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Bizarre article of the day

September 6, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

Agape Press, defender of Christian fundamentalism, has a new foe. That foe? Yoga. Seriously.

(AgapePress) – An award-winning medical journalist and Christian author is expressing concern that some American schools are introducing students to yoga, a practice that he maintains has spiritual as well as physical implications.

I don’t know, can we really take our focus off the gays? What’s worse, queers or yoga? What about gay yoga? Those hippies are all about free gay love with crystals. Or something.

Three Pittsburgh area schools are taking part in a 16-week pilot program called “Yoga in Schools,” designed to calm elementary and middle school students and improve their physical and mental health. But Dr. Walt Larimore, author of such books as Super Sized Kids and Alternative Medicine: A Christian Handbook, says people of any spiritual tradition need to be aware of yoga’s religious background.

“Yoga has spiritual roots,” Larimore points out, noting its integral connection to Hindu religion and its popularity among many proponents of New Age spirituality. “Adherents of yoga claim that it leads to spiritual enlightenment and union with the divine,” he explains. “In fact, the pinnacle of that is called Kundalini arousal; and I’ve got some real concerns about the spiritual roots — especially when yoga is being sold to people and those roots are hidden.”

That may be, but do we really think there’s going to be religious instruction while the kids are stretching? Now children, remember, relax, connect with your inner spirit, commune with the divine! Forget the dogma of Christianity and realise your connection to everything around you!

The author also says intense involvement with Eastern spiritual practices is known to cause psychological and emotional problems in some people. And since yoga has religious roots, he adds, one could argue that promoting it in schools violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, or the so-called separation of church and state.

I start laughing every time I read that paragraph. What psychological problems? Christianity doesn’t cause psychological problems? Doesn’t he read Agape Press? New Age spiritualism may be stupid, really really stupid even, but for fuck’s sake the kids are just going to be stretching! Bringing up the separation of church and state here is the icing on the cake. What the hell?

Larimore insists that schools and parents seeking to help kids attain the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of exercise have many options without resorting to yoga. Conversely, he warns that the “deeply religious practice” of yoga, with its roots in Eastern mysticism, may put kids in a position to be influenced by elements that are not at all healthy.

Deeply religious practice? Honestly, it’s just stretching. You don’t magically turn you into a hippie (or go nuts, if there’s a difference) simply by stretching in a certain way.

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