tobes wrote:I'm saying more that Buddhists ought to be political as an expression of Dharma - which is distinct from identity politics related to the 'name' of Dharma.
You concern is very common among western Buddhists who wish to align Buddhism with secularist liberalism - but I personally have more of a problem with that than with Bhikkhu Bodhi in robes publically endorsing Occupy Wall Street.
If one can see what is unwholesome and wholesome, one ought to stand with what is wholesome and resist what is unwholesome.
If Buddhists are supposed to be political then we will end up having more disagreements. I can't see how this is beneficial for the Sangha.
Just look at this forum, whenever there is a mildly political topic, everyone gets into furor and becomes aggressive, but when talking about the Dharma we all have common ground.
Religion and politics are things which they say should not be discussed outside the correct forums. We all agree on our religion, to an extent at least, that much is certain if we are all on Dharmawheel, or all in a Buddhist temple. Politics is a separate issue which I think a lot of us will disagree on despite our similarities in religion.
Bhikkhu Bodhi's view of what is the correct type of politics for a Buddhist to have, may be different from another's view.
Personally, I believe being involved in conventional politics is not appropriate for Buddhists. Not just because it causes discord, but also because it deals with the impermanent and that which is subject to suffering.
To practice generosity, give. To practice compassion, help others.
If you can't see how to do this without being political, then you can't see the Bodhisattva path.
malcolm wrote:No, they should be political as expressions of their conscience apart from Dharma. The minute that you claim your conscience is Dharma, then you destroy the Dharma and yourself.
I would agree.
In promoting social justice, or whatever political ends you believe in, you fall into a chasm of the utmost danger to think that you are doing so in the name of the Dharma.
Dharma is true eternally, political opinions, whatever they may be, are transitory and differ from situation to situation. They are marked by impermanence, not self and suffering. They are not suitable for refuge - the Dharma is suitable for refuge.
All hail the Dharma