Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Buddhist In The House

Let's mix our politics with a different religion this go-round. Hank Johnson, who took over our 4th from Cynthia McKinney, is a Buddhist.

Yoweee... Georgians elected a black Buddhist! Johnson will be sworn in tomorrow. Now this is one for the record books. From a NYT blog:

Representative-elect Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat who ousted Representative Cynthia McKinney in the Democratic primary, became a Buddhist decades ago, though his family does not share that faith. A spokesperson said that Mr. Johnson plans to use a Bible, citing tradition.

Besides, there is no book in Buddhism that’s equivalent to the Bible or the Koran, said Representative-elect Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat. She said she probably would not use any book, but that in the past, when she was sworn in as lieutenant governor, she used a friend’s family Bible.

Full entry, with comments, here.

Johnson's campaign website has no mention of his Buddhism, so it's hard to say if he's a practicing one or not, but Congresspedia does. Maybe he'll give a few tips on meditation and karma to us in the Anglican community.

1 comment:

Ryuei said...

Actually Buddhism has a library of sutras (scriptures) and different schools put emphasis or even exclusive devotion on one or a few of them. So Hank Johnson could have used the Lotus Sutra, and Mazie Hirono should have know that in her familie's Buddhist tradition they use the Three Pure Land Sutras (which altogether aren't that large and all three are translated in a single book).

Also, Hank Johnson and Mazie Hirono are both members of traditions that do not do silent meditation, rather they are both traditions that use chanting as their primary practice.