Friday, April 13, 2012

My Views on Religion

Whether you believe in a particular faith or not, I believe that you have the freedom to that belief. As long as you are respectful of the beliefs of others, and invite discussion and non-violent interaction, you're ok by me. Killing or maiming others within your religion for not conforming or because they are different because of their sexual orientation is not ok. Killing or maiming others because they don't believe what you do is not ok.

Nichiren Daishonen's followers claim that only his teachings and the teachings of the Lotus Sutra are correct. Christians believe that only Christianity is correct. As do many other religions. Thing is, we don't know. I don't know if Buddhism is the only correct path to enlightenment. What I do know is that it is one path to enlightenment. It is no greater nor less than Christianity or Judaism, or Islam or Zoroastrianism or Eckankar or Spaghetti Monsterism.

Buddhism is a path I CHOSE. Yes, you can choose your religion. And I chose Buddhism. Within my faith, I choose to treat other beings as though they too are Buddhas. That is what I have decided what's best for my life path.


  1. "Within my faith, I choose to treat other beings as though they too are Buddhas."

    - I think that's the best way to be. Like Bodhisattva Never Despise. It's nice to remove the label of 'Christian' or 'Buddhist' or 'Muslim' and just see the 'person'.

    I used to be quite intolerant, now I just try and respect other peoples religious beliefs, even though I may not agree with them.

    1. I feel there is a richness in disagreement. Understanding that my views are not the only ones out there is refreshing and a learning experience. However, I must say I am not tolerant of any person, regardless of their religion, who treat other who are different like second rate citizens. I reckon that there are golden laws that run through all faiths: Love others. Love yourself. Respect your faith.

    2. Ryuei Shonin, and Nichiren Shu in general, are on good terms with other religions. The Nirvana Sutra says that all religions are actually Buddhism; there are no non-Buddhist teachings.

      Nichiren was harsh with the other Buddhist sects, but the Nirvana Sutra says again that the Buddha will use harsh words if they will be beneficial to the listener. I'm sure this is what Nichiren did.

    3. "I reckon that there are golden laws that run through all faiths: Love others. Love yourself. Respect your faith."

      - I like that. From a Christian perspective, St. Paul said to show love to everyone and to be gentle towards them.

      My old Kempon Hokke friends don't approve of Catholicism, they said what they thought, and left it at that. I think that's fine, because they've never claimed to practice interfaith. Whereas Safwan of the website, who claims to support interfaith, has repeatedly emailed me, even though I don't reply, basically telling me that I'm wrong and he's right.

      I think it's worse if someone pretends to practise interfaith, but in their heart despises other religions, than someone who is just honest about what they believe. Does that make sense?

    4. It does make sense. I wasn't always tolerant and compassionate towards people of other religions. I saw that even in Christianity, one denomination resented another. Over time, getting to know other people who had different faiths or none at all, made me a lot more tolerant.

      I too prefer people to tell me to my face, in no uncertain terms, where they stand. In all areas of life, not just faith. I promised my cousin's son, Kyle, I would be happy to get him his first tattoo. He's Catholic and told me, "Tams, I want a tattoo of the Holy Cross over my heart." Cool. The Holy Cross is what's important to him. And I respect his choice.

      OK - now I am waffling on.