Re: Buddhist Imprimatur?
- Dear Ven. Kumara and Gunnar,
the Buddha established the Sasana in a rather "open" environment, "open" in the sense that differences in religious views were well tolerated during that time in India. Public debates between the Buddha and other major and minor religious folds were documented in the Tipitaka. Conversions to Buddhism were also recorded.
This is unlike the situation faced by early Christians who were persecuted and hated by others. If history bears any truth, the different experiences shaped the two religions differently in the few centuries immediately following their formation.
The type of "freedom" enjoyed by the Buddha and his disciples is of course different from the "freedom of religion" as we know today according to Western liberal political philosophy.
Even so, I believe the Buddha would not agree with oppression of any people because of religious beliefs or the lack thereof. I hope no individual or group would use the Buddha's teachings to advance any selfish interest.