“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Whether Tony Blair actually believes all the supernatural notions required to become a convert or not, he decided to drop a rather heavy hint of his intentions with the gift he chose to bring to his audience with Pope Benedict XVI – a frame containing three period photographs of Cardinal John Henry Newman, a former Anglican priest who in 1845 had converted to Roman Catholicism. Perhaps, even if Putin doesn’t like the idea, he could end up being the latest Imperial Papal Envoy..

, ,

  • merrie

    Even if Blair doesn’t convert to Catholicism, his trip to Rome this time as (an Anglican) British PM indicates a further thawing of British/Vatican relations:

    “After his visit to the Vatican, Mr Blair had lunch at the English Catholic College in Rome, the first British government leader to do so”

    Another indication is the warm regard that Murphy O’Connor and Rowan Williams have for each other (and Williams writing a book on Teresa of Avila). Both of them stayed at the Catholic College in Rome when they both attended the funeral of Pope John Paul. For the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury to be attending such Catholic events and places would have been unthinkable even a few decades ago.

    All in all these are good events, imho.

  • merrie

    Another indication of this thaw is the good wishes the London Telegraph leader sent to Benedict on his birthday:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/04/16/dl1603.xml

    Also (I am doing a Pete), the fact that David Vance [play the ball – edited moderator] wanted more of us to defend the Pope is really quite amazing:

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/vance_who_will_defend_the_pope/P50/

  • Pete Baker

    “All in all these are good events, imho.”

    In your humble opinion, indeed, merrie.

    But it’s an opinion which ignores the points made by Fred Halliday in the link above.. and those made by Fintan O’Toole, also mentioned above and previously.

  • curious

    Tony Blair has come up against opposition from Catholic clergy when he wished to share mass (Holy Communion) with his family. See here other experiences:

    ‘The Catholic Church’s strict rules against eucharistic sharing with non-Catholic Christians have been a source of great frustration, offense, and pain for the many Catholics in mixed marriages. Meinrad Scherer-Emunds argues that it’s time to change them.

    Over the past couple of years, several heads of state—including President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair—made headlines for various entanglements with Catholic Communion regulations. When the Irish President Mary McAleese, a devout Catholic, received Communion in the Anglican Cathedral in Dublin two years ago, Irish bishops blasted her publicly. The Archbishop of Dublin said it was a “sham” for Catholics to take Protestant Communion, implying that all Protestant Communion services were a sham.’

    http://uscatholic.claretians.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5724&news_iv_ctrl=1289&abbr=usc_&JServSession

  • Crataegus

    Tony wants to be a Saint

  • Rory

    We Catholics really have had a lot to endure. First our founder is crucified at an early age then our very first pope, Peter, is crucified – this time upside down. Then we had all the devouring by lions and the bloody Inquisition and the mad Luther and the even madder Henry VIII and then , in these islands, all the mad Puritans and Calvinists and Cromwell and Roaring Hanna and child diddling priests, nuns and monks and Pastor Jack Glass and the Rev Ian Paisley and all he unleashed = and now, just when things are settling down nicely, what are we threatened with? Tony fuckin’ Blair that’s what!

    Isn’t it about time God called a halt to all our sufferings? Christ! if we have to go down the Jewish route can we not have the dosh as well? We’ve already suffered the same experience of a bloody awful cuisine and volubly long suffering mothers (unless you’re lucky enough to be French or Italian – at least their mothers could cook).

  • Brian Boru

    Seems he’s waiting till after he steps down as PM. While an atheist, I would like him to convert while in office, if only as a statement that Catholics are just as entitled to aspire to be PM as anyone else.

  • Pete Baker

    From what I can gather, Brian, there’s nothing to stop any supernaturalist aspiring to the post.

    Although a Satanist might find it particularly difficult..

  • merrie

    Pete Baker said:
    >> But it’s an opinion which ignores the points made by Fred Halliday in the link above.. and those made by Fintan O’Toole, also mentioned above and previously.<< Yes, Pete I ignored them because I think they are irrelevant. Maybe my worldview has been influenced by my study of medieval history but I think: 1. The Pope and the Vatican are very relevant in today's world 2. I think the Queen and her successors should remain head of the British government (but not of the six counties which were wrongfully separated from the rest of the island of Ireland) 3. I am uninterested in reading "The God Delusion" because I think Mr Dawkins is himself a deluded man. 4. A lot of things that many people consider religious are rubbish. Religion is OK for people who remember that the purpose of it is to find God and that it is not essential to wear certain types of clothing, etc. Our western society is excellent for those who are interested in religion because normally our society does not hinder the practice of religion, nor does it force "religious" practices upon everyone.

