Et Tu, Buddhists?

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

buddhaPhysicians for Human Rights has released a report (pdf) detailing their investigation of Buddhist terrorists who burned Muslim houses and killed Muslim students in the town of Meiktila in central Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The victims, who attended the Mingalar Zayyone Islamic boarding school, included one boy who was decapitated and another who was set on fire. One Buddhist monk, in his red saffron robe, told the mob to wait until the Muslims leave the Buddhist part of town before killing them, “otherwise the Kalar’s ghosts will come here.” (Kalar means “foreigner” and is used as an anti-Muslim slur.)

On the evening of 20 March 2013 a mob of Buddhists, angered by – it doesn’t really matter, nothing could justify their actions – marched to the school. The seven teachers and 120 students fled into a nearby bog to hide in small groups in the tall grass. They remained standing in water-logged mud, filled with snakes, until about 4 am when a car’s headlights illuminated a boy hiding in the grass. The mob descended into the weeds and killed two boys. The other students fled to a nearby residential compound.

Inside the compound the students took refuge in four small buildings. The mob soon surrounded the compound and started throwing rocks and “fire sticks,” pieces of wood wrapped in cloth soaked in gasoline and then ignited. Police stood by on a nearby embankment and watched the attack. Onlookers cheered the mob.

At 8 am, approximately 15 to 20 riot police arrived and encircled the compound calling for those inside to come out with their hands on their heads. The teachers and students left the compound and went past the mob who threw bricks and clubbed the students. The riot police did not intervene to prevent the beatings. As the students neared the Muslim part of town, hundreds of people, including 10 monks, would not let them pass. When one of the boys moved to protect an elderly woman who was being beaten with a bamboo stick, one of the mob took his long knife and sliced the boy’s neck and then sliced off the boy’s face with a second blow.

Another student was beaten until he lay face down on the ground. When he lifted up his head, a man struck the back of his neck with a sword, decapitating him.burned bodies

In another incident, one of the students was attacked by two men. The first used a sword to open a gash in the student’s thigh. The second man poured gasoline on the bleeding wound and set it on fire. A 10-year-old student was beaten with bamboo poles and gasoline was poured on him and set on fire.

Member of Parliment Win Htein said the police commissioner and district commissioner were present along with 200 other police and none did anything to stop the massacre.

During the three day period, 1500 Muslim homes were burned, more that a dozen mosques and three madrasas were destroyed, and more that 100 people, Muslims, were killed.

TIME International recently feature a cover story about Buddhist monk, Ashin Wirathu, and reported that “violence is being fanned by extremist Buddhist monks, who preach a dangerous form of religious chauvinism to their followers.” This issue has been banned in Myanmar.

H/T: Howard Friedman, New York Times, globalpost, New York Times.

77 thoughts on “Et Tu, Buddhists?

  1. “For reference, we provided a link to the No True Scotsman fallacy.”

    Okay, well just to get it out of the way so the discussion can move on — No “True Buddhist” would do such a thing. Those faux Buddhists seem to be pretty vicious, though.

  2. The ability of fanatics to pervert any belief, religious, political, or philosophical knows no bounds. The Buddha never preached this form of hatred, but his sociopathic followers are able to pervert any teaching for their own sick purposes. Those that believe this form of evil is confined to any faith or philosophy are deluding themselves.

  3. Extremist Muslims, extremist Christians (obliterated with bombs from drones instead of slicing necks with knives is less gruesome to hear), extremist Jews, so it’s not at all surprising that Buddhists have grown closer to murdering those that are different. Many religious sects promote murdering innocents as long as it’s for God’s sake.

  4. Mike,

    In fact, he taught the exact opposite. Religious tolerance is a strong theme in Buddhism. This just shows again that any tool is only as good as the user. Myanmar is also a bit of a political mess. I suspect that underneath this there is a distinct hint of nationalism. Although predominately a Buddhist country, they have a history of authoritarian, militaristic rulers. It’s not as if such leaders haven’t used religion as their proxy in oppression before.

  5. For years I have promoted the idea of a new reality show called “Fundamentalist Island”, upon which we maroon fundamentalists from around the globe. No other prodding or plot need be devised, just isolate them together. Just the “know it alls”, and no minions. What to you think?
    In Sri Lanka it is the Buddhists and the Hindus who are (were?) at violent odds with each other.

  6. neighbordave,

    I think you are going to need a very large island for this project. I don’t see how one would effectively isolate the know-it-all leaders from the true-believer followers.

    And yes, it is minority Hindu Tamils (the Tamil Tigers) versus majority Buddhist Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. There was active civil war until the 2009 surrender of most of the Tamil Tigers, although, depending on who you ask, the impetus to fight may have been more on the Tamil side than on the Sinhalese side. Some of the Tigers escaped to India (which had provided covert support for their fellow Hindus for a number of years).

