Just before his death, Jesus went into the temple and disrupted the business supporting the temple operations, by driving out all those who were buying and selling the sacrificial animals. It was this act which led to his arrest and crucifixion.
Jesus was killed because he was a palpable and physical threat to public order. That public order was embodied in the temple in Jerusalem, where animals were constantly sacrificed to appease the desires of a bloodthirsty God — or to appease the priests, depending on your point of view. But why did Jesus do this? Continue reading
Stephen Batchelor spoke at the Tattered Cover Bookstore on March 16 plugging his book, “Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist.” I was intrigued by his interest in the question of the “historical Buddha,” which has rarely been investigated. I asked him whether he (Batchelor) was a vegetarian, whether the historical Buddha was a vegetarian, and how this all related to the first precept (not to take the life of any sentient creature). Continue reading
(UPDATE October 25, 2015: This article was first published in January 1998. Since “CompassionateSpirit.com” was started in September 2001, the article has been on the website as a static page, and is now being converted to a blog entry.)
“Spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.” — Mahatma Gandhi
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the violent death of the apostle of nonviolence: on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in India. Many throughout the world admire Gandhi and want to work for peace. Few of these admirers, however, have really understand Gandhi’s own words about what peace requires: a commitment to nonviolence which includes both animals and humans. Continue reading