Oh Buddha!

During the early 1960s, we were living in Louisville, Kentucky and I was teaching at Kentucky Southern College, a new liberal arts school sponsored by the Baptist Church. Crescent Hill Baptist Church was searching for a new choir director and I was talked into taking that position on an interim basis while they searched for a new director.

Every Sunday evening a group of adults met to discuss Biblical teachings and how they related to problems and opportunities in current society. At one meeting, the discussion was centered on the Ten Commandments. When we were discussing Thou Shalt Not Take The Name of the Lord, Thy God, in Vain, I made an observation, or rather posed a question (I did not know the answer - perhaps I still don't know.)

One of the primary ways people in Kentucky would swear would be to mention God or Jesus Christ. My question: do you suppose folks of other religions would use the name of their deities as a means of expressing anger, surprise, irritation, etc. For example, would those of the Buddhist faith say, "Oh Buddha!" Everyone laughed vigorously before the discussion resumed.

The next morning, a dear friend from the church, Wayne Lilly, who was at the meeting the night before, appeared at our front door and presented Phyllis with a 19-inch tall, 12-pound handsome Buddha. The statue has been a continuing part of our family since that time and has made many trips across these United States. He still remains in relatively good condition, although one day in the 1960s or early 1970s our son, Chris, came carrying Buddha to show us that he had lost his head. The head, itself, was not damaged so I got out my trusty Elmer's glue and re-attached it. That gluing has kept Buddha intact until this day.


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