Continued from August 3rd. All this is, in a sense, understandable. Religion sometimes changes attitudes and sometimes it is changes by pre-existing attitudes. Until fairly recently, a devote European Christian would have considered it an honour to nurse lepers while having little more than contempt for a Jew. For 2000 years Jews were, in effect, the outcastes of Christendom, a situation that only started to change during the Enlightenment. And it was not the Protestant churches or the Pope who finally liberated the Jews but Napoleon, who had hardly a religious bone in his body. In the case of caste, tradition and social attitudes in Buddhist countries trumped the Buddha's condemnation of caste and his teaching of human equality and compassion. I can understand that. But that was then - this is now. It is a great pity that the modern Asian Buddhist's response to this issue is, sorry to say, pretty much like the Buddhist response to many internal problems, to smile and deny they exist. Yet more gilt is put on Buddha statues, more requisites are piled on the Sangha, more stupas are erected, but little is done for the marginalized groups within Buddhist societies.