It was only a matter of time. When one faith meets another faith, the interaction usually results in the height of human silliness.
A case in point when a Christian fundamentalist reader of ours encountered our Irregular Times articles about Buddhist marathon meditator Ram Bomjon, he wrote the comment that you see in blockquote below.
Ram Bomjon is a teenage boy in Nepal, who, according to his followers, has been meditating for something like seven months now without moving, with eating or drinking, and without going to the bathroom. Ram Bomjon’s inner circle says he just sat down at the base of a pipal tree, and hasn’t moved since, in spite of the fact that he has been bitten by a snake.
Skeptics of Ram Bomjon point out that no outsider has been allowed to get closer than 15 feet to the boy, and that Ram Bomjon is often hidden from public view by a series of barriers erected by his inner cadre of fellow teenagers. They note the great financial benefits that Ram Bomjon’s village has received from the publicity surrounding the meditation marathon, and the money received by the local Buddhist monks as well, from pilgrims eager to buy Ram Bomjon souvenirs. We’ve pointed out that photographs prove that Ram Bomjon has moved, in spite of believers’ claims to the contrary.
So, Ram Bomjon may be a huckster. But does that make him the antichrist? Well, according to our Christian fundamentalist reader, yes. A reader calling himself THE GOD SQUAD, whom I suspect is employed by the company that makes the Caps Lock key for computer keyboards, left the following amusing comment about Ram Bomjon’s vigil:
“â€œLittle Buddhaâ€ First of all he is NOT GOD!!! Anti Christ maybe? The Anti Christ(Satan)will deceive the whole world, and every religon except the born again Jews and Christians, by saying that heâ€™s â€œGODâ€ and those of you who donâ€™t read,and study your bible will most likely follow the Anti Christ.The second coming of Christ Jesus will happen after SATAN deceives the whole world FIRST by saying that heâ€™s â€œGODâ€ and forceing his mark on you,or off with your HEAD!!! by the way satanâ€™s mark (THE MARK OF THE BEAST) is most likely a computer micro chip!!! THAT boy is a FAKE or MAYBE the ANTICHIRST! But GOD!!! NEVER that BOY doesâ€™nt hold a candle compare to GOD. By the way GODâ€™S son is JEWISH!!!! May the REAL GOD who is in HEAVEN as we speak shed some LIGHT on YOU!!! May CHRIST be with you!! Merry CHRISTmas!!! “
I am not convinced by THE GOD SQUAD that Ram Bomjon is the antichrist, but I am convinced that the road to high humor is traced through comments about microchips and the mark of the Beast. Are we to believe that Satan has been travelling the foothills of the Himalayas, inspiring teenage boys to sit down by trees in order to inspire the earth into triggering the End Times? Well, I don’t have firsthand experience with Ram Bomjon and his tree sitting show, but I suspect that he has more in common with Elmer Gantry than with Damien in The Omen.