Bellwork question: "What causes suffering in the world? Give plenty of reasons for your conclusions. It must be in paragraph form. Aim for at least 8 sentences."
Buddhism addresses the issue of suffering. It's interesting that as a religion, it doesn't address the issue of God. In fact, there are people who profess to be both Christian and Buddhist at the same time - worshiping the Christian God, and following the teachings of both Christ and Buddha. (I'm not making this up. Here's one example. Here's another one.)
Some Christians I've talked to have found this mixing of religions to be disingenuous - and they believe following the teachings of Christ should be what make you Christian, and that no other teachers are necessary. My Buddhist-Christian friends view it as no different than learning from an atheistic math teacher, or taking Oprah's good advice. They feel that as long as Buddhism isn't teaching about God, they are not compromising their faith.
Granted, there are academics that agree with them as well.
At any rate, we'll discuss it more tomorrow. Today we just touched on suffering in general and then watched a video featuring "The Man in the Blue Shirt."
In order to get the extra credit for the blog, please read and discuss it with an adult. If you're not sure what to discuss, you could ask questions about suffering. What causes it? What does Buddhism teach about it? Do you agree or disagree?
Finally, write the following on a scrap piece of paper: "Siddhartha Guatama." Put your name on the paper, and have the adult you discussed it with sign it.