Skip to comments.Buddhist assassin at Navy Yard prompts debate about stereotype of peaceful faith
Posted on 09/18/2013 3:12:41 AM PDT by markomalley
In the aftermath of the Navy Yard shootings, gunman Aaron Alexiss interest in Buddhism seemed at odds with conventional Western stereotypes of blissed-out meditators.
Buddhism scholars and bloggers were quick to note that Alexis spiritual profile didnt fit with the image of someone unloading a gun and killing 12 innocents in a crowded military office building.
Yet some saw a chance to challenge the peaceful stereotype and unveil some topics Buddhists discuss amongst themselves. Is the peaceful Buddhist an illusion? Do Buddhists and Buddhist temples deal directly enough with the topic of mental illness? And in fact might Buddhism in particular attract the mentally ill?
As Buddhism has spread in the West, it has put forth and maintained an image of being a peaceful religion, Buddhist ethicist Justin Whitaker, author of the American Buddhist blog, wrote Tuesday. This is a myth.
Buddhism can seem particularly appealing to mentally unbalanced people seeking to right the ship of their lives, to self-medicate, to curb their impulses, or to give them a firmer grip on reality, Clark Strand, a contributing editor to the Buddhist publication Tricycle magazine and a former Zen monk, said in an interview.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I mean, c'mon, it's not nearly as wholesome as Islam.
I bet he hAd anoher unmentioned religion. People adopti;ng budhism as opposed to born in it tend to navigate around it and play with other faiths.
Buddhists have been well documented to perpetrate violence on Christians. Same with Hindus and Muslims.
I know of one person who is technically Jewish, but seems to think he is Buddhist. He is also schizophrenic (but is taking his meds). He is off, even with meds. The leftists I know often seem to gravitate toward Buddhism. Most are not dangerous, but some could be under certain circumstances. I think Buddhism became chic in the US due to people like Beatniks and Hippies - leftists rebelling against mom, America and apple pie.
Media is just trying to trash Buddhists in an attempt to show that “they all do it” to give cover to Muslims being such hotheads and animals.
This guy was about as much of a Buddhist as the Westboro Baptists are Christians.
He may have used Buddhism as a cover and was not one to begin with.
With eleven of the victims being white this is a black on white hate crime!
LOL at the comments at WaPo... They are FREAKED out. It is disturbing how defensive (presumably) Americans are about a foreign religion. Probably the same lefties who mock Christians everyday when they can.
Really, are they really going to launch into some in-depth discussion of Buddhism; one the media has NEVER pursued with relation to Islam?
Whatever this man’s motives (if he had any coherent ones) they don’t seem to be about Buddhism. It’s not like he ran around shooting people saying “Here’s your nirvana right here!” or anything like that.
The reality is he was just another “angry black male” - nothing more than that!
This nut was no Buddhist...he pretended to be one so that he could go to Thailand and get some noogir from the local working girls.
Didn’t monks and nuns develop kung fu? Just because a person doesn’t start trouble doesn’t imply that he/she shouldn’t neutralize it. The Creator bestows blessings, one of which is one’s body. It’s only proper to take care of it.
Is there any evidence that religion with the cause for his rampage or another case of the media jumping the gun. Oh maybe that’s the wrong term to use.
The nut job murderer wasn’t a Buddhist. His only incentive for going to a Buddhist temple was to impress the Thai girlfriend who snubbed him.
“Is there any evidence that religion with the cause for his rampage or another case of the media jumping the gun.”
There isn’t even evidence that Buddhism is a religion rather than a philosophy; unlike Hinduism (from which Buddhism was born) they don’t have a deity.
No Buddhist he.
I know and have worked with Buddhists(all of Asian extraction). They are gentle people.
this guy’s religion was poser.
Here’s my theory: The guy knew he had problems with anger. So he joined Buddhism in a last ditch attempt to control his anger. It’s that simple.
The only time people attribute their actions to their religion is in the case of Islam, which actually commands its followers to be violent, something the media conveniently overlooks.
This killer never attributed his attacks to Buddhism, and in fact the only thing that might be deduced was that he was motivated by a racial obsession, since all of his victims but one were white and he supposedly took the time to pick them out and aim at them rather than just shooting indiscriminately.
What he really was, of course, was crazy, and crazy people often go with some political or external obsession to justify their craziness to themselves. But he was obviously also trying to use Buddhist meditation as a sort of self-treatment mechanism. Clearly, it didn’t work; however, it was certainly not the cause of his rampage.
Hinduism and deities? Way too many...and each have way too many appendages and appendages of strange animals.
yeah Buddhists don’t have a Deity. does that make them NOT a Religion? all religions are in fact philosophies to a point. I don’t see how they are not a religion.
Not every nutjob is motivated by religion.
As (Islam) has spread in the West, it has put forth and maintained an image of being a peaceful religion, Buddhist ethicist Justin Whitaker, author of the American Buddhist blog, wrote Tuesday. This is a myth.
Do you have a citation on that? This is an important fact.
