Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The golden rule is reciprocal

An electronic mail was read on CBN’s The 700 Club show March 9, 2015. Often on this show, Robertson plays the role of oracle. His co-host read, and the screen showed the words, then Pat Robertson compared the situation to a healthy person being surrounded by contagion, “...where everybody has that disease except you, sooner or later, you will be infected by it”. And his answer was, “Get out of that environment because they’re going to get to you before you get to them”.

Priorities: in a country that values capitalism and worker submission to authority, and being told repeatedly how lucky one is to have a job, or when one does something in public and someone yells get a job as the successful and devastating retort, and Jesus' comments on work, labor, profit, taxes, et cetera are always overruled by the previous sentiments; isn't Pat being contradictory?

Well no, Robertson was not thinking about the economics. He addressed Tina (the writer) on Tina's terms. I just think Tina's impression of the situation is inaccurate, and hypocritical. First, how many co-workers are there? Buddhists are just not that plentiful in most of America. Here in this area, which may not be typical, there is one Buddhist temple and it is of resettled west coast Japanese. Further, Buddhists have not the reputation of being 'in your face' street and porch hopping proselytisers. 

But here is where Tina's ethics falls apart: she does not abide by the golden rule, which was taught by Jesus, and the Buddha, and so many others.  They “talk about Buddhism all day long and try to preach to me”; “our pastor telling us to teach others about Jesus...Should I continue to insist on helping them...”. She is bothered by their preaching, while she ministers to them.

From personal experience, it takes two Tinas to surround you and bother you about religion; and if your Catholic, one of the Tinas can be an atheist. This Tina is honest enough to admit she and the rest of her co-religionists are commissioned by their pastor for such evangelising, and they are told it is of great value. No reciprocity of moral worth is considered, a double standard ONLY applies.

Many people who are not devotees of Robertson and his co-religionists, or of any religion may not think about either of the two points (American economics, ethical reciprocity) i opined on. Many would find it insulting, or humourous, that Robertson likens Buddhism to be a contagious disease looking for new host bodies. His metaphor allows for a healthy natural resistance that can be overcome if the person is not extricated. He does not suggest inoculation or vaccination. But further interesting, “Get out of that environment because they’re going to get to you before you get to them”, Pat suggests both Buddhists and Tina are active opponents engaging in the same endeavor, and she is about to be overwhelmed.

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