Why is Buddhism different in the East than in the West? A Response…

NAMO TASSA BHAGAVATO ARAHATO SAMMASAMBUDDHASSA
NAMO TASSA BHAGAVATO ARAHATO SAMMASAMBUDDHASSA
NAMO TASSA BHAGAVATO ARAHATO SAMMASAMBUDDHASSA


Translation: May veneration be presented to the exalted one who is a Buddha and who has achieved enlightenment by himself righteously. X3

Why is Buddhism different in the East than in the West?
Part 1 and Why is Buddhism different in the East than in the West? Who is the God of All Nations? (Part 2)

by Steve Cioccolanti

A Response by Bhikkhu aggacitto

All scripture quoted is either from the Christian Bible (N.I.V.) or the Pali canon Tipitaka.

This is a response to an article written by Pastor Steve Cioccolanti at the blog site www. buddabook.org/bookblog/ which is the site used to promote his book “From Buddha to Jesus”. For the review of this book click here:

The beginning of the article starts as such:

“Buddhism is not a native religion to any country. It is a religion that adapts itself to the original religion of a people. When a nation has many Buddhists, Buddhism becomes superimposed on the foundational beliefs of that country, but the foundation remains the same. Once we understand this, we will understand why Western Buddhists have so many ideas that did not originate from Buddhism, yet they insist they are getting them from Buddhism.”

Is it any surprise that any religion has its origins somewhere and then travels and adapts to local cultures?

Just where would the story of Christianity be most native to? ……. Ancient Jerusalem?

“For instance, the foundation of India and Sri Lanka is Hinduism, so any form of Buddhism that exists there coexists with Hindu gods and practices. The Hindus actually now accept Buddha as one of their many gods, even though during Buddha’s lifetime he was considered a heretic. Buddha started out as a Hindu, but then turned away from the Hindu religion. He did not believe in their caste system, their idols, or their method of salvation. This is why he “divided religion” as Buddhists say.”

Mr. Steve Cioccolanti seems to be unaware of the fact that Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism. The word “Hinduism” is a word that was coined by the English in the nineteenth century to refer to a wide variety of spiritual and cultural practices and beliefs.1

“The foundation of Thailand is animism, so Thai monks there are well versed in black magic, exorcism and superstition. Who ties sacred threads around the wrists and ankles of people while chanting mantras? Buddhist monks! Who also gives out lucky numbers and winning lottery tickets? Buddhist monks! Who makes amulets and mysterious objects for personal protection? You guessed it. Thais therefore tend to be open to the supernatural because this is the foundation of their culture.”

Are we well versed in “Black magic”? Exorcism and superstition?

Not only are these charges ill founded but are a particular slander meant against the Buddhist sangha.As an example, I wear several “Sakyant” tattoos on my body but for the purpose of a personal affirmation of my religious experience, not “black magic”.As a matter of fact, the two Sakyant tattoos on the palms of my hands are the “metta” inscriptions to help to always remind me to both give and receive with loving kindness. What “black Magic”!And just what would he consider superstition?, apparently what ever does not fall in line with evangelical Christianity.

“Who also gives out lucky numbers and winning lottery tickets? Buddhist monks!”

I presume that he means for winning lottery tickets.

People always ask me for this, but I can say that I don’t and do not know of any Buddhist monk that does.

“Who ties sacred threads around the wrists and ankles of people while chanting mantras? Buddhist monks!”

This is an extension of what we would call a paritta or what would be considered a form of blessing. I myself have a great deal of confidence in the abilities of the mind, creative visualization, and the like. The author is more than welcome to disagree if he would like.

“The foundation of China is actually the worship of “Shangdi”, the God of Heaven, who is never represented by idols or images, and whose Temple of Heaven is visited by millions of tourists today. His worship predates Taoism and Buddhism.”

The earliest references to Shangdi are found in Oracle Bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1600 BC – ca. 1046 BC).2 Now would fortune telling (oracle use) be classified by Mr. Cioccolanti as “black magic” or superstition? Or would that be both?2

“The name Shangdi is akin to El Shaddai, the Hebrew name for the God of the Bible. He is worshipped in exactly the same way – through blood sacrifice, which foreshadows Christ’s blood shed for us on the cross.”

Perhaps someday we’ll hopefully be able to progress past the “blood sacrifice” mentality. Yes I know, that’s just my opinion, but there you have it.

“Later Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism were superimposed on this worship of the monotheistic Supreme Being. The Chinese use many characters which point to their ancient ancestors’ knowledge of the Biblical accounts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the temptation and fall of the first man, Noah’s Flood and the survival of eight people on a boat, the atonement of sin through lamb sacrifice, etc.”

Traditional/ Simple/ Pinyin( English pronunciation)/ English definition

(Not all characters available in simple form)

本 běn roots or stems of plants; origin; source; this;the current;root; foundation; basis; (a measure word)

本源 běn yuán origin; source

根源 gēn yuán origin; root (cause)

來歷 来历 lái lì history; antecedents; origin

來源 来源 lái yuán source (of information, etc); origin

来源 起源 qǐ yuán origin; to originate; to come from

由來 由来 yóu lái origin

源 yuán root; source; origin

緣起 缘起 yuán qǐ origin

原因 yuán yīn cause; origin; root cause; reason

I remember reading this once and observing a single character that was presented as Chinese for Genesis. Why it looked exactly like two humans standing under a tree!

來歷 I believe it was a very stylized and custom designed for the purpose version of the character on the left of what we have here in the third row to the left of this.3

Of course there is the common sense explanation for many characters, which would also tell you that it would be quite natural to symbolize something according to the concept that you’re being given to characterize.As an example,the character for a snake might just look like a snake!

Let me give you another example: if you were to characterize the concept of a house with say, three windows… whoa! Look at that! It might very well look similar to a house with…three windows! Would that mean that you would prefer living in a house with only three windows? The reason why some people don’t ever even think of the obvious is because they are so busy interpreting the world into their religious beliefs instead of the other way around.

Now some of you might be thinking…O.K. Mr.smarty robe,but you Buddhists do the same thing now don’t you? As a method of practice, no. Lets wait just a bit until we get to Mr. Cioccolanti’s thoughts about Buddhism and science and we will discuss this sort of thing further.

       “This godly foundation may account for why, no matter how much Buddhism has permeated China, the Chinese all over the world readily become Christian. All of us are truly honoring our ancestors when we worship the God who created everything in the beginning!”

You don’t have a higher percentage of Chinese than in China, and even there you’re only talking 5.0% who are Christian!4

“The foundation of Japan is the worship of “Aminominakanushi” whose inscriptions are on many indigenous and tall altars in Japan. He is a Tri-une god, one of three, who created the universe and now sits in the center of Heaven[1]. The Kojiki, Japan’s oldest historical record, has an account of creation that is almost verbatim like the Bible’s. The worship of Aminominakanushi was eventually replaced by Shinto – a form of animism and nature worship. The sun goddess Amaterasu became the mos important kami or god. When Buddhism arrived on Japan’s shores in 552AD from Korea, Buddhists adapted to the idea of kamis. They considered Buddha as one manifestation of the kamis.”

Aminominakanushi?…….A ‘tri-une’ God?

“According to certain of the myths relating the unfolding of heaven and earth, Amenominakanushi was the first kami to come into being in the Plain of Heaven as a “solitary kami” (hitorigami), and to hide his presence. Also counted as one of the zōka sanshin (“three kami of creation”) and one of the five kotoamatsukami (“separate heavenly deities”). Amenominakanushi is found at the very beginning of Kojiki, while only appearing in an alternate version within the fourth “alternate writing” quoted in Nihongi.

No mention is made of this kami’s activities, and he was not worshiped at any known ancient shrines, with the result that he is considered by some as a kami of abstract character and produced under the influence of Chinese thought.5

“Japan’s most famous monk Nichiren started preaching his version of Buddhism in 1253 AD. No matter how many new thoughts came along, Japan has always had a fascination in creation myths and end-of-the-world stories. These preoccupations are certainly not Buddhist in their origin.”

That’s true, although that ‘certainly’ wouldn’t make them of Christian origin either.

“The foundation in Aminominakanushi may be one reason there was a Christian revival in Japan in the 1500s and why, according to a Gallup poll in 2006, 40% of Japanese adults and 51% of Japanese teenagers reported that they have prayed to Techi-no-Tsukutta – the Creator God”.

