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Rev. Danny Fisher on “No Buddhists in Washington?”

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Rev. Danny Fisher posted a thought-provoking article, “No Buddhists in Washington,” on yesterday’s Religion Dispatches website. The premise of the article:

Buddhism, which has a larger US population than either Islam or Hinduism, has had a sizable and growing impact on American culture. So why no representative on the Obama administration’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships?

There actually are, to my knowledge, at least two Buddhists serving in the U.S. Congress — Hank Johnson (Democrat from Georgia’s 4th Congressional District) and Mazie Hirono (Democrat from Hawaii).

But aside from those two names, there really aren’t many self-identified Buddhists in positions of political influence and, as Danny points out, there is no Buddhist representative on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He makes a good case on what Buddhists might contribute to that effort and suggests names of some excellent potential candidates, including Jack Kornfield, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Jan Willis, and Roshi Joan Halifax.

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

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