Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Liberals' Favorite Religion: Themselves

During my studies for a B.A. in Asian Studies at UMUC while I was working in Korea, one of my most difficult but rewarding classes was the required Asian Philosophy. It was taught by a Canadian professor with a PhD in philosophy who lived in Seoul, and the textbook was the excellent Asian Philosophies by John M. Koller (highly recommended but expensive).

The class was challenging because for the average American, the material is completely foreign. Furthermore, the religions and philosophies of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism (more a philosophy than a religion), and Taoism have a highly developed tenets and thousands of years of writings. Imagine learning Catholicism and Protestantism for the first time in a semester class having only had a superficial exposure to Christianity. I thought I would never survive the term. However, my effort paid off and I ended up with an "A" in the class, and living and traveling around Asia helped me with my comprehension of the philosophies. I also took another class in Anthropology of Asian Religions by the terrific Janice Sacherer Turner, the foremost authority in the world of the Himalayan Sherpas, who got her doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris.

As a Catholic not at all interested in converting to Eastern religions (although I have great respect for the traditions)--Catholicism has the fullness of truth-- I was always interested in how many similarities there were with Buddhism, particularly the Mahayana version, with Catholicism. In addition, both Theravada and Mahayana have strict moral and ethical codes with the Noble Eightfold Path.

For example, premarital sex, homosexual sex, and contraception are wrong in Buddhism. There is a hell in Buddhism where the wicked go. The boddhisatvas are very similar to Catholic saints. There are many aspects with Catholicism. In fact, in the amazing and wonderful movie Into Great Silence, there is a definite Eastern feel that is 100% Western in culture and tradition. It is just that people are not familiar with this aspect of traditional Catholicism that it feels foreign to them.

From a Catholic theological perspective, there are reasons for the similarities. The great Asian religions were created before the Incarnation of Christ, so they do have some revealed truths, and these truths are the ones that find their similarities with Catholicism, the fullness of truth.

What always is comical about liberals, though, is how they almost always reject the rich and noble tradition of Catholicism (or other Protestant religions) and our beautiful language Latin and turn to Eastern traditions and philosophies.

There is a common Catholic saying: "Heresy always begins below the belt." Almost always, liberals reject Catholicism because the teaching about proper sexuality is too much for materialistic liberals interested in instant self-gratification to handle. They coolly state, "I will not serve" and either (1) continue to think of themselves as Christian but attempt to reformulate the religion in their image by dumbing it down (see God is Love's comment on Matt Sanchez's post "Scaling Terrorism," a perfect example, or (2) reject Judeo-Christian philosophies altogether and turn to exotic and fun religions and spiritualities that conform to their sexual proclivities.

The second always has comic results for those who actually know the Eastern religions and philosophies--either by living in Asia or having studied firsthand the actual philosophies-- because liberals almost never follow the true Eastern religions, such as Buddhism or Taoism, the latter particularly in vogue with shallow liberals these days. They rejected Catholicism for its strict moral rules in rebellion over the sexual rules that God has in fact ordained for our own true happiness, yet they then reject the exact same aspect in the Eastern religions. Self control and restraint below the belt is extremely difficult for these adolescent liberals (think Richard Gere), which is why, of course, they rejected the dignity of Western religion in the first place.

For instance, study the history, beliefs, and actions of Taoism, and witness how far shallow liberals have bastardized this great Chinese tradition. From a newletter advertisement I received in the mail "Healing Tao Retreats" about the wonders of the liberal Tao:

What does Tao teach about sexuality?

The principles of energy flow are nowhere more pleasurable and downright fun than in the bedroom. Single or married, straight or gay, the Daoist arts of the bedchamber profoundly improve sexual health. From strengthening your glandular and hormonal systems, to experiencing truly mystical full-body orgasms, the ancient chi science of sexology will allow you to merge spirituality with sexuality. In alchemy, this sexual play occurs deep inside your body-mind--very dynamic fun meditations.

Strange--this is a very novel form of Taoism, one that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Taoism I studied in my Asian Philosophy class and which was described in Asian Philosophies, the text we used. Come to think of it, the Buddhism that liberals often practice (e.g. Hollywood stars) bears no resemblance to the Buddhism in Asia. Liberals just pick and choose superficial aspects of these exotic religions and philosophies and mesh them to themselves, of course never conflicting with their liberal sexual lives. After all, that is why they left Western traditional religion: They wanted to get away from anything that limits their pursuit of sexual and material fulfillment. The emptiness that arises, they then try to fill with Eastern philosophy, rejecting the exact aspects that they reject in Catholicism.

In the end, liberals simply do what they do best: Worship themselves.


jeremayakovka said...

I appreciate you calling a spade a spade (i.e., a narcissistic spiritualist a narcissistic spiritualist).

I've been around way too many cafe Buddhists - willing refugees from Judaism and Catholicism, esp. - and as a youngster tinkered with it myself. As a teen, e.g., I was introduced to the I Ching (where you toss coins and then look corresponding hexagrams and read some interpretation) - under the influence of baby boomer liberal Jewish men who'd left Judaism to dabble in Buddhism, Zen, Tai Chi, etc.

Recognizing the flimsiness of all that was part of what drove me to seek something stronger, something that soon became my Marxist commitment. In that sense, I understand - with a terrible sympathy - why Western spiritual waifs become swept up in Communism, Leftism, and (increasingly) Islam.

Good post. I hope you press your points.

Gabe said...

Jeremayakovka- Thanks for sharing your firsthand experiences.

Your last comment is intriguing about the Left becoming increasing swept up with Islam. I've noticed that too. It is almost as if because the United States is at war with Islamic terrorism, they prize the religion. Only liberals could design a memorial to United 93 with a crescent shape to it. David Horowitz has written an excellent book about the this Left/Islam alliance in Unholy Alliance. Great book.

A lot of times people will say that gays, liberals, and socialists would be the first to be killed with sharia law. I say it is the opposite: They would be the first ones to convert because they show no resistance to it.

jeremayakovka said...

That last point is a good and provocative one. For example, the upcoming event with Chris Hitchens and Chris Hedges is co-sponsored by the Zaytuna Institute, whose chief spokesmen are American converts:
event: http://kpfa.org/events/index.php?#1165
Zaytuna: http://www.zaytuna.org

ewe said...

you sound really sexy Gabe.

Gabe said...

Ewe- Thanks for the compliment, but part of being spiritually and emotionally mature is that you don't think below the belt like you constantly do both here and on Matt Sanchez's blog. I'm way above that.

Your life would be far more spiritually and emotionally meaningful if you lived a chaste life with obedience to Catholic sexual teachings.

I refer you to the following: http://www.couragerc.net/