Techi-no-Tsukutta……. Japan’s “creator God”? In the ancient native Shinto religion the Sky Father Creator is Izanagi and the Sky Mother Creator is Izanami. Amaterasu is the Sun Goddess and principle deity.6 So the “Creator God” concept can certainly mean more than one thing. This is all yet another look at how when the world doesn’t match the Christian world view then many will have no problem fabricating what they wish in order to make it fit. Shinto doesn’t fit so they’ll just figure something else out and make that fit! After all, if the world for them does not match what they perceive as the Christian world view then what the world is presenting just must be wrong some how!Yes! Otherwise intelligent people will actually believe this! Or… with out even trying to kid themselves they will just knowingly lie! If you go to the Gallup.com website at: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx you will soon find out that the Gallup organization knows nothing of this poll that was supposedly taken in 2006.

So here we have an evangelical Christian who enjoys deception,referencing another evangelical Christian who apparently enjoys the same!

How do you fabricate a Gallup poll that never existed and not know that you’re lying?

Techi-no-Tsukutta? Japan’s “Creator God”? No, that would be………… Techi-no-truthful!

I tell you all sincerely, If ignorance, lying and zealous efforts at deception were an Olympic sport, then I believe the Pastor Steve Cioccolanti would be a legendary gold medalist.

A Christian “revival” during the 1500’s? Around 199 C.E.there is some evidence perhaps for suggestions of Christianity, and at the end of the forth century there was some Christianity noticeable, although nothing that we know of on the scale of what was in Japan during the 16th and 17th century. It would seem as if they would like to “revive” the 16th and 17th century in Japan when there were the “Kirishitan”, which was a term that meant Roman Catholic in Japanese. Just as with any signs of Christianity prior, they were the direct product of Christian Missionaries in Japan during that time.7 Despite the efforts of some, none of this is evidence that the Biblical concept of God is something “natural” to the Japanese people.

“Now we come to the West. All can agree that the West’s foundation lies not in Buddhism. So when Buddhism came to the West, it had to build on another foundation. What is that?”

Another foundation? No,It is the same foundation that is called the Pali Canon Tipitaka.

Part 2

He Continues…….

“Although some Western intellectuals today seem unaware of it, Christianity is the foundation of the greatness of the West. Ancient Europe was steeped in barbarism and paganism until the revelation of Judeo-Christian values. The greatest advances in Western justice, education, prosperity, and scientific discovery are almost unanimously connected to a Christian, whether they be a statesman, revivalist, or scientist. Let me cite some basic evidence.

.The most developed judicial system in the world is based on the Bible, its 10 commandments, and its teaching that God made us in His image and likeness. We are made moral beings who have inalienable rights and innately know natural laws.

.Lord William Wilberforce led the abolition of slavery in the British Empire after he became Christian and heard God’s call.

The revivalist Jonathan Edwards founded Princeton University. Some of the most prestigious universities in America, such as Harvard and Yale, were founded for the purpose of training Christians and advancing the Gospel.

.Another revivalist Charles Finney single-handedly altered the social and economic fabric of America in the 1830s. His converts quit drinking overnight, worked harder on the job, and became more faithful to their wives and children – a phenomenon that reinforced the “Protestant work ethic” and fueled an economic boom to America.

.Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics and Calculus, was one among many believers of the Bible who advanced science based on his Biblical belief that God created the universe with intelligence and governs it with laws. The idea that there is no Creator has tended to stifle non-Christian societies from scientific progress.”

I will certainly not deny that there are those who have taken Christianity as a great inspiration to do some good and I don’t see why anyone should take issue with that. As long as it is not the inspiration to torture or kill people because they do not take your religious view. As well it would be interesting to note here just how the author would qualify the term “non Christian societies”?

I say this because he equates the creator concept in general with the category of a Christian society to suit his statement here.Why goodness! How clever!

Can any of us even imagine what the law would look like today if it were actually based on the 10 commandments given in the book of Exodus?

The One and Only God Act

1.There is only one god.

2.His name is Yahweh.

3.Everyone shall worship Yahweh.

4.Only Yahweh knows what is good and what is bad.

5.Refer to the Bible if you are confused about what is good and what is bad.

6.Anyone (a) caught doing bad according to Yahweh’s definitions or (b) worshiping another god other than Yahweh, upon the testimony of three witnesses (not one), shall be guilty of a felony of the 1st degree.

7.All persons found guilty shall be stoned to death by a crowd of the defendant’s peers.

8.The three witness get to go first.14

Is there any moral good to the 10 commandments given in the book of Exodus? Of course there is, there are several very good moral stipulations but that does not mean that the 10 commandments were the first time that they ever could have been thought of OR the last independently. A judicial system based on the Bible? You had better be prepared to legalize slavery (Lev.25:44),any one caught working on the Sabbath would then be put to death (Exodus 35:2), those caught cursing their mother or father better be prepared to be executed (Exodus 21:17), and anyone caught sacrificing anything (this would include fruit etc.) to any other God but the Lord God of the Christian Bible must be destroyed!(Exodus 22:20) Well! There goes most of the Hindu community, and anyone else caught doing such an “abominable” deed! I could discuss this for quite a bit more, hopefully though this will suffice. If we actually had a Judicial system based on the Bible, I seriously doubt that anyone else would be given the same freedoms and privileges that the author enjoys bragging about. I have heard some say that you can’t legislate morality, but they forget that this is a basic reason why a society has laws in the first place! With that in mindlet us remember that as a matter of a basic principle of Christianity all people are certainly not considered equal under the moral law of their Christian God. In case no one has noticed lately, for them if you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior then you are morally superior to the rest of humanity, which is why to even suggest that the religion of Christianity has been even a guiding light to any nation seeking a just and moral equality of people would be…….. wrong. Have any modern day political leaders been Christian? Of course, thankfully though none have recently presided over a government where the official state religion was Christianity. If any doubt me just wait until we get to the section where the “democracy loving” history of Christianity is discussed. Of course there are those who will tell you that yes, Christianity has been misused… but they would never do such a thing! Unfortunately if you believe that your religion is the only one given the official blessing of your divine and morally supreme creator God, which would make every one else’s by default not of God and therefore “evil” this seems far easier said than done!

“There is no doubt the best of the West comes from Christianity. Its laws, its freedom, its peace, its progress rest squarely on the sacrifices and prayers of believers.”

No, that would be the sacrifices and prayers of the heathen as they have been called who were tortured and killed in one way or another through out history for being “unbelievers” as we shall soon see.

“Whereas in non-Christian parts of the world people are oppressed or even tortured for choosing what to believe and who to worship,…

Again,as we shall soon see, the Christians have always seemed to want to set the standard when it comes to torturing and killing others for what they believe or worship.

“Christian nations emphasize freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and individual responsibility before God. Christianity is the source of our freedom to think and reason.”

…. “individual responsibility before God”? So that would be why according to Christianity all of humanity has had to pay the price by way of the doctrine of “original sin” for the mistake of Adam and Eve? Because of “individual responsibility before God”? As far as the rest of this is concerned… “the source of our freedom to think and reason.”?! Science and reason have always been opposed by the blind faith of a religion such as Christianity. The astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)was certainly not the only well know example! Yes, I know that this is a long list but it is important to look at all of this for the sake of those who would like to give the “isolated incident” here and there type of excuse.

The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name. ——- Exodus 15 Vs.3

Here are some of the Events that solely occurred on command of church authorities or were committed in the name of Christianity.8

(This List is incomplete, as well I have also omitted the entries regarding some forms of twentieth century Christian terrorism of arson, murders,shootings and the like in Jesus’ name which exist practically up to this day due to the context of this sort of statement regarding why we have the freedoms that we have today.)

Killing Ancient Pagans in the name of Christ.

*As soon as Christianity was legal (315 C.E.), more and more pagan temples were destroyed by Christian mob. Pagan priests were killed.

*Between 315 and 6th century thousands of pagan believers were slain.

*Examples of destroyed Temples the Sanctuary of Aesculap in Aegaea,the Temple of Aphrodite in Golgatha, Aphaka in Lebanon, the Heliopolis.