  • sock puppet

    “(but not of the six counties which were wrongfully separated from the rest of the island of Ireland)”

    “Our western society is excellent for those who are interested in religion because normally our society does not hinder the practice of religion, nor does it force “religious” practices upon everyone.”

    The first exists because of the belief of the majority of the North at the turn of the 19th century in the second. For an historian your assumptions are contradictory and anachronistic.

    Dumbass.

  • Merrie

    Sock puppet:

    Apologies: I should have said “our current western society…” I forgot to consider the mindset of some NI Protestants at the time. Even in NI nowadays Catholics are not prevented from practising their religion, though they can be murdered for being so. Unfortunately some people in NI are anachronistic and perverse.

    I was also considering the lack of freedom in most other non-Western societies. It is very difficult to be a Christian or a Hindu or a Buddhist in China and Turkey, and even more difficult in Saudi Arabia.

    The six counties were wrongfully separated because the British government wilfully ignored the wishes of the **majority** of the island of Ireland. That was not democratic.

  • Plum Duff

    I’m surprised no one has spotted the, to me, obvious reason why Blair is going for the Catholic route.

    Confession, dear boys, confession.

    ‘Bless me, Father, for I have sinned’.
    ‘You’re blessed, my Son. What have you done since your last confession?’
    ‘Well, Father, I invaded a non-threatening country and was responsible, with ma good ol’ buddy, for the deaths of going on a million innocent people’.
    ‘And are you sorry for these sins, my son?’
    ‘Well, I yam an’ I yant, Father: I believed it at the time.’
    ‘Well, sure, that’s what we’re here for – belief. Will you do it again?’
    ‘No, Father. A Southern Baptist made me do it first and a Scots Presbyterian won’t let me do it again. It’s too damn dear’rrr, he says.’
    ‘Aw, Jaysus, Son, stay away from those Prods. Go in peace, my child, and invade pagan England next.’

  • sock puppet

    The six counties were wrongfully separated because the British government wilfully ignored the wishes of the **majority** of the island of Ireland. That was not democratic.

    Or the six counties are separated because;

    a)the British government wilfully ignored the wishes of the **majority** of the island of Ireland. That was not democratic.

    b)the British government (in their arrogance?) did not consider Ireland a proper nation and wrongfully/rightfully attended to the wishes of the **majority** of the population of Northern Ireland.

    c)the British government were shit scared of an opening on their western front affecting trade routes with North America and Casement’s Kaiser affair (and the second world war proved them right).

    d)the British government were keen to avoid civil war in the six counties and judged partition the least worst option

    e) Unionist votes were potentially / actually useful to the Tories on other matters

    f) as the party of Land the Tories had an in-their-bones loyalty to those who held property in Ireland which went before other considerations and Ulster’s six counties were the most they felt they’d get away with.

    g) protestant British politicians shared a concern with protestant Ulster unionists as to the potential liberalism of a Catholic Ireland in a Europe/World which offered very few liberal Catholic examples (excepting with respect post-revolutionary France).

    h) all of the above in a 20th century on-the-cusp-of-decolonialising’ liberal democracy facing an existential crisis in the face of revolutionary international socialism and continental militarism.

    “Wrongfully” may not do the variety of motives justice.

  • merrie

    Like the Pope, the Dalai Lama is also very relevant to the modern world. One of the benefits to western society of his exile is that many new books have been written for Westerners by Buddhist Lamas.

    If people read “The God Delusion” I recommend – for balancing their views – they also read “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. It is a very readable book and not too esoteric for non-religious people as are other texts such as “The Bhagavad Gita” and “The Cloud of Unknowing”.

    I guess, though, if one decides to be an atheist or a theist it all depends upon his or her beliefs.

  • Plum Duff

    Hey! Merrie & Sock P, what the f*** has your little diversion got to do with this thread?

