Sunday, January 29, 2012

Guilty Verdict in Honor Killings: Practical Buddhist Responds

The story twisted my guts. How could a dad just murder these three beautiful girls and one of his wives, and make his son and another wife accomplices?

Some Christians are crowing: Here's more evidence that Muslims are evil and Islam is false.

Ridiculous. Read Leviticus 21:9.  Or if you want a really gory glorification of God-approved honor killing, see Deuteronomy 13:6-11. No Koran needed.

Religion doesn't cause killing, though a twisted version provides an excuse, whether it's bishops blessing battleships, politicians insisting God is on our side in our wars of aggression, or having clergy on the team at executions -- there's nothing in mainstream religious teaching to justify killing. (Plenty of out of context proof texts can be found, of course).

Buddhism didn't invent compassion or impermanence or respect for all life, or the importance of paying attention.  There is nothing Buddhist about them. They are universal human truths, discovered and expressed in many ways, not just by the Buddha.

Islam didn't invent honor killing. It's also a human truth that evil people will do evil things and turn to religion for justification. Always have, always will.