*Christian priests such as Mark of Arethusa or Cyrill of Heliopolis were famous as “temple destroyer.” [DA468] *Pagan services became punishable by death in 356. [DA468]

*Christian Emperor Theodosius (408-450) even had children executed,because they had been playing with remains of pagan statues. [DA469]

According to Christian chroniclers he “followed meticulously all Christian teachings…”

*In 6th century pagans were declared void of all rights.

*In the early fourth century the philosopher Sopatros was executed on demand of Christian authorities. [DA466]

*The world famous female philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was torn to pieces with glass fragments by a hysterical Christian mob led by a Christian minister named Peter, in a church, in 415.

 The Murdering Christian Missionaries

*Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded. [DO30]

*Peasants of Steding (Germany) unwilling to pay suffocating church taxes between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children slain 5/27/1234 near Altenesch/Germany. [WW223]

*Battle of Belgrad 1456 80,000 Turks slaughtered. [DO235]

*15th century Poland 1019 churches and 17987 villages plundered by Knights of the Order. Victims unknown. [DO30]

*16th and 17th century Ireland. English troops “pacified and civilized” Ireland, where only Gaelic “wild Irish”, “unreasonable beasts lived without any knowledge of God or good manners, in common of their goods, cattle, women, children and every other thing.” One of the more successful soldiers, a certain Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, ordered that “the heddes of all those (of what sort soever thei were) which were killed in the daie, should be cutte off from their bodies… and should bee laied on the ground by eche

side of the waie”, which effort to civilize the Irish indeed caused “greate terrour to the people when thei sawe the heddes of their dedde fathers, brothers, children, kinsfolke, and freinds on the grounde”.

Tens of thousands of Gaelic Irish fell victim to the carnage. [SH99,225]

The Christian Crusades (1095-1291 C.E.)

*First Crusade 1095 on command of pope Urban II. [WW11-41]

*Semlin/Hungary 6/24/96 thousands slain. Wieselburg/Hungary 6/12/96 thousands. [WW23]

*9/9/96-9/26/96 Nikaia, Xerigordon (then turkish), thousands respectively. [WW25-27]

*Until Jan 1098 a total of 40 capital cities and 200 castles conquered (number of slain unknown) [WW30]

*After 6/3/98 Antiochia (then turkish) conquered, between 10,000 and 60,000 slain. 6/28/98 100,000 Turks (incl. women & children) killed.[WW32-35]

Here the Christians “did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy’s] tents – save that they ran their lances through their bellies,” according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres.[EC60]

*Marra (Maraat an-numan) 12/11/98 thousands killed. Because of the subsequent famine “the already stinking corpses of the enemies were eaten by the Christians” said chronicler Albert Aquensis. [WW36]

*Jerusalem conquered 7/15/1099 more than 60,000 victims (Jewish, Muslim, men, women, children). [WW37-40]

(In the words of one witness “there [in front of Solomon’s temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes”, and after that “happily and crying for joy our people marched to our Saviour’s tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of

gratitude”)

*The Archbishop of Tyre, eye-witness, wrote “It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies

and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that

within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels

perished.” [TG79]

*Christian chronicler Eckehard of Aura noted that “even the following summer in all of palestine the air was polluted by the stench of decomposition”. One million victims of the first crusade alone. [WW41]

*Battle of Askalon, 8/12/1099. 200,000 heathens slaughtered “in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. [WW45]

*Fourth crusade 4/12/1204 Constantinople sacked, number of victims unknown, numerous thousands, many of them Christian. [WW141-148]

*Rest of Crusades in less detail until the fall of Akkon 1291 probably 20 million victims (in the Holy land and Arab/Turkish areas alone). [WW224]

Note All figures according to contemporary (Christian) chroniclers.

Killing “Heretics” in the name of Christ.

*Already in 385 C.E. the first Christians, the Spanish Priscillianus and six followers, were beheaded for heresy in Trier/Germany [DO26]

*Manichaean heresy a crypto-Christian sect decent enough to practice birth control (and thus not as irresponsible as faithful Catholics) was exterminated in huge campaigns all over the Roman empire between 372 C.E. and 444 C.E. Numerous thousands of victims. [NC]

*Albigensians the first Crusade intended to slay other Christians.

[DO29]

The Albigensians (cathars = Christians allegedly that have all rarely sucked) viewed themselves as good Christians, but would not accept roman Catholic rule, and taxes, and prohibition of birth control. [NC]

Begin of violence on command of pope Innocent III (greatest single pre-nazi mass murderer) in 1209. Beziérs (today France) 7/22/1209 destroyed, all the inhabitants were slaughtered. Victims (including Catholics refusing to turn over their heretic neighbours and friends)

20,000-70,000. [WW179-181]

*Carcassonne 8/15/1209, thousands slain. Other cities followed.

[WW181]

*subsequent 20 years of war until nearly all Cathars (probably half the population of the Languedoc, today southern France) were exterminated. [WW183]

*After the war ended (1229) the Inquisition was founded 1232 to search and destroy surviving/hiding heretics. Last Cathars burned at the stake 1324. [WW183] *Estimated one million victims (cathar heresy alone), [WW183]

*Other heresies Waldensians, Paulikians, Runcarians, Josephites, and many others. Most of these sects exterminated, (I believe some Waldensians live today, yet they had to endure 600 years of

persecution) I estimate at least hundred thousand victims (including the Spanish inquisition but excluding victims in the New World).

*Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada alone allegedly responsible for 10,220

burnings. [DO28]

*John Huss, a critic of papal infallibility and indulgences, was

burned at the stake in 1415. [LI475-522]

*University professor B.Hubmaier burned at the stake 1538 in Vienna.

[DO59]

*Giordano Bruno, Dominican monk, after having been incarcerated for seven years, was burned at the stake for heresy on the Campo dei Fiori (Rome) on 2/17/1600.

Killing Witches in the name of Christ.

*from the beginning of Christianity to 1484 probably more than several

thousand.

*in the era of witch hunting (1484-1750) according to modern scholars

several hundred thousand (about 80% female) burned at the stake or

hanged. [WV]

*incomplete list of documented cases

The Burning of Witches – A Chronicle of the Burning Times

Other Christian Religious Wars

*15th century Crusades against Hussites, thousands slain. [DO30]

*1538 pope Paul III declared Crusade against apostate England and all English as slaves of Church (fortunately had not power to go into action). [DO31]

*1568 Spanish Inquisition Tribunal ordered extermination of 3 million rebels in (then Spanish) Netherlands. Thousands were actually slain. [DO31]

*1572 In France about 20,000 Huguenots were killed on command of pope Pius V. Until 17th century 200,000 flee. [DO31]

*17th century Catholics slay Gaspard de Coligny, a Protestant leader. After murdering him, the Catholic mob mutilated his body, “cutting off his head, his hands, and his genitals… and then dumped him into the river […but] then, deciding that it was not worthy of being food for

the fish, they hauled it out again [… and] dragged what was left … to the gallows of Montfaulcon, ‘to be meat and carrion for maggots and crows’.” [SH191]

*17th century Catholics sack the city of Magdeburg/Germany roughly 30,000 Protestants were slain. “In a single church fifty women were found beheaded,” reported poet Friedrich Schiller, “and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers.” [SH191]

*17th century 30 years’ war (Catholic vs. Protestant) at least 40% of

population decimated, mostly in Germany. [DO31-32]

Killing Jews in the name of Christ.

*Already in the 4th and 5th centuries synagogues were burned by Christians. Number of Jews slain unknown.

