You know what irks me?

People who think they’re all that and a bag of chips because they’re Buddhist. (It’s kind of the hippest religion right now, you might say?)

Disclaimer: this is not totally how I feel and I also apologize for my college 101 world religions level understanding of Buddhism. I’m sure that an expert could tear this rant apart.

I remember being on campus at BYU-I once and overhearing this girl saying something to the affect of, “I’m Mormon but I’m not that Mormon. I’m Mormon, but I’m also Buddhist.”

And mark my words, she said in an uppity way. Not like she seemed a snobby person in the traditional sense. But like she thought she thought she was enlightened or seeing the real picture, but really she just identified with this unique religion that made her a special snowflake, and that she expected to give shock value.

And I’m just like, “Who do you think you are?”

(Lol, this happened like 3 years ago but I’ve never vented about it to anyone and it’s still on my mind :P)

First off, Buddhism is a philosophy so anyone can easily be Buddhist and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (I mean, to a certain extent). You’re not actually rebelling or being dramatic like you sound like you’re trying to be.

Second, a tenet of the doctrine of the Church is that we accept all truth from every religion. So inasmuch as Buddhism is true, every Latter-Day Saint is Buddhist. And whatever parts of Buddhism aren’t true (like, for example celibacy (? not totally sure how this officially falls under Buddhism)), are not part of our Church doctrine…. Wait, I don’t know where I was going with that. But I mean, she probably doesn’t believe in celibacy. So what does she mean by being Buddhist that isn’t part of Church doctrine already? Or easily incorporated as an application of Church doctrine?

IDK, maybe I’m being harsh.

I have a good friend who says he is an existentialist Latter-Day Saint. Something along the lines of it’s right for him but he believes other things are right for other people. And there are logical holes in that (though I don’t think it’s meant to be logical, in the tradition of Kierkegaard, the first existentialist, who says a lot of irrational stuff on purpose), but you don’t see me ranting about that. Why have I never felt the need to rant about that? Because he doesn’t advertise it like it makes him a special snowflake.

That’s what I have the problem with.

And I sort of still also have a problem with someone saying they’re Latter-Day Saint and Buddhist. Maybe because I feel like I already incorporate Buddhist teachings into my life so I don’t feel like it’s that meaningful to say. Like yeah, we believe in “letting go” and thereby avoiding a measure of suffering. That seems like something almost every human would say sounds like a good idea. And also I assume almost all Church members and the prophets would agree that meditation can be a good way of inviting the Spirit, putting off the natural man, etc.

I guess I should have walked up to her and asked her what exactly she meant by identifying herself as Buddhist.

Anyways, I acknowledge that this is mean and I don’t actually know this person’s story. But I just wanted to say it anyways.

Actually, third of all, I feel like she didn’t understand that the gospel of Christ is a step up from Buddhist teachings. Letting go turns into giving things to Christ, who always turns what we give him into something better. Believing in Christ is letting go AND exercising faith and hope that all things will be made better than we can imagine. To me, it’s the best of both worlds.

Anywhozzle, this is probably coming off as condemning and therefore not very Christ-like and therefore hypocritical. But really I’d like for people to not use religions or philosophies as fashion statements (I am not in the clear on this).

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