Buddhism and Catholicism Marriage and Beliefs

Introduction

Religion can be defined as human beliefs towards a particular Supreme Being or deity. Religion guides people’s way of life and their interaction with other living things. Many people in the world owe their creation to gods, but there is a fraction of human beings in the world who do not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being or god.

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Other people believe that it is the act of a man and women through procreation that keeps the world going (Bobbie, 5). Religion advocates for marriage as a way of continuing their deity’s creation; in Catholicism, this is termed as a holy sacrament. On the contrary, Buddhism considers marriage as a secular affair (Anthony, 22).

The History of Catholicism and Buddhism

Buddhism religion started in India more than 2500 years ago and currently has around 350 million followers across the world. This religion is based on the concept of joy and freedom; it was named after Buddha who was claimed to have achieved enlightenment. Buddhism teaching has made its followers believe that good deeds lead to reincarnation either in heaven or in the form of another human being. On the other hand, evil deeds according to Buddhism results in a person’s rebirth either in hell or as an animal (Bobbie, 24).

Catholicism as a religion, on the other hand, believes in the holy trinity that is; God the father, son and the Holy Spirit. Catholicism is the largest religion on earth with over one billion followers. The followers believe a person should lead a holy life without sin but if somebody sins the grace through God’s son (Jesus Christ) can redeem them through partaking of the holy sacrament. Catholicism means a follower’s cooperation with their God and obedience into his way through acceptance of grace (Ronald, 10).

Similarities and Differences between Buddhism and Catholicism

Catholicism religion practices worship rituals to a supreme being concerning holy mass, a re-enactment of Holy Thursday to remember when Christ Jesus celebrated the last supper. Another ritual practiced by Catholics is the observation of Good Friday in commemorating the death of Jesus Christ as a sign of their redemption from the bondage of sin. Buddhists also practice rituals to their gods such as visiting the Buddha, confession of sins, practicing Dana, giving an offering, and going for refuge. Finally, marriage rituals are celebrated by the two religions (Ronald, 15).

Some of the differences between the two religious include Catholicism emphasizes practicing the above rituals to identify with the death and resurrection of their claimed savior Jesus Christ. On the contrary, in Buddhism there is no perceived savior; the rituals are practiced to enable them to achieve enlightenment. Buddhism advocates for good deeds to achieve comfort and happiness. It is necessary to note that, the two religions practice these rituals in different ways temple and churches (Anthony, 7).

Both Buddhism and Catholicism have regard for the marriage rituals where Catholicism treats marriage as a sacrament. According to Catholicism, marriage should be ordained by God for procreation and comfort. In Catholicism, marriages are celebrated in church for the couple to receive blessings from God and the priest. On the other hand, Buddhism advocates for marriage though they treat it as a secular issue, not one that is spiritual. In Buddhism, marriage is carried out in the civil offices, after the ceremony the couple is required to visit the temple to receive a blessing from monks (Anthony, 44).

Some of the differences between the two religions include, in Catholicism marriage is for the believers only, the nuns (women) and priests (men) are not allowed to marry. Additionally, same-sex marriage and divorce are highly condemned by Catholicism. Whereas, Buddhism does not forbid the monks from getting married. It is essential to note that though Buddhism has discussed same-sex marriage in their Vinaya, it does not provide laws or clear guidelines that condemn this kind of marriage. Buddhism also is in support of divorce (Anthony, 50).

Buddhism and Catholicism religious believe that good and bad actions can determine a person’s fate regarding marriage. Buddhism emphasizes that a person’s behaviors such as adultery and unfaithfulness in marriage whether in the past or the present can determine their rebirth. A well-behaved person may go to heaven after death or come back in the form of another human being, whereas an evil person may come back as an animal or go to hell after death. This concept of rebirth has made Buddhists strive to live in peace with their marriage partners (Anthony, 30).

Catholicism teaches about abstaining from adultery, unfaithfulness, and sin by always engaging in the acceptable behavior. This religion also claims that good deeds may help a believer to become a Saint or go to heaven after their death. On the contrary, if a person lived a sinful life such as adultery, after their death, they might go to hell after the judgment. The two religion’s concept of marriage, hell, and rebirth after death either by becoming a Saint in Catholicism or reincarnation in Buddhism seems to be almost similar (Anthony, 24).

Religious views towards women

The Buddhism religion in the ancient time disregarded women; actually, the birth of a girl was interpreted as a misfortune. The women were regarded as sutras; when they were young girls were provided care by their father, after marriage, the husbands were charged with that responsibility, in their old age, the women were taken care of by their son. Currently, this has changed as women and men are being treated as equals where they are all allowed to participate in the Bhikkhuni Sangha, a spiritual, religious teaching (Anthony, 19).

In Catholicism, women are allowed to participate in the seminary and church preparation for the priest. Despite this, women are never ordained as a priest; this means they cannot be allowed to fulfill the duties of a priest. Unlike in Catholicism, Buddhism has allowed women to carry out all religious rituals fully (Anthony, 22).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to mention that, based on the research done on religion; there is no superior religion to the other. Marriage is highly regarded by the two religions though there are differences that exist between them. Religions practice rituals in conformity to their deity’s law and also to create peace in the society. Finally, women in the two religions are regarded differently in Buddhism they have been given equal responsibility as men whereas in Catholicism have are only allowed to serve. The New York Times, June 22, 2007, reported that religion is just a people way of life (Anthony, 112).

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