The Dalai Lama, leader of the Buddhist faith, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday to provide spiritual support to the families of more than 500 people who died in the recent Typhoon Morakot. His trip was loudly protested by the Chinese government because Taiwan is considered a renegade province that could quickly turn against China.
Never mind that the Dalai Lama leads the world’s most peaceful faith. Forget that his only message is one of peace and freedom for people of all nations. Instead, China chose to focus on the fact that the Dalai Lama, who was exiled from the Buddhist capital in Tibet, could somehow bring the nation of Taiwan up in arms against its communist, nonspiritual neighbor.
This is but a recent re-emergence of a pattern of hatred against the Buddhist nation of Tibet that China has shown since the 1950s.
But since China is so interested in being a major player in the modern world, it should embrace the responsibility that it has shrugged off. Part of being a world power is promoting equal rights even if a nation should happen to disagree with said rights. By refusing to allow the Dalai Lama his rightful place in Tibet as well as attacking him when he helps other countries, China manages to snub one of the world’s largest religions in favor of modern-day imperialism.
Of course, the United States is not completely blameless in this whole situation. While the U.S. carefully acknowledges the Dalai Lama, it all but ignores the crisis in Myanmar, a nation where the rightful president is held under house arrest by a military junta. Though most of the Myanmar population overwhelmingly supports democracy, Myanmar is a Buddhist nation. Bound by their faith, they are unable to demonstrate violently or attempt to physically attack the ruling party.
But if all nations actually adhered to their religions of choice, there wouldn’t be any wars to begin with. Most versions of holy books suggest nonviolence as the route to the afterlife. As far as I can tell, Buddhism is the only religion that actually practices what it preaches.
So if the U.S. simply must ignore the “Thou shall not kill” parts of its faith by starting wars in countries that don’t want our help, how about getting involved with a country so devout that it cannot help itself?
Libby Davis is a junior news-editorial journalism and history major from Coppell.