  7. Myanmar aka Burma as Gene said is in a major way of hurt…. But this is no way that a Buddha would act…..

  8. People commonly assume that holding the “right” beliefs will translate into morally superior actions. The evidence speaks otherwise. There are no magically transformative beliefs that convert ordinary humans into saints. This is why people are often so surprised to learn not only that there are pedophile priests but there are MANY of them.

  9. I think Gene might be on to something, not that Buddhists aren’t as capable of barbarity as anyone else. I once had a neighbor who rescued a puppy in China that was drowning in a fountain as a group of Buddhist monks were watching.


    I really don’t like the idea of dismissing the incident that incited the mob into rage – On the evening of 20 March 2013 a mob of Buddhists, angered by – it doesn’t really matter, nothing could justify their actions –. If you want to report an incident, then give the facts and leave the moralizing to the peanut gallery I would think as lawyers, you’d want to know what caused the mob to commit these acts: it goes to motivation.

  10. maybe Buddhism is just as bad as every other religion. they all preach altruism, that is the real evil.

    altruism subverts self to others.
    all religions preach some form of altruism.
    all religions deny the self to some degree.
    all religions have “fanatics”[?] who kill in the name of religion.
    all religious killings have altruism as their moral basis.

  11. Et tu Dolphins? Next those Bhuddists will be spying on our emails and phone call logs from Mynamar. And did you know that when the dolphins are working the bow of your boat and squealing up at ya that they are taking down your boat number and reporting it to the NSA when they swim home and get on the DolphinLogue Machine? Meanwhile Venezuela says that they will give Snowden asylum but he needs a ride. Right now the U.S. wont let his plane fly over so called nation states like Germany and the Germans have no say. So he might get on a boat. Snowden: If you go by sea watch out for dolphins.

  12. Disgusting. Thanks for airing this story David. The extreme religious fanatics at play here and in our country and the middle east have one thing in common. They are not following what their prophets or gods taught them. Maybe John Lennon was right when he suggested , Imagine there’s no heaven, no religion too. (paraphrased, by memory!)

  13. This story meshes well with the one Mike S. posted last night. Extremism and mob rule in the name of religion has killed untold numbers of people and brought down civilizations. However, when I saw that Buddhists were responsible for this latest outrage, I confess it did give me pause. I should have said “self-proclaimed” Buddhists, because it does not fit what I always thought Buddhism was all about.

    On the other hand, when one stops to think about it, I don’t think Jesus would approve of the excesses and murders done in his name either.

  14. Sorry all, bad fingers or keyboard. Anyway, was at a port in Sri Lanka, just one ship at the quay. Bus pulls up and folks get out. Seems they were Tamil’s that were going through “remediation” process. If I made this up you’d call me a liar. Interesting short moment in life.

  15. You have to wonder at what point does behavior such as this rise to the level where the world community considers it a genocide. How many people have to suffer before some form of sanction is made, a thousand? A Million?

    And that the police stood by and supported it, I don’t know how much more obvious it needs to be their gov’t (at least at the local level) has some bloody hands here.

  16. neighbordave.

    I absolutely believe it. I spent 2-1/2 years in a ship while in the Navy. It’s truly amazing the stuff you can see while tied up in Asian ports.

    Of course, as you know, the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story is that a fairy tale starts out, “Once upon a time . . .,” and a sea story starts out, “Now, this is no s**t . . .” :-)

  17. Re: Alturism, the Real Evil?

    Please see –

    Since the article mentions Atlas Shrugged, I present one of my favorite book reviews –

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” ― John Rogers

  18. Real evil is the refusal to acknowledge the self-evident basic dignity of all human life, and that the failure to honor another’s basic human dignity is to fail to honor the actor’s own dignity to his own harm — a compounding error diminishing both their full potential and hindering the advancement of human civilization. If there is such a thing as a natural law which can be broken, this is the only one.

  19. RTC, a dispute started in a jewelry/gold shop owned by Muslims, later the shop was trashed by Buddhists, then a Buddhist monk was killed in a particularly gruesome manner, then it just all went to hell. The article below is a snapshot but you can search it for more details:

    I think Nal is saying that it doesn’t matter how it started, it ended up somewhere it shouldn’t have gone fueled by passions and history that is divorced from any normal, proportional and sane rationale. It started centuries ago and while changing nominally over time is not looking like it will end soon. The administration of the country by the colonial Brits certainly didn’t help and the influx of Muslim refugees from conflicts elsewhere strained an already precarious situation. Overlay that with politicians that have their own agendas and It’s a mess that isn’t going away soon..

  20. Otteray Scribe 1, July 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    … I should have said “self-proclaimed” Buddhists, because it does not fit what I always thought Buddhism was all about.

    On the other hand, when one stops to think about it, I don’t think Jesus would approve of the excesses and murders done in his name either.

  21. Gene H. 1, July 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    At this point, I’m thinking the benchmark is “do they have resources we want”.

