Buddha is to Jesus as . . . . (a svithe)
Buddhism grew out of Hinduism is a manner somewhat like Christianity's growth out of Judaism. Then there are those who say Jesus spent his lost years in India studying Buddhism (a guy in our ward, however, treats it as settled fact that Jesus was in England mining tin with Joseph of Arimethea) (or I guess that's when they went mining together --- maybe I should have clarified).
Anyway, none of this is substantive. Mostly what will matter in my eventual point is that Christianity and Buddhism are both good-for-you religions (we can add Hinduism and Judaism to this list as well) and the picture starting this post is pretty cool.
Truth claims matter in religion --- of course they do --- but in a world filled with violent hatred for pretty much every religion (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism --- and on and on), pretty much every religion has to ask themselves how vigorously to argue not about who is right, but whether or not others perceive others' rightness. If you follow me.
Saint Young Men, Jesus and Buddha are even friends. of course, they also attend a Japanese high school, so, you know.
My point, if I have one, and I'm really starting to wonder, is not quite a smells-like-weed Peace Is Possible nor a whiny Rodney King Can't We All Just Get Along, but more of an invitation to step back. No matter how rational I think I am or You think You are, no matter how much the problem is clearly Them Over There, I think we always have the capacity to take one step further back. And once we're far enough back, it gets harder to tell me from you from them and our cities are both purple on the horizon and it's all just one pale blue dot and it's hard to imagine that even Moses or Mohammad meant some of those scarier comments and, well, yeah, peace is possible. We can all just get along.
And this comes from a guy belonging to a religion with really strong truth claims.
We're all pretty much the same.
I hope each year we can recognize a bit more that our fates are all tied together and if Jesus and Buddha can be high-school friends, then the rest of us can support each other too.
(So . . . did that all come together?)