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Friday, August 26, 2011

Peaceful Buddhists?

Every day I ride my bike to the gym. Instead using the main streets I zigzag from street to street to avoid major traffic. This way I get to enjoy the scenery and not have to worry about being hit by a car and sent flying through someone’s windshield all because the driver was too busy texting to look where they were going.

So it was to my complete surprise to turn north up New Hampshire Avenue from Franklin Avenue and come across a house with large gold swastikas hung prominently on the many windows. I screeched my bicycle to a quick halt to get a second look.

A chill ran up my spine. I gasped. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was overcome with a sense of fear. Right before me on a nice little street in my favorite city were golden swastikas.


I then noticed a white sign on the front of the house. I couldn’t make out the writing so I gingerly ventured into the driveway to get a better look.

The sign said that the people who lived there were Buddhists and that the swastika is a Buddhist symbol.

Well Phew.... I was expecting them to be Mormons. Or the Palins.

The sign is tiny in comparison to the swastikas.

I pedaled home and immediately googled to find out the truth. And yes, the swastika was traditionally used in India by Buddhists and Hindus as a good luck sign.

Okay, okay.... I get it, but do the owners of the house really think that anyone driving by and seeing golden swastikas is going to immediately think “peaceful Buddhists”? I don’t think so.

The swastika brings back something dreadful; a horrible time in world history, so why are the homeowners doing this?

Maybe I’ll ring their doorbell next time I’m riding by and ask them.

Or maybe they’ll come to their senses and take them down.

The homeowners might think putting the swastikas up is good luck, but I think it’s gonna bring them lots of bad luck... and a lot of angry neighbors.

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