  22. Oro Lee:

    is religion based on altruism or not? Is religion about sacrifice of the self or not?

    Seems to me it is. The basic idea of Christianity is Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins. What is that if it isnt altruism?

    Many liberals I know are flawed individuals too. And so are many conservatives and libertarians. I have met some very flawed Objectivists as well. You may as well have said there are many flawed adults.

    But I do understand that it is much easier to denigrate than form a cogent argument and certainly much more self satisfying for some.

  23. Oro Lee:

    “Real evil is the refusal to acknowledge the self-evident basic dignity of all human life, and that the failure to honor another’s basic human dignity is to fail to honor the actor’s own dignity to his own harm . . .”

    Of course but to do that you have to first understand your own humanity and value yourself as an individual. I have noticed that people who do not value themselves rarely value others and I have also noticed that people who are confident and do value themselves generally treat others with the same respect they would like and expect.

    You have to love yourself before you can love others.

    George Benson may not be an Objectivist but he certainly understands the necessity of believing in yourself and having confidence in your abilities.

  24. I often think derisively of those who foolishly parrot, “Islam is a religion of peace”, or similar nonsense. But, really, is it ever possible for a religion to be free from corruption, violence, greed, etc., if it holds a position of overwhelming political power? Jesus doesn’t lead Christianity any more than the Buddha leads Buddhists. Religious leadership is always in the hands of “man”, and men will always be imperfect beings. Given power, religious leaders will inevitably go through periods where corruption, abuse, and other factors results in the killing of heretics within their faith, as well as non-believers.

    Not that religion is necessary to exercise mass murders. Just ask The NY Times about Uncle Joe starving millions in the Ukraine. Oh wait, they failed to report about that when it happened, and refuse to “return” the Pulitzer awarded to its Moscow correspondent who helped cover up the murders.

    You know, I do have concern the move from depicting America as a melting pot, to depicting it as a “collage”, is having the unintended consequence(s) of groups coming to the U.S. and not feeling any pressure nor need to drop extremism(s)in their faiths. E.g., anyone familiar with the Muslim world knows that antisemetism is anywhere from a strong undercurrent to genuinely pervasive. The discomfort with asserting any sort of American cultural primacy could be problematical regarding this sort of problem.

    My concern is that Muslim immigrants will bring the vehement antisemetism that is part of their cultures (whether all-consuming as in Egypt, or casual but accepted at the highest levels as in Malaysia, its simply part of present Muslim culture) to the U.S., and our multicultural-collage theory of immigration will permit the extremism to live far beyond the original generation that “brought” it. (N.B., I recognise that historically all immigrant groups have brought some sort of baggage with them, but the “American Melting Pot” seemed to do a pretty good job in the 20th Century of straining out most extreme prejudices. I also recognise issues with Blacks in the U.S. were not as successfully filtered out, though racism & prejudice against Blacks in the U.S. is a unique problem).

    Is the present reluctance to teach the Enlightenment as a powerful, beneficial and Western contribution to civilisation justified? Is it really cultural imperialism to teach the superiority of ideas such as freedom of conscience or that government/governing derives from the will of the people, not a religious figure or belief? I know from reading parts of my teenagers’ textbooks that teaching any superiority of things “Western” in, e.g., the 19th & 20th Centuries, is considered inappropriate.

  25. Ahhh, the Leftists now refer to Buddhists as “terrorists.” In the vile perverted minds of the Leftists, any group of people that would attack the Muslims just has to be terrorists. Couldn’t possibly be that they recognize that the cult of Islam is a vile, dangerous, perfidious, and cancerous pestilence putting civilization in jeopardy now, could it?

    Ohhh no. That could not possibly be. As all Leftists “know” that the Muslims are a deeply, religious, calm, warm, lovely, peaceful, highly cultured, and beneficent people.

    Of course, back here in reality, the Buddhists understand better than most stupid Americans what the dangers of Islam are to humanity and civilization. They know that you don’t ignore or attempt to placate cancer–you must eradicate it, and ban it from existence.

    If Sanjuro were with us today, he would know what must be done regarding the Muslim pestilence:

  26. Ralph:

    cut his heart right out. now thats some fancy sword play.

    John Locke would be right on board.

  27. Lottakatz: Thanks for the tip.

    GeneH: “do they have resources we want”. Yes they do. I believe it’s called “cheap labor”.

  28. Yes, Sanjuro fought because he was forced to do so–although he could have stepped completely out of character and ran away. But being “forced” to fight was also a theme for the Sanjuro character in Yojimbo, another Kurosawa classic. There, he had to choose between two equally bad groups of people, and he ended having to wipe-out both of them. The philosophy of Sanjuro was to avoid fighting (even though he was a master fighter), but if push came to shove, then he was 100% all-in.

    The Muslim situation today has become so dangerous to civilization today, that if you are not 100% all-in, then they will destroy what remains of civilization.

