LETTER: Cannabis shop’s name offensive to Buddhist

I am writing to object to the application of a cannabis business named Happy Buddha to locate in Sidney. It is truly incredible that in 2020 we even have to have a discussion of this nature.

How can anyone, Buddhist or not, not think that this is a scandalous sacrilege to use the name of the Buddha in such a bigoted and insensitive manner.

Buddhists, like any other major religion, revere the very name of their founder. To use it in such a sacrilegious manner is beyond comprehension. In addition, the owners show their incredible ignorance by even displaying a statue of the Lord Buddha in their photographs. Buddhists, like all religions, consider statues of their founder to be sacred. How can anyone be so bigoted and insensitive just to make a buck?

Surely Sidney council and mayor have enough decency to disapprove such bigotry.

If anyone has any doubt about how outrageous this name is, imagine the justifiable outrage that would be expressed if a business chose the name of “Jesus Juice” or “Jews Jewelry”. I won’t even mention an example for Islam, as their believers don’t even themselves use their founder’s name.

Imagine the black eye Sidney would receive if a foreign tourist from a Buddhist country saw such a sign and went back home and told their local press.

Finally, the subtle but clear sub-message in such a name is that Lord Buddha is “happy’ because he smokes cannabis. How much more sacrilegious can one get?

Please make a clear statement that such bigotry is not welcome in Sidney in 2020.

Michael Madrone

Ngakpa Buddhist Centre

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