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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.


Worship Dance

A Malaysian temple, Hong Hock See Temple, in northern Penang has been infested with stinging red ants for about a year.

One worshipper at the temple was bitten so severely that he had to be taken to a hospital.

The Buddhist priests, bound of faith to nonviolence are at a loss as to how to lose the critters.

One priest tried using a vacuum cleaner and then releasing the ants in a nearby forest. I guess, being sucked up by a powerful wind, whirred around at mighty speeds and spit out in a foreign land is not considered violent.

The ploy didn’t work and the ants came back.

The chief monk said the temple must respect other living things.  “When an ant drops on you, you must not flick it away or blow on it,” he told the newspaper. “If you do, it will bite to hold on. You just have to shake it off.”

Perhaps we could take up a collection and send all the monks little car vacuums.

The temple has a sign up “Beware poisonous ants. Do not sit under the tree.” But ants can’t read.

If they could, the ants would accuse the monks of discriminatory comments for calling them poisonous…a very violent act indeed.

What do you think the monks should do with their unwanted visitors?

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

No Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I have found that some ants hate chalk and will not cross a line of it. They can draw chalk lines around food, or the ant’s entry points into the temple.

  • Meaty Portion says:

    Why not just let an anteater live at the temple grounds? If the anteater eats the ants that’s just nature and couldn’t be considered violence on the part of the monks.

  • Tongue in cheek here, but in truth this is a fascinating, and perplexing, problem. As a Buddhist myself, I can certainly understand the dilemma. Of course, I’ve heard it said that it is essentially impossible to walk around each day and not kill other life forms. I am by no means strict in my own practice, and so what I tend to do is apologize to whatever creature has wound up in my apartment, tell it that, while I don’t want to kill it, I can’t allow it to live with me, and then do the deed. But maybe when you are conducting a more extensive, deliberate sort of genocide, you can’t just sort of shirk it off. And beyond any strictures against killing, it is important for someone in meditation to try and ignore these sorts of distractions. I would think for monks, who are essentially practicing mindfulness at every moment of their day, the idea of ignoring distractions would be even stronger.

  • original pet portraits says:

    I understand that the monks are pro-life. But if they continue to be pro-ant over pro-people don’t you think they are also putting themselves in harm? Soon enough these ants will no longer have the capability to choose between monks and non-monks and will just bite everyone. I suggest that this temple should seek help from people who knows a great deal about ants. This way, ants, monks and ordinary people will live harmoniously.

  • photo oil painting says:

    Hey this story is very familiar. There is this monastery here in our place and their place is really one of the most visited tourist spot. Before you can enter their place, one of the monks instill in the minds of the visitors that no matter what happens they should never ever kill even a single creature including mosquitoes that are potential sources of H-fever, stinging ants, and all. Sounds funny but what can you do? You’re just a visitor.

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