So I am wondering how to tell my father that I have embraced Buddhism. He believes himself to be Christian (I use "Christian" in the loosest sense of the word) and I think he would have a problem with my acceptance of Buddhism.
Understand - I love my dad. I respect him a great deal and am grateful for the lessons he has tried to teach me over the years about....well anything he thought I should know/understand. While he wasn't always there (parents divorced when I was 13, he moved to California for a couple of years, then came back to WA) he'd always try to keep in touch via phone or internet.
As I mentioned my dad considers himself to be a Christian. I say that because he doesn't attend Church, didn't encourage me to go to Church or accept Jesus as my savior. My family only ever said Grace at a table three times a year - Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner, and Easter Dinner.
A few years ago, when I asked him why my (then) non-belief bothered him, (after all - not like he went out of his way) he said he'd figured I would "make the right choices."
I was fairly tempted to make a comment along the lines of "You left that up to the Lord - look how that turned out" but resisted. I just don't know why he thought that would work - he was 30 when I was born (I'm 27) and I know that if you don't lay down a proper foundation for anything, odds are, it won't go the way you want it to.
So - he still doesn't go to Church, his preferred "messenger" of God happens to be Kenneth Copeland - dad had a bunch of the man's sermons,opinions, speeches, etc. on cassette tapes (remember those?) from maybe around the time I was born.
I guess Mr. Copeland encouraged people to read the Bible themselves, and that is, for the most part what my dad does - not religiously mind you, I guess whenever the mood strikes him.
He's remarried to a very sweet Mormon woman who I do consider to be a member of my family (I currently live with my mother and brother, and I met her (his current wife) when I was 15 so I don't think I consider her to be "another mom" - but definitely and warm, sweet, and loving human being) and she feels he should do more - whether that means attending Church services with her at the local Mormon temple (they live right down the street from one) or going to any Church service, I don't know. I hear most of this as a passing "Sigh" moment but I don't pursue it, less I get roped into the discussion.
Discussing Christianity is something of a rather "passionate" issue between he and I. While I do think Jesus, for the most part, has a good moral philosophy, I tend to weigh a religion's value based on two things: What I think of how their members are behaving, individually or collectively, in any given situation and how these members behave individually or collectively according to their own principals.
I feel Christianity is falling short of the bar, unfortunately.
Now my dad does many Non-Christian things. He does many Non-Buddhist things too - but then hes not claiming to be a Buddhist. He is claiming to be a Christian however.
I don't know what the extent of his faith is, but I know hes not exactly what you'd call "living a Christian lifestyle." But again, its his perception that he IS a Christian, and he has a very "Christian" attitude about other religions, mostly by virtue of not knowing much about them, and, of course the whole "Through me is the only way to know the Lord" spiel.
I've been an atheist until a few months ago when I stumbled into Buddhism (Thank you Alan Watts) so I am unsure of how he is to react; I don't think I've ever heard him say anything directly about Buddhism.
Dad's internet homepage is Foxnews.com, and its been "The Drudge Report" in the past. He STILL hates Jimmy Carter, (not kidding) and naturally, Democrats are out to destroy American, not the TEA Party people who show up at the nation's capital with signs that say "We came unarmed - this time!."
Sigh* I think I should tell him. After typing all this...I don't know. I think telling him is the right thing to do, but I don't feel that it is the right thing to do.
Does anyone have any advice?
Thanks for your time.