Richard Gere is out-and-about to promote his new movie, 'Shall We Dance'.
Gere is a Buddhist. This celeb profile in the Houston Chronicle unexpectedly veers off the trivia track toward the end.
Gere's public devotion to the faith has helped popularize it in Hollywood. It has also, occasionally, led to sniping from cynics who question any movie star's sincerity, or from scholars who point out that the Buddhism that's popularized by celebrities often glosses over some of the faith's more conservative statements on sexuality and abortion.In other words, Gere doesn't want to admit in public that he adheres to the tenets of his religion. Don't blame me! I don't even know what my religion says about abortion! Call me a cafeteria-Buddhist if you must, but don't say in that article that I'm not down with abortion.
"I don't know those passages myself," Gere says. "I know that some of them are controversial. I think much of the Bible can be quoted to serve a variety of purposes, too. I do know that I've never been in a situation with genuine Buddhists that wasn't all-inclusive. From beings on other planets to insects here on Earth -- there's this deep belief that everything that lives is equal ... . It's about the joining of a compassionate heart to a penetrating wisdom."
But then, sweetly, shyly, and subtly, albeit goofily, Gere does 'fess up to thinking that everything that lives is equal. Beings on other planets, insects here on earth...and given the context of the question, I suppose that Richard Gere also includes babies of the very small and enclosed variety.