How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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The Cicada
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by The Cicada » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:32 pm

kimjihoon5924 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:49 am
Please guide me, my Buddhist brothers and sisters. :namaste:
What I think many responding here either miss or are having trouble to conceive is the fact that you are facing an aggressive group that you cannot ignore. These kind of people are not only pushy, but nosey, and won't let you be no matter how hard you try. These kinds of circumstances are of the type anticipated by the school I follow, Nichiren Buddhism, and part of the reason why Nichiren directed us to only teach the Lotus Sutra in the degenerate age. There is, however, some general advice I think I can offer regardless of the sect you adhere to.

Individuals like these Christians can be dangerous. If you offend them, you may have property damaged, be harmed physically, or find yourself facing false accusations with legal consequences, not to mention petty rumors. They will excuse their consciences of any wrongdoing they commit for their religion. They are not like Buddhists and do not feel any sense of obligation to be reasonable with, or compassionate to, those who are not of their own faith or who oppose it. If you confront them in any way, expect to stand out, and to stand for Buddhism.

It seems like you're already doing your best to ignore them and that you don't want to simply give in and let others control your life. If you find that you can't remain silent, your best option is to engage them firmly in polite debate. This will challenge you to learn more about Buddhadharma and to appreciate the profundity of its teaching in comparison with that of other religions. When you point out the weaknesses and absurdities of the Christian religions and other Abrahamic faiths, always assert the correctness of the Buddha's teaching and offer them the opportunity to attend a Buddhist function or to teach them how to practice. You should study more about Buddhism and take your study very seriously. If you can, find a knowledgeable priest who can be relied on to take on new converts and who is simpathetic to your stand for the Dharma. Unfortunately, many clergy can be complacent and the situation in your country may even be due to a lack of reform and engagement from the Buddhist community.

It's a tough task and a bit of a burden, but this isn't a "fight" that you started. If you endeavor to "finish" it, however, do it with compassion, equanimity, and patience. We all, however, owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Buddha. Whether you choose to be active against this phenomenon or to remain silent, you will still need lots of forbearance.

This essay gives a critique of Christianity, and is a good place to start if you decide to act for the Buddhadharma.
http://www.vgweb.org/bsq/budchr1.htm
The purpose of this book is threefold. Firstly it aims to critically examine Christianity and thereby highlight the logical, philosophical and ethical problems in Christian dogma. In doing this I hope to be able to provide Buddhists with facts which they can use when Christians attempt to evangelize them. This book should make such encounters more fair, and hopefully also make it more likely that Buddhists will remain Buddhists. As it is, many Buddhists know little of their own religion and nothing about Christianity - which makes it difficult for them to answer the questions Christians ask or to rebut the claims they make.
The second aim of this book is to help any Christians who might read it to understand why some people are not, and never will be, Christians. Hopefully, this understanding will help them to develop an acceptance of and thereby genuine friendship with Buddhists, rather than relating to them only as potential converts. In order to do this, I have raised as many difficult questions as possible and not a few home truths. If it appears sometimes that I have been hard on Christianity, I hope this will not be interpreted as being motivated by malice. I was a Christian for many years and I still retain a fond regard, and even admiration, for some aspects of Christianity. For me, Jesus' teachings were an important step in my becoming a Buddhist and I think I am a better Buddhist as a result. However when Christians claim, as many do with such insistence, that their religion alone is true, then they must be prepared to answer doubts which others might express about their religion.

The third aim of this book is to awaken in Buddhists a deeper appreciation for their own religion. In some Asian countries Buddhism is thought of an out-of-date superstition while Christianity is seen as a religion which has all the answers. As these countries become more Westernized, Christianity with its "modern" image begins to look increasingly attractive. I think this book will amply demonstrate that Buddhism is able to ask questions of Christianity which it has great difficulties in answering, and at the same time to offer explanations to life's puzzles which make Christian explanations look rather puerile.