*In the middle of the fourth century the first synagogue was destroyed on command of bishop Innocentius of Dertona in Northern Italy. The first synagogue known to have been burned down was near the river Euphrat, on command of the bishop of Kallinikon in the year 388. [DA450]

*17. Council of Toledo 694 Jews were enslaved, their property confiscated, and their children forcibly baptized. [DA454]

*The Bishop of Limoges (France) in 1010 had the cities’ Jews, who would not convert to Christianity, expelled or killed. [DA453]

*First Crusade Thousands of Jews slaughtered 1096, maybe 12.000 total. Places Worms 5/18/1096, Mainz 5/27/1096 (1100 persons), Cologne, Neuss, Altenahr, Wevelinghoven, Xanten, Moers, Dortmund, Kerpen, Trier, Metz, Regensburg, Prag and others (All locations Germany except Metz/France, Prag/Czech) [EJ]

*Second Crusade 1147. Several hundred Jews were slain in Ham, Sully,

Carentan, and Rameru (all locations in France). [WW57]

*Third Crusade English Jewish communities sacked 1189/90. [DO40]

*Fulda/Germany 1235 34 Jewish men and women slain. [DO41]

*1257, 1267 Jewish communities of London, Canterbury, Northampton,

Lincoln, Cambridge, and others exterminated. [DO41]

*1290 in Bohemian (Poland) allegedly 10,000 Jews killed. [DO41]

*1337 Starting in Deggendorf/Germany a Jew-killing craze reaches 51 towns in Bavaria, Austria, Poland. [DO41]

*1348 All Jews of Basel/Switzerland and Strasbourg/France (two thousand) burned. [DO41]

*1349 In more than 350 towns in Germany all Jews murdered, mostly burned alive (in this one year more Jews were killed than Christians in 200 years of ancient Roman persecution of Christians). [DO42]

*1389 In Prag 3,000 Jews were slaughtered. [DO42]

*1391 Seville’s Jews killed (Archbishop Martinez leading). 4,000 were slain, 25,000 sold as slaves. [DA454] Their identification was made easy by the brightly colored “badges of shame” that all jews above the age of ten had been forced to wear.

*1492 In the year Columbus set sail to conquer a New World, more than 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain, many died on their way 6/30/1492. [MM470-476]

*1648 Chmielnitzki massacres In Poland about 200,000 Jews were slain. [DO43]

(I feel sick …) this goes on and on, century after century, right

into the kilns of Auschwitz.

Killing Native Peoples in the name of Christ.

*Beginning with Columbus (a former slave trader and would-be Holy Crusader) the conquest of the New World began, as usual understood as a means to propagate Christianity. *Within hours of landfall on the first inhabited island he encountered in the Caribbean, Columbus seized and carried off six native people who, he said, “ought to be good servants … [and] would easily be made Christians, because it seemed to me that they belonged to no religion.” [SH200]

While Columbus described the Indians as “idolators” and “slaves, as many as [the Crown] shall order,” his pal Michele de Cuneo, Italian nobleman, referred to the natives as “beasts” because “they eat when they are hungry,”and made love “openly whenever they feel like it.” [SH204-205]

*On every island he set foot on, Columbus planted a cross, “making the declarations that are required” – the requerimiento – to claim the ownership for his Catholic patrons in Spain. And “nobody objected.” If the Indians refused or delayed their acceptance (or understanding),

the requerimiento continued “I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter in your country and shall make war against you … and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church … and shall do you all mischief that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse to receive their lord and resist and contradict him.” [SH66]

*Likewise in the words of John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony “justifieinge the undertakeres of the intended Plantation in New England … to carry the Gospell into those parts of the world, … and to raise a Bulworke against the kingdome of the Ante-Christ.” [SH235]

*In average two thirds of the native population were killed by colonist-imported smallpox before violence began. This was a great sign of “the marvelous goodness and providence of God” to the Christians of course, e.g. the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony wrote in 1634, as “for the natives, they are near all dead of the smallpox, so as the Lord hath cleared our title to what we possess.” [SH109,238]

*On Hispaniola alone, on Columbus visits, the native population (Arawak), a rather harmless and happy people living on an island of abundant natural resources, a literal paradise, soon mourned 50,000 dead. [SH204]

*The surviving Indians fell victim to rape, murder, enslavement and spanish raids.

*As one of the culprits wrote “So many Indians died that they could not be counted, all through the land the Indians lay dead everywhere. The stench was very great and pestiferous.” [SH69]

*The indian chief Hatuey fled with his people but was captured and burned alive. As “they were tying him to the stake a Franciscan friar urged him to take Jesus to his heart so that his soul might go to heaven, rather than descend into hell. Hatuey replied that if heaven was where the Christians went, he would rather go to hell.” [SH70]

*What happened to his people was described by an eyewitness “The Spaniards found pleasure in inventing all kinds of odd cruelties … They built a long gibbet, long enough for the toes to touch the ground to prevent strangling, and hanged thirteen [natives] at a time in honor of Christ Our Saviour and the twelve Apostles… then, straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive.” [SH72]

Or, on another occasion “The Spaniards cut off the arm of one, the leg or hip of another, and from some their heads at one stroke, like butchers cutting up beef and mutton for market. Six hundred, including the cacique, were thus slain like brute beasts…Vasco [de Balboa] ordered forty of them to be torn to pieces by dogs.” [SH83]

*The “island’s population of about eight million people at the time of Columbus’s arrival in 1492 already had declined by a third to a half before the year 1496 was out.” Eventually all the island’s natives were exterminated, so the Spaniards were “forced” to import slaves from other caribbean islands, who soon suffered the same fate. Thus “the Caribbean’s millions of native people [were] thereby effectively liquidated in barely a quarter of a century”. [SH72-73] “In less than the normal lifetime of a single human being, an entire culture of millions of people, thousands of years resident in their homeland, had been exterminated.” [SH75]

*”And then the Spanish turned their attention to the mainland of Mexico and Central America. The slaughter had barely begun. The exquisite city of Tenochtitlán [Mexico city] was next.” [SH75]

*Cortez, Pizarro, De Soto and hundreds of other spanish conquistadors likewise sacked southern and mesoamerican civilizations in the name of Christ (De Soto also sacked Florida). *”When the 16th century ended, some 200,000 Spaniards had moved to the Americas. By that time probably more than 60,000,000 natives were dead.” [SH95]

Of course no different were the settlers of what today is the US of
America.

*Although none of the settlers would have survived winter without native help, they soon set out to expel and exterminate the Indians. Warfare among (north American) Indians was rather harmless, in comparison to European standards, and was meant to avenge insults

rather than conquer land. In the words of some of the pilgrim fathers “Their Warres are farre less bloudy…”, so that there usually was “no great slawter of nether side”. Indeed, “they might fight seven yeares and not kill seven men.” What is more, the Indians usually spared women and children. [SH111]

*In the spring of 1612 some English colonists found life among the(generally friendly and generous) natives attractive enough to leave generally friendly and generous) natives attractive enough to leave Jamestown – “being idell … did runne away unto the Indyans,” – to live among them (that probably solved a sex problem). “Governor Thomas Dale had them hunted down and executed ‘Some he apointed (sic) to be hanged Some burned Some to be broken upon wheles,

others to be staked and some shott to deathe’.” [SH105] Of course these elegant measures were restricted for fellow englishmen “This was the treatment for those who wished to act like Indians. For those who had no choice in the matter, because they were the native people of Virginia” methods were different “when an Indian was accused by an Englishman of stealing a cup and failing to return it, the English response was to attack the natives in force, burning the entire community” down. [SH105]

*On the territory that is now Massachusetts the founding fathers of

the colonies were committing genocide, in what has become known as the “Peqout War”. The killers were New England Puritan Christians, refugees from persecution in their own home country England.

*When however, a dead colonist was found, apparently killed by Narragansett Indians, the Puritan colonists wanted revenge. Despite the Indian chief’s pledge they attacked. Somehow they seem to have lost the idea of what they were after, because when they were greeted by Pequot Indians (long-time foes of the Narragansetts) the troops nevertheless made war on the Pequots and burned their villages. The puritan commander-in-charge John Mason after one massacre wrote “And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon their Spirits, that they would fly from us and run into the very Flames, where many of them perished … God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven … Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies” men, women, children. [SH113-114]

*So “the Lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their land for an inheritance”. [SH111].

*Because of his readers’ assumed knowledge of Deuteronomy, there was no need for Mason to quote the words that immediately follow “Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them…” (Deut 20)

*Mason’s comrade Underhill recalled how “great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of the young soldiers” yet reassured his readers that “sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents”. [SH114]

*Other Indians were killed in successful plots of poisoning. The colonists even had dogs especially trained to kill Indians and to devour children from their mothers breasts, in the colonists’ own words “blood Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives to seaze them.”

(This was inspired by spanish methods of the time)of the Pequots was near. [SH107-119]

*The surviving handful of Indians “were parceled out to live in servitude. John Endicott and his pastor wrote to the governor asking for ‘a share’ of the captives, specifically ‘a young woman or girle and a boy if you thinke good’.” [SH115]

*Other tribes were to follow the same path.

