“It is not enough to be compassionate, we must act.” – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
By Cathy Kristofferson, February 4, 2015
Once again, 1AngryOldLesbian.org will demonstrate outside the National Prayer Breakfast (NPB) early Thursday morning. But this year, we heard news that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had agreed to attend!
We wondered if His Holiness was aware of the truth behind his host, The Family (a.ka. The Fellowship)? Did he know the breakfast is essentially a marketing and recruitment event for a bigoted fundamentalist Christian group, or know about their incitement of discrimination against gays, or know about their involvement with previous NPB participant David Bahati author of Uganda’s Kill-The-Gays Bill, or that the Fellowship believes a needed subject of prayer is “to pray down the demonic strongholds of Buddhism and Hinduism.”
Or more likely as happens every year with Presidents and congressional representatives cow-towing to the “beliefs” of the bigot hosts, did he accept the invitation thinking the event was simply a wonderful display of religious unity. Respectfully, we inquired, at the Office of Tibet in D.C.
Had he considered that his mere presence would lend legitimacy to an event whose host’s activities are shrouded in secrecy? Would he speak out against their bigotry?
Today we delivered to His Holiness a letter accompanied by a copy of Jeff Sharlet’s book “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.”
“Respectfully, His Holiness, The Dalai Lama
Tomorrow you plan on attending the National Prayer Breakfast organized by the Fellowship. The Fellowship, also known as The Family, is a secretive group that has had a tremendous influence on domestic, and more importantly, international affairs.
We fear that by attending the National Prayer Breakfast, Your Holiness will lend legitimacy to an event whose ideas and practices are contradictory to American and Buddhist ideals of equality and high ethical standards. The Fellowship is a conservative religious group known for inciting discrimination against the gay community worldwide, most notably in Uganda. The author of Uganda’s so-called “Kill The Gays” Bill, David Bahati, has attended the National Prayer Breakfast and its associated private meetings at the invitation of The Fellowship.
You have said “It is not enough to be compassionate, we must act.” Therefore we request that you speak out against the religious bigotry and discriminatory practices of the organizers of the National Prayer Breakfast.
We know that our request could be considered rude, though we do not in any way intend it to be. We hope Your Holiness can have a positive impact on The Fellowship. (Though we remain hopeful, we are not evolved enough to believe a group this evil can be changed.)
As we are not experts on The Fellowship, which is an extremely secretive group, we are giving you Jeff Sharlet’s book “The Family,” which exposes The Fellowship. It will help to illustrate our concerns. In an interview after the publication of his book, Sharlet spoke of visiting a “Family” house where Senators and Members of Congress live here in Washington; the current subject for prayer was “to pray down the demonic strongholds of Buddhism and Hinduism.” (emphasis added)
Thank you very much for listening to our concerns. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.
We hope that Your Holiness enjoys your stay in Washington D.C.”
Video will be posted soon!
Here are links to two Jeff Sharlet interviews that best explain our issues:
- Amy Goodman on Democracy Now : http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/12/sharlet
- The Rachel Maddow Show : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F3nDIdHcnE (2:55-5:23, if you only have a couple of minutes)