Search This Blog


Buddhism in the News


Friday, February 18, 2011

Arizona Bans Karma--Seriously.

Since the dark days of the attacks on America by radical, Islamic terrorists on September 11th 2001, there has been a growing intolerance here for non-Judeo-Christian religions. This has, unfortunately, been mostly aimed at the American-Muslim community in a misguided attempt to combat radical Islam.

Unfortunately, there are numerous people in America who can't seem to make a distinction between an Islamic terrorist and an Islamic moderate practicing their religion freely as allowed under the American Constitution. But I digress. One of the targets of the this fear of anything Islamic has come in the form of a wide-spread paranoia of Sharia law.

In brief, Sharia law is law based on the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an (koran). The Islamophobia is so rampant in America these days that states have taken to banning Sharia law in a preemptive move to prevent such law from taking root. This is occurring despite no movement to impose or establish Sharia law in America. The silliness of it all is that such moves by these states are a waste of time since the American Constitution supersedes any other form of law within America!!

But the politicians of Arizona didn't stop there. They wanted to make sure ALL non-Christian religious beliefs would have no influence in Arizona state law. This included banning karma, which I didn't even know was possible considering karma is basically the idea of, "cause and effect" or causality. So, in one sense, by banning karma, these politicians are essentially trying to ban the scientific law of cause and effect. They seriously banned karma within the state of Arizona, which for a Buddhist is all rather odd considering karma isn't really a form of law to base a government around, but rather a natural consequence of our actions. I'm not angry or offended by their attempt to ban karma but I am certainly amused by it all!! It makes me laugh because banning karma is like banning gravity.

However, what I do take seriously is the generalized intolerance of anything that's not Christian or of Anglo-Saxon cultural origin. The last thing we need in this already complicated world of suffering is additional reasons to divide ourselves and fuel hatred. It truly makes my heart ache to see such narrow-minded thinking in my country, which has often been the example of tolerance in the world.

~Peace to all beings~

Stumble Upon Toolbar


BD said...

Wow, don't know what to say, but Wow,. I guess they never took the time to consult anyone.
It is kinda funny though I agree

turquoisemoon said...

ha ha ha...!!! unbelievable!!! Ok, I believe it... Currently, in my area, some Laotian Buddhists are trying to buy property in order to build a temple. Some of the "issues" that were brought up during the zoning meeting were animal sacrifices, gongs, spirit worship, etc.??? I sure hope they don't read about Az. banning karma!!! I plan on attending next Wed. zoning meeting in support of my Buddhist brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

They hate you. You might as well hate them back.

Jessie Brautigan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David "Shinzen" Nelson said...

So funny and at the same time, so sad. I think I will ban gravity...maybe Arizona should and have these legislators jump off a building and see what happens...oops, that's not too compassionate, but what the karma in AZ!

Jessie Brautigan said...

This is sad and ridiculous. Not a day goes by that the idiocy of the American government doesn't completely blow my mind. I guess all you can do is laugh and watch their karma unfold. Thanks for sharing this, your blog makes me smile.
Metta, Jessie

Rick said...

It boggles the mind.

Confessions of a Wanna Be Yogini. said...

This is possibly one of the most concerning forms of extremeism that I have had the displeasure of seeing in American culture. Making something illgeal, doesn't make it stop. Banning something, only causes those with true belief to become more willing to share it.

Why wouldn't you just choose to let your people be, instead of pushing chinese extremist style communism down peoples throats? Even THEY allow thoughts on Karma, even if you can't use Google.

Please USA, Please Arizona - see that you should ban smoking before you do something THIS stupid.

JamieDedes said...

Amazing. In Christian-speak it's "as you sow, so shall you reap!"

Sabio Lantz said...

I have lived in Muslim countries and don't want one ounce of Sharia Law in this country. The constitution has provisions for its own re-writing and own re-interpretation as history shows us. The more obstacles to Sharia type law or reasoning, the better. I would hold the same for "Karma Logic"

On a long car ride yesterday, my 11 year-old son and I discussed US government. In particular how democracy (operationally defined as "majority wins") can be dangerous and must be checked. I explained that our Bill of Rights (the 1st 10 amendments to the constitutions) and Federalism are examples of such checks -- and there are several others.

