I’ve heard of people who thought they were God, but they are generally considered psychotic. Evidently the lunatics are running the asylum in mainland China:
As of September 1, China is tightening control over Tibetan Buddhism with a new law requiring government permission for the reincarnation of lamas.
The new law bans Tibetan lamas, or monks, from reincarnating without Chinese government approval.
China, which has ruled Tibet for more than half a century, says anyone outside China cannot influence the reincarnation process and only monasteries in China can apply for permission.
I obviously don’t believe in reincarnation, of Buddhist lamas or anyone else, but does this strike anyone else as being a tad…presumptuous, shall we say?
John Powers, an expert on Tibetan Buddhism at Australia National University, says the law is “absurd” but at the same time, “chilling”.
“They’re [Chinese government] trying to exercise as much control as they possibly can over religious practices and over peoples’ lives,” he said. “It’s not even just exercising control of the present life, they even trying to control future life and death. This sort of thing would only occur in a totalitarian government.”
Actually, I’m not sure that any totalitarian government has ever tried to assert control over the afterlife. I believe we have a new record here.
Of course, this is the same government that has tried for years to tell Catholics that they can’t be led by the Pope, has killed and imprisoned who knows how many Falun Gong followers for doing mental and breathing exercises, and has driven millions of Christians into underground churches as the only way to practice their faith without the government telling them what to preach or teach. And all this by an atheist government! When you’ve got your brute fingers in everyone’s religious pies, why should your monomania for control be limited by a little thing like death?