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We do very little by way of holiday decorating in our senior citizen years.   When there were kids around we did plenty.   But there is no sense to being on ladders and such now.

 

So we hauled a few totes to the thrift store and put up exactly four decorations.   Two sockings on the front courtyard wall.   A Santa hat on the Greek statue next to the driveway.    And we hauled a Buddha staute from the house outside and put it on the wall by the stockings.   The statue I’d maybe a foot tall.    We happened to find a small child size Santa hat in our collection of odds and ends...and that fit the Buddha statue.   We thought it was funny.... so we put it out by the decorative stockings.

 

We were amused and assumed others would be too.    Eh.... not so much.   As I was retrieving the trash can ysterday a woman stopped me.    She was passing by and told me putting out a Buddha like that was offensive.... especially at Christmas time.

 

i am assuming she thought it offensive to Christians.    Perhaps she thought it offensive to Buddhists?   I didn't Have an immediate thought about it.... so I just said....well “Merry Christmas!  “      Smiled and waited.     She walked away.    That was the end of it.

 

Now I am wondering if we have a warped sense if whimsey?    Does anyone else see a Buddha wearing a Santa hat as an offensive item?

von

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If the woman had said WHAT was offensive, or WHY it was offensive, we might have have something to examine.  She simply expected you to know that it was offensive.  In the absence of anything more tangible, this suggests that she was Christian rather than Buddhist.  It's an attitude.  Christians own the culture.  Their feelings matter.  Anyone who does not care is making "War on Christmas".

 

Support, such as it is, is that she thought it was offensive  "especially at Christmas time".  Again, the rest of us are supposed to be on hyper alert lest we tread on Christian sensitivities.  

 

Well, if she wanted you to understand, she would have told you.  I do despise cultural bullies.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Irreverence and blasphemy are funny. They also make people angry. That is part of why they are funny. 

 

;)....true enough....sometimes I am obtuse.....so exactly when does something cross the line?  What is the yardstick ?  Surely  one person taking offense is not a suitable yardstick.   Since I have seen photos of the Dali Lama smiling and laughing wearing anything from cowboy hats to oddball visors...the Buddhist's are not likely offended....

 

How do we gauge when our sense of humor is out of step (since it is painless to take it down) (then again - maybe it is her sense of propriety that is askew) - how does one determines it?   

 

There are days I just remain befuddled at the world as it is today.    Old people are particularly sensitive to not keeping up with the times.....it is not intentional....sometimes we just are unaware of the standards shifting. 

 

von 

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3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

If the woman had said WHAT was offensive, or WHY it was offensive, we might have have something to examine.  She simply expected you to know that it was offensive.  In the absence of anything more tangible, this suggests that she was Christian rather than Buddhist.  It's an attitude.  Christians own the culture.  Their feelings matter.  Anyone who does not care is making "War on Christmas".

 

Support, such as it is, is that she thought it was offensive  "especially at Christmas time".  Again, the rest of us are supposed to be on hyper alert lest we tread on Christian sensitivities.  

 

Well, if she wanted you to understand, she would have told you.  I do despise cultural bullies.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

I agree.  But at times I feel I am just out of sync these days.  

thx for at least reasoning to the same conclusion I was leaning into. 

 

von

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22 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

 

;)....true enough....sometimes I am obtuse.....so exactly when does something cross the line?  What is the yardstick ?  Surely  one person taking offense is not a suitable yardstick.   Since I have seen photos of the Dali Lama smiling and laughing wearing anything from cowboy hats to oddball visors...the Buddhist's are not likely offended....

 

How do we gauge when our sense of humor is out of step (since it is painless to take it down) (then again - maybe it is her sense of propriety that is askew) - how does one determines it?   

 

There are days I just remain befuddled at the world as it is today.    Old people are particularly sensitive to not keeping up with the times.....it is not intentional....sometimes we just are unaware of the standards shifting. 

 

von 

i would say that if it doesn't cause actual harm, the yard stick is wherever YOU think it should be.

