Last week we had another inquiry about a child in the States. Actually in a state my husband happens to be visiting in a few weeks for business. The director of our adoption agency asked me if we considered ourselves a Christian couple. Mmmm. No. That was the end of that. There's a reason why I mention that I'm a Buddhist in our profile. (And left out the part about my husband being an atheist.) I was concerned about it naturally because most people don't really know what a Buddhist is. Other than the most relevant point that a Buddhist does not believe in God. And that we wear orange robes, live in incensed filled homes and praise a smiling, fat Buddha statue. I don't want to get all excited and fly somewhere to meet a birth mum and then have to answer the inevitable religion question. It's odd that it could be a deal breaker since if this birth mother is Christian she is 1) "unexpectedly" knocked up 2) not married and 3) considering giving up parental rights to a child that her family/community won't help her raise. Perhaps it's just a comfort level thing. Would someone who has a better insight explain this to me? Teendoc just recently had her child baptised and it was a really big deal for her. It's a beautiful, touching and powerful ritual I know. Even though we were both baptised, I could not make the same promise.
I was raised Christian myself, going to church, Anglican, evangelical (okay my mum dragged us to this one and I read comics or Nancy Drew because the falling down and speaking in tongues freaked me out) and as an adult, Unity. I can't say I've read the entire bible, end to end, but I've read most of it, I really did look for answers. I sat in the pews and listened to the priests and it all sounded nice but somewhat hollow. I've received Holy Communion and drank the wine. I went to Baptist, Catholic, Protestant and United services. I've even had my spiritual moments. But what repulsed and disappointed me in the end was the astounding hypocrisy of so called believers. From laypeople to priests, I've seen the most disgusting behaviour, such indifference, such arrogance and moral laziness. Humanity is far from perfect I know and I don't blame God for that. However, when I was introduced to Buddhism, it was more of a philosophy that I could really understand in my heart. I was not required to denounce Christianity or anything else.
(As a matter of fact, most of the heated finger wagging comes from the former Catholics.)
It was another way of looking at the world, and the most empowering aspect was that I was accountable for the sanctity of my life and others. Just me. I am a Buddha. You are a Buddha. I don't worship a Buddha idol, I don't wear orange robes, and yes, I eat meat. My meditation is a chant that you say out loud. It gives me hope and courage and determination in the midst of happiness and in the midst of suffering. I try to help and encourage others. How is that a deal breaker?
A Buddhist goes up to a hot dog vendor and the hot dog vendor says, "What will you have?" and the Buddhist says, "I'll have one with everything." The vendor charges him $3.50 so the Buddhist gives him $5, but the vendor doesn't give him anything back. The Buddhist says, "Hey, what about my change?" and the vendor says, "Change comes from within."