We told you so

Atheists and secularists alike have long pointed out that Christians would quickly object if their rights were ever trampled upon in the same way they frequently trample upon the rights of others. From marriage equality to other basic rights to the building of holy centers, the Christian majority would freak if they were prevented from all these things. But does that stop them from doing it to others? Does that stop them from introducing creationist intelligent design bills? Have they ever ceased in their desire to weasel prayer into public schools? Or to keep it, a la irrational Communist fears, on our money? Of course not. But now that yoga is being taught to kids…well. Now we have a real problem:

Mary Eady, the parent of a first grader, said the classes were rooted in the deeply religious practice of Ashtanga yoga, in which physical actions are inextricable from the spiritual beliefs underlying them.

“They’re not just teaching physical poses, they’re teaching children how to think and how to make decisions,” Ms. Eady said. “They’re teaching children how to meditate and how to look within for peace and for comfort. They’re using this as a tool for many things beyond just stretching.”

Ms. Eady and a few dozen other parents say a public school system should not be leading students down any particular religious path. Teaching children how to engage in spiritual exercises like meditation familiarizes young minds with certain religious viewpoints and practices, they say, and a public classroom is no place for that.

This all, of course, came out of discussions at Evangelical churches. The hint of even the remotest of threats has spurred Christian parents into action.

As it so happens, these parents aren’t entirely wrong. It does appear that Hindu practices are being promoted, especially given the religious source of funding for the program. However, that doesn’t mean the practice needs to stop all together. I’ve never done yoga and I don’t know much about it, but it appears to me that there are plenty of yoga classes and techniques out there that are basically secular in nature. I don’t see why the school couldn’t simply amend the class to reflect the fact that they’re a public institution.

All that said, it really doesn’t surprise me that we have Christians up in arms over something like this. If there was some sort of way they could not-so-slyly promote a uniquely Christian praying style, I’m sure we would hear every excuse in the book about how harmless it was. Then, when the practice was banned, we wouldn’t hear the end of how persecuted Christians are in America.

I just wish the Encinitas Muslim community would express their disapproval of this practice. I’d be curious to see the Christian reaction then.

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