Sounds like an 80s downtown band, doesn't it?
We at the Egg have always marvelled at the public-relations coup which has caused Westerners to think of Buddhists as sinned against without ever sinning, uniquely peace-loving and non-violent in a way that adeherents of the world's other great religions somehow are not.
In fact, Buddhist history is as jam-packed with blood, betrayal and imperial ambition as the histories of Christianity, Islam, or Hinduism. (And don't get us started about those Zoroastrians!) I mean, these are the people who invented kung-fu. In a monastery, for crying out loud. If the Benedictines had invented boxing, all the Franciscan peace activists in the world wouldn't save Christianity's reputation.
So when a group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka attacks an orphanage run by the Dutch Reformed church, threatening to burn the staff alive if they don't abandon the place, it so flies in the face of popular mythology that many Westerners simply will not be able to absorb the words. But it happened, according to a recent report (click up top).
In another Sri Lanka story, a peace rally involving Christians, Hindus and Buddhists was turned into a fistfight by a "group of fiery pro-war Buddhist monks."
Maybe Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama should plan an intervention.