Jeremy Baenen’s Sept. 20 letter, “Moral teachings issue principles,” is a cautionary example of the necessity of participants in a democratic government to be fully informed. That Baenen actually equates the teachings of Moses, Jesus, Cicero, Confucius and Buddha with Joseph Smith is beyond strange; stranger still is Baenen’s insistence on a society based on “absolute moral teachings of religious institutions or scholars.”
Interestingly enough, Mohammed and Lao Tzu are absent from Baenen’s list. As is Karl Marx. I guess some absolute moral teachings of religious institutions or scholars are better than others, according to Baenen. Baenen is clearly ignorant of Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism. Anyone who has read the Lotus Sutra or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra knows that the authors of those sutras weren’t in any way insisting on the “moral absolutes” that Baenen seems to want. These texts have as much in common with the Book of Mormon as a turtle does.