    You obviously ‘don’t want to talk about it’.

  • merrie

    Sock Puppet:

    >>the British government were keen to avoid civil war in the six counties and judged partition the least worst option << All the Brits did was to cause a civil war to foment in the six counties to become the Troubles of 1969-1998 (or 2007). If the Brits had done the democratic thing and not separated Ireland there would have been no 30 years civil unrest to blight the late 20th century. This includes your blighted life, assuming you live in the six counties. I find most of your other points fantastical. Maybe you should check out the Republic's history after it attained its freedom from British rule. It did not follow any continental regimes, and if the Brits were so worried Eire would become socialist/fascist/whatever they would have done their darndest to keep all of it under its thumb.

  • merrie

    Plum Duff
    You are right, it is a diversion. If you read my first post it was not intended to be so, just another interpretation of Blair’s visit to the Pope and Rome. It has become a NI thang (again).

    Don’t agree with your point about confession, though what you say is humorous. Confession can be a real embarrassment. In my experience priests don’t give such advice as you suggest….

    Also, Blair did have good intentions with regard to Iraq. Don’t forget the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury did say the invasion should not occur. Obviously both of them understood the Iraqis and the danger of fundamentalist Islamists much better than Blair and Bush did.

  • kensei

    “In your humble opinion, indeed, merrie.”

    Is criticism of the Catholic Church really directly relevant to saying that Anglicans and Catholics getting on a bit better is a good thing, Pete. Really?

  • Harry Flashman

    **Catholics are not prevented from practising their religion, though they can be murdered for being so.** merrie

    If I recall correctly quite a few Prods were killed for their religion too you know.

    Indeed I think in almost all of the instances of murders (of protestant and Catholic victims) that were carried out in or at places of worship in Northern Ireland, the murderers were nominal Catholics.

  • merrie

    Harry Flashman
    >> If I recall correctly quite a few Prods were killed for their religion too you know<< Both Protestants and Catholics died in the Troubles which were really two wars: the IRA one and the loyalist one. I don't have all the stats to hand, but the IRA war was more political than religious, the loyalist one was more based on religion. AFAIK more Catholics were killed by loyalists simply for being Catholic rather than for being IRA people. In the British news loyalist activity tended to be reported as "sectarian violence" while the IRA action was called "terrorist activity" - though I think both should have been called "terrorist activity". A recent example of "sectarian violence" was the murder of Michael McIlveen in Ballymena in 2006.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    kensei

    There’s nothing in the rules that says self-righteousness can’t apply to atheists.

    ;o)

  • Merrie

    Pete (I assume you are the moderator)

    I cannot understand your redaction of my description of David Vance. I am sure he’ll agree with it; if I check it out with him and he agrees, will you put it back in?

    Thx

    Merrie

  • curious

    “The six counties were wrongfully separated because the British government wilfully ignored the wishes of the **majority** of the island of Ireland. That was not democratic.”

    If it was not democratic why did these five Irish republicans sign the Anglo Irish Treaty on behalf of the Irish Delegation?

    ART Ó GRÍOBHTHA (ARTHUR GRIFFITH)
    MICHEAL Ó COILÉAIN.
    RIOBÁRD BARTÚN.
    EUDHMONN S. Ó DÚGÁIN.
    SEÓRSA GHABHÁIN UÍ DHUBHTHAIGH.
    http://www.reform.org/TheReformMovement_files/article_files/Treaties/1921.htm

  • curious

    ‘A recent example of “sectarian violence” was the murder of Michael McIlveen in Ballymena in 2006.’

    Merrie

    What type of example of “sectarian violence” would you call these 38 people (mostly catholic) murdered by the IRA since the cease-fire began?

    http://www.ivanfoster.org/article.asp?date=4/2/2005&seq=2

  • curious

    5 ‘Tony wants to be a Saint’

    Posted by Crataegus on Jun 23, 2007 @ 10:02 PM

    Pope: Miracles hard to come by in Britain

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23401700-details/Pope:%20Miracles%20hard%20to%20come%20by%20in%20Britain/article.do

  • Harry Flashman

    Merrie, thank you for that totally unnecessary and not terribly accurate account of the motivation behind the various murder campaigns in Northern Ireland.

