An Open Letter to the 2016 US Conference of Mayors
Regarding the Keynote address by the XIV Dalai Lama on June 26, 2016
Site: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: June 24-28, 2016
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
by James C. Stephens
In 1996, the XIV Dalai Lama, recognized at that time as the god-king of Tibet, was awarded the key to the City of Pasadena. Concerned about the series of events, Dr. Arthur Glasser, Dean Emeritus of Fuller School of Intercultural Studies and I attended the Dalai Lama’s acceptance speech at Pasadena City Hall.
In an interview, aired on CBN, I asked Dr. Glasser how one should address the visit of the Dalai Lama. He replied, “He is a foreign personage of prominence, we should be respectful of him, but to offer him the key to the city, Christians would tend to react. They would say, ‘the key, the authority, what sort of authority is going to be understood by the Dalai Lama?”
As a former Buddhist youth leader and graduate of a Buddhist Study Academy, I had an intimate knowledge of the practice of Buddhism (1970-1984). In 1981, prior to a Buddhist pilgrimage I had an accident in a train station in Japan. For the following three years, I investigated other religious paths and practices and made a decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ, believing Him to be my Savior and Messiah. In the ensuing years, I have studied Christianity as zealously as I had Buddhism, and came to deeply respect the historic Christian faith as originally delivered to the Jewish Apostles.
At the same time, I have continued to watch with concern, the deterioration of Christianity in the West and the funding of various religious traditions in America that have taken root through Government support. I have closely watched the Dalai Lama and his work in the US and have seriously investigated his worldview, one which he carefully disguises in his public personae as a man of peace. Formerly a paid agent of the CIA, his work continues to be heavily supported by the US Government as a key speaker at major universities, corporate venues, coliseums, and government halls. It was also quite disconcerting that he was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Second Anniversary of 9-11 at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. He now has become a leading spokesman for climate change.
While I understand that his story is quite engaging, have seen movies about his life, read many of his books, heard him speak, I find myself questioning the American public’s naiveté in writing him a spiritual blank check and elevating him, in a sense, to the position of “the pluralist pope” by providing a public platform to introduce his curriculum of secular ethics to our public school system.
As leaders of your respective cities, I urge you to pursue a candid and intelligent survey of the available external evidence of my concerns, which I believe will satisfy a reasonable mind. While, I agree with Dr. Glasser that we should treat dignitaries from other countries with respect, our mandate as gatekeepers requires us to carefully weigh any proposal or ideas arising from those who are invited into our house, in this case, the US Council of Mayors.
In the early nineties, while teaching in the UK, I spoke to the Director of the London Buddhist Society who proudly showed me the loophole in the 1988 Religious Reform Act which opened the door in the UK to teach all religions and introduced a new curriculum overriding centuries of public policy wherein Christianity had been taught in their school system for hundreds of years. Fast forward to 2016, and Sadiq Khan the new Mayor of London is a Muslim and all of Europe is in the throes of great religious turmoil as a result of the refugee crisis. The Dalai Lama recently shocked others when he stated, “There are now too many (refugees),” he said. “Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab land,” he added with a laugh. “Germany is Germany. From a moral point of view too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily. The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.” (India Times, June 01, 2016 by Kunal Anand).
The stability of a nation depends upon its religious statecraft, but also upon religious freedom and freedom of conscience. Engraved on the North entrance of Los Angeles City Hall, the words of Israel’s King Solomon, the wisest King in history ring true,
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Samuel P. Huntington, Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University warned in his 1993 essay on The Clash of Civilizations, “What ultimately counts for people is not political ideology or economic interest. Faith and family, blood and belief are what people identify with and what they will fight and die for.” While it is the duty of Christians in pluralist societies to cooperate with people of other faiths in seeking a just ordering of society, we are also required to hold to our original founding principles that made America a land in which refugees were welcomed to her shores. It is a very simple question of hospitality, you are welcome to stay in our home, but there are a few rules you must follow. A guest is no longer a guest, when they begin to tell you how to run your own household. A lesson we all must remember as most of us are guests (immigrants) to Turtle Island. The First Nations know that the land belongs to the Creator and not to any one man and if violated will vomit those out which defile her.
Charles Bridges (1794-1869), one of the leaders of the Evangelical party in the Church in England called its leader’s decisions into question when they began to chase after the traditions of men which had not proven to provide steady counsel to direct the affairs of state. He stated, “The Bible exhibits a divinely appointed remedy commensurate with man’s infinite distress, and accepted of God in its power and prevalence. Who can doubt the excellency of the things that are written, so rich in counsel and knowledge—‘words fit for a prince to speak, and the best man in the world to hear? Such a minute and practical standard for relative life and social obligation!”
Over the last several years, the Dalai Lama has been developing a secular curriculum of ethics that he desires to be introduced into the curriculum of our nation’s schools. His talks on “Beyond Religion” that seemingly appeal to the secularist mindset are touted to teach compassion and ethics without religion. As Mayors, many struggle with the pluralist mix of religious and “none’s” in their cities. However, embracing an untried curriculum with a questionable agenda designed by scholars from a progressive, Buddhist socialist background albeit supposedly stripped of any religious intent, still presents a major challenge to the prevailing foundations of the United States of America.