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relax von,even the dali lama would have found it funny.a statue of the buddha is not like a statue of a saint(actually it is but i'm not going to get into a discussion about that).it's use besides decoration is maybe a focal point.as i said before buddhists can and do celebrate any holiday they choose,just not(usually)the traditions that go with it.

 

if someone doesn't like it,smile and walk away.

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

i would say that if it doesn't cause actual harm, the yard stick is wherever YOU think it should be.

 

That seems reasonable and logical.   :blink:

what are we overlooking in coming to that conclusion? :lol:

 

thx 

von

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27 minutes ago, mark 45 said:

relax von,even the dali lama would have found it funny.a statue of the buddha is not like a statue of a saint(actually it is but i'm not going to get into a discussion about that).it's use besides decoration is maybe a focal point.as i said before buddhists can and do celebrate any holiday they choose,just not(usually)the traditions that go with it.

 

if someone doesn't like it,smile and walk away.

thanks mark 45

.... the fact Buddha is not a god... does lend itself to not being sacraligious ...at least in my mind

 

Wonder if there are any Greek in the neighborhood about to protest out putting a Santa hat on that statue..... 

 

Again thx for the reassurance!

I am feeling a wee bit less criminal now :D

von

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1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

 

That seems reasonable and logical.   :blink:

what are we overlooking in coming to that conclusion? :lol:

 

thx 

von

the thing we overlook in giving ourselves importance is we are not making others more important, or so might say the overly politically correct.  i obviously think each of us is equally important, hence your freedom of speech should not be impugned by yourself to conform to anothers idea of what is acceptable.

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4 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Since I have seen photos of the Dali Lama smiling and laughing wearing anything from cowboy hats to oddball visors...the Buddhist's are not likely offended....

The Dali Lama is to Buddhists what the Pope is to Christians, in that most Christians don't act like the Pope and don't care about the Pope's opinions. To speak of whethet or not "the Buddhists" would be offended ignores the wide diversity amongst Buddhists. Some Buddhists would be offended and some would not, just as some Christians would be offended and some would not.

https://www.knowingbuddha.org/dos-and-donts

Edited by mererdog

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26 minutes ago, mererdog said:

The Dali Lama is to Buddhists what the Pope is to Christians, in that most Christians don't act like the Pope and don't care about the Pope's opinions. To speak of whethet or not "the Buddhists" would be offended ignores the wide diversity amongst Buddhists. Some Buddhists would be offended and some would not, just as some Christians would be offended and some would not.

https://www.knowingbuddha.org/dos-and-donts

Thanks for that...it is helpful and a nice quick overview.

 

i went online as well and saw a story about  “ Laughing Buddha”....not too far off the mark of the statue in our yard -so i am thinking the mere addition of a Santa hat is not much of a change from the folklore

 

of course if any Buddhist would note it as a problem I would apologize and remove it... however if a non-Buddhist who just wants to make an “upset” for the delight of making trouble .... then I think Buddha likes being included.... Happy Buddha is really in the Spirit of the holiday (although I admit that was dumb luck that it coincides)

 

Just to double check- I have a call into a level headed Buddhist monk in Houston.

She always tells the truth... if it flags for her at all - I will remove it.

thx

 

von

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32 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

She always tells the truth... if it flags for her at all - I will remove it.

It seems odd to ignore the objection of your neighbor but bow to the opinion of someone who will probably never see it. Its like you are trying to get permission.

You made light of a heavy subject. You used religious symbology in a disrespectful manner. Because you found it funny. This is the same, emotionally speaking, as making a joke about someone's mother. It doesn't matter how many people do or don't mind people cracking on their mamas. Becauase it only takes one angry guy to ruin your day, and if you poke enough people you will eventually get smacked... or get someone else smacked...

But Yo Mama jokes are funny. And what is life if it isn't fun?

Edited by mererdog

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

It seems odd to ignore the objection of your neighbor but bow to the opinion of someone who will probably never see it. Its like you are trying to get permission.