  29. MSpindell said: “Those that believe this form of evil is confined to any faith or philosophy are deluding themselves.”

    Are you referring to Menachem Begin and Begin’s order, as head of the terrorist group Irgun, when, in one operation, Begin ordered the bombing of the British administrative and military headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in 1946. 91 people, British, Arab and Jewish, were killed.

    To get to the top of a country’s political leadership, in ISREAL, as in the U.S., you have to earn your bones, preferably by involvement in acts that
    result in killing people and or playing a significant role in the cover-up of
    such acts. e.g., Ford & JFK assassination, GHW Boosh and the Reagan hit, Clinton and CIA’s use of Mena airport for Cocaine smuggling. Reagan’s
    order to kill Gadaffi.etc. And LBJ’s likely role in the elimination, with extreme prejudice, of several opponents + many other such actions by every U.S.
    president since JFK/

  30. Wow! Ralph Adamo! Really?! Please tell us how you really feel about Muslims. Pestilence? And here I thought I heard every form of Islamophobia! Love you too, and wishing you all the blessings of this world and the next, especially guidance.

    Skip said it right: “But, really, is it ever possible for a religion to be free from corruption, violence, greed, etc., if it holds a position of overwhelming political power? Jesus doesn’t lead Christianity any more than the Buddha leads Buddhists. Religious leadership is always in the hands of “man”, and men will always be imperfect beings. Given power, religious leaders will inevitably go through periods where corruption, abuse, and other factors results in the killing of heretics within their faith, as well as non-believers.”

    We unfortunately, often mistake the symptoms for the cause. What is religion aiming to do? To take human beings with animalistic impulses, and turn them into people who can control those animalistic impulses, thereby making them better, higher beings. Were there no need to improve humanity, religion, any religion would not exist.
    Religion, as such, is simply a tool. While not a utilitarian tool however, like a spoon,which can be used to feed oneself, to feed others or to take food from others, it is a justificative tool, the intellectual or emotional justification for preemption or post-action.
    AS such, it lends itself supremely well to the animalistic/human impulse for supremacy/ power/ politics. That is why we waste much time looking at group conflicts, even the ones apparently fully religious, under that lens, instead of the single hue that colors every single conflicts between any two groups: politics. What is the difference between the conflict in Rwanda featuring the Hutus and Tsutsis, and this one featuring Buddhists and Muslims? It is singular and it features deities. Otherwise, it is about land, and it is about power. One would find these 2 aspects in every current and past conflict, whether the Balkans, the American revolution, the Israeli-Palestine, the Falkans war…

    So, let us stop being shocked that a perceived peaceful religion can be violent. No religion is inherent peaceful for no human being is inherently peaceful. And no religion is inherently perfect for no human being is perfect. This also applies to any force, any entity, any philosophy that occupies or claims primacy in a person’s life, for it is thus a belief, and that person will use violence to restore or maintain primacy for that belief, and justify it preemptively or post, whether that belief involves God or Freedom.

  31. Actually, you might be surprised to know that I know some Muslims and I consider them to be friends. However, they are secular Muslims, and by that I mean that although they believe in G-d and follow many of the Muslim traditions, such as prohibition of pork, they do not believe in a replacement theology such that non-Muslims are “infidels” that must be converted or vanquished. Another indicator of their “secularity” is that they do not hate or envy Jews, and are not even against Israel as a rule. Their goals are to achieve a better life for themselves and their families, and their future families–much as most people I know who have other faiths or are even atheists or agnostics.

    But Islam as a political center of influence and power is another thing altogether. If those members of Islam are left to carry out their wishes, they will plunge the world into the dark ages, must as they are already doing where they do have such power.

    If you want to call me an Islamophobe, resorting to the lowest form of argument, be my guest. I expect that; not an intelligent understanding of the situation. And certainly not from those who adhere to the Leftist mentality. Had the Nazis of the 1940s been as “creative” in verbal diarrhea as today’s Leftists are, they would have invented the word Naziphobe and used it in the same way that Leftists do today.

  32. This is akin the traditional retort of the racists “some of my best friends are Black”. So you do know a couple of Muslims who are to your liking. Then there is the majority of other Muslims whom you know not, and have no idea what their ideas, ideals and beliefs are. And you, my friend, endowed as you are with the power to judge and group people according to your untested ignorance of them, decide who is good and who isn’t.

    You, therefore my friend, never bothered to offer any sense of discernment between the good and bad Muslims according to any rule we may recognize, instead just summarily, and fully, just equate Islam with pestilence. That is your right indeed, to be ignorant and close-minded (those two often go together) and that is also, and indeed, your right to so vehemently display that ignorance, coupled with that close-mindedness.

    I do realize I am ill-equipped to engage you in an intellectual debate here, because such debate would require us to work of a similar level of , no, not brain power, but, reasoning ability, logic and the acceptance that one’s long-held beliefs might be challengeable. Your previous posts reflect neither, therefore my friend, spout away.

