A reader writes:
I'm particularly interested in the posts on Buddhism and the reactions so far. Even though I was born and raised in the Mid-West and converted to Buddhism over 30 years ago, I have taken a different approach from the majority of Western "converts". I have embraced Buddhism as my religion and have taken the time to work through my objections (most of the complaints of the writers you've cited and more) by actually listening to the monks and nuns and putting aside my own opinions to see if their answers might lead me to something deeper than my own ideas.
I used to respond to critiques of Buddhism by trying to patiently explain the misunderstandings of this complex religion. I thought that sharing my own journey with some of the same issues would be helpful. However, I don't do that anymore. In fact, I'm happy when I hear Westerners becoming disillusioned with Buddhism. Westerners are destroying Buddhism by turning it into an eclectic philosophy that supports the opinions they already believe. I'm looking forward to the day when all the New Agers, etc. go back to bugging the Native Americans.