Hear me out. Last Sunday I attended a Christian church service. They are graciously hosting my Buddhist sit and a Buddhist recovery meeting, all without cost (or very little cost). The church is beautiful, large windows, raised beds of flowers and veggies outside, a new mom pastor who led the service with a baby on her hip.
It's a small congregation, mostly older folks, a few younger people. They are politically active and their message is love your neighbor. I went because they were cleaning up the grounds around the church and on the street, including the parking circle. All were looking rather neglected. And I wanted to help out, to give back.
So I went to the service. I had a visceral reaction sitting there among the God talk and the Bible verses and the singing. It wasn't aversion exactly. It was more like a feeling of wrongness, like I shouldn't be there as an unbeliever. I definitely didn't take communion.
What's so different about my Buddhist practice from theirs. They have formed a family of sorts as I have with my Buddhist friends. They have stories that they read which are fantastical, I know they are metaphors but some folks believe them, especially kids. And there are Buddhist stories that are just as unrealistic.
So it comes down to the idea that we're sinners and we call on something outside ourselves to be cleansed which I just can't buy. Our original self is the world, we just have forgotten that we're part of everything and everyone. And we ARE that already. We don't need an intermediary to fix us or remove our sins or whatever.
I mean. They're good Christians. They pray for one another. They try to do good works in the world. They're not filled with hate. They're accepting of difference. They're the faith of my ancestors.
Cultural appropriation? Am I guilty of this? I don't know.