  33. @ rafflaw poor song choice most dont know but lennon was a shill for the very corporations who are in charge now. and the ones who are instituting this invasive technology. listen to the complete song pay particular attention to paragraph 2 and 3 then think of what exactly the one world corporation is about

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  34. Bill McW,

    As a matter of fact I agree that Begin was a terrorist. However, the difference between you and me is that I will aclnowledge evil wherever it exists. You are incapable of that self aware detachment, which is why when it comes to Jews you are a Shoah(holocaust) denier and a bigot. You and Ralph Adamo are cut from the same cloth, from different ends of the political spectrum. You both possess authoritarian mindsets that limit your critical thinking.

  35. po, you know nothing about Islam, so you are completely unqualified to discuss the subject. Your views reflect a complete lack of knowledge, experience, and insight. The Buddhists are wise. Shut up. Learn from them.

  36. MikeS, I “possess an authoritarian mindset”? You’ve said many a dumb thing on this blog, but that is the most stunod I’ve heard from you in a while. I am 100% ANTI-authoritarian. Why do you think I hate Leftists in all their many shapes and forms so much? They are Brutalitarians, that’s why. Same as the Nazis, same as the IslamoNazis. I think that you and BillMcW are cut from the same cloth.–and smelly schmattas at that, if you catch my drift. Your a Leftist and BillW is a New-Leftist. That makes you each Brutalitarians, which is my name for your philosophy.

  37. Grandpa used to say that anyone who claims to be 100% something is one 100% something indeed!

    What is this about this blog that makes people who aren’t Muslim challenge the one Muslim’s knowledge about Islam?

    By the way, I wholeheartedly agree with Mike’s : “Those that believe this form of evil is confined to any faith or philosophy are deluding themselves.”

    My original post was just a development of that wisdom.

  38. And now let me turn to the New-Leftist, BillMcW. You say that Begin must have been a “terrorist” because he ordered people to be killed. So the implication is that Begin was a “terrorist,” but Arafat was a “freedom-fighter.” Ahhhh, I get it. Jews bad, Nazis and Muslims good. Well, why not just say that.

    Begin was no terrorist. The British gave him that label because his group struck the King David Hotel which served as the home of the British military command and government administration, which were dedicated to subjugating the Jewish community. The British then were much like the government of Rome at the time of Jesus. Because Jesus was a threat to the Romans, Pilate ordered him crucified. If the Romans had the same verbal diarrhea skills as modern Leftists, they would have called Jesus a terrorist. And Spartacus was a terrorist too, in the Leftist handbook.

    And if you have to do a lot of killings to become a leader of a nation, tell me the crimes of Benjamin Netanyahu that got him to the top of Israel? If you don’t know anything about it, couldn’t you at least make some stuff up that sounds like he did? Every aspiring Leftist knows that you have to tell lies and make stuff up. So get with the program.

    And why didn’t you mention the USS Liberty? Surely, every anti-Semite knows that you should interject that at every opportunity? If you aspire to be a genuine New-Leftist, you have to start doing things like that. Didn’t Jeff Rense teach you anything? (The rest of you can look him up if you don’t know who he is.)

    As for the “Ford & JFK assassination,” I know all about the JFK assassination, but I didn’t know that Gerald Ford was assassinated, so you’ll have to fill me in on that. I always thought that he died of natural causes, but maybe there was some International Zionist conspiracy to get Jerry Ford that I haven’t heard about. Or perhaps you really meant that Ford had a role in the cover-up of the JFK assassination in helping to frame Oswald by lying about the evidence for the Warren Report? And that because of his “good service” in the fostering the deception, the powers-that-be made Nixon appoint him Vice President when Spiro Agnew was forced to resign, ultimately paving the way for Ford to become President when Nixon was forced to resign as well? Now, that would make some sense. But that’s a tradition in the USA, and not necessarily everywhere else in the World.

  39. A young man who had been unemployed for way too long left Houston with his wife and daughter about sundown on Saturday to drive to Phoenix where his brother, a construction worked, said a job awaited if he got to the site by Monday morning. Mid-morning Sunday the car’s engine died on I-10 in downtown El Paso, as well as any hope of a new job or even a place to stay. The little family had little in cash and nothing in any bank.

    Many a fine churchgoer — priests, pastors, deacons, elders, Sunday School teachers, and parishioners and congregants — passed by as the young man stood beside the car with its hood up that cold February morning, but no one stopped. Able, a tow truck driver who had just ended his shift and was going home, happened by. Able called his cousin and towed the car to his shop and waited until his cousin arrived.

    As his cousin worked on the car, Able took the family to his home where his wife made them something to eat. She also provided them with a bag of provisions from her pantry and fridge. Two hundred dollars were hidden in the bottom of the bag.

