[Buddha-l] time to move to Seattle?

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Wed Jan 9 09:07:50 MST 2008

On Wed, 2008-01-09 at 07:01 -0500, Dan Lusthaus quotes a newspaper
article that says:

> Buddhism is the fifth largest religion in the United States.

That raises the interesting question: what exactly counts as a religion,
and how does one distinguish one individual religion from another? If,
say, Christianity counts as one religion, Islam another, Judaism a third
and so on, one wonders how Buddhism could come in fifth. What came in
third and fourth, assuming that Christianity and Islam are first and
second? On the other hand, if Roman Catholicism counts as one religion,
Baptism a second and Methodism a third, and Buddhism as a single
religion, coming in fifth ain't bad. But of course if Baptists and
Methodists represent different religions, then so should followers of
Zen, Pure Land, Nichiren, Theravada, NKT, FWBO and SGI.

As for the key question that Dan raises, the answer is NO. It rains too
much in Seattle.

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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