Some Buddhists may object to a book like this, believing that such a gentle and tolerant religion as Buddhism should refrain from criticizing other religions. This is certainly not what the Buddha himself taught. In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta he said that his disciples should be able to "Teach the Dhamma, declare it, establish it, expound it, analyse it, make it clear, and be able by means of the Dhamma to refute false teachings that have arisen. "Subjecting a point of view to careful scrutiny and criticism has an important part to play in helping to winnow truth from falsehood, so that we can be in a better position to choose between "the two and sixty contending sects. "Criticism of another religion only becomes inappropriate when it is based on a deliberate misrepresentation of that religion, or when it descends into an exercise in ridicule and name-calling. I hope I have avoided doing this.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:41 pm

If that evangelist were your mother or dear friend, what would you do to help them? This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.

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tiagolps
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by tiagolps » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:57 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:41 pm
If that evangelist were your mother or dear friend, what would you do to help them? This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.
Depends, how far would they go? I wouln't be friends with a harassing evangelist anyway, so I don't know in that context. If it were my mother I would keep distance, but again it depends... If I saw my mother harassing people on the street, I would report her for public harassment too.

Edit: I should also state, so that no confusion arises, I don't think all evangelists=Street Harasser.
The mormons that go around my city are kind people, I'm talking about westboro baptist church like evangelists.
Homage to you, blissful, virtuous and peaceful,
Enjoy the domain of the tranquil nirvana.
Fully possessing the om and the soha,
You overcome even the greatest of evils.

_______________________________________________
"Buddhahood really is like an infection and it goes from one person to another. You can fight it off, but it's a pity if you do that..."
-Rigdzin Shikpo

kimjihoon5924
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by kimjihoon5924 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:52 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:41 pm
If that evangelist were your mother or dear friend, what would you do to help them? This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.
My mother is a protestant but she respects my beliefs, she even tries to learn about the Dharma from me. Well, she is not very serious about her religion as she goes to church occasionally (Once or twice a month). I had a devout protestant friend who kept trying to evangelize me (In high school 5 years ago), he was a very compassionate friend who I've had known for about 7 years. His attitude towards me seemed to change quite a bit after I stopped attending churches (I went to the same church). Whenever he had doubts about Buddhism he tried to be in a debate with me, I tried to explain Buddhism to him, tried to find the similarities of both religions (Both religions aim to eliminate suffering despite the differences in teachings etc,) after quite a while he stopped contacting me and when we coincidentally met on streets the only conversation that was brought out by him was about Church or hell, so I tried my best to politely reply back, hoping to not make him angry (I said, well ok, thanks for the concern trying to help my suffering in your way) I then always sought to change the topic of discussion (As he just wouldn't listen even if I tried to explain Buddhism, he went to church since a very young age and has strong Protestant faith). I guess the best way to help is to avoid sparking up unnecessary tension.

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Aryjna
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:08 pm

kimjihoon5924 wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:52 am
Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:41 pm
If that evangelist were your mother or dear friend, what would you do to help them? This is a serious question, not a rhetorical one.
My mother is a protestant but she respects my beliefs, she even tries to learn about the Dharma from me. Well, she is not very serious about her religion as she goes to church occasionally (Once or twice a month). I had a devout protestant friend who kept trying to evangelize me (In high school 5 years ago), he was a very compassionate friend who I've had known for about 7 years. His attitude towards me seemed to change quite a bit after I stopped attending churches (I went to the same church). Whenever he had doubts about Buddhism he tried to be in a debate with me, I tried to explain Buddhism to him, tried to find the similarities of both religions (Both religions aim to eliminate suffering despite the differences in teachings etc,) after quite a while he stopped contacting me and when we coincidentally met on streets the only conversation that was brought out by him was about Church or hell, so I tried my best to politely reply back, hoping to not make him angry (I said, well ok, thanks for the concern trying to help my suffering in your way) I then always sought to change the topic of discussion (As he just wouldn't listen even if I tried to explain Buddhism, he went to church since a very young age and has strong Protestant faith). I guess the best way to help is to avoid sparking up unnecessary tension.
This is a good idea, getting into debates can only have negative results in most cases.