    My post was really a response to your initial idea that only Catholics were killed because of their religion, a disproportionate amount certainly were. However there was a fair heap of dead Prods killed solely for their religious beliefs too, no matter how the provies and other republicans liked to dress up their barabarism as a “political campaign”.

    Google “La Mons”, “Kingsmills”, “Darkley”, “Enniskillen” and countless other uninvolved dead protestants if you don’t believe me. It’s nice for republicans to imagine they were all brave soldiers of Erin fighting the armed Saxon foe, but in reality it was a lot more squalid and sectarian than that.

    This isn’t whataboutery, it’s just a reminder that no side was morally superior to the other.

  • snakebrain

    Sorry to perpetuate the off-topic-ery, but I get a bit riled when I see the Dalai Lama presented as a wonderful smiley little man with oodles of eastern wisdom radiating from every benevolent little grin, or Tibetan Buddhism presented as a nice natural non-offensive alternative to our nasty western Abrahamic religions.

    Tibetan Buddhism , until it was pretty much stamped out by the Chinese goverment for pretty unpleasant reasons of Lebensraum, was as nasty and vindictive a little medieval theocracy as you’re ever likely to meet. The kind that only thrives where you have an isolated uneducated population dominated by a vicious monastic elite.

    Until the Chinese take-over the punishment proscribed, and regulary carried out, for any peasant who withheld their tithe dues from the local monastery was to have their hands broken off at the wrists. I’ve seen photographs of the implement designed for this, it’s like a giant nutcracker; the hand is folded up against the wrist, and crack. There are still a few people begging in Lhasa who bear the marks of this punishment.

    Nice bunch eh?

    Which brings me neatly back on comment. The Catholic Church seems to me a natural home for Mr Blair.

    Utterly unscrupulous, power-crazed, operating on unverified “intelligence” reports of unseen enemies in a climate of fear, for the good of an all-powerful overlord – I’d say they’re ideal bedfellows.

  • Papa Doc

    Holy Mary,
    Mother of God,
    Thank the Lord,
    That I’m a Prod.

  • merrie

    Harry Flashman

    1. In the first place I did not say that “only Catholics were killed because of their religion”, I merely pointed out that some Catholics were killed simply because they were Catholic.

    2. In my second note I said much the same thing. I did not say no IRA deaths could be considered sectarian. I said “the IRA war was **more** political than religious”

    Please read what I have said before you comment. Also check the statistics, you will see that they back what I have said.

  • Plum Duff

    Another thought: given the sexual scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in recent years, how would it appear if the Pope admitted a mass-murderer to his fold?

  • CURIOUS

    1. ‘I merely pointed out that some Catholics were killed simply because they were Catholic.’

    Merrie

    Did you know almost 100,100 Protestants were killed simply because they were Protestants in August 24 1572?

    [b]The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.[/b]

    When news of the Massacre reached the Vatican there was jubilation! Cannons roared—bells rung—and a special commemorative medal was struck—to honor the occasion! The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacre—which still hangs in the Vatican!
    Medal struck by Emperor Gregory XIII (1572-85) to commemorate the slaughter of over 100,000 French Christians!!
    http://www.reformation.org/bart.html

  • merrie

    >> how would it appear if the Pope admitted a mass-murderer to his fold?<< There was a murderer called Columkille, from NI, who was exiled for his crimes and founded Iona while in exile. He became a saint.

  • Richard James

    “I don’t have all the stats to hand, but the IRA war was more political than religious, the loyalist one was more based on religion.”

    I’m not aware of a single Loyalist murder being carried out because they disagreed with the doctrines of transubstantiation or papal infallibility. They worked on the basis that if they murdered enough Catholics then pressure would build up in the Nationalist community to end the IRAs terrorist campaign.

    Even if we accepted your outlook, how is murdering someone because they vote Unionist any less immoral than murdering someone because of their religion?

    BTW you are rather indignant towards the Ulster Protestant mindset due to the murder of Catholics for practicing their religion. How do you feel about the Ulster Catholic mindset considering Protestants, unlike their Catholic counterparts, have been massacred at worship?

  • Pounder

    merrie correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a thread about Tony Blair. If you want to bitch and moan about the continued existance of Northern Ireland there are plenty of other threads on just that. You don’t have to hijack an existing thread, it just makes you look like a dickhead.

