In a shocking op-ed piece entitled Many Faiths, One Truth, the 14th Dalai Lama, thankfully writing as Tenzin Gyatso rather than under the title of Dalai Lama, the only mention of people of no faith is:
Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold to religious beliefs.
Actually Mr. Gyatso, the correct term is antitheist, not atheist or radical atheist. As an antitheist, I would at least prefer that you use the correct term rather than making up a deliberately derogatory one. Further, as Christians often claim to hate the sin but love the sinner, some antitheists may hate religion without hating the religious. I know I do.
In this article, Mr. Gyatso makes no mention of humanists, nontheists, agnostics, or any other group of people who have no faith. A message of unity? Not from this article.
Further, the condemnation of atheists in an editorial ostensibly preaching unity of all people on earth is highly offensive and objectionable. It also points to an even more shocking lack of knowledge on the part of the Dalai Lama that the original awakened one, Siddhārtha Gautama, was actually, dare I say it, an atheist!! Here is a quote from Siddhārtha Gautama, the first Buddha, on his deathbed, his final words.
All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence.
If that doesn’t convince you, try reading his Four Noble Truths and search for any mention of anything supernatural.
So, the Dalai Lama, by not including atheists in his editorial of unity, may actually be excluding the first and most important of the Buddhas, a man who preached a form of atheism and a rejection of all gods.
Nice work Mr. Gyatso. You have shown me yet another reason to oppose religion. Previously, I had nothing against Buddhism thinking it not in conflict with atheism and certainly not providing a message of sectarianism (literally dividing people by sect rather than unifying people as being basically the same).
What a disappointment from one of the few religious posts that I actually had previously respected. OK, I still do respect the post; I’ve just lost a chunk of respect for the current individual in the post.
Will atheists ever get respect from the religious? I don’t know. Right now, atheists are the most hated group in the U.S., far more so than the LBGT community, Muslims, or any other group against which you think there may be prejudice.
Is it any wonder that some of us have begun to oppose faith? Faith does not allow us to live in peace, even when the faithful speak of unity. Let me know when you find the symbol for atheism in the coexist bumper sticker, for example.
The military uses a symbol of the atom for atheists. It was not included on that sticker. Even Obama mentioned that we are a nation that includes those of no faith at all … and then increased funding for faith based initiatives, which is simply code for religious discrimination since faith based charities were always able to get federal funding as long as they proved themselves non-discriminatory. What faith based initiatives did was to remove the non-discrimination restriction for federal funding.
It really is time for atheists to come out of the closet and demand respect as the LBGT community has done so effectively and admirably.
Thanks to Derek for sending the article my way.