This is regarding Kevin's response today to a post I wrote yesterday.
Granted, I'm not a Buddhist scholar but the Buddha I'm most comfortable with never claimed to be a god. He was just a man who was the first to reach enlightenment through meditation. I reckon I am simplifying that and there are many legends and beliefs around this figure. Plus, this guy lived about 2,500 years ago. People have trouble agreeing on what happened 25 years ago so we know less than squat about the "historical Gautama."
Sure, Christianity is a philosophy and I said that Buddhism is "more of a philosophy than a religion" and I stand by that. I'm sure if I said that Christianity is more of a religion than a philosophy anyone with with any kind of a religious education could screw me into the ground on that one. Religion at its most scary is practiced as more of a religion than as a philosophy. That is what I saw in that video I posted. I doubt this guy misspoke. Anyone with the nerve to stoke religious competition in today's world doubtlessly knows or cares little or nothing of which he was speaking.
My main handicap when it comes to discussing religion is that I have no emotional or philosophical investment in any kind of religion. I do find religion fascinating in how it used by others. For some it provides a focus and true passion in their lives that creates much good in the world; and for others it alleviates that fear of death we all have and it assures they will live on forever; and, for my favorite people in the world, it's a way to control others and make boatloads of money. I do not doubt Kevin practices a life through his god that is an example for all to follow. I also do not doubt that for some all three of those aspects of religion are on the table.
What is a religion other than its followers? All religions are man made and it is the people that create and change their religion. Look at the Catholics. Their rulebook is thicker than the bible. Look at all the sects of Christianity, all man made. A religion is inseparable from its believers.
If a belief is about pursuing the truth then what I have said on this blog about the religion I see everyday as presented by our leaders, on both the right and the left, feels OK to me. I see a religion as displayed by our leaders as devoid of any meaning. Very few of these people ever present to us any real pursuit of truth. They have bastardized religion and turned it into just another way to control the masses. There was nothing out of the norm with that video I posted yesterday. It is the modern political machine displaying perfectly their view of religion as just another tool.
I reckon what saddens me most about religion in this country is that true devotees of any religion are the ones you don't hear about. Those truly doing god's work don't show up on television imploring their god to put a politician in office. They are the ones sitting in their living room on a mat trying reach the source of light within. They are the ones bringing clean underwear to those so obese that they can't get out of bed. They are the ones taking food and love to the elderly. You know, stuff I don't do.