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World Religion Buddism Essay

661 words - 3 pages

When considering how the presence of Buddhism can impact the modern day United States, two of the more significant impacts can be felt on the political and social levels. Let’s talk first, about how those practicing different religions, especially those of a Middle Eastern origin, can affect foreign politics in ways we may not even realize, at first. When members of the Senate, Congress, or even the President himself, visit with politicians and diplomats from the Middle East, they are first schooled on some basic rules involving such interactions. Many things that may be considered acceptable by Christian beliefs, or, by those of an American origin, could be at best, misunderstood, and, at worst, considered offensive to some Buddhists, or Middle Easterners. Even simple things such as the way you greet someone with a handshake or a hug, may be inappropriate in certain company. Also things as small as a hand gesture like a thumbs up, ...view middle of the document...

In terms of the societal impact of Buddhism and other Middle Eastern Religions, there are also a number of issues we come across here, on a sometimes daily basis. I know we have all heard a lot recently about the controversy that’s continuously brewing over Religion in Schools. Kids aren’t allowed to pray in class any longer, and there are few, if any, organizations within public Schools that are devoted exclusively to religious teachings. Most feel that this is simply because some choose not to practice their religion in school, and find it offensive to force children to do so in that kind of an environment. What many of us never take into account though is how many different religions may be practiced by the families of the children at just one elementary school. Perhaps some felt the prayer that used to be practiced in schools was somewhat generic, and it was not appropriate to try and encompass all religion within one prayer group or class? Although most all of us have some sort of religious beliefs, how can you say that this one class or this one prayer is sufficient for everyone as a whole? On a lighter note, let’s also consider things like social events and Holidays. Buddhist and the followers of Middle Eastern based religions don’t recognize Christian holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Hanukah. While they are respectful of our American practices, it would do us good to have a greater respect and understanding of theirs, as well. If nothing else, it could help us to communicate better as people. There are also things as simple as neighborhood bar b ques, Shopping, and Children’s birthday parties that can bring about an understanding of different practices. Things such as blowing out candles on a cake, and hitting a piñata, aren’t common in the Buddhist following. Most major cities now days are large melting pots of folks from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Having a better understanding of other’s religious beliefs can give us a better understanding of others, just as people, in general. If nothing else, it could give you more to talk with your neighbor about at the next cookout.

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