I am a very serious Buddhist. I have been a part of a Tibetan Sangha which is Mahayana, a Theravada Buddhist Vihara that is the home to Sri Lanka monks. I have also been a part of Insight Meditation community.
I have studied with a Burmese Monk-Ashin.
All Buddhists that I have met have been very accepting of other people.
I have been taught that it is very bad to judge other people and to speak of them in a negative way. Buddhists do NOT try to convert other people to Buddhism. That is almost universal. If someone is interested, then that person will be shown the way. But, Buddhists do not feel any need to increase their numbers. Buddhists work on themselves. There main mission is not to change others. Buddhists main goal is to bring an end to suffering in the world. If we can lessen the suffering in our own lives, we are more likely to experience happiness. Happiness is the main goal of all human beings. Buddhists are very compassionate and try to end suffering in others, but not bey converting them. HOWEVER, SGI BUDDHISTS are a different case. IN SGI, ONE OF THE MAIN GOALS IS TO COVERT PEOPLE TO BUDDHISM. That is often done with a rather strong arm. SGI members regularly criticize other Buddhists. SGI attacks the Dalai Lama and does not show him respect because they say he is anti-gay. That is false. The Dalai Lama has spoken out strongly against discrimination against gay and lesbian people. He has made clear that the Buddha said NOT one word about gay people. He makes clear that any sexual misconduct rules for Buddhists apply to all people—-they are basically to prevent us from harming others in any way. SGI teaches that their Buddhism is the best. I have spoken with many SGI members who say the other Buddhists are wrong. The fact is that all human beings do not see clearly. We all have delusions. We all make mistakes. Even if the Dalai Lama does not speak out about gay rights does not mean he should not be respected and loved, equally. The Dalai Lama has never used power to force change like a tyrant or like a Pope. The Dalai Lama is a loving and peaceful man. –Personally, I find the Theravada Buddhism to be the very best way for me. Tibetan Buddhism is quite complicated with the Bon religion, many gods, protectors, and many Buddhas. In Theravada, the Buddha was simply a man. He was a man with back pain in later life. He died. He was so enlightened. He showed the way to the end of suffering. I do not think SGI is anywhere close to following the path of the Buddha, because they are far too focused on changing other people. That is not the way. I hope they will find the way. Many people in this world are confused just as the SGI folks are. I think many choose it, because it is easy. They chant, they do not become mindful with meditation. Many, whom I have talked to, do not study dharma and do not care to understand. Not understanding is not enlightenment. Instead they chant for cars, money, and even sex. That is highly selfish—those things are all temporary pleasure and not happiness. It is so much like a political club.
The ugly comments and judgments that I hear about other people are very hurtful. It upsets me in my heart. I truly do try to love everyone equally and in the same way. I look forward to your comments and your own experience.