These days, when the Pope allows himself to recieve a Hindu blessing and kisses a Quran, it seems a lot of inter-religious exchange is acceptable.
I have two very good friends now living in Thailand and plan to visit as soon as i can afford the trip. They’ve promised to show me the sights, including some Buddhist temples and monastaries. They mentioned that when they had visited them they learned the custom of how to bow to the statue of Buddha—and then they did it.:bowdown: My friends are Christian and i am Catholic, but they seem to be perfectly alright with this practice.
I am ambivalent about whether i should do the same when i make my trip and visit a temple.:o I do not regard Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, as any kind of religious figure per se. I see him as a philosopher, on par with Plato and Aristotle, not with Jesus. Most Buddhists i’ve met would probably agree with that.
Many cultures have gestures of reverence that are secular and acceptable to Christians i.e. Americans saluting the U.S. Flag and showing it respect while handling it. If the nation of Greece had a custom of nodding one’s head :tiphat: to a bust of Plato, i would comply without a second thought.
If i did bow to a Buddha statue, following the customs and liturgical actions of the Theravada Buddhists, the intend behind it would be purely secular, showing respect to a long-dead philosopher whom i do truly respect. My question for the forum is: despite my intentions, would i be going against my Catholic Christian faith if i did so?