mikenz66 wrote:I think that this brings up the interesting point that the any religious community can be a very unifying force in society. Presumably some of the positive aspects that we can see in Asian Buddhist communities used to be more widespread in the West.
Absolutely true, and still true in some communities in the West. But we mustn't forget that negatives are inextricably linked to the positives. Intolerance, narrow-minded conformism and xenophobia are the most common manifestations, and we regularly hear about them on DW from folks in the American Bible Belt. Go back seventy years and they were strong in the Jewish settlements in Poland and Russia - the type of community portrayed in "Fiddler on the Roof". Tradition!
Fortunately or not (or is that 'fortunately and not'?), such communities cannot survive long in a world where people move around freely and information moves around even more freely.