First off, a tip of the hat to the ID Project’s blog for this one. Catholic blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote a post about Buddhism in which he didn’t really say anything himself but was airing John Horgan’s beliefs about Buddhism, which were extremely reductive and misinformed. Horgan cites the bewhiskered complaint that Buddhism is about disengaging from the world and the whole concept of enlightenment then begins to look anti-spiritual. Buddhist monasticism may be about renouncing aspects of the world, but so are all sorts of monasticism. Where’s Thomas Merton when we need him?
Sullivan follows up with a lot of angry reader emails (his blog does not allow comments) who attack Horgan’s representation of Buddhism. And Sullivan concludes:
I’m more with these readers than the piece, which I ran, as I often do, not because I agreed with it but because it was a stimulating read. I have a reverence for Buddhism, went through a serious phase of studying it a decade or so ago, and continue to find its insights spiritually valuable.
Fair enough, and the kind thoughts are appreciated, but are Buddhists still going to end up in a warm place being poked by pitchforks while Sullivan’s flitting about somewhere far above with the saints and angels? This guy will be up there:
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