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1 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:28:28pm

Ugh. This is a case where I have to agree with the conservative suit to protect secularism in schools - Yoga has deep and irretrievable philosophical and ritual ties to four or more religions. Other exercises will serve the same purpose without being identifiable as religious practice.

2 Eclectic Cyborg  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:29:53pm

I read a long piece by a Christian writer awhile back in which he says Christians should avoid martial arts at all costs because by bowing to the Sensei you are worshipping a false idol and not God.

3 FemNaziBitch  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:39:18pm

Group yoga classes are so far removed from traditional yoga, it is stupid to say they are related to religion.

4 Ghost of Tom Joad  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:49:36pm
5 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:50:45pm

re: #1 Randall Gross

No. Have you ever been to a yoga class? I have, and there is not a word uttered about any god of any religion. It’s about relaxation and gaining some flexibility. Many kids could benefit from these classes because they help with concentration and focus which are kind of important in a school setting. My son is high functioning autistic and loved yoga when he was younger because he said it made him feel less depressed and more able to focus on completing tasks.

Yoga may have roots in a religious context, but in the US it’s been ADAPTED from the original as a form of exercise and relaxation with no religious connotations, just like most of the martial arts have been Americanized to exclude the religious aspects.

6 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:52:53pm

I have, it’s westernized version doesn’t make it any less religion. Sorry, stone cold atheist here, and I don’t want things associated with religion in classes they don’t belong. Physical education does not need religious rituals still practiced regularly by still extant religions.

7 FemNaziBitch  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:54:56pm

re: #6 Randall Gross

I have, it’s westernized version doesn’t make it any less religion. Sorry, stone cold atheist here, and I don’t want things associated with religion in classes they don’t belong. Physical education does not need religious rituals still practiced regularly by still extant religions.

Well, since the origional reasoning behind teaching people to read was to enable them to read the Bible … . .

8 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:56:01pm

re: #7 FemNaziBitch

Well, since the origional reasoning behind teaching people to read was to enable them to read the Bible … . .

That’s bullshit and you know it. Greeks and others read before there was a bible.

9 EPR-radar  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:57:19pm

re: #8 Randall Gross

That’s bullshit and you know it. Greeks and others read before there was a bible.

It becomes a basically correct assertion if it is restricted to Protestant support of widespread literacy.

10 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:59:00pm

re: #6 Randall Gross

What? I don’t get this at all. I’m not at all religious and if I hadn’t known that yoga had any religious connotations I never would have associated it with any religion. If the school had called it a stretching and relaxation class I doubt anyone would have guessed it was yoga. All the religious context is absent in classes at the YMCA or the local fitness center. No one is using it for religious purposes, it’s used for fitness in those cases.

11 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:00:04pm

re: #9 EPR-radar

It’s still a straw man regardless. Yoga was, and still is in practice by four major religions, any atheist or person of another religion has reasonable objection to it being taught in public schools.

12 FemNaziBitch  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:03:36pm

re: #8 Randall Gross

That’s bullshit and you know it. Greeks and others read before there was a bible.

I didn’t realize the ancients had public school.

As I understand it, only certain men and aristocratic women were taught to read before, as EPR-radar stated, Luther.

13 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:04:08pm

re: #11 Randall Gross

The version of yoga taught in the vast majority of American classes is an adapted form of the physical movements used in the traditional yoga. It’s about moving in certain ways that are gentle on the body and there’s a focus on breathing. There’s no prayer, no religion, no real spiritual focus at all. The religion has been totally removed. The religious version(s) of yoga bear little resemblance to what we’re talking about here. Seriously, I wouldn’t have put my kid in yoga classes with a religious basis because I think that’s HIS choice, not mine.

14 FemNaziBitch  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:08:15pm

There are what are called the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Study of all are necessary if one wishes to reach enlightenment. One of those Limbs, called the Asanas or Postures, are used to prepare the body to sit in meditation.

A class that concentrates on a watered-down group-taught version of the Postures are not an introduction to religion.