You made light of a heavy subject. You used religious symbology in a disrespectful manner. Because you found it funny. This is the same, emotionally speaking, as making a joke about someone's mother. It doesn't matter how many people do or don't mind people cracking on their mamas. Becauase it only takes one angry guy to ruin your day, and if you poke enough people you will eventually get smacked... or get someone else smacked...

But Yo Mama jokes are funny. And what is life if it isn't fun?

 

I think your conclusions on this topic are invalid....at least at this moment.    There are some jumps in the conclusions not the least of which that there was ANY decision to pick the statue because it was religious.  It merely was the one that fit the little hat.  It is that simple.   It was cheery.   That is a far cry from deliberately poking fun.   

 

Things can be funny simply because they are unexpected.   

 

I appreciate being sensitive.  I also appreciate some are overly and unreasonably sensitive. That is not a reason to ignore them.  Nor it is a justification to change the world to revolve around each person's opinion.    

 

I also find it interesting that you do not seem to have any issue with the hat on the other statue. 

 

If the writings of Buddhists are authentic - Buddha did NOT WANT images of him  - it would appear he did not think such images were a good idea to begin with ...and certainly he did not want to be made into object of worship or even reverence - he stated many times he was just a man.   That's all.   If he didn't want special titles or special treatment when alive I have no reason to think that he (or millions of his followers) would be concerned in the slightest. That is a leap of judgment...wherein either point of view (or several dozen more between them) would be equally valid. 

 

ONLY SOME Buddhist find statues to be reverent.  Many do not see any difference between the two statues in my yard. 

 

I think giving it more thought before reacting is the wiser approach.   i will carefully consider your position.  I have always respected your counsel.   This is no exception.  

 

I thought contacting the most trusted expert I know to weigh in on this was responsible...  to validate (or negate) my own opinion of it.   It is not so much permission but raising my own awareness if I am wrong.   I am never opposed to learning.   I think it prudent to ask, reflect - then do - when I have an option.   Ready, aim, fire is likely more effective than ready, fire, aim.    

 

von

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9 hours ago, VonNoble said:

There are some jumps in the conclusions not the least of which that there was ANY decision to pick the statue because it was religious. 

I did not make that jump, mostly because it doesn't matter. My motives are internal, but my actions are external. As such, people get upset about what I do, not why I do it. I assume you were not trying to upset your neighbor,  but that is what you did. Moving forward, however, you know that the action causes upset, so you have to decide whether the action is worth the upset.

 

9 hours ago, VonNoble said:

ONLY SOME Buddhist find statues to be reverent.

So, the question is whether or not that matters to you. Do you mind upsetting some people? Is it worth it for the sake of a joke? 

Do people's feelings only matter if those feelings are based on proper religious doctrine? 

Do people's feelings cease to matter if they are members of a minority religion?

If a Halloween decoration makes almost everyone smile, but makes one witch feel persecuted, is it worth it?

Edited by mererdog

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Von:

 

There are Christians who go into a foaming lather when they are told "Happy Holiday's" instead of "Merry Christmas".

 

We still don't know what it was, that set off this particular Christian, over this particular incident.  If it was all that important to her, she would have explained how it was offensive.  She didn't.  Everybody is simply expected to know.

 

Still, since she is a neighbor, perhaps you can ask her what was so upsetting?  I suggest asking her to be specific.  If she complies, we will know something.  If she refuses, we will also know something.

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Thanks to all for the input.

 

After connecting with a monk in Houston.... the conversation ended with an observation.   People choose their reactions.    They can choose happy.   They can choose not happy.   All people have a choice.

 

So I am going to think on that for awhile.

von

 

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17 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Von:

 

There are Christians who go into a foaming lather when they are told "Happy Holiday's" instead of "Merry Christmas".

 

We still don't know what it was, that set off this particular Christian, over this particular incident.  If it was all that important to her, she would have explained how it was offensive.  She didn't.  Everybody is simply expected to know.

 

Still, since she is a neighbor, perhaps you can ask her what was so upsetting?  I suggest asking her to be specific.  If she complies, we will know something.  If she refuses, we will also know something.

It has not been determined that the offended lady was a  Christian.

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