Top Japan pol calls Christianity self-righteous, Islam hardly better

November 11, 2009

japan-buddhistA top politician in Japan’s ruling Democratic Party has praised Buddhism while calling Christianity “exclusive and self-righteous” and Islam only somewhat better.  Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa made the remarks after meeting the head of the Japan Buddhist Federation, a group traditionally close to the rival Liberal Democratic Party, which was trounced by the Democrats in an August election.

Christianity “is an exclusive and self-righteous religion. And society in the United States and Europe, which are based on Christianity, are at a dead end,” the Nikkei newspaper quoted Ozawa as telling reporters after the meeting. “Islam is better, but it is also exclusive.”

(Photo:Buddha statue at Todaiji Temple in Nara, western Japan, 29  Oct 2008/Itsuo Inouye)

Ozawa, seen by some as the mastermind behind the Democrats’ election win, had kinder words for Buddhism, which along with Shinto is the dominant religion in Japan, although many people take a mostly secular and eclectic view.  Christians are a tiny minority and Muslims are few in Japan.

ozawa“Buddhism teaches us from the starting point of how human beings should be, their state of mind and way of life,” he said.

Religious organisations can pack clout in Japanese politics because of their ability to mobilise voters, but politicians tend to shun public remarks about people’s beliefs.

Then-prime minister Yoshiro Mori caused a furore in 2000 when he referred to Japan as a “divine nation with the emperor at its centre”, stirring memories of the state Shintoism that helped to mobilise support for Japan’s wartime military aggression. He later apologised publicly.

(Photo: Ichiro Ozawa, 27 Feb 2009/Yuriko Nakao)

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14 comments

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Self-Righteous?Is it possible to be self righteous and completely subservient? Maybe that’s the genius of it..

Posted by brian | Report as abusive

What Japanese don’t realize is that the abrahamic religions keep growing and buddism and shintoism keep shrinking thanks to proselytism and poaching techniques of the former. Once there is a critical mass is acquired the Christians and muslims start civil unrest and demand political concessions. Yes all in the name of religion. Then Japanese will be talking to Saudis and Vatican to determine the lines in their national anthem and the way food should be processed in their schools. Go to south Korea for a reality check.The dharmic religions, both buddism and Hinduism, are encircled and no way out of this. Hate speech will pass off as freedom of speech and the missionaries will exploit the gullible. Huge monies are poured into india and tall churches are springing up in every village in India. The tectonic shifts in religious mix has thoroughly defaced millennia old Indian Heritage now. China will soon follow. The peaceful buddism and hinduism will be further targeted and subjugated and be looked down upon by the ever quarreling abrahamic religions as has been the case last 1500 years. These Obdurate and intolerant religions say they are religion of compassion (Christianity) and religion of peace (islam), but demand unconditional conversion as the only way to peace and compassion. Good luck Japan, your heritage will disappear and you will start mimicking Philippines pretty soon.

Perhaps he has been unfortunate enough to encounter “card carrying members” of the Christian faith. There are many. And it is unfortunate that the Christian tradition has been so blatantly bastardized in the name of violence, profit, and slavery.Although I believe the gentleman is mistaken in his views, one can hardly blame him for having them. It is much to our shame that we in the west have defiled the teachings of our prophets and sages in order to justify brutality and selfishness.How readily did we march to war? And how vehemently do we argue against socialized medicine? Socialized police protection is fine. Apparently everyone should have the opportunity to go to prison. But not everyone is worthy of good health.Realize the fact that in the US more children recognize Ronald McDonald than recognize Jesus Christ. That should speak volumes for the spiritual state of American culture. And most Christians still have the retarded notion that God is old man sitting on throne of fire with a long white beard etc…The name of Christianity has been turned into nothing more than another business. “Praise the lord and pass the plate”.I welcome Ichiro Ozawa’s comments. There is a grain of truth to them. And instead of getting angry Christians should be focused on getting back to Christ and his teachings. Turn away from the false god called “Profit”. Who do you worship now? Just look on the back of your money. It says “In God we trust”. That god is called “Profit”.

Faith certainly provides secular and religious certainty but it would appear from the past and present, for whatever dogma, the greater the certainty of the merits of one over the other the greater the danger to humanity.

Posted by Mark Julian Smith | Report as abusive

proselytism is an act of intolerance and a showcasing of superiority under the deceeption of compassion.

Christianity and Islam are the beginning of things like Terrorism, Genocide, Murder, Rape, Loot and Pillage. All these evils of world will not go away unless these two go away. In the whole world, where ever there is multi cultural society, acts like Terrorism, Genocide, Murder, Rape, Loot and Pillage are carried out by Christians and Muslims. Singapore as an example is here. One will find that for acts of Terrorism, Genocide, Murder, Rape, Loot and Pillage, no amount of rationality can stop Christians and Muslims

