Consider: He is the leader of a millennia-old religious movement, and the leader of a small nation as well as the spiritual leader of millions, and many more look to him for his views on social issues, politics, and the world at large.
While the Left Wing and Progressive movement in America favor some of his views - the need for social justice for the destitute, the call to assist the dispossessed and refugees and to end racial and ethnic hatred - they will never come to terms with many of his most deeply-held beliefs and pronouncements.
Both he and his predecessors stand firm in their resistance to Communism as demeaning to the dignity of the human spirit. In response, the leaders of the Communis Chinese state have imprisoned his priests and demand that only they can decide who will be the priests allowed to speak or officiate at religious services in an “official” state church. His predecessors have been accused of collaboration with the Nazi regime during WWII.
He calls his priests, all of whom are male, to a life of celibacy. There is a vibrant community of women in the religious orders which look to him for leadership and doctrine, yet there are no women in the upper ranks of his religious hierarchy.
He speaks out against homosexuality as contrary to the laws of nature (writing in his 1996 book “Beyond Dogma” that “A sexual act is deemed proper when the couples use the organs intended for sexual intercourse and nothing else…”), even while demanding compassion for those who practice it and those who suffer from the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
He even condemns sexual acts by heterosexuals that are non-generative (“…proscriptions ban homosexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand…” “A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife - astonishing.” "A …friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it… But the purpose of sex is reproduction…”)
He argues that abortion is not a lifestyle choice for women, but an act of violence and the taking of a human life, which he believes begins prior to birth. "I see women who have had abortions because they thought a child would ruin their lives. A baby seemed unbearable - yet now they are older, they are unable to conceive. I feel so sorry for them.”
Is it any wonder that those who style themselves “Progressives” want nothing to do with the man?
I have to admit that I gave the wrong title to this thread, as it should more properly be titled, “Why DOESN’T the Left hate the Dalai Lama,” as that is who I just described above, and the Dalai Lama is the man who gave the direct quotes above.
While I don’t agree with his religion or theology, the Dalai Lama is obviously a thoughtful, kind, intelligent, and courageous man. Aside from the issues of religious doctrine, he and Pope Benedict XVI have more in common on the social issues described above than they differ. The Dalai Lama shows more flexibility than the Pope on the issue of abortion, and has allowed that it should be permitted in some cases, such as birth deformities. He has also “evolved” a bit on the issue of homosexuality, and has said the traditional Buddhist proscriptions against it only apply to other Buddhists.
Yet among the political left and the progressives, an audience with the Dalai Lama would be more desired than even a cocktail party with President Obama (or maybe even Bono). He is wildly popular in Hollywood and academic circles, the same people which look on our Pope with such disdain.
Why? Because one is a man of the West and the other a man of the East, and thus seen as more “exotic” and trendier?