, OR America Is No Longer a Christian Nation—We Need to Deal with It. (Part One)

I remember a Wiccan leader saying in my world religions class that Christians find it hard to fathom that Pagans are back, although Christians tried to stamp them out in the States and Europe. While Christians have caused a lot of trauma for Pagans in trying to wipe them out in the past, which grieves me, Christians have also experienced a great deal of trauma over the centuries as a result of persecution. Such persecution is not a thing of the past, as many Christians suffer greatly for their … [Read more...]

I Pledge Allegiance to Unity and Justice: Thoughts on the National Anthem Controversy

America’s Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Every September, our country honors this event that signifies the birth of our nation as a government of, for and by the people.Americans are encouraged to commemorate the day through learning exercises and parades, among other activities that involve “demonstrations of our Love for the United State of America and the Blessings of Freedom Our Founding Fathers secured for us.” http://www.constitutionday.com/How … [Read more...]

Was Uranium Buried Deep in the Earth Because Buddha or God Hid It There? Did We Bury Religion and Ethics in Its Place?

I spoke recently with Kiwa Fukushima, Chief Priest, Genshoin, at Zenkoji, in Nagano, Japan. Fukushima-sensei is a priest of the Tendai sect of Mahayana Buddhism. He is also a scientist by trade, having received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Later, he worked as a researcher in chemical engineering at Yokohama National University until his father, a Buddhist priest, retired and he was entrusted with serving in his father’s position. I studied Buddhism with … [Read more...]

Will Science Bring an End to Buddhism?

My wife, daughter and I met for dinner recently with a Buddhist scholar Prof. Shizuka Sasaki and his wife (a fellow scholar and colleague at Hanazono University) in Kyoto, Japan.I first met Prof. Shizuka Sasaki two years ago as a result of a Templeton science grant initiative on faith and science in the Japanese context. I was struck by his keen commitment to the historical Buddha’s teaching on enlightenment, including the emphasis on non-grasping and non-being. According to Prof. Sasaki, he … [Read more...]

Wounded People Wound Others—Except for Wounded Healers (Part Three)

 [Read part one here, and part two here]  5. Forgive others and yourself.Part of the power of the Christian faith is the power to love and forgive one’s enemies. Jesus forgave his enemies on the cross (Luke 23:34), and calls on his followers to love their enemies, pray for them, and forgive them (Matthew 5:44; Matthew 6:12, 14-15). Torture affects the tortured and torturer alike, in addition to others (Refer to these articles by The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, … [Read more...]

Wounded People Wound Others—Except for Wounded Healers (Part Two)

[Miss part one?  Click here!]Beware of being wary of everyone.Don’t be paranoid and look for persecutors behind every bush. This is easier said than done for those who have experienced traumatic stress as a result of torture. For consideration of what torture does to a person, see these PBS and CNN reports.American Christians, who believe they are being persecuted, or who perceive persecution is fast approaching, need to ask themselves if they are confusing a loss of privilege with … [Read more...]

Wounded People Wound Others—Except for Wounded Healers (Part One)

Many American Christians speak of the rise of religious persecution in our country. Certainly, religious and cultural pluralism is increasing, and Christian privileges are decreasing. Could it be that Christians sometimes confuse the decrease in privileges with the rise of religious persecution?[1] Do we sometimes betray signs of a persecution complex? What might such a complex mean if it is the case that wounded people wound others? An important article in The Atlantic by Alan Noble encourages … [Read more...]