— Peter Thal Larsen (@peter_tl) March 12, 2015
Oddly enough, political cults are not necessarily well equipped to understand how religion works. From the NYTimes article:
… Tensions over what will happen when the 14th Dalai Lama, who is 79, dies, and particularly over who decides who will succeed him as the most prominent leader in Tibetan Buddhism, have ignited at the annual gathering of China’s legislators in Beijing.
Officials have amplified their argument that the Communist government is the proper guardian of the Dalai Lama’s succession through an intricate process of reincarnation that has involved lamas, or senior monks, visiting a sacred lake and divining dreams.
Party functionaries were incensed by the exiled Dalai Lama’s recent speculation that he might end his spiritual lineage and not reincarnate. That would confound the Chinese government’s plans to engineer a succession that would produce a putative 15th Dalai Lama who accepts China’s presence and policies in Tibet. Their anger welled up on Wednesday, as it had a day earlier…
Party leaders would prefer to insert themselves surreptitiously into a succession process that carries the full weight of Tibetan tradition than to install a new Dalai Lama by fiat, which would almost certainly undermine the new religious leader’s credibility inside Tibet.
So if the incumbent Dalai Lama, who remains revered in Tibet more than half a century after he fled into exile in 1959, uses his clout to nullify the historic selection process, China faces the prospect of continuing discontent there after his death. It would in essence be a last act of defiance by the Dalai Lama…
And that, American evangelicals, is why it’s best for both religion and politics when the two systems are kept separated!
Apart from ruing the general ineducability of the human animal, what’s on the agenda for the evening?