No "God" to Forgive and no "Sins" to Forgive
Dr. Robert A. Morey, Ph.D., D. Min., D.D.
I was surprised by Prothero’s editorial (1/11/10). As an author of over fifty books on comparative religions, the cults, and the occult, a former president and professor in a CA university, I have studied, lectured and written on the different forms of “Buddhism” for forty years.
What Prothero failed to mention is that Buddhism does not believe in any God or Gods; it does not believe in the Christian concept of “sin” because there is no God who gave man commandments to keep and when man breaks those commandments, it is sin. Neither does Buddhism offer any “forgiveness” for “sinners” by a Savior because it has no savior or salvation; thus there are no “sinners” who need salvation.
The Buddha legend that Stephen relates did not appear until a thousand years after the Buddha’s death. The title “Buddha” was not his name but was a title conferred on him a thousand years after his death. There are conflicting legends and myths about him including his name. The “Buddha” never claimed to be a God and did not ask for worship or prayers to be made to him. The only common thread is that he abandoned his wife and young son to seek self-knowledge. Failing as a father and a husband does not seem the right way to self-realization.
One could argue that Tiger Woods was only following Buddha’s path when he abandoned his family to seek self-realization. But, instead of finding it in a cave or under a tree, he found it in the arms of women.
To quote Prothero “My complaint instead is that Hume is trashing a religion –the “Buddhism,” as he awkwardly calls it—about which he knows next to nothing.” His judgment like a boomerang flies back at him because it is clear from what he wrote that he does not understand biblical religion or Buddhist mythology. I would give his article an “F” grade. The only religion that offers forgiveness on the basis of the life and death of a substitute Savior is Christianity. Since Jesus paid off our sins on the cross, all we need to do is to ask Him to be our Savior.