Steven Waldman

buddhists for obama button.jpgWe hear at Beliefnet are accustomed to thinking of the world’s major religions as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
In his inaugural address, Obama went four for five, mentioning Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and (signficantly) “non believers.” No Buddhism.
At the National Prayer Service Wednesday at the National Cathedral, twenty different clergy participated — but no Buddhists. (The group included: Hindu, Muslim, reform Jew, conservative Jew, orthodox Jew, Episcopalian, two Catholics, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Evangelicas, Greek Othodox, Methodist, Reformed.)
According to the Pew Religion Forum survey, there are more Buddhists in America than Hindus, Muslims or Greek Orthodox. So why didn’t the make the cut? My guess is that Buddhists are not associated with a clearly identifiable ethnic group (Hindus=Indians) or political bloc. They’re just a significant spiritual category.

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