*Comment the Christian exterminators “God’s Will, which will at last give us cause to say How Great is His Goodness! and How Great is his Beauty!”

“Thus doth the Lord Jesus make them to bow before him, and to lick the

Dust!” [TA]

*Like today, lying to help further what was perceived as a Christian agenda opposed to the unbelieving heathen was OK to many Christians then. “Peace treaties were signed with every intention to violate them when the Indians ‘grow secure uppon (sic) the treatie’, advised the Council of State in Virginia, ‘we shall have the better Advantage both to surprise them, & cutt downe theire Corne’.” [SH106]

*In 1624 sixty heavily armed Englishmen cut down 800 defenseless Indian men, women and children. [SH107]

*In a single massacre in “King Philip’s War” of 1675 and 1676 some

“600 Indians were destroyed. A delighted Cotton Mather, revered pastor of the Second Church in Boston, later referred to the slaughter as a ‘barbeque’.” [SH115]

*To summarize Before the arrival of the English, the western Abenaki people in New Hampshire and Vermont had numbered 12,000. Less than half a century later about 250 remained alive – a destruction rate of 98%. The Pocumtuck people had numbered more than 18,000, fifty years

later they were down to 920 – 95% destroyed. The Quiripi-Unquachog people had numbered about 30,000, fifty years later they were down to 1500 – 95% destroyed. The Massachusetts people had numbered at least 44,000, fifty years later barely 6000 were alive – 81% destroyed.

[SH118] These are only a few examples of the multitude of tribes living before Christian colonists set their foot on the New World. All this was before the smallpox epidemics of 1677 and 1678 had occurred. And the carnage was not over then.

*All the above was only the beginning of the European colonization, it was before the frontier age actually had begun.

*A total of maybe more than 150 million Indians (of both Americas) were destroyed in the period of 1500 to 1900, as an average two thirds by smallpox and other epidemics, that leaves some 50 million killed directly by violence, bad treatment and slavery.

*In many countries, such as Brazil, and Guatemala, this continues even today.

More Notable Events in US history

*Reverend Solomon Stoddard, one of New England’s most esteemed religious leaders, in “1703 formally proposed to the Massachusetts Governor that the colonists be given the financial wherewithal to purchase and train large packs of dogs ‘to hunt Indians as they do bears’.” [SH241]

*Massacre of Sand Creek, Colorado 11/29/1864. Colonel John Chivington, a former Methodist minister and still elder in the church (“I long to be wading in gore”) had a Cheyenne village of about 600, mostly women and children, gunned down despite the chiefs’ waving with a white flag 400-500 killed. From an eye-witness account “There were some thirty or forty squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were afterwards killed …” [SH131]

*By the 1860s, “in Hawaii the Reverend Rufus Anderson surveyed the carnage that by then had reduced those islands’ native population by 90 percent or more, and he declined to see it as tragedy; the expected total die-off of the Hawaiian population was only natural, this missionary said, somewhat equivalent to ‘the amputation of diseased members of the body’.” [SH244] 3

Now at this point there are probably some who might wish that this sort of stuff isn’t “real” Christianity! This is perhaps not what many Christians would consider their form of Christianity… but let’s not get carried away!

Let’s take a look at just two examples… One from the Old testament and One from the new Testament:

When Moses was on Mt. Sanai receiving the law as it is told in the book of Exodus it was discovered that the Israelites were down at the bottom of the mountain having a bit of a party…….

Exodus Ch. 32 Vs. 7-13 (K.J.V.)

7And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

8They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

9And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

11And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

12Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

14And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Apparently it would seem then that their Lord God decided to un repent of such evil thoughts:

Exodus Ch. 32 Vs.26-28 (K.J.V.)

26Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

Perhaps some of you are thinking …..Well! That’s just that old time Old Testament!

But Jesus is in the New Testament!

OkAY Then! How about something from the New Testament?

Acts 5 (King James Version)

1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

7And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

11And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

So here we have an example of their Christian God killing two people for telling a lie and not “coughing” it all up! The only historical context that we can apply here is that this is the record that we have of this advent that is recorded in the Book of Acts of the Christian Bible.

“As centuries go by, however, the very educational system, justice apparatus and scientific community Christianity produced have turned against the Bible. Like a flower that blossomed after rain insisting it did it on its own, today some Westerners view themselves as scientific skeptics who don’t owe any of their freedom to anybody, certainly not God. As Westerners continue to deny the water of God’s Word, the flower of Western civilization is beginning to wither away. In this atmosphere of mixed identity and insecure prosperity, modern Buddhism has been introduced to America and the West.”

I would have to say here that there is certainly a difference between Christianity being a part of the environment and it being the sole cause of any of this.Simply because of the “Ten Commandments” or due to the fact that one can name some scientists and social reformers who were Christian is something of a long ways away from assuming that the educational system, the entire justice system or the scientific community was ‘produced’ by Christianity. This is the typical Christian centric world view perspective that basically ignores anything and everything else other than Christianity as any sort of potentially positive social force.

“Western converts therefore build Buddhism on both their foundations of science and Christianity.”

Thanks to what we have already taken a look at we know what absolute nonsense this statement is. Buddhism has as a matter of method no enmity with science, we know that there is no factual truth that should ever fear examination based on a belief system to be defended in spite of any evidence or the lack of it.Subjective experience is paramount in Buddhism and the method of analysis is given.I don’t think that the four noble truths or the eight fold noble path would quite qualify as “Christianity”.

“They are more combative and argumentative than their Eastern counterparts.”

Gosh! Excuse us Pastor Cioccolanti! Are we not as docile and submissive regarding your lies and slander of the Venerable Gotama and his teaching or the sangha (monastic community) as you would like?

“They claim Buddhism is the most scientific religion even though no evidence to support can be produced, and evidence to contradict is easy to find. Not a single Buddhist is the founder of any scientific field. Why is the dearth of discoveries characteristic of the “most scientific” religion in the world? Why has the supposed “nonsense” of Christianity produced the greatest scientific minds ever known? These questions demand an answer!”

“Buddhism is more scientific than modern science. Like science, Buddhism is based on verifiable cause-and-effect relationships. But unlike science, Buddhism challenges with thoroughness every belief. The famous Kalama Sutta of Buddhism states that one cannot believe fully in “what one is taught, tradition, hearsay, scripture, logic, inference, appearance, agreement with established opinion, the seeming competence of a teacher, or even in one’s own teacher”. How many scientists are as rigorous in their thinking as this? Buddhism challenges everything, including logic.”9 Although others seem to misunderstand, the point of this article I believe was to express how in order for Buddhism to be all that it was meant to be we can’t make the religious “party line” mistake.

I believe an answer overall to this sort of thing then lies in the fact that Buddhists are less likely to feel a need to justify or verify their proposed scientific findings via their Buddhist perspective, because there is no natural enmity between them that would produce a need to try to reconcile the two. Therefore if there ever were a Buddhist founder of a scientific field of study you might very well might not even know it! Modern Western science has been raised in an atmosphere of Christianity, but that certainly does not mean that they are naturally good friends!

A case in point:

“If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.”

TENZIN GYATSO (The 14th Dalai Lama)10

Now I must ask… How many evangelical Christians would ever have the courage and such respect for science to ever dare make such a statement?

 Would Steve Cioccolanti?

Now those questions demand an answer!

The major difference here is that Buddhists are willing to conform to the world arould them in many ways while many Christians tend to want the world to conform to them. Them, their Bible and anything else that they have to offer whether by the use of violence or not.

“Reincarnation is sometimes touted by Western converts as congruent with evolutionary theory. But reincarnation does not teach evolution or the advancement of life from lower to higher forms at all. One may be reincarnated first as an angel, then a man, then an animal, then a ghost, and back to human form again.[2] It is completely unobservable and unscientific.”