    On topic i’m not suprised this is about to happen. I had heard unsubstanciated stories that Blair had asked the Queen for permission to convert already and was shot down. Ofcourse this same source also said that 9/11 was the work of the CIA. Still i does make sense IIRC Blair had alread been attending weekly mass with his wife and kids for some time. I do wonder at how objective a PM could be if practicing a different religion than than the Queen he or she works for.

  • snakebrain

    merrie

    listen to pounder and stop being a dickhead

  • lib2016

    ‘how objective a PM could be if practicing a different religion than the Queen he or she works for.’

    What a wonderful precis of everything which makes traditional unionism untenable in this day and age!

  • Dave

    If Tony Blair wishes to convert to catholism then that is for his consience alone. Maybe he should read up on the works of Avro Manhattan. http://www.hvk.org/articles/1201/main.html
    maybe he will have second thoughts on the matter

  • Richard James

    ‘What a wonderful precis of everything which makes traditional unionism untenable in this day and age!’

    What a wonderful example of Republican ignorance. Can you name a single traditional Unionist that objects to Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher, Jim Callaghan or Harold Wilson being Prime Minister on the grounds they weren’t members of the Church of England?

  • lib2016

    Richard – I’m well aware of the real meaning of his post. The phrase ‘wouldn’t have one about the place’ mean anything to you? Strange that this topic comes up in relation to ‘themmuns’ but not Welsh Baptists, Scottish ‘sons of the manse’ etc. – probably just a coincidence.

    As for the idea of an elected representative of the people deferring to inherited privilege…..!

  • Richard James

    “Richard – I’m well aware of the real meaning of his post. The phrase ‘wouldn’t have one about the place’ mean anything to you? Strange that this topic comes up in relation to ‘themmuns’ but not Welsh Baptists, Scottish ‘sons of the manse’ etc. – probably just a coincidence.”

    Most traditional Unionists I know would sooner have had a Catholic such as the late John Biggs-Davison as Prime Minister than any Scottish ‘son of the manse’ or a Baptist such as Jim Callaghan (who I believe was English actually).

    Likewise I’m sure most Unionists would vote for one of ‘themmums’ like John Gormley rather than Billy Leonard.

    The only thing you have shown is the chip on your shoulder, not any Unionist prejudice.

  • Richard James

    John Gorman*

  • Lib: So far as I know, the only people who have used the phrase “wouldn’t have one about the place” in recent years are Sinn Fein – And that was more an attempt to avoid the issue of guns in Irish politics, than an objective assessment of unionist attitudes. IMHO, of course 🙂

    In fact, hadn’t the dread unionists had quite a few of “them” about the place, until the previous executive collapsed amid spying allegations and frustrations about said guns?

    Getting back to the topic, Anthony can go to whatever church he wants – it’s a free country. But I’m not sure how much time leading the country would leave for the sort of training you seem to need before you get to join his wife’s church. It might make more sense to wait till his retirement.

    After all, it’s not like he believes he’s going to be damned for being a prod if he dies before he defects. I suspect, from what I’ve seen of Tony’s approach to politics, that it’s more a “lifestyle choice”.

  • curious

    Why does Blair have to go to see the Pope to become an RC
    Surely every convert from Prod to Catholic dosn’t have to head to the vatican to ask permission?

    I see Blairs final preformance as PM as another drama queen stage act to gain the last little bit of attention seeking. I hope the Pope recommends instead of crossing the Tiber he goes on the stage as the man with more faces than big ben.

  • páid

    Curious,

    lot of truth in that, methinks

    As for,

    If it was not democratic why did these five Irish republicans sign the Anglo Irish Treaty on behalf of the Irish Delegation?

    The stock answer is that if they didn’t, Lloyd George threatened them with ‘immediate and terrible war’.

  • Rory

    I was amazed to learn that the Provisional IRA were apparently responsible for the St Bartholmew’s Day Massacre. God! maybe they did the St Valentine’s Day job as well. That’s what I like about Slugger, it’s so educational. You learn something new every day.

    I wonder, if Tony Blair becomes a Taig, will he then be a legitimate target for loyalist patriots?

    I don’t mind. It’s no skin off my nose. “Live and Let Kill” (to paraphrase Dame Shirley Bassey) that’s my motto.

  • Dawkins

    Merrie,

    I was away all day so forgive my late response.

    You wrote: “Like the Pope, the Dalai Lama is also very relevant to the modern world. One of the benefits to western society of his exile is that many new books have been written for Westerners by Buddhist Lamas.

    “If people read “The God Delusion” I recommend – for balancing their views – they also read “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. It is a very readable book and not too esoteric for non-religious people as are other texts such as “The Bhagavad Gita” and “The Cloud of Unknowing”.

    “I guess, though, if one decides to be an atheist or a theist it all depends upon his or her beliefs.”

    The inimitable Christopher Hitchens, in his “God is Not Great” complements “The God Delusion” very well. About Tibet and the Dalai Lama he has this to say:

    >The human species is an animal species without very much variation within it, and it is idle and futile to imagine that a voyage to Tibet, say, will discover an entirely different harmony with nature or eternity.

    >The Dalai Lama, for example, is entirely and easily recognizable to a secularist. In exactly the same way as a medieval princeling, he makes the claim not just that Tibet should be independent of Chinese hegemony — a “perfectly good” demand, if I may render it into everyday English — but that he himself is a hereditary king appointed by heaven itself. How convenient!

    >Dissenting sects within his faith are persecuted; his one-man rule in an Indian enclave is absolute; he makes absurd pronouncements about sex and diet and, when on his trips to Hollywood fund-raisers, anoints major donors like Steven Segal and Richard Gere as holy. (Indeed, even Mr. Gere was moved to whine a bit when Mr. Segal was invested as a tulku, or person of high enlightenment. It must be annoying to be outbid at such a spiritual auction.)

    >I will admit that the current “Dalai” or supreme lama is a man of some charm and presence, as I will admit that the present queen of England is a person of more integrity than most of her predecessors, but this does not invalidate the critique of hereditary monarchy, and the first foreign visitors to Tibet were downright appalled at the feudal domination, and hideous punishments, that kept the population in permanent serfdom to a parasitic monastic elite.< KInda puts things in a different light eh? We mustn't make the mistake of the 1960s hippies who saw the East as being all sweetness and enlightenment. The reality is far grimmer.

  • curious

    “Perhaps, even if Putin doesn’t like the idea, he could end up being the latest Imperial Papal Envoy..”

    I doubt it, Alastair Campbell, Blair’s former Director of Communications and Strategy at Downing St can now release his book.

    ‘Throughout his time in Downing Street, he kept a diary which eventually totalled two million words. Selected extracts will be published by the Random House Group in a volume titled The Blair Years, which Campbell says will not be released until after Tony Blair leaves office[3].

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alastair_Campbell

  • lib2016

    Paul,

    Trying to argue that a unionist ruled Northern Ireland was not a cold house for Catholics won’t get you very far.

    I’m not a Christian myself but it seems fairly evident that the Catholic church has very much become the mainstream. Given the legendary British xenophobia (fog in Channel, Continent cut off!) and the fact that Northern Ireland was founded on notions of the need to retain Protestant supremacy the problems for traditional unionism are plain.

    Both their religious and political identities are under huge strain. I wish I could say that I feel their pain but it wouldn’t really be true. Not even as noble a person as I am can make that jump.

  • merrie

    Dawkins and others:

    I don’t follow what the Dalai Lama does with his fundraising and his attempts to get famous and other westerners to support his exiled people regain their land, or care much about the alleged jealousies of that big-nosed actor, though I think it is very courageous of the DL to try to promote his causes using Western style events on some occasions.

    I am not a Tibetan Buddhist (or really any sort of Buddhist) or a donor for the Tibetan exiles.

    I have read some of the Dalai Lama’s books which are good, but even better is that book I recommended earlier by Sogyal Rinpoche called “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”. If the DL hadn’t been exiled and Tibet overrun by the Chinese then the West would not have been given such a beautifully written book in English and written with westerners in mind.

    If there is some dross around the traditional Tibetan way of life, then remember the lotus grows from silt-filled dirty water and that no society in this world is perfect.

  • snakebrain
  • merrie

    Snakebrain: Nah. Already have my bedtime reading – Laguna Heat by T Jefferson Parker which I borrowed from my local library today.