West Asheville. Hank Williams, Jr., David Allen Coe and Waylon Jennings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Watch Full Program on PBS. See more from The Buddha.

Long before I traveled to Asia (at least Southeast Asia), I remember hearing from my then brother-in-law and sister that a relative of his had "gone off and done something crazy."  This family member had gone traveling for an extended period and apparently had come back a Buddhist.  Many, many years later, I did some traveling and simply came back married to a Buddhist.  To think, for someone like me, raised Southern Baptist in a predominantly fundamentalist family and community, then diving head first into the evangelical culture at my university, and later going on mission trips and outreaches to Tennessee, Canada, Florida and Central Asia, simply winding up married to a Buddhist is not only shocking, but it's immeasurably intriguing and most certainly a story well worth telling.  This journey of mine - and ours together - is one I have already been writing about - mainly in notes, a bit on my blogs and in journals.  My ultimate goal, though, is to get a book published.  The book's purpose would be to share how this amazing and unlikely connection happened, and what implications resulted from it.  From my vantage point:  How did my parents view this?  What did people say to me?  How did I rationalize everything?  What books did I read?  What advice could I give others in this situation?  What did I learn about my spiritual roots and upbringing?  How did Buddhism influence me?  What were the costs of going against the norm?  How did I grow from this?  What did I learn about myself?  How did my wife influence my family?  I can see this being written like a testimonial, in the truest Baptist sense, sharing how I came to know the truth, as I see it.  Through the years, in a very gradual way, I journeyed from a sincere, disciplined, heartfelt fundamentalist mindset and belief system to being just as sincere, just as disciplined and just as heartfelt today, but in a very different kind of way.  I was always big on giving my Christian testimony and demanding it of others. This book will be my revised testimony, and more.  

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