Originally Posted by Ninjaneer
I don't know much about Buddhism but it's quickly apparent, as pointed out here, that it doesn't involve worship of a creator (from what I can gather).
But I do have a naive question: what's up with the whole rub the Buddha's belly for good luck act? I would imagine this isn't a tenet or belief of the actual religion but something that came later where people made images of Buddha (statues) and started innovating this practice. Is that correct? In other religions that belief or practice is tantamount to associating partners with God and would be considered a major sin. Of course, if you're Buddhist, this doesn't matter to you, but I'm speaking from the perspective of the other major religions.
Interesting, never thought of that. I've never seen it written anywhere. I'll try google...
Edit: Found it. The fat guy is Budai, a predicted 'successor' to Gautama Buddha. From Wiki entry on Budai:
One belief surrounding the figure of Budai in popular folklore is that if a person is to rub his belly, it brings forth wealth, good luck, and prosperity. This belief however does not form part of any Buddhist doctrine, but more of a pseudo-Chinese practice. He is often admired for his happiness, plenitude, and supposedly wisdom of contentment.