And whatever we do, lets not discuss that he was a classic Paranoid Schizophrenic.
When muzzies yell ala achbar and shoot the place up it is “workplace violence”. When a so called Buddist convert shoots the place up it is religious violence. /sarc
“The nut job murderer wasnt a Buddhist.” No, he was an Obama worshiper!!!
Buddhism is a philosophy not a faith. Buddha can’t save anyone and doesn’t claim to do so.
“I know and have worked with Buddhists(all of Asian extraction). They are gentle people.”
I attend the Zen Buddhist service occasionally as I enjoy the meditation aspects of the religion. From first hand experience I can say that some of the angry female Buddhists are as legalistic as the jihadists! (funny my spell check gave me a misspell on jihadists and when I hit for correct spelling it gave me “sadists!!”)
Buddhist my *ss.
If he was a Buddhist, then I’m Czar Nicholas the First.
What a crock.
“all religions are in fact philosophies to a point. I dont see how they are not a religion.”
Very true. They are philosophies into the anatomy & physiology of the human soul.
-And whatever we do, lets not discuss that he was a classic Paranoid Schizophrenic.-
This. Mental disorder. If it was a Christian that had a mental disorder and did this, we’d be screaming that they are trying to attack Christians.
There were black victims:
“The dozen victims in the Washington Navy Yard had one thing in common each was inside Building 197 at 8:20 a.m. Monday when the shooting started:
LJ, I’d be interesting in reading your thoughts about this.
Man, Satan’s servants are quick to defend his religions. Buddhism is a terrible practice. Go live in Southeast Asia for a while and see what happens in a society where that religion is practiced. Islam is even worse. Go live where it is dominant and see what happens. I am so tired of lies and ignorance.
Over a million Buddhists have been murdered by the communist Chinese since their invasion of Tibet in 1949. That they may be resisting Muslim hedgemony in Myanmar and other such countries is not surprising. Violence against Christians is minimal.
Personally... I think it’s less a case of “Buddhist” and more a case of a mentally-ill guy just LOSING it and deciding “Yup....Today’s THE DAY!!!”
We have a severely mentally-disturbed black male with feelings of racial persecution, lefty political leanings, and some good old homicidal rage thrown into the mix.
And he just lost it. Pretty cut and dried.
The media will try to assign ANYTHING they can to it to keep milking it for a few weeks - it takes attention off of The Boy King’s miserable failures in policy - Syria, Benghazi, Obamacare, etc.
Our common understanding of what’s ‘religion’ and what’s ‘philosophy’ is really shaped by our understanding of Judeo-Christianity concepts, e.g., the presence of deity. To some degree, it may put Christians in disadvantage when schools can teach Buddhism, and other non-deity-type teachings freely by arguing what you just said.
It appeared in an interview with one of the survivors, a woman who was among the first to get out and be interviewed. She said he was “selecting” his targets.
I have been hearing that southern Thailand has been having fighting going on between Muslims and Buddhists.
it’s equally likely that he was a moslem posing as a buddhist for cover. the moslems are commanded to lie if they can gain advantage by it.
But it’s more likely it was black on white hate crime.
Paranoid Schizophrenia trumps Buddhism.
What effect do you think paranoid schizophrenia and auditory hallucinations had upon the shooter's actions?
Why would a muslim call the police to report persistent voices through the floor, ceiling and walls, following him to three different hotels in one night?
This is just plain crap. This man was a dabbler in Buddhism. Converts do not count in this story. Hundreds of millions of Buddhist are peaceful - not doing crazy stuff like suicide bombings, shootings and killing other people to impose their beliefs on others. And Buddhist are certainly not flying airplanes into buildings in the name of Buddha.
Anyone who even remotely thinks Buddhist are a danger to the world are just plain ignorant and fools to say it.
Islamic crazies have been killing people for centuries. They yell Allahu Ackbar while they do it. They say they will kill people. And then they kill people. Happens all over the world, all the time. It's central to their whole belief system. Kill the infidel.
And every time it happens, the media rushes into print with a story explaining that Islam is a RELIGION OF PEACE.
Something seriously weird here.
Really, I wonder how much this guy actually knew of the tenets of Buddhism.
The Dharma Wheel, all of those old Buddhist manuscripts.
Buddhism is probably so passive, this is why the Communists could rise to power in China, other places.
Bones of the Master is a good story about a Monk in Manchuria around the time of the Great Leap Forward movement in China by the ChiCons. The troops invaded their Monastery, this monk escaped and traversed China all the way to Hong Kong for freedom.
There are not suppose to be Gods in Asia but at least a Vietnamese man told me Buddha was like Christ to them.
I wonder if you actually met Asians who were Buddhists or American Buddhists.
You will find a lot of info saying Buddhism is atheistic but that concept even seems to be a bit of a Western interpretation to an Eastern Religion.
And let’s not forget, if this guy was a Buddhist and bought into Reincarnation, he’s going to have the worse in his next life time. And again, I add in, if one believed in that.