Buddhist monks strain credibility to prove relevance

From CNN.com:

Japanese monks and nuns held a fashion show – with rap music and a catwalk – at a major Tokyo temple Saturday to promote Buddhism.
[. . .]
“We wanted to show the young people that Buddhism is cool, and temples are not a place just for funerals,” said Koji Matsubara, a chief monk at Tsukiji.

I walk away from something like this thinking not that Buddhism is cool, but that it’s hokey, and that any religion that has to hitch its star to the popularity of hip-hop culture looks suspiciously bankrupt of native appeal.

This reminds me of something the Subcomandante Marcos wrote for our high school newspaper, though I don’t recall if it was ever printed. On some humanitarian-type student group, the name of which escapes me, he wrote a fictitious article describing the challenge it had to demonstrate its worth as a group. The group’s student leader replied, “We’re not worthless . . . we just aren’t!” I’m thinking the group was called “Interact” but can’t remember for sure.

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