Bodhicaryāvatāraḥ:
Even those who vilify and undermine
The Sacred Doctrine, images, and stūpas
Are not proper objects of our anger.
Buddhas are themselves untouched thereby.
Thirty pieces of advice from the heart:
When we support our own side and refute the other,
We might think this is the way to propagate the teachings during debate,
But instead it will give rise to negative states of mind.
‘To stop talking’ is my heart advice.

steveb1
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by steveb1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:35 am

I'm coming late to this discussion, OP, but one avenue for you might be to find out or ask them about how much they really know about Buddhism. If they were born into it, perhaps they were insufficiently taught or "catechized". Also you might look into some critical Biblical scholarship, not to win arguments necessarily, but to show to them the Bible's own flaws and inconsistencies. Of course, that probably would not be very successful because they don't want to hear it. Which is sad, because to me at least, they are shutting themselves out from reception of the BuddhaDharma through any normative means.

Finally you might remind them that Jesus and Buddha do have this similarity: both taught compassion, based in a kind of detachment from, or "death" to, the ego - ego defined as "the anxious, grasping self". Still, they may not listen to you, but at least you could offer them that and see what happens.

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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Tenma » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:49 am

kimjihoon5924 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:49 am
I have been annoyed by some Protestant Koreans numerously lately, most of them somehow found out I have taken refuge in BuddhaDharma and they are starting to message me that "Buddhism is satanic religion", "You should not follow such teachings as god is one, and he condemns such ludicrousness". They usually tackle me on the fact that all Buddhists are idolizing the false god, the 'Buddha', idolizing golden statues and praying. Even if I try to explain to them that Buddhists are not praying to Buddha, but showing respect for him and taking refuge in the Dharma, they don't listen and continues insulting. What should I do? Sometimes my compassion for them disappears and only hatred is left. Please guide me, my Buddhist brothers and sisters. :namaste:
Welcome to samsara. I am in that as well as many others.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:00 am

Just wanted to say I love the responses on this page, especially kimjihoon5924 and Aryjna. Thank you for sharing :smile:

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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:38 am

I'd suggest they read a book about Buddhism. And tell them you believe in compassion and love, the same things Jesus teaches.

You can bring up the fact the Bible says "Judge not, lest you be judged."

Sorry you are dealing with such ignorance. Good luck.

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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Tenma » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:10 am

Destroy the entire religion with evolution. Then, replace all the burned knowledge with the Theravada nectar, and then gradually into Mahayana and so on. :stirthepot:

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The Cicada
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by The Cicada » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:43 am

Tenma wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:10 am
Destroy the entire religion with evolution. Then, replace all the burned knowledge with the Theravada nectar, and then gradually into Mahayana and so on. :stirthepot:
I usually start by pointing out the inconsistencies in Christian theology. For example, if the Christian god is all-knowing and all-powerful, why did his creation falter the Eve did in the garden of Eden, the way humanity did before the flood of Noah, and the way humanity kept faltering that necessitated the sacrifice of Jesus? Why did their good simply not create more perfect creatures or redeem them through a less gruesome sacrifice? There is no reason they can give for this that will not prove that their god is cruel.

Insist instead that he is neither omnipotent nor omniscient and certainly not truly compassionate the way the Buddha is—he is merely the imposter Brahma. Once you've broken down the framework of their faith with its own devices, then you can move to empirical reasoning.

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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:15 am

Perhaps you could try to approach these situations as opportunities to train in Patience and Compassion. These people are same as you - they hurt, experience loneliness and confusion, fear and longing. They cling to their beliefs for comfort, like we all do, more or less, and are deserving of respect and compassion as human beings, though this behaviour and attitudes behind it are mistaken.

It is easy to be patient and experience good-will towards friends and people positively disposed towards us. But when people approach us with this negativity or insulting what we hold dear, it is much harder. But perhaps the best way to defend Buddhism is by doing our best to practice Buddhist teachings in the face of such insults. The Paramitas, in particular.

Also in case no one has posted it yet, here's a story from the Suttas of what the Buddha did when faced with abuse.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

All the Best to You,

_/|\_

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TharpaChodron
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:54 pm

I love reading Shantideva's Teaching on Great Compassion, Tolerance, Remedy for Anger. I can't find it online, though. If anyone knows where it's posted could you share a link?

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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Jeff H » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:53 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:54 pm
I love reading Shantideva's Teaching on Great Compassion, Tolerance, Remedy for Anger. I can't find it online, though. If anyone knows where it's posted could you share a link?
Here is Vesna and Alan Wallace's translation in pdf. Chapter six begins on page 61. However, I don't know if this is an authorized publication, and besides, the Bodhicharyavatara is a foundational book that belongs in any buddhadharma library.

I agree that chapter six is a classic discussion of cultivating patience, but I'd also add that it is basically a commentary on the sutta DGA posted. That sutta is quite clear, direct, and appropriate to the OP's situation.

The important thing, kimjihoon, is how you respond to these confrontations from within yourself. These situations are training for you. If the people confronting you are going to be reached at all (doubtful) it will only be because a certain purity within you becomes evident to them, as Buddha demonstrated in the sutta.

Anger/hatred will damage both parties. Debate will not dislodge blind faith. Patience will advance your path and it provides the only hope for touching them.
In chapter six Shantideva wrote:50. If a patient quality of mind is mine,
I shall avoid the pains of hell.
But though indeed I save myself,
What of my foes, what fate’s in store for them?

51. If I repay them harm for harm,
Indeed they’ll not be saved thereby.
My conduct will in turn be marred,
Austerity of patience brought to nothing.
Last edited by Jeff H on Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

Jeff H
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Jeff H » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:02 pm

By the way, kimjihoon, the other suggestion in my original post to you was lojong practice. You might want to check out this website and this current thread on DW. Training our minds is what it's all about.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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TharpaChodron
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:19 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:53 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:54 pm
I love reading Shantideva's Teaching on Great Compassion, Tolerance, Remedy for Anger. I can't find it online, though. If anyone knows where it's posted could you share a link?
Here is Vesna and Alan Wallace's translation in pdf. Chapter six begins on page 61. However, I don't know if this is an authorized publication, and besides, the Bodhicharyavatara is a foundational book that belongs in any buddhadharma library.

I agree that chapter six is a classic discussion of cultivating patience, but I'd also add that it is basically a commentary on the sutta DGA posted. That sutta is quite clear, direct, and appropriate to the OP's situation.

The important thing, kimjihoon, is how you respond to these confrontations from within yourself. These situations are training for you. If the people confronting you are going to be reached at all (doubtful) it will only be because a certain purity within you becomes evident to them, as Buddha demonstrated in the sutta.

Anger/hatred will damage both parties. Debate will not dislodge blind faith. Patience will advance your path and it provides the only hope for touching them.
In chapter six Shantideva wrote:50. If a patient quality of mind is mine,
I shall avoid the pains of hell.
But though indeed I save myself,
What of my foes, what fate’s in store for them?

51. If I repay them harm for harm,
Indeed they’ll not be saved thereby.
My conduct will in turn be marred,
Austerity of patience brought to nothing.

Thank you! My version is a translation by Robert Thurman in Essential Tibetan Buddhism which has quite different wording. I always revert back to it when needed most. I agree that the situation calls more for inner work rather than trying to fix these other people's wrong views. It's one thing if they came up and asked, "Hey, as a Buddhist do you worship Buddha?" But it sounds like they aren't open to listening or learning at the moment.

Jeff H
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Re: How should I deal with these insults to Buddhism?

Post by Jeff H » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:50 pm

My personal favorite translation of the Bodhicharyavatara is Wulstan Fletcher's Padmakara version, The Way of the Bodhisattva. He also does a very nice reading on the audio version. But I have several versions I like to compare since I cant read Tibetan.
:focus:
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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