A reader wrote:
I’ve been studying Buddhism and meditating. A Christian friend (7th-Day Adventist) told me that quoting Buddha on Facebook is evil because he has a hole in his back that they put evil spirits into. Has anyone else ever heard this ridiculous belief? I just don’t know how to respond to her because I’m new to all of this, and I don’t want to offend her. I didn’t answer her at all. Maybe that’s best anyway.
Wow. That’s a new one to me. Never heard that before.
It’s got the ring of truth to it, so I wouldn’t say there’s absolutely nothing to it. I suspect there’s probably some group out there that has some tradition or ceremony where they write down their troubles on a note and drop them into a hole in his back. I can imagine that being a tradition somewhere, sure. Is it an accepted thing among Buddhists in General? No, of course not. There’s not a thing I have ever seen in any historical text that comes anywhere close to this story.
It’s probably similar to a non-Christian assuming that all Christians handle snakes. Yes, some do it, but it’s absolutely not typical. This is probably the way I’d try to explain it to your friend. The world is a big place, it’s dangerous to make assumptions and generalizations.