What's a Buddhist to Do?

Little Dog recently told me about an exchange that took place during his second hour Science class.

For some reason the teacher asked, with the obvious expectation of receiving no "yes" answers, if anyone in the class was Buddhist.

Little Dog was the only person who raised his hand and with confidence stated that his mom was Buddhist. (Note that he didn't rock the boat by admitting that he, for the most part, is also.)

His admission led to a discussion of how "weird" it is that his mom is Buddhist - especially since we are not Asian.

Yeah. Racist in middle America High School much?

Anyway the reason for bringing it up in the first place was to discuss a recent article in our local paper that was about a deformed (two-faced) baby whom the "Buddhists" believe to be a "God."

To his credit Little Dog did assert that Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion, but he was outnumbered by those who, still shocked about my Buddhism, refused to hear any logic. Even when he (correctly) pointed out that it sounded like Hinduism to him.

When Little Dog first told me about this exchange I was irritated, not at the teacher, but at the stupid local newspaper for its lack of fact checking. A cursory review of the article, however, indicated that it clearly stated it is the Hindus who believe the deformed baby to be a god.

I didn't bother to read the rest of the article because I neither care what the Hindus believe, nor do I want to see a two faced baby. My irritation turned towards the teacher who allowed the original discussion to take place. Hell, it's reasons like this that I agree religion should not be taught in the heartland's public schools. It's not because I have anything against children learning theology, but rather that any theological beliefs outside of the dominant Christian paradigm that exists in this part of our country will be misrepresented. I considered contacting the teacher to let him know of my offense at the comments. Then I remembered that it is Little Dog, and not I, who has to deal with the drama that is high school in America. Since, according to him, classmates are already attempting to "save" or "convert" him from his mother's heresy, I decided it was in our best interests to let it go.

I did tell him to let the teacher know I was annoyed, which he did the following day. He reported that the teacher's response was to say, "Great. I'm gonna get a phone call about this aren't I?" after which he mischievously responded that he would "meditate" about it. Ha! While I can't tolerate prejudice or bigotry, I do have a great respect for snark.

So, it's all good again.

That is, unless the two-faced baby really is a god. Then we're all in trouble!

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