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.