Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Be both Buddhist and Christian?

Question: (unedited)
what does does your religeon say about catholics aspiring to be both catholic and buddhist?

My Comment:
Actually, if someone is "aspiring" to be both Catholic and Buddhist, we will welcome him. By "aspiring" means "trying to become". In this case, this person is now experimenting with two spiritual paths which he thinks he will be able to live with both beliefs. If he is an earnest seeker of truth, he will gradually come to realize that the 2 paths are different, and in the final analysis, he will definitely end up deciding for himself, the one path which best answers his spiritual aspiration.

If on the other hand, what you mean is whether a person can be both a Catholic and a Buddhist for the rest of his life, then the answer can be deduced from the above comment. In the end he will eventually have to decide on one, because he cannot be both. It is like a person trying to be both a vegetarian as well as a meat-eater. To a vegetarian, he cannot eat meat. To a meat-eater, he can be flexible. A meat-eater will tell this person that he can eat vegetables as much as he wants to. But the vegetarian will tell him that he is forbidden to eat meat. A Buddhist is like the meat-eater. A Catholic is like the vegetarian.

The Catholic, for that matter, any Christian, will insist that you must believe in the all-powerful creator God. If you don't then you cannot be a Catholic, and be condemned to eternal burning hell. The Buddhist will tell you that there is no such creator God. But if you insist of wanting to believe in this God, then there is nothing stopping you. You have the freedom of choice, except that a Buddhist does not believe in the creator God.

To a Buddhist, he does not condemn others who do not wish to share his belief. What he is concerned of, is the purity of a person's life; being kind and being harmless to himself as well as to others, so that all can live in peace.

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