“If the foundations be destroyed, how can the righteous stand?” Who now becomes the interpreter of what is right and what is wrong in a nation that has abandoned the faith of her fathers? Some may argue, “Oh, but it’s for those who are not religious” and the like. However, our laws and justice system were founded on Judeo-Christian principles as any astute legal mind will attest. New curriculum proposals are serious changes of course that pack within them, unforeseen consequences. Making quick friends will bring lasting regrets. This is not limited to any one foreign guest or leader in our nation, as our internal issues and crisis require more than a new Band-Aid. Our moral crisis is severe and it is not time to switch boats in midstream. While the Dalai Lama as a foreign personage may provide key insight into our shortcomings providing a valuable outsider’s point of view, it does not mean that the solution he holds out with the other hand is an acceptable alternative.
The prophets of Troy, warned the city fathers not to trust Greeks bearing gifts. The prophets out rightly said, “Burn the Trojan Horse.” The City fathers instead accepted the gift and you know the rest of the old story. Not unlike King Hezekiah that showed his enemy all his treasure stores unwisely, only later to have the City sacked. It didn’t happen overnight, but set in motion a process whose seeds of destruction were carefully planted over time.
Yes, peace and compassion and mindfulness at first may sound wonderful. Who would reject them? A wise man however, remembers “caveat emptor,” buyer beware. The seller of his wares may call into doubt the integrity of the country’s foundation, promoting vain imaginations of how peace can be won by just calling a city a city of compassion. One may clean the outside of the cup, but inside it’s full of dead man’s bones. As a young Buddhist, I recall marching in a Buddhist Brass Band dressed up in Santa Claus uniforms and playing Christian hymns for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Christmas party. Marketing Buddhism as American as Mom and Apple Pie; strategies cooked up by Madison Fifth Avenue Ad executives.
So, when you listen to the Dalai Lama and his fascinating story, one must ask oneself the more difficult questions as a mature leader whose constituency no doubt contains a high portion of Christians, “Why has the Dalai Lama been chosen as the keynote speaker? What is the agenda? Am I about to embrace something I have no understanding of and discard what I have known? Am I willing to implement an ideology that may be divisive to many of the people I shepherd? As the wise King Solomon said, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end leads to destruction.” Even the wisest king lost his way for a time and embraced many false ideologies, before coming to his senses at the end of his life. Is it not better to question your own judgment upfront and seek what your elders once taught? Why waste present possibilities and needed reformation by embracing what you only perceive to be a better way?
Doubts may arise as distance lends enchantment to the view. Carefully weigh and survey the information you hear for the destiny of your city depends upon the wisdom of its counselors.
“When warnings for instruction are not received, they are tokens of destruction. This is a truth which none almost deny, and none almost believe. Had it been believed, many desolating judgments in former ages had been prevented; nations and cities should have abode in prosperity, which are now sunk into ruin, yea, into hell.”
-(John Owen to the UK Parliament in a day of reflection on the nation’s spiritual state).
EpicycleMedia: The Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism playlist.
“The Dalai Lama and the Anatomy of Politically Correct Buddhism” by James C. Stephens based on a chapter in InterVarsity Press’s Guide to New Religious Movements edited by Dr. Ronald Enroth, Sociology Professor at Westmont College, Santa Barbara.
Dalai Lama and the Kalachakra: A Wake-Up Call for the West. Stephens’ Interview of Victor Trimondi on the Dalai Lama and 9-11 (in English and Chinese).
The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism by Victor and Victoria Trimondi
This study is not for the fainthearted. If you want to live in the world of fantasy, don’t read this expose.
“Our study is divided into two parts. The first contain a depiction and critique of the religious foundations of Tibetan (“Tantric”) Buddhism and is entitled Ritual as Politics. The second part (Politics as Ritual) examines the power politics of the Kundun (Dalai Lama) and its historical preconditions. The relationship between political power and religion is thus central to our book.”
Critical Forum for the Investigation of the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala Myth.
The Kalachakra-Tantra is anything but pacifist, rather, it prophesies and promotes a bloody religious war for world domination between Buddhists and non-Buddhists (Shambhala myth).
The text explicitly names the “leaders” of the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) as opponents of Buddhism: “Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the White-Clad one [Mani], Muhammad and Mathani [the Mahdi]”. The Kalachakra Tantra describes them as “the family of the demonic snakes” (Shri Kalachakra I. 154).
Thus, the Kalachakra Tantra is opposed to all religions of Semitic origin, and for this reason has been pressed into service by right-wing radical and anti-Semitic circles for their racist propaganda.
The Kalachakra Tantra invokes a global war between the Islamic and the non-Islamic world in which the followers of Mohammed are presented as the principal enemies of the Buddhists. The original text refers to Mecca, where the “mighty, merciless idol of the barbarians” lives as a “demonic incarnation” (Shri Kalachakra I. 154).