Monday, May 22, 2006

Tomorrow Abby and I embark on our second trip to Maryland in the same month. This time my father is coming to town. He has only seen Abby once so this visit should be interesting.

I feel I must also comment on the fact that there haven’t been any pictures with my posts lately. I need to buy some film. Scott and I seriously need to get a digital camera. It’s going on my “we really should get this” list.

Abby and I went to the park today and were “attacked” by young Christians. Now I have nothing against Christians, and I welcome interfaith dialogues, but this girl was OUT THERE. First off there were about six 19 year olds from this New Life Bible college hanging about at the playground. The girl, whose name happened to have the same name as me, said they liked to talk to the kids about God and Jesus. If I ever caught someone talking about God or Jesus with my kid without my knowledge, I’d be pissed. So she goes on her rant about how God and Jesus saved her life from drugs and alcohol and yadda yadda, and then I say, “That’s nice. I practice Nichiren Buddhism. Have you heard of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo?”
“No.”
“Ahh, well, we chant for world peace and personal happiness.”
“I found happiness in the Lord.”
“That’s nice. We believe that war would end, once everyone in the world finds happiness and peace.”
“The Bible says that there will be war until Christ comes back and places final judgment and all those who don’t believe will be taken by Satan.”
“Ok.”
“Last year I went on a Bible mission in Australia and saw 74 people receive the Lord. They believed in idols and every thing”
“That’s nice. We believe that interfaith discussions will help bring an understanding of other peoples cultures and religions to see that basically everyone wants the same thing. Peace and happiness. But first there needs to be a tolerance of other peoples religions, that no one religion is better than another.”
Silence.
“That’s one of the reasons we chat Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. And it works. Chanting allows you to bring out your Buddha hood and transform your life. Take me for example. My family was living in one of the worst areas in Baltimore, and all I wanted was to move some place where we’d be safe. And here we are ten times better off than in Baltimore. My husband has a steady job, good pay, health insurance. I get to stay home to raise my daughter. All this because I chanted and believed we could do it.”
“Yeah. God saved me from a life of drugs and alcohol.”
“Ok. Well. Take care.”
It feels sleazy to me when I see these people out walking around in the park, especially in the playground. It’s like when the Italian ice ladies stand in the playground with their carts making money off the kids. Can’t they stand outside the playground?