At the Upaya Zen Center Newsletter, Rev. Alan Senauke responds to a sticky question posed to him regarding the Buddhist chapel at the Air Force Academy (via LT Jeanette Shin at Buddhist Military Sangha):
I’m of course concerned about its impact on CO [conscientious objector] clients for whom Buddhism is their route to their beliefs against participation in war in any form. The more deeply Buddhism becomes entrenched in military life, the harder it is for that to be the accepted religious source of a CO applicant’s beliefs. It is already such an uphill battle for Christians – I can see that happening how for those who articulate Buddhist values or beliefs in support of their CO applications. “Soldier, the Air Force has a Buddhist Chaplain and a Buddhist Chapel. How can you sit here and say to me that Buddhism is against participation in war in any form?”
Check out his full response. Earlier this year there was some heated back-and-forth on a coupleof posts on the issue of Buddhism and the military. I don’t think it’s wrong to disagree with the notion of Buddhists serving in the military—but I will speak out loud and clear against those who would have the community turn our backs on our own.