If anything, it could be seen as an introduction to self-control.

15 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:08:33pm

I know that the majority of you don’t consider yoga to be religion, that’s not the point. Rights in the US protect minorities from majorities - so if some people think it’s religion and it’s demonstrable that it is, the majorities opinions will be over ruled in the courts. I predict a win in this case.

16 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:09:54pm

re: #14 FemNaziBitch

There are what are called the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Study of all are necessary if one wishes to reach enlightenment. One of those Limbs, called the Asanas or Postures, are used to prepare the body to sit in meditation.

A class that concentrates on a watered-down group-taught version of the Postures are not an introduction to religion.

If anything, it could be seen as an introduction to self-control.

Enlightenment. Religion, the supernatural. Religious philosophy, and you just lost this one.

17 EPR-radar  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:12:23pm

re: #11 Randall Gross

It’s still a straw man regardless. Yoga was, and still is in practice by four major religions, any atheist or person of another religion has reasonable objection to it being taught in public schools.

For something to be banned from public schools on separation of church and state grounds, I think the activity to be banned has to be some form of religious indoctrination or training.

It is difficult to see how a yoga class that is only focused on the physical movements would qualify.

What is next —- ban the idea of the golden rule from classroom discussion because it is embraced by several religious traditions?

IMO, a conservative legal foundation would file a lawsuit like this expecting to lose, as a useful way to discredit church/state separation in public opinion.

18 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:14:03pm

re: #17 EPR-radar

For something to be banned from public schools on separation of church and state grounds, I think the activity to be banned has to be some form of religious indoctrination or training.

It is difficult to see how a yoga class that is only focused on the physical movements would qualify.

What is next —- ban the idea of the golden rule from classroom discussion because it is embraced by several religious traditions?

IMO, a conservative legal foundation would file a lawsuit like this expecting to lose, as a useful way to discredit church/state separation in public opinion.

Bug zackly why they should & will likely win this case.

19 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:16:36pm

re: #18 Randall Gross

Bug zackly why they should & will likely win this case.

I’m completely failing to follow.

So because the physical movements they’re teaching are derived from a physical practice incorporated by multiple religions, even though not a word is said about anything religious or spiritual in the class, it should not be taught in school?

How do you feel about the yoga classes offered in the military then?

20 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:18:26pm

re: #14 FemNaziBitch

The classes I’ve taken have absolutely NOTHING in them about any of this. Nada. Zilch. Zip. You bring your mat in, have a seat and spend about 5 minutes just listening to nature sounds on a CD player while the teacher talks you through relaxing from your head and shoulders down to your toes.

Then the various stretching positions and techniques start and you do that for about 30-40 minutes. Then another 5-10 minutes of relaxation and class is over. Seriously, that’s it. Nothing spiritual is involved, period. All that’s been borrowed are the stretching techniques and various positions. The classes aren’t even in a religion affiliated context. This fight is ridiculous.

21 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:18:52pm

re: #19 klys

I don’t like it there either, along with TM and other things that also get taught in public venues and with public dollars.

22 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:25:42pm

re: #21 Randall Gross

Well, at least you’re consistent.

I believe that, to the vast majority of Americans, yoga is a physical practice. It is a physical practice with known physical benefits. That this practice is incorporated into some religions is true, but we have government acknowledgement of other things which although they started from a religious context are now at least partially secular. Like Christmas.

If the school had actually been putting yoga forward as a spiritual or religious practice, that would be something else. But it’s about stretching and relaxation. This seems a really nitpicky argument.

23 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:27:57pm

re: #22 klys

I think if these were Southern Baptist practices instead of Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, and Sikh, that many in this thread would be of a different mind about it.

24 EPR-radar  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:31:13pm

re: #23 Randall Gross

I think if these were Southern Baptist practices instead of Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, and Sikh, that many in this thread would be of a different mind about it.

Are there any Southern Baptist practices that aren’t extremely direct forms of indoctrination?

