I went to a county commissioner board meeting concerning a proposed new buddhist temple location last night. I went to support the Laotian Buddist community in Olathe, KS because, as it was reported to me, the rural residence of the area (google: 119th and Gardner Rd, Olathe, KS) we opposing the move and some of the concerns were they thought there would be loud gongs and animal sacrifices, they said the potential neighbors in previous zoning approval meetings were even making fun of the way the laotian people talked - these being the most ridiculous reasons but believe me the residents pointed to every conceivable "problem" they could wrap their pointed little heads around (sorry but it does tend to anger me especially listening to even their minor children speak out against religous and racial tolerance in not so many words of course. If i had not known better the new neighbors look and sounded like a bunch of white separatist on a politcally correct day (but then again i could be one too because i am mostly white). They seem to INTENTIONALLY not see this as a First Admendment issue (freedom to excercise one's religious beliefs) and they even had one person "scold" Lama Chuck for "making" it a religious issue. ABSURD! They basically were afraid their self ascribe rural "eden" would be irrevocably harmed, and did not at all see how much the new neighbors ENHANCED their property. I mean i've driven out it that are there ain't nothin really to speak of that ain't all over rural Kansas, a lot of farm land a room for tolerance. Yet, my fellow native Kansans made the proposition out to be akin to a biker rally-which i have nothing against either.
Well, i sat there for three plus hours in almost complete and total embarrassment of my fellow Kansans, i should not have been surprised by the fear EVERY new neighbor expressed but i was and am. The only reason it wasn't total embarrassment was because the reasoning were so obviously fll of fear and intolerance-i had to laugh at many points. For instance there was a teacher who lives 5 blocks from the current temple started her discourse by saying she'd never once heard a gong. They were worried about lights, noise and increased traffic and they pointed to rural single family zoning, yet there was a christian church a mile away which is new, and they felt they wouldn't be able to walk on the rural road and their dogs would get tun over or ride their horse in the road. The pastor of the christian church showed up and mildly opposed the prosed site change.
Well i felt so ashamed that during intermission of this absurd theartre i went over and felt obligated as a resident of Johnson County, Kansas, AND AMERICA, to offer a sincere apology and express how ashamed i was of our neighbors. The members of the Laotian Association turned out to be exceptionally confused, more-so than i, and they were so well for lack of a better word more beautiful than the people the proposed to move next to. I found my self inspired by their tolerance, and obvious love of all sentient beings in spite of the situation which was being created from nothing. Their new neighbors will be very lucky, blessed and hopefully not too ashamed of themselves when the Buddhist move out there, considering all the rural potential problems (meth or pot production or such).
But the good news was i believe the zoning permit was remanded back to the zoning commission (which had unanimously rejected the proposition). This is the only course of action other than denying which the commission could take.
please help with prayers and donations of merit to the current residence of the proposed site.
I am going to call and write the county commissioners and express my appreciation of their decision last night upholding the Constitution, Bill of Rights and religous and racial toleratance. And In case anyone wishes to make a statement or get info: