Responding to common misconceptions about Atheism+ »« My president has to remind us that “rape is rape”

Buddhism has extremists too

One of my pet peeves is the particular view that Buddhism is some perfect, peaceful, problem-free religion. If only everyone was Buddhist, the world would be such a better place! Unfortunately, when Buddhism has the majority position of power, it has the same problems as other religions:

A Sri Lankan court has given suspended jail terms to three French tourists for wounding the religious feelings of Buddhists by taking pictures deemed insulting.

Two women and one man were detained in the southern town of Galle after a photographic laboratory alerted police.

The pictures show the travellers posing with Buddha statues and pretending to kiss one of them.

[...]They were convicted under a section of the Penal Code which outlaws deeds intended to wound or insult “the religious feelings of any class of persons” through acts committed in, upon or near sacred objects or places of worship.

I don’t personally understand how someone posing to kiss a statue of a figure you revere is “insulting” or “intending to wound.” Maybe if it was…oh, I don’t know, a statue of Hitler, and you were kissing him because you thought he was awesome. …Not that we have many statues of Hitler laying around. But I have no right to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t be offended by.

However, religious people have no right to inflict their religious belief on those who don’t follow it. If you want to set rules for your followers, have a blast. But you don’t get to dictate how everyone else lives their lives.

At least these tourists got off easy. Alexander Aan was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for daring to say he’s an atheist in Muslim-majority Indonesia.