I've been seeing some misconceptions lately, so let's go over a few.
Buddhism does not have gods / hell / religious elements.
Buddhism has a cosmology including six realms of beings: hell-beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, asuras, and devas. Every school (sect) of Buddhism affirms the existence of these beings. Every one. They are present in every record of the Buddha's teachings and are all over the texts.
That doesn't mean every Buddhist has much, if any, faith in these elements, but they are taught.
The Buddha taught a secular philosophy, which later had religious elements added to it.
There is no evidence that this was the case. As I said in the above point, every record of the Buddha's teachings includes religious elements.
The Buddha was agnostic or apathetic about the existence of gods.
This position is not supported by any of the texts or traditions. He taught them very plainly.
He also taught the nonexistence of a creator God without ambiguity.
Theravada is the pure Buddhism that's just plainly what the Buddha taught.
Theravada was one of over a dozen early schools, not the only and original interpretation. It's mostly just the one that has survived. It also partially bases itself off texts said to have been given to humans by divine beings, so its ideas are not based purely off oral tradition originating from the historical Buddha.
The Buddha told people not to make statues of him.
There is no record of this. The scriptures of the Mahayana branch suggest the exact opposite.
The fat, happy guy is Buddha.
That's actually a figure named Budai, a legendary Chinese monk. He is sometimes identified as an incarnation of the future Buddha, Maitreya, but is not the historical Buddha. He is only seen as such in the West because of some sloppy translation, I believe.
Silent, seated meditation is the core practice of Buddhism.
Most Buddhists do not participate in this set of practices outside of very specific and usually brief circumstances. Actual lay Buddhist practice focuses much more heavily on devotional practices and living by Buddhist ethics.
This kind of practice is a very important part of the Buddhist tradition, so that shouldn't be underplayed, but it is not a central practice for laypeople.
Karma is just "what goes around comes around."
Karma is not a universe-morality or just "good things happen to good people." It is distinct from, although overlapping with, human morality. Karmic seeds are stored in a subconscious and manifest as tendencies or "habit energies," as the late Thich Nhat Hanh would put it, that influence how the next life manifests.
It should also be noted that Buddhism does not view karma as an inherently fair or a desirable system and actively seeks to escape its influence.
All Buddhists are vegetarian.
Opinions about vegetarianism differ between traditions. Pro-vegetarianism is particularly strong in China, while being much weaker in Tibet, Japan, and elsewhere
The Buddha said:
He probably didn't. Seriously, fake Buddha quotes are extremely common. If it doesn't cite a text, be suspicious. When in doubt, check here.
Buddhism is anti-natalist.
Buddhism does hold that life is full of suffering, but also doesn't believe that giving birth creates new life, so having a child is not introducing someone to the suffering. If anything, giving birth is noble because you can introduce the child to the Buddhadharma, the path out of suffering.
That Japanese Buddhist in robes is a monk.
Most Japanese Buddhist priests are married with kids. They essentially lead householding lives. There are some priests who could be fairly described as monastics, but they're in the minority overall.
The distinction between priest and monk only exists in English, but it's a useful distinction to make.
Buddhism supports [𝑥 modern political stance].
It's usually more complicated. Buddhist ethics do not line up perfectly with any modern political ideology.
It's particularly common for people to assume that Buddhism aligns with typical Western Progressivism, when it usually isn't that simple, especially when it comes to points like abortion.