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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Bond has sex in temple; upsets Korea

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Author Topic: Bond has sex in temple; upsets Korea
Dzuunmod
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Well, that James Bond movie is just causing controversy after controversy. It seems that the flick has angered the leadership of North Korea, and has also rubbed some in the South the wrong way.

In the movie, Bond apparently sneaks into North Korea, and then is tortured by agents of that country's government. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as those propagandist jokers also like to refer to themselves, feels that the North is portrayed as 'backwards' in the film.

Meanwhile, Northerners and Southerners alike are apparently upset that a sex scene that takes place in a Buddhist temple. This is what I'm most interested in. Is this going too far?

It's a big story, for some reason - it's the number three story on the BBC's world news Web page, right now.

I'm surprised that that scene wasn't cut from the version released on the Korean peninsula, frankly. Anyway, those of you who know me will probably know that I've got no problems with religious, cultural or any other types of symbols being used in manners such as this.

Other funny stuff in the article that's worth noting:
-the DPRK is demanding that the film stop playing in all American theatres immediately.
-the DPRK's Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issued a statement saying, among other things that the U.S. is the "headquarters that spreads abnormality, degeneration, violence and fin-de-siecle corrupt sex culture".

Oh, that's good for a laugh.

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Gumdrop Girl
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i only heard about the story in passing, but even I was offended by Bond having sex in the temple (and I thought his smoking was bad enough!). Then again, I'm a Buddhist, so maybe I'm taking it a little too personally. Then again, I'm not too keen on seeing people at the temple I frequent wearing inappropriate attire, showing up disheveled and dirty, or makingo ut on the lawn. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but it's a house of worship and should be worthy of some respect. The directors of 'Die Another Day' should have had some sense as well. After all, Jean Claude Van Damme once got married in a Buddhist temple, and even he abided by the rules of no displays of affection at the temple grounds.

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Correlation does not equal causation.


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Zanney
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As is so oft stated on these very boards - a person's religion (or their declared lack of one) is a very personal thing, and should be respected by everyone else. I personally believe that no-one should be persecuted for their religion, and that others should always respect it. How would Christians feel about a sex scene in a church?? As Gummy said, it is a place of worship, Christians treat it as a holy place, and as such, such an idea could cause considerable offense. I imagine Buddhists and Shintos and Jews and Muslims would all feel the same way, and that the writers of this Bond movie failed to properly consider another group's values and beliefs when they conceived that scene.
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Amber Waves
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Bond has done a helluva lotta controversial things in the past but dis is outrageous having sex in the house of the allmighty Buddha. Too bad that Tori Amos got away with recording most of her controversial album "Boys for Pele" in a small church in County Wicklow, Ireland when the language on the CD needs to have an Australian "WARNING 18" label on it. I also had a friend who wanted to take it outdoors with his gf one night and they ended up doin it in a small church in the confession booth!!! When he told me the next day i was like, Lord Almighty!!!

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Pumpkin_Pie
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I can understand the Korean people gettin gupset about the sex in a temple thing(which I actually don't remember in the movie- shows how much I enjoyed it.Not). No matter what the creators of the movie think about religion and Buddha, they should show respect for others, and especially with a scene that isn't completely neccessary for the movie (as in, they didn't HAVE to have sex in a Buddhist temple right?)

But, as for being portrayed as being backward, if the Irish nation went into uproar every time we were portrayed as whisky swilling, pig farming, muck saveges with red hair and greeen overalls we'd spend out whole lives shouting at the rest of the world(which we do- according to a lot of sources).


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missyj
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I think it's just plain disrespectful. A temple is a place of divine worship, no matter which religion, and the producers of the film should have had enough decency and respect for the people of the Buddhist religion to have shot the sex scene someplace else. It upsets me that they did that to Buddhists and the people of Korea have the complete right to feel upset. I would be angry too, if they had been having sex in a Christian church. Its a Holy temple, not a motel for crying out loud. >;(

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KandyKorn17
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Ok, ok... I just wanted a little clarification here. Gumdrop, is there a specific rule that says No Sexual Activity in a Buddhist Temple? It sounded like there was one, but I wasn't sure. Either way, I could see how that could be taken as disrespect, but only to, perhaps, the builder of the temple. I, as a Christian, wouldnt be upset if someone had sex in a church... if they want to risk pissing god off, that's their business.

BUT, since this is a movie, it's a little different, because it's like the producers n writers are disrespecting the whole religion by having a sex scene in a temple shown all around the world, right?

I'm a little confused as to what is bothering everybody- having sex in a temple, or a movie that shows people having sex in a temple.


