From The Flame of Pomp and Power by Father Shay Cullen
It’s heartbreaking to see unarmed saffron robed monks kicked, clubbed, beaten, tortured, imprisoned and killed in Tibet simply because they want religious freedom and dignity. They sacrifice themselves for their beliefs. Only months ago, hundreds of Burmese Buddhist monks marched in defiance of the military dictatorship in Burma to demand religious freedom, human rights and dignity for all. They were shot, beaten, hunted and killed too. Is there a separation of church and state? Yes for sure, especially when the state is the oppressor of the rights of the people and becomes a despot and tyrant.
That’s when we all have to take a good look at ourselves and our beliefs and ask what do we believe and live for? Do we have values and convictions to share with others, are we convinced of our own inalienable rights to be free to think, speak and chose our own way of life, our own religion and practice it, to have it respected? Is it not natural to resent and resist being conquered, occupied and dictated to by a more powerful nation? That’s what Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths want and have a right to.
It’s time for us to put those beliefs and convictions into action and take a stand and speak for the oppressed and the god-given rights of all. The journey or relay of the Olympic flame is a very political gesture, it was first started by the oppressive, human rights violating Nazi regime to try and symbolize their hold on power and justify their self- proclaimed superiority oveothers. Is that how both sides see it as a symbol of power and dominance in the world?
Father Shay Cullen has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice.