Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Warrior Priest: The Curse of Asmodeus

I'm sitting in my shrine room, contemplating my day. Most Buddhists I know have shrine rooms. Those who don't have their shrines situated in the at the center of their households. Also, another function of a shrine room is as a sanctuary for people who are in need protection. Mine is located in my living room, directly in front of my foyer and the front door. I like it that way.

A long time ago I took an oath to protect and defend battered women and their children. I think that it is bad enough to be born into a world where the honest day's work done by a woman isn't valued as much as a man's (whether he is honest or not); where a woman can be victimized by a man simply by leaving herself open to be preyed upon because she believed him when he said three simple words...I love you. 

Then, as a result of her (blind) faith in such an oaf, she is either left to fend for herself and her offspring as a single parent; or worse, she is forced to live a life rife with fear and loathing of violent reprisals from the same oaf. Even worse, she may run into another oaf who is possessed by the Curse of Asmodeus.

In good times, my home is sanctuary to all battered women and their children. It is a sort of transition point. It gives women the space and time necessary to clear their heads of the trauma of violence, and time to tend to their traumatized children as well. Each new case that I see only serves as an indictment of the state of manhood where I live. 

Not only is each case an indictment of the violent oaf that is directly guilty of abuse; each case is also an indictment of the facile, pusillanimous, silent complicity of the men who sit by and do nothing. Meanwhile, the guilty continually walk the streets thanks to weak laws that do little to protect victims. Lately, times are not as good as they could be. 

My friends and I have been trying to warn people about Asmodeus. We can't tell whether or not they're listening yet, but we'll keep trying.