Holympic Games (I)
It’s like a special Olympic Games in which holy figures compete with each other for the best nonsense medals.
In 1997, the Chicago Tribune ran a story that revealed the all-too-peaceful Dalai Lama’s involvement in the CIA from 1956 to 1972. In all irrefutable evidence, the CIA was arming and training Tibetan guerillas to fight the Chinese, and refutable evidence showed the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism was on the CIA’s payroll for over a decade. The Dalai Lama administration acknowledged having received $1.7 million a year but denied its leader benefited personally from an annual subsidy of $180,000.
In a 1998 interview with BBC, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama explained, “There is a basic Buddhist belief that if the motivation is good and the goal is good, then any method, even apparently of a violent kind, is permissible.” And in 2008 the Dalai Lama, also the leader of the exiled Tibetan government, received from President George W. Bush the Gold Medal, Congress’ highest and most prestigious award – at a ceremony attended by the most rich and famous.
Adding more irony to his career, the Dalai Lama in 2010 said Marxism had moral ethics whereas capitalism was only about how to make profits. Where and when did he say that? During a series of lectures at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. That was four years after the Dalai Lama attended an International Youth Conference and “blessed” the Shambhala Mountain Center in the Rocky Mountains and addressed a sold-out crowd of 14,600 at “Pepsi Center” in Denver, United States.
Few people know that the Dalai Lama has a passion for weapons. In another interview he said: “I find many of the machines of violence very attractive. Tanks, airplanes, warships, especially aircraft carriers. And the German [and Nazi] U-boats, submarines…”
Today many people wonder why the “Free Tibet” campaign continues to solicit donations although the Dalai Lama in 1989 proposed a degree of autonomy within China and since then has not sought more than autonomy. (The idea of autonomy came under the famous Strasbourg Proposal in 1989, which was withdrawn by the Dalai Lama in 1991 but has remained in effect as the competing idea of independence was practically put into the political wastebasket.)
No doubt, the Dalai Lama has been a powerful contender in the Holympics. But not the only one.
Readers of this column may recall “His All Holiness: God is not your central banker,” in which I mentioned Bartholomew, the archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, who had said the solution to the punishing financial crisis in Greece was a return to God and Christian values.
That had come after Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos had declared the consumption of Turkish Cypriot halloumi cheese “religiously not permissible.” And in “His all Holiness: God is not your TV remote control,” I quoted Anthimos of Thessaloniki, the metropolitan of Greece’s second-largest city, as advising against Greeks watching Turkish soap operas, which he said “insulted and challenged our consciousness.”
The lands of the Crescent are no less a frontrunner in the Holympics. The religious affairs minister of the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia, proposed making miniskirts a porn crime. He could have scored better if he had thought of proposing to make “being raped” a crime since without women provoking rape no Muslim man would rape any woman.
The challenge from within the fraternal team came when Egyptian Parliament was to debate two laws that had been proposed: One legalized marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other permitted a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death. No doubt, the Egyptian ulama think that homosexuality is perverted and must be punished by law but pedophilia and necrophilia are just fine.
And the Egyptians scored further points when they put a business magnate on trial for uploading a picture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse clad in Islamic garb to his Twitter.
(To be continued on Nov. 2)