Separate Church and State, AND Integrate Them?

27 03 2008

Did you realize the current Dalai Lama of Tibet is both spiritual leader and political leader in one legitimized package? I heard a riveting radio interview as I drove Favorite Daughter to campus (moon and stars were still clearly visible in a black sky — Dad’s out of town, and Mom isn’t used to getting up and out into traffic this freakin’ early!)

I’m pretty sure I heard the journalist-author of “The Open Road” describe him as the only figurehead in the world who integrates spiritual leadership with his political authority (although the Vatican wasn’t mentioned, or ayatollah types, hmmm. . .)
Then he and Terry Gross said even the Dalai Lama is moving to separate the two roles, stop doing the politics.

(After which, no one in the world will be doing both at the same time, really? If that’s true, I guess theocracy is deader than communism?)

Anyway, then the interview went on into ecumenical questions about “one true faith” beliefs fighting to win the whole world, versus blending cultural truths and uniting in the larger spirit of goodness and the author gave a truly BEAUTIFUL account of his own multi-cultural, multi-faith-influenced personal “convictions” about how to live.

It spoke to me, awakened something besides my caffeine-deprived driver instincts, much as Barack Obama has been inspiring me lately, about uniting in a higher purpose than to fight to the death against other folks supposedly all defending the same virtues we do, but in that very fight, destroying what we all believe we’re fighting for, instead.

Thought some of y’all might want to check it out, maybe talk about it.

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