Buddhism, Now An American Religion

The faith know as Buddhism is growing. Some parts of it are those ethnic groups from the East while the growing portion is white Americans. There are now three million in the U.S. who self identify as Buddhists and another three million that practice parts of the faith like meditation.

The faith takes many forms. In Los Angeles, there are some 80 versions of the faith representing several countries. The American version reflects American culture just of the many others represent other world cultures.

American Buddhism stresses rationalization. It is popular among clinical psychologists as a way to deal with misery and suffering. The faith is strong on the view people have within themselves the where with all to stand up to whatever they face. American Buddhism is not in conflict with science.

In the U.S. the faith also believes in the present life, not the afterlife. All of existence happens between birth and death. If there is to be an escape to something better, the escape comes during the present life.

Adherents say Buddhism has more humor and is more light heartedness than Christianity. Common, they say, are self deprecating jokes.

Questionnaire research has found people 12% of the U.S. public saying Buddhism influences their spiritual lives.

One of the explanations for the growth of Buddhism is the U.S. preoccupation with religion. Thus, if one leaves the religion of his/her parents, they feel a need to have another.

The way Buddhism fits the culture of  younger generations it is easy to understand its growth.


17 Responses

  1. Jinx II

    Buddhism is peaceful, understanding and empathy for others. The teachings of the prophet we call Jesus are similar to Buddhism as well as other Eastern beliefs and Philosophies……..the same could be said for Native American religion as well.

  2. Rob

    You preach with pride quite often here about the decline of Christianity. But when someone points out the coinciding slide in human morality and/or behavior, like i did regarding your post about declining civic organization involvement, you swiftly delete the comment.
    Let us know when you transfer from George Orwellian blogging to the free thinking style you’ve been falsely touting; I can’t wait.

    1. Rob 8:05 I deleted your earlier one or two sentence snark. If you were not so lazy, and explain what you mean, as you did somewhat here, I would leave your posts up.

      Even this post is convoluted. I think you are saying you are referring to the blog about service clubs and you are linking it to atheism. This blog is about Buddhism.

      Then you seem to claim there is a decline in “morality”. That is the opinion of some people but it is not something based in fact.

  3. Randall Wehler

    80 Los Angeles versions of Buddhism!!! We need to count the vast number of denominations, sects, splinter groups, and variants of belief and practice in the U.S. Christian camp of divinely mindful people. Regarding the popular Apostle’s Creed and Nicene creed, these go back somewhere to the 3rd or 4th century and some church folk think in strictly literal terms when they utter the words (I look at their repetition as a way of honoring our ancient ancestors seeking to understand God with the limited rational science base they then had).

    Some church denominations (I think that the United Church of Christ is one) don’t even recite the creeds any more. They were, way back in time, formulated as rallying point statements to once and for all lay down “the” beliefs that all people should adhere to. It is refreshing to see a non-creedal, more liberal interpreting stance among people identifying as Christians. That can lead to a more personal, freer thinking relationship with God who I believe exists without my feet needing to be held to the fire of a so-called politically correct way of “believing.”

    1. mark anthony

      yawn! Same old, Same old. I suggest that you get a history book or two and read up on the 4th century. One of the most annoying aspects of this site is the hazy history peddled by folks who don’t know the difference between ideology and scholarship.

        1. mark anthony

          I attempted to answer your question. My post, however, was rejected. Something about a security token. I have no idea as to what that means. Explain please.

    2. Randall 9:38 As always, refreshing comments.

      On the Apostle’s Creed, I attend occasionally a nearby United Church of Christ and you are correct the Creed is not recited. I so enjoy not having to mumble those lies about myself nor hearing others do the same.

      It might, and I stress might, be accurate to say that versions of Christianity are coming to the front which are not all that different from the American version of Buddhism. That is, they have left behind magical thinking, embrace science, accept others and see the solutions to human problems as solved by humans, not God. They, like you, believe there is a God. They just do not see the need to believe ancient garbage.

      1. Catcher

        Each and every church has a “statement of belief” A Credo; (creed). As does the UCC. (“What we believe; Statement of Faith” They virtually all dance around the Apostles Creed.. Contents; Father, son, Holy spirit, Gospel creation, and eternal life in his kingdom”. Look it up. it’s in their “about section”.

        There are virtually no non creedal churches. Their statement of belief IS their creed.

      2. Jinx II

        I was forced to go to church and see the priest that molested me every Sunday, Feast Day and at catholic school. I had told no one about the molestation when I was 10 years old. With in a year I quit saying the apostles creed because I no longer believed it was the truth and hearing the words deeply angered me. Once I left home, I quit going to church.

    1. unregenerate 11:17 Speaking of versions

      There are lots of chin stroking people trying to analyze various ways of seeing the world without a deity. Many claim the “new atheists” are wrong about this or that. The new atheists, however, are the first to publish record breaking best sellers in atheism. That is an accomplishment worthy of noting. That there are “mystical” atheists, or, atheists who do not believe in progress, etc etc., yes, I suppose they all exist but it’s not important to me that there are many views of things. The most important issue is getting the Christian faith out of our laws.

      1. unregenerate

        Jon 4.23.2018 @ 11:49 am
        “The most important issue is getting the Christian faith out of our laws.”

        Paradoxically getting the Christian faith out of our laws to me would actually secure the religious freedom envisioned by our forefathers. Thanks for your reply.

        1. Jinx II

          I completely agree with you unregenerate, freedom and equality for all should be our mission and not just for a privileged few…..that is the spirit of the founding fathers in the culture of the 1700’s.

  4. Gradjunct

    Where to begin with this nonsense? First, Buddhism is not monolithic. Even in Asia, several varietals are extent. Theravada Buddhism, the “small vehicle” or the school of the elder monks, is emphatically NOT a “faith” in anything like the received Western understanding of that term. It is a philosophical, spiritual, practice aimed at liberating the practitioner from the bonds of desire. It only looks like a faith because monks walk the path together. The Western Pure Land tradition in Mahayana Buddhism (the great vehicle) is closer to a Western faith, given its belief in the celestial Buddha Amitabha, and it’s many Bodhisattva’s (e.g. Avalokitesvara). But even Mahayana and Amidism are non-theistic philosophy, they are attempts to lay out path away from attachment and suffering, no more a religion that the philosophy of Epicurus or the Stoics of the ancient West (with whom, it should be noted, they shared many overlapping insights). By the way, the symbol at the top of this page is the Jain symbol for Ahimsa (“non-harm”), it’s not Buddhist.

    1. Granjunct 8:12 Thanks for commenting.

      First, Buddhism in not monolithic. Even in Asia, several varietals are extent.

      You are correct. I thought I had covered that at the beginning of the blog by reference to many varieties. Also, I referenced the link which explained most of the world’s Buddhism is found in Los Angels where there are 60 to 80 different threads.

Comments are closed.