Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stupid of the Week #4: the Dalai Lama

 Few things rank higher on the stupidity index than religion. Rob Schneider movies, Vibrams, and that’s about it. Oh, also heirloom tomatoes. Why you would pay more for your fruit to be uglier, I do not know.

Anyway, under the silly heading of “religions” are some that are even sillier than average. The more popular, first-world religions tend to be fairly even-keeled. Yes, they technically preach the same total nonsense, but most followers don’t take it *that* seriously, nor does it really affect their lives. The third-world and fringe religions, on the other hand, produce all kinds of crazy every day.

One of the craziest and most despicable religions, to my mind, is whatever religion has the Dalai Lama in it. I really only know that one thing about it, but that one thing is enough to make the harshest of judgments in this case.

The idea is that this Dalai Lama person is a spiritual leader who is reincarnated all the time. When the old Lama dies, a new one is born. The priests or monks or whatever have a bunch of Nostradamean nonsense to interpret that will help them find the new Lama. So the priest-monk-people wander around Tibet, with the help of friendly Tibetan government officials, until they find a kid who fits their prophecy.

Sometimes, when they see the kid, one of the monks sees a flame or other sign to let them know it’s him. They then test the child. For instance the current Lama supposedly picked out the crackpipe that belonged to the old Lama from amongst assorted other crackpipes. Also, when he was 2, he told his parents they should give him extra sweets because he was the Dalai Lama. Very convincing, objective evidence, that. Q.E.D.

And yes, I realize that there are multiple Lamas so it isn’t accurate to just call him the Lama, but since this whole thing is a bunch of nonsense, I don’t care. Moving on.

So this kid is “discovered” around age 4, possibly younger, by creepy bald men wearing orange and is taken away from his family and kept hidden from the world until age 14, when he emerges and starts telling global leaders what to do based on stuff he read in fortune cookies.

That’s it. That’s the Dalai Lama. That’s this “great spiritual leader” everyone sprays their shorts over.

In the West, we have a word for it when a child is taken from his parents and kept locked up with a bunch of old men: child abuse (what, did you think I was going to say something else?). And yet countless people in the West, when they learn of this religion and its vile disregard for the rights of a helpless child and his parents, think this culture is “interesting,” in the way that some quaint village tradition is “interesting.”

My boss, who I’ve mentioned before, decorates his house with hideous masks he buys while visiting obscure parts of the world. He goes around the world observing “native people” in their “natural habitat” and comes home with these trophies to hang on his wall. He travels around and looks a savages living in mud huts and admires the art they produce, art that reflects the twisted horror of their lives, and he considers this “interesting.”

I simply do not know what to make of people who do this, people who view other people as though they were wild animals in cages. When a centipede eats a bat, it’s interesting. But when a man stretches his neck out to over 18 inches for no reason whatsoever, or when a child grows up in an Amazonian tribe that can’t count past 5, or when a man can buy wives with cattle regardless of her consent, it’s not “interesting,” it’s nauseating. It’s not some curious habit of another culture; it’s a systematically brutish and disgusting practice that no human should ever be a part of.

Take a moment to really contemplate the irony of the Dalai Lama, a man who hopes to be reincarnated as an insect because that would be the best service he could provide to the world, riding on a jumbo jet, courtesy of Western non-idiocy, to visit the leaders of countries that have outlawed stealing children. Yeah, it’s insects who do a lot for the world.

Then again, we actually would be better off if he, and all people like him, were turned into bugs. In that one respect, I hope this crazy religion is true.

Yours, etc.,

S. Misanthrope

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