It is interesting to see here that the author seems to acknowledge that the theory of evolution is scientific. Is he for science or against? Does he support the theory of evolution or not? I don’t know of any evangelical fundamentalist Christian that does. If he is the exception then perhaps he should let us know!As well, reincarnation does teach the advancement of lower to higher eventually if we can learn our lessons. This is why the Buddha’s teaching is of such importance to humanity. As far as reincarnation being unobservable and unscientific I would encourage the author to look up Mr.Ian Stevenson’s research on reincarnation. Even his critics usually end up acknowledging that reincarnation is at least possible. As long as I’m at it, I will add that one does not have to subscribe to the theory of a permanent unchanging soul passing from one body to another to believe in what is called “reincarnation” using the conventional term. As a matter of fact, I don’t know of any studied Buddhists or any other branch of Hinduism that would claim such a thing. Strictly speaking, to be “carnate” would mean to be associated with the flesh, and no branch of Hinduism, Buddhist or other wise would put such a limit on the topic of what is commonly termed ‘reincarnation’. With this understanding as well, we are indeed talking of ‘rebirth’ not reincarnation.

“Western converts want Buddhism to fit in with science because they bring with them their background of Christianity and the modern science it has produced.”

Because there have been scientists of the Christian faith… Christianity has produced modern science?! Is this man joking?

To quote Bertrand Russell:

“The important thing is not what you believe, but how you believe it.The person who bases his belief on reason will support it by argument and be ready to abandon the position if the argument fails. Belief based on faith concludes that argument is useless and resorts to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young whenever [it] has the power to control their education.”11 Hmmm…..That doesn’t sound very scientific to me, although it is true that many adults will actually be volunteers for this approach as well.

It might surprise the author here to learn that the form of Theravada Buddhism that both East and West understand is of the same Pali Canon tipitaka regardless of who may or may not respect what a statue represents, acknowledge the spiritual self whether you call it a ghost or not, or chant a mantra. The West also has both Theravada as well as Mahayana forms of Buddhism. Thailand’s Buddhism is predominantly Theravadin.

“But Eastern Buddhists whom I know do not feel any need to justify their beliefs in statues, ghosts or mantras with science. Different foundations. Different forms of Buddhism.”

This would depend on who you’re talking to and what they are responding to.

Many times it’s an evangelical Christian misrepresenting something purposefully or other wise.

As an example, it never does cease to amaze me when I go into a Christian’s home, and there are pictures of their deceased relatives hanging up on the wall and they will talk of how Buddhist’s supposedly “worship” their dead ancestors! They will say, “NO! That’s different! That is just simply respect!” I then discuss with them how we are just talking of different ways to show the same type of respect. It is exactly the same thing when I go into a Christian’s home and there are all of these statues of Jesus, a cross with or with out the figure of Jesus nailed to it, the picture of Jesus hanging up on the wall etc., and they will then talk about how Buddhist’s supposedly are idol worshipers! I will point out their statue of Jesus, everything that they have hanging up on their walls and they again exclaim NO! That’s different! That is just simply respect! Again, I will sit down with them and explain to them that we are just talking about different ways of showing the same type of respect.Sometimes they will say something like,”But you guy’s get down on your knees and bow like your worshiping the Buddha as a god.” I will then explain to them that this is indeed just a more endearing form of respect.As an example, when I go to a new temple to stay for a little while it is customary for me to get down on both of my knees and prostrate my self three times, Once for the Buddha, once for the Dhamma, and once with respect to the Sangha (monastic community),in front of the abbot of the temple as an offer of respect. I can assure you all that I am not worshiping the abbot of the temple as a god.Sometime’s I will hear, “NO! That’s different! Jesus is the son of God and Buddha was not! I then will have to sit them down and have a nice little talk with them about how it’s o.k. to have different beliefs and that certainly should not mean that someone who believes differently does not have just as much of a good reason to show the same type of respect for their religious belief as they do. I once sat an adult down on my knee who at first didn’t understand but then after our nice little talk understood what I was talking about just fine! We then had another nice little talk about how it was not a good thing to go and vandalize someone else’s house of worship just because they were not Christian, and some one called them “idol worshipers”.

As far as statues, ‘ghosts’ or ‘mantra’s (as a form of ‘blessing’) are therefore concerned, I myself can say that I don’t see the need to justify any of this with science,( not that it can’t be necessarily done, depending on how deep an analysis your looking for ) because I don’t believe that any of this is really relevant to the method of the Buddhist approach of spiritual liberation involving mindfulness (road map) and samadhi (concentration meditation) in the first place. As such they are merely interesting side bar type issues to be discussed at best.

“Western Buddhists also miss the obvious fact Easterners see – Buddhism is biased towards men and against women. Westerners are subconscious beneficiaries of Christian equality. In the West, we consider it manifest truth that people are equal regardless of gender and race, because God created both man and woman in the image and likeness of God. Western converts like to build their Buddhism on this Christian foundation – claiming there is equality of the sexes in Buddhism. No such thing can be found in the teachings of Buddha. Women are not treated the same as men. Women have more rules to follow than men. Buddha gave 227 commandments to Buddhist men, but 311 commandments to Buddhist women.”

From my book review of his book “From Buddha to Jesus”……..

“Women do not have the same status as men. Buddhist nuns have 311 laws to keep, while monks have 227.Since women are considered inferior, they have 196 more laws to control their flesh than men!”

First off, the word is Bhikkuni not nun. second, it’s (once again) 220 not 227, and if we were to subtract 220 from 311 we get 91 not 196. (This simple math is an inaccurate way to discuss this matter but that we shall soon see.) “A menstruating woman can not enter a temple or go near a monk; she is unclean.” “A woman can never give food directly into a monks hands, nor can she receive anything directly from a monk. (A man can do both.)A woman has to pick things up from the floor, not from a monk. There is no gender equality in Buddhism.” On the later three comments, there is a difference between our Vinaya (monastic code) and what has developed as custom. The actual portion of our monastic code which would apply would be the Patimokkha precept: #2 of the precepts of the Sanghadisesa section. In brief it instructs us not to touch a woman with passion or desire on our mind. A woman does not have to pick anything up from the floor. Over a period of time the custom (more so in Thailand) is to try to avoid physical contact when at all possible. This avoids the possible accusation that the monk may have had such passion on his mind when doing so.

It would interest those who are actually concerned about learning something factual about the Theravada Buddhist religion, that of the 311 rules that the Bhikkhuni Patimokkha contain, 181 of these are shared with the Bhikkhu Patimokkha: 4 parajikas, 7 sanghadisesas, 18 nissaggiya Pacittiyas (NP) 70 Pacittiyas, all 75 Sekhiyas, and all 7 Adhikaranasamatha rules. In addition, the Bhikkhuni Patimokkha contains 13 Pacifistic rules that are identical to rules for Bhikkhus that are contained in the Khandhakas;one Parajika rule similar to a Bhikkhus’Sanghadisesa rule; one Parajika rule similar to a Bhikkhus’Pacittiya;2 Sanghadisesa similar to Bhikkhus’Khandhaka rules 2 N P rules similar to Bhikkhus’ NP rules;3 pacittiyas similar to a Bhikkhus’ Sanghadisesa; 7 Pacittiyas similar to Bhikkhus’Pacittiyas and 8 Pacittiyas similar to rules for Bhikkhus’that are contained in the Khandhakas. As well the 8 Patidesaniya rules for the Bhikkhunis are elaborations of a single Bhikkhus Pacittiya rule.

Therefore it would be correct to say that the Bhikkhuni Patimokkha contains 85 (Not 196) precepts for which there are no direct correspondences in the rules for Bhikkhu. In case someone like our “insider” friend Steve Cioccolanti would like to claim this as “sexist”, let us make a note of the fact that more than one third of these extra rules were constructed as a way to protect Bhikkhunis from being the direct recipients of abusive or careless behavior of other Bhikkhunis,two of the extra rules (Pacittiyas #6 and #44)prevent Bhikkhunis from putting themselves in a position of servitude to Bhikkhus or laypeople; and all but three of the extra rules (Pacittiyas 59,94,and 95)were indeed created only after Bhikkhunis complained to the Bhikkhu Sangha about an errant Bhikkhunis behavior. The last three exceptions were formulated after complaints by members of the Bhikkhu Sangha and deal with the formal subordination of the Bhikkhuni Sangha to the Bhikkhu Sangha .However, they are balanced out by two rules that are exclusive to the Bhikkhu Sangha(NP 4 and 17),that were created as a way to prevent the Bhikkhus from abusing their position in a way that would interfere with the Bhikkhunis practice of the Dhamma (Vinaya Suttavibhanga).12

“One convert to Buddhism proposed his belief that the 311 commandments are actually better for women because they give women more protection. This is twisting Buddhism to suit his Western assumption of gender equality and removing Buddha’s teaching out of historical context. Easterners who learned Buddhism in school know that the very reason Buddha gave more commandments to women was he did not want them to become nuns. He was approached about whether or not women could enter the sangha (religious community) and with great reluctance he conceded. But by giving women more commandments than men, he made it virtually impossible for women to become nuns and attain enlightenment. Why is the concept of Buddhist “nuns” still taboo in Asian countries? Women who call themselves nuns are usually not fully ordained.”

