"In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission."
That sounds like the by-line of an article from The Onion. The Chinese government should start writing for American tabloids.
"But beyond the irony [way, way beyond] lies China's true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region's Buddhist religious establishment ... By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering."
Of course the Dalai Lama has rebutted by refusing to be reborn in Tibet as long as it is under China's control. That'll show 'em. Instead, he'll probably reincarnate among Tibetan exiles in India, Europe and North America.
What about the U.S.?
"If so, he'll likely be welcomed into a culture that has increasingly embraced reincarnation over the years. Recent surveys by the Barna Group ... have found that a quarter of U.S. Christians, including 10 percent of all born-again Christians, embrace it as their favored end-of-life view."
Lama and the Chinese government can argue all they want about who is allowed to reincarnate and where, but what on earth is wrong with a society when one tenth of people who claim to be born-again Christians are voting for reincarnation? That doesn't even make sense: if you're all about reincarnation, why be born again?! Is Jesus a back-up plan?
One more sign that the last thing America needs is another false Christ. I'll be introducing a bill to Congress next week that would effectively ban the Dalai Lama from reincarnating in the U.S.