Friday, April 20, 2007

Buddhism vs. Christianity in Schools

I sent a Letter to Editor at Maui News in response to a writer comparing Christianity and Buddhism. He depicted God as a cruel God that sends people to hell if "they don't worship him", unlike Buddhism which is all about love for other beings and leading a peaceful life. He also talked about the wisdom of reincarnation so that the Buddhist follower is given the opportunity to "cleanse" his karma or something in order to reach Nirvana as opposed to a one shot deal in Christianity's heaven or hell. He didn't mention that only in Western Buddhism that you will reincarnate into another human beiing. However, true Buddhism (like Hinduism) says that you could also reincarnate as an animal (example a rat, or a cow) Lately, this high school student (an avid fan of the Dalai Lama who is visiting Maui this coming Tuesday) was featured in the Maui News and all the schools are now openly discussing Buddhism in the schools. However, it's illegal for other religions to be openly talked about in schools. This writer professes that Christians, Muslims, and Jews, can keep their faith and still practice Buddhism and knew a number of people that are Christian Buddhists. Here's my reply:

"Subject: When it comes to religion, choose one or the other

This is in reply to Jesse Phillips (Letter, April 17) who claimed that Buddhism is a philosophy while Christianity is a religion and therefore it’s okay to teach Buddhism in schools. I disagree. For all intents and purposes, they’re both religions.

First of all there is no such thing as a Muslim Buddhist, Jewish Buddhist, or a Christian Buddhist. If you know these religions, you’re either one or the other. As far as my Christian God is concerned, Jesus loves you very much despite who you are. Aloha Ke Akua, God is Love and his desire is for everyone to do the same and be like him. The scriptures repeatedly say so.

God does not throw you to the lake of fire “if you don’t worship him”. You, of your own free will, open your own gate to hell, not when you die, but while still living in this earthly life. The good news is that because you are still alive, you can close that gate again and re-start a new life with Him and He will welcome you back with open arms, anytime. I know, I’ve been there.

When I die, I look forward to re-unite with my Creator and everyone I love, in Heaven’s glory; instead of being reincarnated “for cleansing”

I prefer to die once only. "

Maui News April 26, 2007