Next week the military is coming to Wood Green, London.
Haringey Civic Centre
1830 – 2030hrs
Monday 27 January.
They intend to hold A Celebration of the Multi Faith Nature of Our Armed Forces.
They also want to highlight the diversity of our Armed Forces, and its role and work within faith communities. Whatever that means???
The Army are drawing attention to this subject and misrepresenting the reality. There main effort is to recruit from ethnic minorities (an untapped resource) and win over the hearts and minds of the “community leaders”.
Our aim on Monday is to counter their vision of a harmonious multi-ethnic multi-faith army and to highlight the true nature of the work the army carries out abroad.
Hopefully our intervention on Monday will make groups like Faith Matters think twice before inviting the army into our communities.
If you are free next monday and can make it to Wood Green then please come along.
If you can’t make it but have some experiences you would like voiced please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to David Marchess. He throws a true light on the subject, particularly about Gurkhas; ‘Defensive Wars’ & the Commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’.
As a gullible youth of 17 & a half, believing we had to beat Hitler, I volunteered for the Royal Navy, serving on the Arctic Convoys & in the sinking of the Scharnhorst, playing my very small part in killing 1,867 of her crew – the bravest men in the world,. I grieve for those men every day of my life, just as much as I grieve for my own brave young shipmates who had been maimed, dead & dying around me just 6 months before. They ALL died in vain.
It took me till the age of 70 to learn that EVERYTHING we thought we were fighting against then is now in the Orwellian Police State which is Britain today. I am ashamed I was so gullible for so long: As a partial excuse I can say we didn’t have the information which is so widely available today.
FROM the age of 70, having learned that corruption is rampant in our courts, in memory of what we BELIEVED we were fighting for all those years ago, I made it my mission in life to expose the corruption. The result has been 18 years of serious persecution until, at the age of 86, I was forced to flee the land of my birth & seek safety in the Republic of Ireland.
If you wish to know more, email me: email@example.com
The military has to cast a wide net to gain the required needed numbers. So, naturally it will make the do your patriotic duty pitch to people who aren’t sure where they stand in the public’s view regarding an acceptable assimilated status. Whatever your race, religion, or ethnicity, the military wants you to be above and beyond your civilian identity. When you conform to that requirement, you’ve lost part of your identity and you’re expected to repress values and beliefs you held as a civilian as well. The military expects you to inhibit the functioning of your moral compass. It’s never acknowledged by military authority that you will be required to do things that a few years later you’ll come to realize were contrary to the moral precepts the world’s major religions espouse. It’s impossible to follow the admonition of the Golden Rule while patriotism dictates your behavior. Recruits of diverse religious practices will only come to realize that after they’ve been seduced by rah,rah, hyperbole.
Buddhism clearly has a mixed record in matters of war – the Sri Lankans killed a lot of Tamils recently, some almost certainly “extra-judicially” following the “civil war”.In Burma, the Buddhists are being unkind to the Moslems. More apposite; what are the Gurkhas other than mercenaries ? Like many poor men through the British army’s history, they have been given the king’s shilling largely when their prospects of earning a peaceful living have been extremely limited .Any honest “faith-dealers” (chaplains) can, surely, sanction ONLY defensive wars? When did we last have one ? The SS had chaplains, probably the gestapo too.In WW1, nominal Christians slaughtered their co-religionary brothers with gusto, at times, thanks to the preaching of the faith-dealers.I thought there was a sort of command “thou shalt not kill” ?
I think all religions have a mixed record in matters of war, and they’re not relevant in that context. We can do war, with or without their support or condemnation. Neither should we condemn the ghurkas as ‘mercenaries’, which technically they’re not, since they’re members of the British Army. India has Ghurkas too, and the Nepal also has an army. Ghurkas on the other hand, get paid far more than Nepalese soldiers, are not beset by the caste system (you don’t have to be a Brahmin to get on), and it’s a more honest profession than many.
Just as a balance, as a meditation teacher I would like to say that I have witnessed first hand the sincere, hardworking, and only Buddhist chaplain to the Armed Forces and the efforts of some of the members of the Armed Forces committed to gaining an understanding of, and practicing, the Buddhist principles of kindness and awareness. Also there truly is an experience of connectedness being forged there between Buddhists of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, including a close working relationship with members of the Nepali Gurkha community. I am not so sure that they have been entirely easily welcomed and supported among the wider and more established Armed Forces chaplaincy.
Is Buddhism compatible with participation in war?
Upon leaving the forces in 97 after operational tours in NI & Bosnia I came away disillusioned as to the actions of ours & other countries military’s. It took me a while to find a way of coming to terms with what I had seen but But eventually I found away via becoming Buddhist 4 years ago.Personally I would not like to take on more karma via involvement in the armed services/conflicts/wars. From my interpretation of Buddha’s teachings is that it is wrong to kill any sentient being, So I find it hard to believe that a true Buddhist would put them selves in a position where they would have to kill, sorry Cathrine but I am in the same stand point of the Admin, even though Buddha said to question anything that does not sit right with you inclusive of his teachings, I do not believe he would condone killing, but it is these service personnel’s karma to deal with in this or their next life times.
Om Mani Padme Hung