Wednesday, October 18th 2017

Spiritual Surf: Founding Faith, India’s Top 10 Gurus, Giant Dr. Phil Gets Axe, and More


Beliefnet Founder’s Founding Faith

Talking about his new book, Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty, on National Public Radio last week, Beliefnet co-founder, Steve Waldman, debunks the twin myths that the Founding Fathers were either a pack of howling evangelicals or a group of proto-new age spiritualists. The Fathers’ intent, he says, was actually to promote faith by separating religion from government.

Dr. Phil, tear down this billboard!

Residents of West Los Angeles, irked over the size of a huge, 60 by 100-foot Dr. Phil billboard on National Blvd., complained to the city. The ad was removed less than a week after being put up. The San Jose Mercury News article did not specify if the ad included Dr. Phil’s entire body or just his head.

Top 10 Indian gurus named, a website for Muslims living in India, reports that the Indian Express newspaper has rated the Muslim leader, Zakir Naik, as the No. 3 guru in India. Swami Baba Ramdev came in as No. 1 and Art of Living Foundation founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, came in as No. 2. We couldn’t find the news on the Indian Express website, however, so we have no way of knowing if their methodology was anything like Priceline‘s.

Slumdog Millionaire wins, India celebrates

Speaking of India, Bollywood took Hollywood by storm at the Oscars and though reaction was mixed among India’s literati, average Indians seem to have gone wild in celebration. There certainly was no dissent at the awards ceremony itself when it seemed all India rushed the stage to claim the statuette. Congrats to the country that gave us the Buddha.

Mike Myer’s Love Guru earns “Razzies”

Maybe you caught Mike Myer‘s clowning about his old guru, Deepak Choprawho admitted hating Myer’s awful opus, The Love Guru — at the Academy Awards. Well, the BBC reports, Myers has earned a hat trick of not-so-coveted “Golden Raspberry” awards for that film — worst picture, worst actor and worst screenplay. Time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and clear out your chakras, Mike.

The bad Buddhist

The phrase “Buddhist anti-Semite” seems the ultimate oxymoron. Maybe that’s a happy pitfall of dualistic thinking. According to James Palmer‘s new book, The Bloody White Baron, the Russian aristocrat, Baron Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg, was just that: a devout Buddhist who urged the extermination of Jews in East Asia in the 1920s. And you thought today’s world was as bizarre as it gets.

Michael Mattis

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