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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taxes: Buddhism and Fiscal Policy

Birth, Old Age, Sickness, and Taxes: Buddhism and Fiscal Policy, State of Formation
So, Asvaghosa equates excessive taxation with more personal transgressions, especially theft; Surata objects to the covetousness that high taxes inflict on a king and the financial pain they inflict on the citizenry; and, Nagarjuna objects to the financial and emotional pain that the undue hardship of high taxes cause. The renowned Nyingma Buddhist philosopher and teacher Jü Mipham Gyatso (1846-1912, Derge, eastern Tibet) nicely sums up all of these sentiments in his Advice on the Way of the King, saying,

Forcefully taking a reasonable tax from the wealthy,
even when they haven't offered it,
is like being compensated.
This is not “taking what hasn't been given.”

Forcefully taking from the poor
can be either a wrongdoing or not a wrongdoing:
In order to prevent gamblers and prostitutes
from wasting the wealth obtained illicitly,
if you take from them, it is said to benefit both
and is not a wrong-doing.
When someone has lost property through fire, etc.,
tax them lightly.

If one doesn't care for the sentient beings
who haven't any means, this is a wrong-doing.

Later, he reiterates,

If one doesn't collect taxes which are reasonable,
and not take equally from the rich and poor
according to their situation, is that just?
From all subjects who pay taxes
take in accord with their land,
the season, and their wealth, without harming their home.
Do not burden them unbearably.
In the manner of a cow eating grass
On the same shelf:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What a Rabbi Learns from Muhammad: IslamiCity

By: Rabbi Allen S. Maller

I first studied Islam when I was a student at UCLA almost 50 years ago, Then again while I was in Rabbinical school. Over the years I continued to read the Qur'an and other Islamic books. I read these books as the Prophet taught his followers in a Hadith "not as a believer, and not as a disbeliever". What does that mean? ...

...I would like to begin by sharing my understanding of several Ahadith that have taught me about my own religion. My understanding is reflected in my application (gloss) of each insight from my perspective as a Liberal/Reform Rabbi.

...Most Americans that I have spoken are amazed to hear such liberal and flexible statements coming from a religion that they think is ridged and fanatical.

...Nevertheless as a Reform Rabbi, I realize that in many ways Muhammad showed seventh century Jews in Arabia how to reform Orthodox Judaism to bring it back to the simpler rules of the Torah.. continue reading: What a Rabbi Learns from Muhammad @ IslamiCity* -

On the same shelf:
  • A Reform Rabbi Learns from Muhammad, By Rabbi Allen S. Maller, in The Fountain Magazine, March - April 2008: Issue 62.
  • Understanding Islam: The First Ten Steps [Written by a Fellow in Christian-Muslim Relations]
  • Do I Kneel or Do I Bow?
  • Did the Jews pray as Muslims do ?!
  • Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    Cyber Worship Revisited - Need to sort out your sins? There's an app for that

    Herald Tribune, Thu 10 Feb 2011

    Can your iPad or iPhone bring you closer to God? A new application for the devices aims to help Roman Catholics who haven't been to the confessional booth in a while keep track of their sins, one Commandment at a time. The $1.99 "Confession: A Roman Catholic App" can't grant forgiveness -- you still need to receive the sacrament from a real, live priest like always. The app's designers and some believers see it as a way to spur Catholics back into the habit of repenting. "There's a reason we designed it for these mobile devices: We want you to go to confession," said Patrick Leinen, one of the developers and a co-founder of the company Little... continue reading: Herald Tribune,

    More Online Confessions, Resources here:

    Here is a sample from inside the Book: Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives--full of resources that will facilitate building bridges in a Multifaith society. Table of Contents / Reviews

    Chapter 2. 'Cyber Worship as-is On the Web'

    Resource of the Week is: Museums of World Religions (see description, reviews, etc., page 70). Order with Publisher:Order from Publisher

    My related posts:
  • Special Issue from Religious Studies Review on Religion & Internet
  • Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds
  • Christian Librarianship
  • Web Vastu or A Spiritual Worldview for Marketing Website
  • Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet
  • Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives
  • Related Posts with Thumbnails