Given the recent summit on Value Voters, and the crisis on Wall Street I thought it might be interesting to ask a non-Christian on what values informed his approach to the public square.  I sent an email to Robert Thurman, a Progressive Revival blogger and Professor of Buddhism at Columbia University.  He sent me this response during a lecture tour for his latest book: Why the Dalai Lama Matters. 


“The main Buddhist values would be compassion, tolerance, generosity, ethics and intelligent service of others.  In this moment of total crisis caused by excessive selfishness and greed on the part of the excessively rich, who can find no satisfaction in it anyway, we should all be reflecting on how to bring altruistic concern for others out of the realm of suppressed impulses and into the center of our public life.


I know this is very slight, but perhaps it could be helpful for conservative Christians to realize that members of other traditions have these values at the center of their daily lives – though they may, at times, not live up to them that much better than any other religious persons. 


Certainly exclusiveness, violence against others, callous disregard of the poor and downtrodden, intolerance of those of other faiths and ideologies, and so forth should find no place in the hearts and behaviors of followers of Jesus or Buddha or any of the other great spiritual teachers of humanity.”


And let us all say – Amen.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Thank you for visiting Progressive Revival. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

Originally appeared on Tikkun Daily Blog Ever since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime.              Though a small segment of Jews have responded […]

The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin’s putting a bull’s-eye target on Giffords’ congressional district to […]

Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation, Chanukah is about a national liberation struggle involving an entire […]