August 29, 2007

Can’t reincarnate unless China gives OK

My coworker and I have often talked about how hard it is to find anything made in America and the issues with a lot of the items that have come out of China lately. First pet food, then fermaldehyde in children’s clothing, small high-powered magnets, paint containing lead on children’s toys, etc.

Now Newsweek is carrying a story about China trying to regular reincarnation. I read that on Slashdot initially and thought it was a joke. How can anyone regulate reincarnation? It has nothing to do with government, and everything to do with an individual’s personal beliefs. And then it hit me: how different does a worldview have to be indoctrinated until someone might actually believe the government could regulate reincarnation?

Here is the first paragraph from the Newsweek article:

Beliefwatch: Reincarnate
The Next Lama: The Dalai Lama says he won’t reincarnate in Tibet

By Matthew Philips
Newsweek

Aug. 20-27, 2007 issue – In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.” But beyond the irony lies China’s true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region’s Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country. By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

Rest of article

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