You know who you don’t hear enough about? Buddhist extremists. Islam, of course, has its inaccurately labeled (though still commonly referred to) Muslim fundamentalists, soldiers in the holy war willing to sacrifice their own life in the ongoing jihad to kill/convert the infidels. And Christianity can take credit for the crusades, Nazism, and the KKK, to say nothing of the current goings on in Northern Ireland. I’ll admit that Judaism’s a slightly tougher bagel to schmear, but apparently the Jews killed Jesus, so I guess they’re damned for eternity anyway. (Plus, anyone been keeping an eye on Gaza recently?) But Buddhism—well, when was the last time you heard anyone take credit for the latest act of Buddhist terrorism? That sentence just doesn’t look right, does it?
To be fair, Buddha wasn’t exactly your prototypical soldier. Being born in a garden will do that to a guy. He wasn’t exactly the most physically imposing fellow either, if you see my pot belly. Worst of all, he was a Prince, and we all know how pampered and effeminate princes are…every last pompadour-boasting one of ‘em. Compared to a few of the more popular prophet-deities in our religious lexicon, it’s easy to understand why Buddha wasn’t the sort of fellow to inspire awesome violence on his behalf.
By contrast, take a look at Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Abd al-Muttalib Ibn Hashim (“Mo” to his friends). The Highly Praised One was your archetypal street smart Arab, an orphan with a penchant for hiking. He managed to stay in great shape thanks to years of tough desert living and talking to angels in mountains—and just check out those gams! As such, it’s easy to see why a guy like Mohammad (a.k.a., “Mohammed,” “Mohammad,” “Muhammad,” “Mahomet,” “Mahound,” and “Momo the Dog Faced Prophet”) might engender such devotion from the Muslim community.
Next up is the Lord and Savior-of-the-Month, Jesus Christ. Now, depending on your current level of political correctness and historical accuracy, the Immaculate One was either some ripped Norwegian-lookin’ dude or a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern radical—either way, a formidable Son of God. No wonder Christians everywhere are able to overlook the fact the Jesus never even read the bible!
Finally, we come to Abram. (You probably know him better as “Abraham”.) Now this Babylonian was something else entirely. Not only was his Pre-Jewishness the first man ever to be circumcised on purpose, but after hearing that Chedorlaomer had been messing with his nephew Lot, old Abe led a ragtag army of men from his household into Palestine and totally kicked the King of Elam’s ass. Plus, he fathered his son Isaac at the age of 100—now that’s some potent double helix!
So to break it down for you, my Buddhist buds: Maybe dear ol’ Sidd was every bit the genial, pastry-loving peacenik the statues and legends depict, but if you want the rest of the world to start taking you seriously, you gotta blow something up, damnit! At least knock off a non-believer or two. As it is, you guys are way behind in the race for “Most Violent Religious Sect of All Time,” to say nothing of your poor showing in the “Least Useful Belief System Ever” category. Don’t worry though; there are still plenty of millennia left to spill some blood and prove to everyone that fanatical Buddhists can be just as sadistic and counterproductive as the rest of the teams in the league. I know if you put your Nirvana-laced minds to it, you can instill a little teen spirit in all of us…if you smell what the sacred rock is cooking.