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Closin’ tabs. July 16, 2008

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Buddhism may be dying out in Japan. And part of the problem may be commercialization. Does that mean it’s time for a Buddhist Martin Luther?

Oh, and they found a cool rock that either predicts Jesus or shows that Jesus was just cashing in on the buzz of the time, depending on how you want to interpret it.

Some rumination on how it’s darned hard to make jokes about Obama. I almost always laugh when TDS and TCR rag on him, but so much of the audience resists it—well, Jon comments on that in the article. (And Maureen Dowd brings some delicious snark.)

Schools are using more forcible restraint on problem kids. Most cringe-worthy line: “And the children, who have an array of psychiatric diagnoses, from attention deficit to autism, often do not understand what is happening or why.”

For something more thoughtful and less stomach-churning, check out this psychiatrist’s consideration of when to give out his email to patients. Also, therapists can have trouble dealing with rich people.

And on a brighter note entirely, Massachusetts is on the verge of knocking down yet another marriage-related limit, partly because recent developments in California have revealed that same-sex marriage brings the cash. We get rights, the state gets money . . . everybody wins!

Finally: Is it just me, or is this reviewing a book of RPF about Laura Bush?

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1. X - July 16, 2008

The death of Buddhism in Japan is old news to me. In Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, “Buddhism as a business” has become depressingly common. In Taiwan, for example, you even have “Buddhists” with their own TV stations! And their leaders wear ornate jewelry and fancy silk robes. It’s even more hypocritical than how American evangelicals raise money, due to Buddhism’s explicit tenets to avoid material wealth. There are still real Buddhists, but you don’t see or hear them because they’ve isolated themselves in remote temples.

Not surprised about the stone. If you read some of the Gnostic teachings (i.e. everything *else* Jesus taught) you find out he was channeling teachings from several eastern traditions, including (ironically in context with your post) Buddhism.

I like the line in the Obama article: “I hope he picks an idiot as a VP.” Joe Biden, anyone? XD

The school article reminds me why I’ve decided to home school my kids when the time comes. It’s especially scary when you remember that California’s courts recently outlawed homeschooling in the state, forcing every kid into the school system.

I’d be happier with the move on same-sex marriage if they weren’t done by court fiat. On one hand, at least each state is still able to resolve the issue, but I still would’ve liked to see the matter decided by direct vote of residents. As is, neither side of the issue can claim to legitimately represent the will of the people.

I think it’s also worth considering why government is defining marriage in the first place. I say civil unions for everyone to cover the property issue, then let the various churches decide who they want to marry. Then no one feels like it’s been rammed down their throat and everyone can find an environment they’re happy with. (This was the Ron Paul solution – leave it to a Paleoconservative to be the only presidential candidate who said same-sex marriage was okay and not some great moral threat.)


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