Many folks are naive about government and don't realize the danger or majority rule. Principles and rules of laws are needed to hold back the majority and panic if possible.

This law is aiming at that.

Also, I have seen "karma-logic" justify all sorts of bullshit in Asia (lived there 12 years). I wouldn't want "karma-logic" used in any court of law either! (though I think the naive writers of the law were just trying to be inclusive in their exclusivity).

They call him James Ure said...

@BD...Wow, is right. Yeah, it seems (in part) to be the result of America's growing anti-intellectualism.

@Tmoon...ANIMAL SACRIFICE?!!!! Wow. Let us know how the zoning meeting goes on Wednesday.

@Jessie...It's very sad, and a bit embarrassing as an American.

@Shinzen...Ha. Yeah, gravity is sooo 17th century. ;)

@Yogini...Yep. I think we should also be banning assault weapon rifles before banning karma. But, America is a pretty violent culture. Sad.

@Sabio...Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favor of Sharia law at all. I lived in West Africa amongst many Muslims and saw the flaws in extreme Islam, as well.

Yes, the Constitution allows it to be re-written but what are the chances that a majority of radical, Islamic supporters would be in such a majority in America, as to be able to change the Constitution to be based on Sharia law?

And, if that possibility, (regardless of long odds) is enough to ban Sharia law, then shouldn't we ban: Judaic laws, E.U. laws, martial law, the Laws of Hammurabi, anarchy, Canon law (Roman Catholic laws) the Napoleonic Code, etc. I think you get the point.

It just seems silly to spend tax payer dollars to ban every other possible form of law. And, even if we did; that doesn't guarantee that it won't be over-turned.

I don't see much of a chance of anything other than our Constitution being enacted except by force of numbers. If there are enough people in America who support Sharia law in the future, then I doubt passing a law back in 2010 will stop them.

Anonymous said...

You are spreading hate message of hatred against People of Arizona.

Sabio Lantz said...

@ James

I largely agree. I am also against such laws but I understand the motivation -- part of it good and part perverted. But we learn best when criticizing when we can recognize the aspects we see hints of truth in.

Thanx for your post.

kristel said...

It's not sad, ridiculous or's the reality of what we're living under here in Arizona. We're trying to organize and rally our voters to end the reign of these radical intolerant politicians. It's a very hard place to live, a hard place to stay, but we have to stay and stop this, to it doesn't spread. I urge you to help us.

ZenWoman said...

I live in New Mexico and used to love traveling in AZ. But, once the state became incredibly racist, I won't support those attitudes by spending money there. As for banning Karma, it shows true ignorance. Ironically, ultimately they will learn about karma -- the hard way.

Jacob Duchaine said...

Wow, it sounds like someone needs to stop them.

If they're banning silly things like Karma, soon they'll be banning practical things like non Christian religions. Maybe they can make it legal to detain people who are openly non Christian. Afterall, arresting Buddhists would stop them from enforcing Karma on the other citizens, right? -_-

Alan Gregory Wonderwheel said...

Yes, pretty funny to ban the teaching of Jesus on karma in the name of Jesus.

It is so sad that these narrow-minded hypocrites don't even know that there is no "God" or "Christ" in the Constitution deliberately because the founding fathers knew what pitiful laws are made in the name of pius religions.

Eugene said...

LOL!!! Thanks, reading this just made my morning! Silly Arizonans!

Christopher said...

Wait they banned karma? How does that work?

Anonymous said...

I really think this is a great start, next they should ban "The Truth of Suffering" and then ban "Old age, sickness and death". Oh, and don't forget to ban "duality" then perhaps we would automatically all become enlightened.

Anonymous said...

nice, all is karma

Anonymous said...

"Banning karma is like banning gravity." EXACTLY! It's awfully silly what America does on a daily basis. It's truly out of hand. But not only is it silly, it's extremely sad and dis-heartening.

ShareThis Option