The following letter came in response to one of our published issues:
I have no idea who you are, or how you got my email address. However, I do need to tell you that I don’t share any of your ideals, or your faith, and am extraordinarily insulted by the garbage you have dumped into my email.
I am a Buddhist. The idealogy that you promulgate is anathema to me and my community. You and your friends are clearly a bunch of dogmatic, intolerant, homophobic and intellectually stunted idiots.
Keep out of our lives.
You may think that “your” bible is absolutely right. However, although its “your” bible, it was written by a bunch of old men several thousand years ago and has absolutely no relevance to probably half of the population of the United States. I am a woman, and cannot possibly subscribe to a dogma based on the dominance of men, and a blind faith which has no relevance in our society today.
Keep your opinions to yourself, and be ashamed that you have the audacity to impose your ignorant beliefs on total strangers.
Here is our response, from Victor:
The letter from this woman is one of the most antagonistic letters we have ever received. I realize that the woman is irrational, speaking in the heat of the moment. However, to point out and counter some common erroneous thoughts prevalent here and there, as expressed in this letter, I would like to reply for others to learn.
Many think that Buddhism and Christianity are quite similar. They think that these are simply two different paths, ordained by God for two different cultures, leading to the same destination. Clearly, this Buddhist does not think so. We have yet to meet a Buddhist that does think so, though they at times will say so. Only those in ignorance say so.
The Buddhists speak of Nirvana. The reader will be hard pressed to find even an attempt with this respondent to such a state as Buddhists proclaim is their goal and desire. If a letter on the Scriptures provokes such wrath, what is the problem? Whatever it is, it is greater than the person who has it, and Buddhism is not helping, not that it could ever be expected to do so. It can’t.
She is insulted. How does one path to the same God insult the other? Let’s not kid ourselves. The two paths are quite antithetical (opposed to each other). Of course it can be argued that ignorance within both “camps” will not perceive the similarity and harmony. However, it is clear that those who think there is harmony between Buddhism and Christianity are the ignorant ones. This woman’s letter does not make that clear, of course, but knowledge of each “path” will.
Again, we are accused of the usual shortfalls of character. We have put forth authoritative and rational information to substantiate our positions, while this respondent has done nothing but rant and rave. Yet she calls us dogmatic, intolerant, and intellectually stunted idiots! We suffer this blatant contradiction constantly.
She refers to “our” Bible. Truly, it is the Bible of Judaism and of Christianity, yet it is not “ours,” but God’s. Because she does not recognize God, telling Him to keep out of her life, in that she tells us to do so as we come in His Name, she does not recognize that the Bible is His, and not ours.
Our response to the tirade of the Buddhist woman concludes:
She claims that the Bible was written “by a bunch of old men.” First, what is wrong with a man who has attained unto wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, maturing in the lessons of life over a long period? Apparently, she prefers youth and femininity to age and masculinity. We have also been accused of sexism. What is this if not sexism and prejudice against age? Did not Buddha become an old man? Or did he, in all his wisdom, become a young woman?
She finds fault with antiquity not only in reference to old men but also to ancient history. Buddha lived before Christ in the flesh, a fact of which some Buddhists take pride, not that it is justified! Does she really think that only modern day writers have anything worthwhile to say? If so, they would immediately debunk everything Buddha had to say, just as she debunks all the writers of the recorded Scriptures. Irrationality? One hears it often, even without the influence of passion.
She says that the Bible has no relevance to “probably half of the population of the USA.” That would suggest it has relevance to the other half. If it has relevance to the other half, it would follow that it would be useful to them, and therefore should be shared with them.
The problem is that this woman has reacted negatively to the circumstances to which she has been exposed in life, be they good or bad, thus she has been traumatically affected, and has not been able to think or to reason effectively. Neither is she able to relate to others, yet seems rather proud of her expression. She has the very opposite of the Mind of Christ, because, she has rejected Christ Himself. The ravages of sin are sure. Beware.
She claims that the Bible preaches the dominance of men over women. That is not true. She claims that the Bible promotes a dogma based on blind faith. That is not true. She is ignorant of the Scriptures, and she is wilfully ignorant of God. Because this is so, she suffers torment, loss, defeat, and failure.
At one time I used to blame false religion and the hypocrisy of nominal Christendom for the attitudes such as expressed by this woman. No longer do I do so. Though her influences may not be blameless, she, as all, is responsible for her attitude and reaction. She will not be able to blame anyone but herself for her state of mind and soul. Even Buddhism teaches that it has nothing to do with external circumstances, and everything to do with personal reaction to those circumstances. Many lives, both believing and otherwise, have proven this to be so.
We teach truth, as in this very response to this indignant letter. When embraced, truth makes one free. We are free. This woman is not. Therefore, we are not ashamed to share what we know to be true with all, strangers included. After all, she is a stranger. Is she not in great need? So are many. She calls it audacity on our part, but we call it enthusiasm. She calls our work an imposition, but we call it sharing and giving. If we were handing her a gold brick, would she accuse us of audacity and imposition? Hardly. Yet we give a heavenly gold, a gold that makes the gold of this world pale in its glistening, and quite worthless in comparison. We have nothing to be ashamed of, and much for which to be thankful. Truly, we boast in the Lord, Who has redeemed us from the shackles of darkness.