Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: Dalai Lama to visit Cornell (was Re: TIBET: 1991 IS YEAR OF TIBET)
Date: 1991-02-02, 11:33

In article <> (
Keith Evans) writes:
> >In <> (Leor Doron)
> >
>> >>   Dalai Lama... 
> >
> >I seem to have had the impression that the Dalai Lama was the head
> >of a Tibetan Buddhist sect, but from reading your posting, he seems
> >to be the Tibetan ruler.
> >
> >--
> >   Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
> >            Respectfully,
> >                 Keith Evans  
> >

The Dalai Lama is both a spiritual and a temporal leader.  That is, the
government of Tibet before the Chinese invasion was a theocracy.  The Chinese
used this as an excuse, claiming the peasants were being oppressed by the
priests.  You might say the Chinese thought they knew what the Tibetans needed
better than the Tibetans did, since as far as I can tell, they were happy with
theocratic rule.  Islamic fundamentalism (e.g., Iran), I believe, calls for the
restoration of theocracy in Islamic nations.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the USA where strict separation of
church and state is one of the most important theoretical features of our
government. Unfortunately, many Christian fundamentalists in the USA appear to
want a theocracy instead.  So far they are in the minority, but certainly some
local customs, if not laws, treat Christianity as if it were the state religion
of the USA.