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Gumdrop Girl
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as far as i know, it is customary that people refrain from sex and displays of affection on temple grounds. one of the ultimate tenets of Buddhism is the denial of wordly desire, and well, sex is about as wordly as desires get. therefore, to express sexual desire on holy gorund is to break a fundamental teaching of the Buddha.

There are two counterexamples to this, but I can refute both of them. The first one that comes to mind is Tantra. Didn't Buddhists originate the Tantric practices of sacred sex? Yes, but it was meant for the confines of the home.

Then there's the Third Precept (similar to a Commandment) that says sex is okay as long as it isn't intended to harm anyone. Well, disrespect for sacred places counts as harmful, and therefore, sex is not okay in a temple. Regular folks have 5 Precepts, but the sangha have 234 (i think) to follow. Among those is chastity. It'd be awful disruptive to their chastity if they found people getting it on in the sanctuary.

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KandyKorn17
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Ok, so Bond and his girl are not being very good Buddhists, but are they really being disrespectful if they've never practiced Buddhism? Well... let me take that back. I think it's disrespectful, but no more disrespectful than, say, doing the deed in somebody else's house he might've had to break into or something.
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Izzybella6
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i don't think the existance of the scene, in and of itself, is offensive at all. I don't believe in "offence" other than the direct kind that is unmistakenly directed. it's just silly.

Unless you're trying to convince me that the team of writers for every script that movie undoubtably had wrote that scene with disrespect and slander in mind, I don't think the scene deserves a dollop of attention.

I considered buddhism at several points in my life but i don't remember the CORE of the faith being in the temple or procedure. I might have to go back and reexamine the five ways again, however. In fact, i remember alot of writing on shunning meat-puppet thoughts such as idol worship and the like. The path to enlightenment was always a personal one. The buddhist way to enlightenment never, in my research, had anything to do with the other buddhists around you except as tools for your own faith and path. I think it's almost unbuddhist to be disrespected by a franchise movie character.

i think any confident christian, jew or palistinian would feel the same way about their place of worship being featured in a hollywood hump-about!

cheers.


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Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
Originally posted by KandyKorn17:
but are they really being disrespectful if they've never practiced Buddhism?

okay, i know disagree with Bond getting it on in the temple, but allow me to make an analogy with the above quote.

I have never a day in my life practiced Islam. However, I would never so much as consider having sex in a mosque. Respecting other people's faiths isn't just a tenet of Buddhism, it should be common sense.

Now to comment on Izzy's reply

quote:
Originally posted by Izzybella6:Unless you're trying to convince me that the team of writers for every script that movie undoubtably had wrote that scene with disrespect and slander in mind, I don't think the scene deserves a dollop of attention. I considered buddhism at several points in my life but i don't remember the CORE of the faith being in the temple or procedure.

Consider what that scene represented. James Bond rolls around with a woman surrounded by mounds of treasure. The symbolism isn't that esoteric -- it essentially spells out worldly greed and desire. As for the temple itself, you're right, it is not at the center of dharma, however, it is the center of the community. Disrespect the Buddhist temple, and you disrespect the Buddhist community -- which is essentially what is happening: a lot of Koreans and I are getting seriously miffed.

MizS, you've read up on Buddhism too, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.

/me is enjoying this thread

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KandyKorn17
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*shrug* I guess this is so hard for me because I REALLY REALLY couldn't see myself getting upset about some kids having sex in a church (me being christian).

Now if they were destroying something... I could see that... like burning the temple down or something...


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nifty
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you make a good point kandy, i'm a christian too, i mean, isn't sex an act of love?
god created sex.
god gave us the hormones and stuff.
i can see why korea is upset though.
but no need to start a war about it or anything is there?


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Dude_who_writes
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I finally saw the movie, and I do have to admit that the scene in question did bug me. Suprised? It is disrespectful, whether the intention on the writers part was there or not. (I do think the case was, though, that the crew wanted an exotic and taboo location for the shoot, and what better a place?)

For a lot of people, their place of worship is very personal to them. While I don't hold traditional religious beliefs, I do go out to a special place in the woods on my uncles property at least once a month (when it's not winter [shiver, just at the though]) just to meditate and relax and thing and ground myself. It's a very spiritual thing to me, and it's also a very personal thing. While I'm open, and more than likley could deal with other people using this little overlook of a pond for a sexual act, I can understand where other people would be offended by sex being had in a place that could be so personal to them. About the same level as if someone had sex in my bed (without me there, of course ).

/my $.02

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