Santorum-loving pastor: If you “worship Buddha,” then “GET OUT!”

“We don’t worship Buddha,” says pastor Dennis Terry, introducing Rick Santorum while preaching to the choir in the newly posted video below. Well, that’s not something most Buddhists say they do, either — at least not many Western Buddhists; rather, it’s more often the case that we look at the historical Buddha as an example of a real human being who proved that liberation from suffering was possible. What’s your reaction to this pastor’s argument that non-Christians should “get out” of America?

(Note Rick Santorum clapping toward the end of the video.)

22 Comments »

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    For a moment, I thought he was just saying: “We have religious freedom here, if you don’t like it, get out”. Then he continued with the “We only worship Jesus Christ” stuff. It’s hard to separate those two statements. It’s certainly not true that “americans” worship anyone in particular.

    It’s stereotypical right wing rubbish. Persecution is a part of the christian psyche.

    And he’s got every right to stand there and say those things. He’s wrong on many levels and in many ways. I guess he has passion.

    Glad I’m not american.

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    Verbatim, he said “If you don’t li… love America and you don’t like the way we do things, I have one thing to say… Get out!”, which is not quite the same as the headline implies.

    That said, yes, he’s not exactly advocating for equal religious opportunity. But then, what is a true Christian? Intolerant and exclusive, or is that just this dude’s particular point of view?

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    thanks for the comment, and nice email address.

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    Well, that’s not something most Buddhists say they do, either — at least not many Western Buddhists; rather, it’s more often the case that we look at the historical Buddha as an example of a real human being who proved that liberation from suffering was possible.

    This is a very interesting point, but actually more than a few Western Buddhists do express worship to the Buddha when they chant the Vandana (http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/Fac/Adler/Reln360/chants-precepts.htm#Vandana)

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    He’s very loud and false. I wonder if he was treated kindly as a child.

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    Well, that’s true, except for some this is a vocalisation of recognizing a quality inherent in ourselves and in others.

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    I have to agree with the person above me. Yes the pastor is intolerant yes that bothers me but he never actually said what the headline on this post says.

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    Funny, that as someone of Western European origin he doesn’t realize that he’s worshipping a “foreign” desert religion. He “should” be worshipping Wotan, or an oak tree, or the fae, or something.

    I say, if your people didn’t come over the Bering Strait and you don’t worship the natural world, git back to Old Europe!

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  9. avatar
    Juan R. Lajara Says:
    March 19th, 2012 at 8:20 pm
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    People like Pastor Dennis Terry are the reason many individuals leave christianity. Hate for gays, lack of compassion/love for others, discrimination and a sence of superiority make people dislike and hate the “god” of the Christians. I left Christianity and embraced Buddhism. My life is happy and now I love myself and others. No ,we don’t worship or venerate the Buddha. We are thankful and respectful of The Holy One (The Buddha) for the gift (The Four Noble Truths & The Eight Fold Path) He has given us.

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  10. avatar comment-top

    Ummm…The First Amendment, anyone?

    I would love to subscribe to this blog by email. Is there a way to do that? The RSS thing is anything but Simple as I don’t have a mainstream email provider. Help!

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    @Mumon It is my understanding that the English translation of the Vandana is “I venerate the Sacred One, the Great Sage, the Truly Enlightened One.”
    It is also my understanding that the word “venerate” means to revere or respect. Not quite the same as worship.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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    sorry, no… no way to do that.

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    that’s true. i think the way the headline is split makes that pretty obvious, though. sorry if not.

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    Neal, over at my place I go over that, & what 南無 means and all that…rod/worsthorse is right above.

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    Worshipping Buddha? To agree with Neal: Catholics distinguish the ‘adoration’ of God from the ‘veneration’ of saints. Buddhist attitudes to buddhas & bodhisattvas seem veneration to me & that’s certainly mine.

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  16. avatar
    ZenMister Says:
    March 25th, 2012 at 1:16 pm
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    Revere suggests awe coupled with profound honor: “At least one third of the population … reveres every sort of holy man.” Worship implies reverent love and homage rendered to God or a god: The ancient Egyptians worshiped a number of gods.
    Worship also connotes an often uncritical devotion: “She had worshiped intellect.”
    Venerate connotes reverence accorded by virtue, “I venerate the memory of my grandfather.”
    To adore is to worship with deep, often rapturous love: “The students adored their caring teacher.” Idolize implies worship like that accorded an object of religious devotion: as in “He idolizes his wife.”

    People, please study what is being said, and definitions are there to help. It may be of help to recall the simple fact that we are all but animals, and though we attempt to transmogrify ourselves into something better, higher, more “worthy” than other animal species, we are in fact no better, and maybe even not better off but worse. No other member of the animal “kingdom” can create, only procreate; yet we believe somehow that we are above them merely because we have figured out numerous ways to taint, poison, fill with garbage and ultimately completely obliterate life on this planet as we know it? People, get real! We are the Great Destroyer, the Magnificent Creator, all wrapped up into one. We have the awesome responsibility, which we abuse for our own selfish pleasures and desires. No mere animal does anything like this. Our greater brain case should have its matter dedicated to higher truths, and this is the main lesson the Buddha taught us. Higher truths are Love, Compassion, Respect, Awareness, Mercy, etc. These truths are Universal. Seek after them, and lead the world by your example. “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” Mahatma K. Ghandi, a Hindu who later found the Dharma, the Four Noble Truths, and began his journey upon the Eightfold Path.
    Namaste.

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    There goes the American dream… :)

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    Thanks for sharing this. What is most frustrating about this sort of attitude is the ignorance that is touted as “truth,” for example, he says that this nation was founded as a “Christian nation” and then extolls the god of “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” as the “one true god.” Of course, this was the god of the Jews before Christianity, and this is also the God of Islam. When he says “We don’t worship Allah,” he’s actually mistaken, because Allah is the one and the same god of Judeo-Christianity. When he says that he’s “tired of people telling us we can’t voice our beliefs,” it’s utterly disingenuous. In practically the same breath, he’s telling people who aren’t Christian to “Get out!” of America. This is the most insideous sort of projection there is, accusing others of censorship, when he himself is advocating it. I don’t know any “liberals” or secular people who want to take the right of free speech and the freedom of religion away from Christians. This pastor could take a page from Buddhism’s Noble Eightfold Path, the tenet of Right Speech, specifically. If only he could see the commonalities among people of all faiths and ethical paths.

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  19. avatar comment-top

    I think if he wants Christians to leave the US, he should probably buy a ticket out of the country for himself as well.

    Also, he is a dick.

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  20. avatar
    Daniel Irvin Says:
    May 6th, 2012 at 5:55 am
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    MJ…point well made (and thanks for the chuckle)!
    soozzip…hit all my points only better.
    So sad to see religion devolve into intolerance (even if you are arguing out of a deeply held belief).
    So sad to see a person trapped and twisted by his beliefs.

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    [...] or a “Muslim doctor” would without any semantic contradiction. So this nonsense and this outburst anger need not happen – it is like bashing hairdressers, the subject and the object [...]

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