It is worthwhile to note that the author here and elsewhere has a habit of just saying stuff as if were verifiable fact. The parts here that are true are in italic. Concerning the first underlined statement this could have been because he was looking for the proper validation for commitment. In any case we know that the Buddha had planned all along following his enlightenment to allow women into the Sangha (Maha parinibbana sutta Digha Nikaya sutta #16) I will presume here that the author for the second underlined statement is talking about Theravada Buddhism. S.E.Asia has typically been very patriarch inclined and the operative word here would be usually although this is now changing. To say that this is the fault of Buddhist teaching or scripture though, would be incorrect.

“The reason women are prohibited to be nuns or discouraged from becoming one is that in Buddhism women are viewed as a hindrance. When Buddha was meditating under the Bo Tree, three demons came to tempt him – Naga, Tanha, and Ahradi. All three appeared in the form of women. They were the personifications of jealousy, lust and evil cravings. Women are seen as the impediment to spiritual enlightenment, that is why Buddha had to leave his wife to attain enlightenment and all monks have to vow celibacy.”

It would be more accurate to say that sensual desire is a fetter to spiritual enlightenment. That would be the fourth fetter of the ten, although we will now have a chance to look at that.

“Another little known fact among Westerners is Buddhism teaches against love. Love is the fourth fetter that stands in the way of Buddhist enlightenment. Love is one of the causes of suffering. Love is one of 3 bonfires or greatest sins of Buddhism. Westerners who know Buddhism teaches against love, specifically loving a woman, choose not to emphasize it and opt to let their Christian influence shine through instead.”

Sanyojanautta: Fetters / Anguttara Nikaya 10.13

“There are these ten fetters. Which ten? Five lower fetters & five higher fetters.And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views, uncertainty, grasping at precepts & practices, sensual desire, & ill will. These are the five lower fetters. And which are the five higher fetters? Passion for form, passion for what is formless, conceit, restlessness, & ignorance. These are the five higher fetters. And these are the ten fetters.”

Venerable Gotama (Buddha)

In the Cambridge Dictionary the word love is defined as a verb as in to like something very much. On the other hand, the word sensual is defined as an adjective expressing or suggesting physical, especially sexual, pleasure or satisfaction.These are the most common definitions.Now although it is true that the word love could be construed to mean sensual desire as in the term “making love”, the author here then asserts that “love” to be taken apparently as he would have it for Christianity is the forth fetter of Buddhism! This is of course deceptive. I can love a woman or a man without having sexual intercourse with either. Now what if I were to write that Christians enjoy being Christian because their savior Jesus has sexual intercourse with them and that they really love that sensual love thing! That would be pretty much the same thing thing that he has done here.

Qualifying all of this with the words “specifically loving a woman,” is nothing more than his momentary “foot in the door” for it does in practical terms nothing at all to un due the message of lying deception being given here regarding his choice of the word “love” as opposed to anything else. Notice the change in contextual application. This is just more slick deceptive word play from Pastor Cioccolanti.

“Christianity exalts love because Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbor. In Buddhism, love is the enemy….”

Notice here the further deception and word play regarding the word “love”. For those who know Mr. Steve Cioccolanti’s previous behavior, we have grown accustomed to this sort of three card monte styled word play deception. That love is one of the causes of suffering in Buddhism? Or that love is one of the greatest sins of Buddhism? It is true that for a monk, one of the first four precepts entailing defeat as a monk would be sexual intercourse. Now should we believe that Mr Steve Cioccolanti is unaware of his own shoddy deception? This sort of thing is meant as both insulting as well as deceptive and the author has demonstrated that he is intelligent enough to know it. Because of that he displays the fact once again that he demonstrates very little credible moral character. Not that he really cares what lack of moral character others consider him to have or not, as long as he thinks that such distortions of truth are acceptable to preach what he perceives to be the truth.

…”In Christianity, love is the highest virtue, for God is Love.”

In case anyone is still inclined to make the excuse for Steve’s behavior that perhaps the word “love” was being used as something meant simply as “desire” lets do this… Lets replace the word ‘desire’ for the word ‘love’ in this sentence O.K.?

“Christianity exalts love because Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbor. In Buddhism, love is the enemy….”

Instead lets try…

“Christianity exalts desire because Jesus said the greatest commandments are to desire God and desire our neighbor. In Buddhism, desire is the enemy….”

or how about…

…”In Christianity, love is the highest virtue, for God is Love.”

Lets try instead….

…”In Christianity, desire is the highest virtue, for God is desire.”

Why Gosh, that doesn’t seem quite right now does it?

In case anyone should be interested, in Buddhism there are “wholesome” desires and “unwholesome” desires, which lead to both wholesome and unwholesome action. The Sammaditthi Sutta M.N. #9 would be a good place to reference this.

And just how “loving” is the God who will condemn billions upon billions of people to eternal punishment and torture because they presumably were deceived by “Satan”? Yes, I know we have our free will, but if someone is deceived into believing that the red light means go and the green light means stop… your free will won’t stop you from running every red light in town! Eternal torture for supposedly not getting the religious question right?! Their Christian God is love?…….Really?

“In summary, Buddha was a spiritual teacher who was born in India roughly 2500 years ago. Not a single nation on earth is built on the foundation of Buddhism.”

Unless you consider the Vatican city to be a “nation”, not a single nation on earth is built on the foundation of Christianity either! This is another one of their favorite myths! Now if you want to talk about a nation or government rather that has used Buddhism as a guiding light……..the author here seems unaware of the reason why the national flag of India has a symbol of Buddhism, the Ashoka Chakra which is a depiction of the Buddhist Dharmachakra, represented with 24 spokes, right smack in the center of it. The Buddhist B.R. Ambedkar was the chief architect and father of the Indian constitution which was adopted on Nov.26th 1949 by the constituent assembly, and a Buddhist activist amongst other things. Ambedkar’s study of sangha practice among early Buddhists and his extensive reading in Buddhist scriptures were to come to his aid when writing the constitution of India.15 Although India today as a result is a secular constitutional republic,not necessarily founded on Buddhism we can be glad that Buddhism was to say the least, the guiding light. I would not say of course that India is the most perfect place on the planet, I don’t know of any place that could say that. However, India has made important improvements, as an example in the area of racism in the form of caste predjudice, something that the Buddha was very much opposed to.

“Not a single nation ever will be.”

It’s not surprising that Pastor Cioccolanti will talk as if he is the God that he professes to worship.

“In fact, Buddhism is the only major religion in the world that has died in its country of origin – India. Buddhism is a religion that is introduced to a country, is always foreign (unless you are northern Indian), and can win converts only by adapting itself to the pre-existing beliefs of the locals.”

Mr Cioccolanti seems to wish this, but it is simply untrue.

I will acknowledge though that being persecuted for hundreds of years along with the other Hindus has not helped at all. A good example of this would be the sacking of the Nalanda University in 1193 C.E. by the Islamic Turk Bukhtiyar Khilji, founder of the Khilji dynasty and whom is considered to be the first Muslim ruler of Bengal. Their amusement was to set the Buddhist monks on fire and to cut their heads off.13

Qur’an 2:256: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. Other than the fact that this verse has been subject to different interpretations from even their own community of Muslim scholars,

Unfortunately this would only seem to apply for some if your’e talking about forcing someone to become a Muslim, not if your’e talking about simply killing them for being an “unbeliever”.

 The Islamic scholar and well known historian and Islamic religious figure of Islamic jurisprudence Ibn Hazm (994-1064) gives his explanation of Qur’an 2:256, the “tolerance” verse:

“The prophet Muhammad did not accept from the Arab heathens less than Islam or the sword. This is compulsion of faith. No compulsion in faith (or religion) applies only to Christians or Jews because they are not to be forced to embrace the religion. They have the option either to embrace Islam, the sword, or to pay the poll-tax. In this case they can keep their own faith. It was truly said on the authority of the apostle of God that there is no compulsion in the faith.” –

Ibn Hazm, Al-Fisal fi al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Vol.8 commenting on 2:256  

Although not the only comment on this from a Muslim scholar, it’s something to consider because it comes from a Muslim scholar, and not someone that can be said therefore to have an anti-Muslim bias.

