A couple of weeks ago Glen Beck’s online news network, TheBlaze, did a story about me and my work. The article generated over a hundred and eighty comments in two days. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever had so much criticism thrown at me in forty-eight hours. And, if you have not seen the article, I have provided a link at the bottom of this post.
Two days after TheBlaze ran its story I received a wonderful letter of support via email from Professor Tenzin Bob Thurman of Columbia University. I was thrilled! However, nearly all of my students do not know the name Bob Thurman, but they certainly have heard of his daughter, Uma Thurman. Uma is a well-known Hollywood actress, and she has appeared on the cover of countless magazines. Personally, I first became aware of her ten years ago when I watched Kill Bill (see below).
In the field of religion, Bob Thurman is a giant. In 2011, Watkins Review listed him in the Top 100 Living Spiritual Leaders in the World. He is a personal friend of the Dalai Lama, and is one of the world’s leading experts on Buddhism. I have several of his books in my classroom. His most recent book, “Why The Dalai Lama Matters,” is pictured below, along with a picture of he and His Holiness.
Bob’s letter of support came at a perfect time – after reading some of TheBlaze comments I was feeling a little disheartened. But, as I reminded myself, they were from Beck fans and not from the fans of the Dalai Lama. Bob’s letter is below.
Needless to say, Professor Thurman and I are on the same page. And, if I can get more people like Bob Thurman behind me, I might be able to convince more public schools to consider the possibility of teaching children about religion. But… time will tell.