    The car was fixed by mid -afternoon and Able’s cousin gave the young man a severely discounted bill and told him to send payment whenever he could. The young man asked Able why his family would treat him with such kindness.

    Abdullahe, or Able, replied, “The Prophet, blessed be His name, said that ‘Whatever you spend of good is to be for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler.’ So what was I to do when I saw needy travellers? May Allah bless you.”

  40. Ralph Adamo: “Because Jesus was a threat to the Romans, Pilate ordered him crucified.”

    Oh, I don’t know — either OMG or WTF. Your choice.

    You really ought to read the Bible and learn a little New Testament history before bloviating about the trials of Jesus. The Jewish leaders practically blackmailed Pilate into crucifying Jesus.

    Or just STFU. I know I’m responding to a troll (or at least I hope you’re a troll or else you’re really sick) but Ralphie, you’re really embarrassing yourself.


  41. Ohh, orolee, that was such a sweet story. It really melted my heart. But it is pure bullshit.

    Meanwhile, back here in reality, here is a REAL story of Islam. Stuff like this goes on every minute of every day in Muslim nations. Islam and Civilization are simply not compatible. The Buddhists know this, as all informed, knowledgeable, educated, and intelligent people who value Civilization and want to protect it know this.

  42. orolee, I have studied Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the writings of Paul, and I’ve read dozens of books analyzing those writings on Christianity.

    After exhaustive study, I’ve concluded that Hyam Maccoby has presented the clearest and most convincing explanations of the events surrounding the death of Jesus. Maccoby’s “Revolution in Judea” and “The Mythmaker” are masterful, scholarly works that really shed light on the underlying writings that are the basis for Christianity.

    Maccoby persuasively demonstrates that Jesus was a Pharisee, and that Paul, who professed to be one, was not. In short, Jesus was a Rabbi and a Jew and the Last Supper was Passover. Christianity was largely the brainchild of Paul.

    Like Islam, Christianity at its creation was a replacement theology, and therefore, the writings written long after Jesus’s death began to tell different and conflicting stories. The idea that the Jews killed Jesus, or had a role in his death was a fiction that did not take full form until John was written. Thus, in the earlier gospels, Jesus is saying and doing Jewish things. But by the time of John, virtually all of Jesus’s Jewishness has been edited out.

    Thus, anti-Semites, such as Mel Gibson and you, rely heavily on John to support their anti-Semitic agenda. The real story that emerges from a thorough analysis of the gospels and Paul’s writings is that Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi that was crucified by the Romans because he was a threat to them. The notion that Jewish leaders “ordered” or even “persuaded” Pilate to crucify Jesus and that the “blood is on their hands” is sheer replacement theology fiction that has no historical foundation or rational support when all of the pieces of the puzzle are examined.

    Of course, all of this is totally lost on ignorant fools like you, orolee, who haven’t studied or learned anything about the topics they talk about.

  43. I Googled “Hyam Maccoby criticism” and read a few of the articles listed. My takeaway is that Hyam Maccoby (with a bunch of Dick Cheneyed text-proofs) sought to separate the historical Jesus from Christianity and to reclaim him for Judaism, hermetically sealing him off from Paul, the real founder of Christianity, a new religion totally alien to Judaism. Paul was a Hellenized Jew (perhaps a Gentile), influenced by Gnosticism and pagan mystery religions who (or his followers) heavily edited the Gospels and used Jesus as a backdrop for his new syncretistic religion.

    From Wikipedia: “Reception of Maccoby’s view of Paul has generally been negative. John Gager of Princeton University reviewed The Mythmaker (1986) in the Jewish Quarterly Review (1988) describing part of Maccoby’s thesis as “perverse misreading” and concluded “Thus I must conclude that Maccoby’s book is not good history, not even history at all.” Skarsaune (2002), referencing Maccoby’s work and the theory that Paul represents a Christianity totally different from that of the early community in Jerusalem, writes that “Acts provides no evidence to substantiate this theory.” James D. G. Dunn (2006) describes Maccoby’s revival of Graetz’ accusations that Paul was a Gentile as “a regrettable reversion to older polemics”. The continuity with Graetz is also noted by Langton (2009), who contrasts Maccoby’s approach with adherents of a “building bridges” view, such as Isaac Mayer Wise, Joseph Krauskaupf, and Claude Montefiore, even if they shared some details of the polemic critique of Paul.”

    OK RA, you’re not crazy, You just read crazy stuff.

  44. Ralphie, if you, like Hyam Maccoby, want to disregard the accuracy of present New Testament texts, then you must also do the same for all other ancient writings.

    If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity .The next best attested writing is Homer’s Ilaid, with 463 copies, the earliest copy being written about 500 years after the original. From this corpus of copies, scholars believe they have ascertained the wording of the original (or “autograph”) with a 95% accuracy.

    Next in line are the 193 copies of Sophocles’ works, the earliest written about 1400 years after the original. After that the number of copies of the works of ancient authors quickly drops into the lower double and single digits.

