Ajahn Viradhammo's Contributions to the Ottawa Citizen
The Ottawa Citizen runs a feature called "ask an expert". Questions dealing with religious issues are asked by the editors and Ajahn Viradhammo is part of a distinguished panel that contributes short answers. A selection of the questions and Ajahn's answers are posted here.
- How do you react to the American initiative to ban partial-birth abortion, in which a fetus is partially delivered before being killed?
- When is anger truly righteous and acceptable?
- With so manydifferent versions of the bible how does one recognize the word of god?
- How do people become members of your faith? Do they have to take any special courses, become baptized or just show up regularly at services?
- Is it necessary to believe in a religion to be happy?
- Why do you believe that your faith's teachings provide the best answer to the meaning of life?
- Citizen columnist David Warren's touched off a storm of emotional letters to the editor with his recent column about his conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism. What would you advise a convert to your faith to say to others about his decision?
- Ontario premier Ernie Eves has suggested Canada should resurrect the death penalty for some premeditated crimes against children and law enforcement officers. What does your faith teach about the death penalty?
- What is your faith's perspective on the relationship between ecology and spirituality?
- Every faith includes teachings on what adherents must do, whether it be on ethical issues such as abortion, or religious practices such as worship. What would you estimate as the percentage of your faith's adherents who wholeheartedly follow those teachings? How important is it that they do so?
- Western philosophy has emphasized the autonomy of the individual, and encouraged thinking for yourself. What does your faith teach about the freedom of individual members to dissent from the faith's teachings and the consequences of their decision?
- What is the purpose of funerals in your faith?
- What special knowledge did the prophets in your faith have about the past, present and future? If they did have knowledge of the future, why did they not tell people specifically what would happen and when?
- Please explain whether one can know God in any other way than by faith.
- In your religion is faith in God and following the rules enough or is it also necessary to perform good works and love others?
- Should religion play a part in our upcoming federal election?
- What does your faith teach about revenge and forgiveness?
- What would be appropriate or even essential for Canada's public schools to teach about organized religion and its influence on our nation?