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

I am amazed that a man of his position would be so intolerant and callous with his statements. Certainly, people will do evil things in the name of religion but that should never diminish the contributions these same religions make. For instance, has Japan become more western, or has the west become more eastern? The answer is fairly obvious. Why does one suppose that is?Look, all of western culture is a reflection of Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian expressions of justice and morals. Popular anti-western sentiment, mostly among westerners (sigh) focuses on and even exaggerates wrongs committed in the development of western enlightenment. Would any of these “Christians are all murderers” types like to live in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq or even China or Japan? I know I wouldn’t.So far as I am concerned, this mans comments and most of the anti-religious rhetoric I have been saddened to witness here, are expressions of unbalanced people who are traditionally myopic in their views and ironically blame others for the very same thing. I will keep my religion, which is more tolerant than any other I have ever witnessed and which I believe provides right focus and context for living a good life. I will also continue to be proud of my western heritage as the east offers very little of interest to me. So call the religious murderers and committers of genocide Mr. Abortion Loving Chairman Mao, I will remain loyal to the most tolerant religious belief system in the modern world.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

A religious exclusivism is the necessary result of a religious worldview. All other religions will be assigned their (subordinate) place within the particular worldview of any other religion; how else could it be? And so the eastern religions have their own forms of exclusivism; they just look different than those of Christianity and the Abrahamic religions. I would suggest that it should not simply be presumed without careful examination that the former are better than the latter. The Abrahamic religions have their own inclusivisms as well.I am astonished when I see claims that Christians, because of their religion, will have trouble living in peace with other religions. Has nobody been reading the Pope?

Posted by Mark J. | Report as abusive

I am Japanese and this is an outrageous and unacceptable statement. Shocking to find out he is THIS crazy and now at the top of the ruling party.

South Korea:- A chronology of Christian attacks against BuddhismPublished September 10, 2008 Buddhists , Christian , Missionaries/Evangelists , South Korea , Terrorism 1 CommentAs in India the religion of love starts small, inflitrates major sectors of the society. Now Christianity is the dominant religion in South Korea and Buddhism is a fading religion. This is how Christians subvert from within. And this how they commit genocide of pre Christian culture and religions. And that is exactly their intention in India as well.http://www.buddhapia.com/eng/tedesc o/2.htmlBuddhism under Siege 1982-1996:http://christianwatchindia.wor dpress.com/2008/09/10/south-korea-a-chro nology-of-christian-attacks-against-budd hism/As one can derive from above weblink, intolerance the first dogma of abrahamic faiths, strongly advocating religious cannibalism. Soon Japan will be singing the latin songs for their national anthem

Christianity is one thing. God and what the bible says is a completely different issue. Society in the UK as well as the US are obviously at a complete spiritual dead end. That according to the bible will not last much longer. As the saying goes “If God does not deal with America (and Britain) then He will have to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah”

“This is how Christians subvert from within. And this how they commit genocide of pre Christian culture and religions. “- Posted by ananth KarmaAnanth, SHAME ON you for comparing genocide of people with some idiotic hyperbole “genocide of culture.” Have you no respect for people who suffer real genocides such as darfur, the holocaust, etc, or is the chip on your shoulder so big?

Posted by biscuits mahoney | Report as abusive

I do not know what is wrong if the Japanese premier has said Christianity and Islam are worse than other religions. Christianity and Islam claim that they are the best religion of the world respectively and non Christian and non Muslim are worst kind of people existing on earth. Even if the Church and neo missionaries and muslims claim it otherwise, the first thing they do is denegrate/ abuse/ hate a non Christian and non Muslim for which they have specific words and specific action like whipping, lashing, torture for non Christian and non Muslim. The pope which someone is talking about is like a series of organized king of religion… Where in we know one pope was responsible for snatching away new born jew babies, a baby which needed parental attention than pope attention. Current pope is fabric of lies. Ask him to open his mouth and will open his mouth on how to rule world, how to make money… The last thing Pope can offer to anyone is spirituality… Ask him spirituality, and he will say become Christian, read bible 24 hrs in a day and indulge, pray, commit sin everyday because Bible/ Jesus is there to wash all sins and he is the one who represents Jesus on earth. Similar teachings are of Islamic torch bearers who claim to represent Allah on earth and ask everyone to indulge in jehad, killings etc. A tabular comparison of crime against humanity by religion would be topped by Christians and Muslims. The rest of religions like Jews, Buddhists, Undefined faiths like that of natives of Africa, Australia, America, Sikhs, Hindus, would be appearing as sufferers of crime of these two religions.Anyone who ignores these facts is the biggest perpetrator of next wave of crime against humanity and Christians, Muslims and those who oppose the simple facts are biggest perpetrators of crime against humanity.

Posted by The Bitter Pill | Report as abusive

As far as these statements are concerned (being an American who was raised Catholic) there is absolutely no denying the fact that Abrahamic religions ARE 100% exclusivist. It’s not even debatable! It may be true that not all Christians or Muslims feel this way, but institutionally, it is, without a doubt, the dogma of western religion, with the exception of some of the more mystic and esoteric branches. Some of the current attempts by Rome to be more “open”, are nothing more than an attempt at survival in a modern culture where exclusion is becoming less acceptable and political-correctness holds authority. In studying Buddhism and other dharmic ideas, I’ve also seen some exclusivist ideas, but not nearly as aggressive and intolerant as the western counterpart. While I don’t feel this was the most ‘diplomatic’ thing for an official to say, I can’t deny the truth in it, and I suppose the only people that will are the same types that make his statement true.

Posted by polarnj | Report as abusive