    There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament. The earliest copy of the New Testament books was written much less than 100 years after the originals. Scholars have ascertained the wording of the originals with a 99.5% accuracy.(98.2% if you consider the long ending of Mark a later addition). In most cases of uncertainty the copies result in the wording being one of two possible words. None of the uncertainties make any doctrinal differences. Much more problematic, as with all ancient languages, is the meaning of certain known words.

    In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

    Maccoby is whacked if he thinks the New Testament copies we have now do not accurately reflect the autographs. So is anyone who finds that Maccoby’s hatchet job on the present New Testament texts “persuasively demonstrates” is also whacked. And your ready acceptance of that hatchet job belies any claim of exhaustive Biblical study. Perhaps you mean exhausting. For you, that is imminently believable.

  45. RA: “Thus, anti-Semites, such as Mel Gibson and you, rely heavily on John to support their anti-Semitic agenda.”

    “Of course, all of this is totally lost on ignorant fools like you, orolee, who haven’t studied or learned anything about the topics they talk about.”

    Ralphie, I’ve been chewing on if and how I should respond to these gratuitous insults which are based on nothing more than a simple reading of the description of the trials of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Your response seems kinda over the top for my simply taking John’s description at face value.

    This is the third part of that response.

    Part one simply challenges Maccoby’s scholarship for not hewing close to the actual language of New Testament texts. Part 2 simply establishes the exceedingly high degree of accuracy scholars have achieved in ascertaining the wording of the New Testament autographs.

    This third part is the simplest. John’s denunciation of the Jews is nothing more than a denunciation of Jewish leadership, not the Jewish people whom they had failed. It’s simple hermeneutics.

    You seen to equate anti-semitism with my simply pointing out that the description of the trials of Jesus in John’s gospel was at odds with your assertion that “Because Jesus was a threat to the Romans, Pilate ordered him crucified.” My previous correction of your assertion still stands – it’s simply how the gospel reads — even in the autograph. Nothing more than that was meant. It’s that simple.

    I understand that New Testament verses have been put to anti-semitic purposes, just as they have been used to justify slavery or the subservient position of women. Such uses are wrong. Period.

    Your bluster and bullying, the gratuitous name calling, the appeal to your own authority, the over the top response to a simple reading of the text of an ancient document indicate that you lack confidence in your own ability to adequately defend cherished beliefs.

    You doubt yourself. You doubt your abilities. You are scared. Simple.

  46. Spindell is the worst kind of mind MISreader – because he is not only
    ignorant, he’s an anti-intellectual bigot.

    Ditto Ralph Adamo –

    Both of these gentleman(?) were accurately described by a famous politician as being part of an effete corp of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

    Phony as Ben Net – after the Olynpics.

  47. Orolee,

    I have read all of Maccoby and others on the subject. I personally find his viewpoint persuasive, but then I am Jewish. Normally I avoid specific arguments about religious details and beliefs because I’m not in to attacking other’s deeply held faith. Also why try to convince others when you can’t and the process itself can? Ralph’s charge of you being anti-Jewish is dumb, simply because you said nothing that could be construed as bigoted. Also knowing a little about you, I feel safe in saying you’re not bigoted and Ralph is just being Ralph. As for ancient writings, my own belief is that they are tales that have been morphed mythically through the years and have some historical basis clouded by eons and mythmakers.

  48. MS: ” As for ancient writings, my own belief is that they are tales that have been morphed mythically through the years and have some historical basis clouded by eons and mythmakers”

    I am agreed, especially since I (1) read the book you recommended, Joseph’s Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Masks; (2) thereafter became acquainted with many earlier Mesopotamian proto-types of Biblical stories; and (3) have begun deconstructing my own beliefs in light of my growing knowledge of the primal religions of the Southwest’s Puebloen cultures.

    As JC has written, a myth is is another person’s religion.

    I was not out to defend the veracity of the Bible or Christianity or to attack anyone’s belief. I just felt that for accuracy’s sake, that the plain text of an ancient writing whose original wording is beyond reasonable dispute should in the first instance be given a literal rendering. If one wants to claim that the original wording should be given a different interpretation or that it is an outright lie, that’s fine. But let’s start with what we actually know — the actual wording and plain language of the text.

  49. sPINDEkk –

    Most of the jews that I know, and that includes half of my relatives, would
    be appalled that a fellow jew would label someone they don’t know as an snti-semiteand because they happen to question the so-called jewish Holocaust claims as being unproven and disproven.. I neither hate my relatives nor he millions of Arab semites all round the world.

    YOU are the real bigot and anti-semite because of your hatred of Muslims, and like so many others here and elsewhere, you are either ignorant of
    the evidence which disproves your Zionist propaganda claims, or else you are incapable of critical thinking – i.e. you are threatened by those who question claims made by people desperate to maintain historical lies.

  50. while on topic of the LETTERS of the prophets, in Nostradamus. they have been destroyed in 2009-10, because I predicted too many things. the churches threatened to arrest me when I went in to tell them them the truth, and 911 was called. ( it is a really long story that won’t fit in single posting.)

  51. I doubt this will help the debate any but I thought I’d mention that the Quran supports, no asserts, the Judaism of Jesus. It gives a historical narrative of what we call Judaism starting with Abraham through Jesus, (although it calls each member a Muslim, as in “he who submits himself to the Lord”.) The lineage it offers us of Jesus includes Mary, up to Aaron and all the way up to Abraham.

  52. Before I read Maccoby’s works, I held the traditional views of the mainstream New Testament scholars. But after reading Maccoby’s analyses, his writings thoroughly changed my views. He brilliantly analyzed the ancient writings and clearly discussed them with such erudition and painstaking logic, and since then I have gained insights into the New Testament that I never could have achieved from the mainstream scholars. I find Maccoby’s analyses to be particularly persuasive because he did not cherry-pick evidence that supported his positions and ignore conflicting evidence, but, on the contrary, he examined all the available evidence, including potentially conflicting material.

    I have read many of the criticisms of Maccoby’s works, including writings of some traditional New Testament scholars, but none of them carry any weight for me, regardless of the prestige of the universities and colleges they are affiliated with, because those writers refuse to get into the details that Maccoby does so well. In short, those mainstream scholars merely assert, ipse dixit, that Maccoby should be dismissed based on their say-so, without need for scholarly analyses or discussion.

    Finally, you do not have to be a Jew to understand and appreciate Maccoby’s works.

    As for the widely held conventional view that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’s crucifixion, I’ll leave it to Lenny Bruce, the legendary “rebel” comedian of the 1950s and 1960s to explain it to you. This clip is from the 1974 movie “Lenny,” wonderfully played by Dustin Hoffman and directed by the fabulous Bob Fosse.

  53. Are they the same “scholars” that told you Nazis are Leftists, Ralph?

    If so, then you’re right not to trust them.

  54. And as for the subject of bigotry, I’ll leave it to another great legendary humorist, Tom Lehrer (who I’m happy to say is still with us). Lehrer is one of those amazing humorists whose politically-oriented material is still topical, many decades after they were written. (And for those who don’t know about him, the comedy and songwriting was mostly an avocation for him, and he has been a mathematics professor for most of his life.)

  55. Please unsubscribe. I am unable to do so via the links embedded at bottom of emails –probably because my email address has an apostrophe in it.

  56. Eileen,
    Subscriptions are done by WordPress. Bloggers themselves have no control over what WordPress does. Contact them because they are the blog hosting service.

  57. Eileen,

    This is a WordPress bug that appears to have been fixed:


    But, JT will have to download and install the patch.

    Your best bet would be to block the sender’s e-mail address in your e-mail software.

    We get many spam comments asking for us to help with unsubscribing. Yours does not appear to be one of the spam kind.

  58. Eugene Volokh:

    Sri Lanka Bans Time Magazine with Cover Story on Buddhist-Led Pogroms in Myanmar” rel=”nofollow

    Customs department spokesman Leslie Gamini said they held the July 1 issue, because it carried a photo of a prominent Myanmar monk under the headline: “The Face of Buddhist Terror”

    “By operation of law these magazines will be confiscated,” Gamini said. “We did not allow this issue to be distributed in Sri Lanka because we felt it could hurt the religious sentiments of the people.”

    Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, where tensions with Muslims and other minority religious communities have been rising, is the second country to censor the edition after Myanmar also blocked it.

  59. even nostradamus had a lit.tell fun. what duhs a preacher have in common with a turd in a toyliet after the oh my gawdz, amenz, om’nz is properlea ore-dained and sent off on its way to the promised land to create new jobs in all its glory.
    why-ill the other talks it.

    169 or with a precurser 168

    and 317 if you want to distend it if he shuts the lights off when his hands are full of tissue.

    for those who wear items saying stuff like “piercing saved my life” you don’t even want to sell false icons or be the artist because you haven’t died yet
    read 898. it is also in the bible, and most religious doctrines sense you want to know the truth.

    by the way pope did you really move my books the bible says i would be here

  60. ten years ago I predicted this date on paper even though the papers are gone.
    t’was predicted through what people would do wheather it was write or wrong and this date is written as my day off.
    REMEMBER the antchrists READ this:too to’s’eaven: thee oh pee um reads 951 that I’m the “one who will ruin the world”, from the index. they have grown a third arm and annoited it with the finest oil POSSIBLE, and leo-owe-knee did opium boldly AND the pie-us are known and the prophecies would be made known and read what god knows from a book that will last forever

    as prophecy… it is done…

    and HE would come back to LIVE with THE FATHER to prove that reincarnation is possible and not know HIM… so what duhs hinndo sell, when all was given for free

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