 Qur’an 8:12:”I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

This is only one of many such verses to be found in the Qur’an.

Yes, It’s true that these verses need to be put into historical context, however, if you believe that the Qur’an is the eternal word of your creator God who’s word should not ever be questioned, then there is no room for such talk. How many Muslim do you know who will admit that their Qur’an is “outdated”? There are other scripture’s such as Qur’an 109:1-6 that reflect a far more tolerant attitude, although this might very well reflect the fact that Islam initially started out more tolerant then it developed. What was Muhammad the Muslim prophet to do? Start a war with his first fifty or so converts?

Let us not forget the fact as well that there is something called “abrogation” in Islam where a later “ayah” or “revelation” can cancel out and replace an earlier one. Now consider as well the fact that the Surra as given in the Qur’an is not in chronological order. These are useful things to consider when giving this sort of topic a further study.

“For Westerners, that foundation is Christianity and science. Buddhism can appeal to Westerners only if it speaks of love (even though love causes suffering and impedes Buddhist enlightenment, but it is the first teaching of Christianity) and if Buddhism comes across as scientific. In other countries, Buddhism doesn’t emphasize love or science in any way. Buddhism always sits upon another foundation of beliefs depending on which country it’s in.”

In any country, Buddhism doesn’t emphasize love or science in any way?

I can only wonder just how many people might be gullible enough to actually believe this statement?

Would he try to partially justify this statement by calling the context of love here something sensual as sexual intercourse? Furthermore I know many Buddhist monks in S.E.Asia for example who understand the scientific approach of Buddhism, as the Venerable Gotama taught something called analysis.

“Jesus Christ is God born in the flesh. Before He ever came to earth, every single civilization already had been paved by belief in God. Not only does faith in God resonate universally in every country, there are many countries built from the very start with Christianity as its foundation. Nations like Australia, America, and New Zealand are the envy of nations and the choice destinations of immigrants looking for opportunity and refugees fleeing non-Christian countries.”

I will add here that there is a difference between a “country” and something called a “government”. As an example, in America contrary to Christian rumor, the founding fathers were not anyone who came over on the Mayflower and landed at Plymouth Rock and were wise enough to insist upon the separation of church and state. I can only shudder to think as they say, what Australia or America or New Zealand would look like if their official state religion were Christianity. If anyone should doubt me then just take a review of the brief outline of history that is before and above mentioned. When the ideogical force of any religion is combined with the force of the state and certainly even more so when backed by an overwhelming majority populace, very bad things in the name of that religion are more than likely to happen.

“When people encounter the Bible and study it, they are not being introduced to something foreign, but to the God of Creation, the God of the Ancients, the God of All Nations – the Savior Jesus Christ”.

For DVDs on Buddhism, Free Thinkers and other major worldviews, please visit http://www.discover.org.au.

[2] Acharn Wan, Talk in the Shade of the Bo Tree,

[3] Matthew 8:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5

[4] 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6.

Look folks…I do respect his personal choice to believe this but…..If he really had something worthy to offer, then why would he feel the need to lie and deceive regarding the teaching of Buddhism, and ignore what history and the Bible itself know?
There are those who might think that I have a “problem” with Christianity or the religion of Islam. No, I do not! What I have a problem with are those who would like to torture and or kill the rest of us for being an “unbeliever”.Fair enough?
THIS CAN HAPPEN FAR TOO EASILY WHEN YOU ARE TAUGHT TO BELIEVE THAT YOUR RELIGION IS THE ONLY ONE THAT IS SANCTIFIED BY AN ALMIGHTY DIVINE CREATOR WHOSE MORAL PERFECTION IS ALWAYS BEYOND QUESTION AND THEREFORE BY DEFAULT EVERYONE ELSE IS CONSTRUED AS NOT OF WHAT IS GOOD AND THEREFORE EVIL.
I have broken bread with many Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and you name it, and I can tell you that regardless of what ever their religious scripture says or not if they have the desire to show love and compassion for humanity then that is what they show. This is why it is so important to gently chastise someone like Mr. Steve Cioccolanti like the spiteful and naughty little schoolboy that he seems to prefer behaving like when he chooses to lie and deceive others about either history or Buddhism. If enough people at large start blindly believing what someone like Mr.Steve Cioccolanti and his ilk have to offer then the next massacre or atrocity in the name of Jesus might very well be around the next corner and I believe this to be no understatement.After all, this man is preaching that “in Buddhism love is the enemy”.This of course is something that some might very well believe it as it is written and given Christianity’s history could be construed practically as a call to violence against us. As such this should be recognized as something very disturbing for the slander that it is. As a last thought on this I would like to say that I sincerely do not believe that Mr.Steve Cioccolanti is someone who intentionally behaves in a spiritually immoral manner.That would be illogical,if that were true I don’t believe he could write this sort of an article with good conscience. He must believe that he is doing something good. With all due respect I must disagree, and with that I wish Mr.Steve Ciocolanti the very best of all good things spiritual.

Bhikkhu aggacitto a.k.a Brother Mark:)

References

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism

2 Robert Eno, “Early Oracle Inscriptions” in Donald S. Lopez Jr.’s Religions of China in Practice. 47. See also Muchou Poo’s In Search of Personal Welfare: A View of Ancient Chinese Religion (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996, ISBN 07914363606), 23-29.

3 http://www.mandarintools.com/cgi-bin/wordlook.pl? word=origin&searchtype=chinese&where=whole&audio=on

4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country

5 http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwor… Encylopedia of Shinto

6 eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ – Encylopedia of Shinto

7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirishitan

8 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.philosophy/-tSe3lgoxoA

http://www.webcitation.org/6Ppl1l0tX

[DA]

K.Deschner, Abermals krähte der Hahn, Stuttgart 1962.

[DO]

K.Deschner, Opus Diaboli, Reinbek 1987.

[EC]

P.W.Edbury, Crusade and Settlement, Cardiff Univ. Press 1985.

[EJ]

S.Eidelberg, The Jews and the Crusaders, Madison 1977.

[LI]

H.C.Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, New York 1961.

[MM]

M.Margolis, A.Marx, A History of the Jewish People.

[MV]

A.Manhattan, The Vatican’s Holocaust, Springfield 1986.

See also V.Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Buffalo

NY, 1992.

[NC]

J.T.Noonan, Contraception A History of its Treatment by the Catholic

Theologians and Canonists, Cambridge/Mass., 1992.

[S2]

Newscast of S2 Aktuell, Germany, 10/10/96, 1200.

[SH]

D.Stannard, American Holocaust, Oxford University Press 1992.

[SP]

German news magazine Der Spiegel, no.49, 12/2/1996.

[TA]

A True Account of the Most Considerable Occurrences that have Hapned

in the Warre Between the English and the Indians in New England,

London 1676.

[TG]

F.Turner, Beyond Geography, New York 1980.

[WW]

H.Wollschläger Die bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem, Zürich

1973.

(This is in german and what is worse, it is out of print. But it is

the best I ever read about crusades and includes a full list of

original medieval Christian chroniclers’ writings).

[WV]

Estimates on the number of executed witches

*N.Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch

Hunt, Frogmore 1976, 253.

*R.H.Robbins, The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, New York

1959, 180.

*J.B.Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, Ithaca/NY 1972, 39.

*H.Zwetsloot, Friedrich Spee und die Hexenprozesse, Trier 1954, 56.

9 http://www.wihara.com/forum/topik-umum/464-buddhism-only-real-science.html

10 Our Faith in Science By TENZIN GYATSO (The 14th Dalai Lama)

Published: November 12, 2005 in the New York Times.

11 http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Russell%2c+Bertrand+Arthur+William+Russell%2c+3d+Earl Taken from:The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia® Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. http://www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

12 Slightly paraphrased from “The Bhikkhunis’ code of discipline” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu from the translators introduction.

13 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakhtiyar_Khilji

14 There are a few other suggestions as well. http://spaninquis.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/biblical-law/

15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar