Jessica Miller writes on Killing the Buddha:
Those of you who thought Buddhism was still the proverbial last righteous man in Sodom might be disappointed to read August 20th’s New York Times. In his article “Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within,” Mark Oppenheimer likens a recent sex scandal in a New York-based Japanese Buddhist society to the slew of sexual improprieties among religious leaders made public over the past year. Apparently, Abbot Eido Shimano of the Zen Studies Society has been a little more than a spiritual guide for several female members of his community—yeah, you get my drift—and has been doing so for at least the past thirty years. Allegations have been building both on the board of the society and in the media for the past two years. Last month Shimano ended up resigning from his position after a woman publicly pronounced that she had had a consensual affair with him.
It is undeniable that the news is hot on stories of what Oppenheimer calls “clerical impropriety.” As distressed as I am over the sentence I am about to write: it seems as though it is only a matter of time until every religion has its fifteen minutes of sexual scandal. But while stories like this one are trendy, it could be dangerous to analogize one religion’s scandals with those of others.
The whole thing is here.
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