I’ll freely admit I have a Western POV on this subject, so I have a hard time of seeing the religious in anything that isn’t direct preaching.

25 Ghost of Tom Joad  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:32:11pm

re: #22 klys

Well, at least you’re consistent.

I believe that, to the vast majority of Americans, yoga is a physical practice. It is a physical practice with known physical benefits. That this practice is incorporated into some religions is true, but we have government acknowledgement of other things which although they started from a religious context are now at least partially secular. Like Christmas.

If the school had actually been putting yoga forward as a spiritual or religious practice, that would be something else. But it’s about stretching and relaxation. This seems a really nitpicky argument.

I understand his argument somewhat, but it really does seem picky. I mean, just because something has a historical tie with a religious practice doesn’t mean that’s what it is used for here. That’s one of the things that makes America so great is that it incorporates so many different cultures and ideas and adapts them to fit our lifestyles. Just because something is done here doesn’t mean we’re doing it for any religious purpose.

There are so many different things we say and do in our daily lives that can be tied to a religion at some point in history that you could spend years just figuring them all out. Just because our government is supposed to be secular in nature (separation of Church and State, which I fully agree with and am an agnostic/atheist just for the record) doesn’t mean we can’t adopt, adapt, and integrate a part or form of a religion for our own use.

I do understand, somewhat, the argument against it, but I think it’s a pointless hill to die on.

26 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:32:54pm

re: #21 Randall Gross

Yoga is easily taught without going beyond the secular. When I teach about the “chi” in martial arts class, it’s about the mind body connection, not “the force” Asian religions or anything Buddhist. Of course in other venues it can include religion. But that is a different place and curriculum.

I’d hate to think we have to sweep any exercise or stretching drill out of school that has some tie to ancient ways. By your measure Tai Chi would also be banned?

We do disagree widely on this one. This would call for some oversight, not a ban. Healthy exercise need not have this overbearing filter.

27 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:33:19pm

re: #23 Randall Gross

I think if these were Southern Baptist practices instead of Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, and Sikh, that many in this thread would be of a different mind about it.

If it were a direct analogue to this, where its primary presentation in our culture is as a physical practice and its specific implementation in this case was as a physical practice with absolutely no mention of spiritual or religious aspects, I suspect most people in the thread would hold the exact same opinion.

28 aagcobb  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:34:57pm

re: #23 Randall Gross

I think if these were Southern Baptist practices instead of Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, and Sikh, that many in this thread would be of a different mind about it.

I took an aerobics class at a Southern Baptist Church. Does that mean aerobics now has to be banned in public schools? I think yoga classes with the spirituality stripped out don’t have any problem passing the Lemon test. Like Christmas, its been secularized.

29 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:43:44pm

If the Southern Baptists had a form of exercise and relaxation that could be adapted to remove all religious context I wouldn’t give a rat’s furry behind where it came from. What matters is the results of the practice, I could give two shits about the origins. I’m not a freaking hypocrite.

30 FemNaziBitch  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:49:25pm

Wait, FULL STOP.

Yoga is being used in the courts by the Creationists as another way to get religion into the schools?

I hate people.

31 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:54:04pm

re: #30 FemNaziBitch

These people are spoiled children. They see anything they don’t like as something someone else is getting that they don’t/can’t have. Instead of perhaps cheering on the inclusion of some sort of physical activity as part of the school day or coming up with their own ideas, they use it to further some dumbass agenda that they are perfectly free to teach in their own churches and religious schools. You can’t really teach creationism without God so there’s no secular version of it. It pisses them off so they’re whining about the evils of yoga. Morons.

32 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:58:53pm

Chi and Enlightenment are both mystic, supernatural, and not based on empirical, natural world phenomena - as such they are supernatural. Just because it’s a form of religion we like doesn’t make it any better for public schools.

33 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 1:59:42pm

re: #1 Randall Gross

Ugh. This is a case where I have to agree with the conservative suit to protect secularism in schools - Yoga has deep and irretrievable philosophical and ritual ties to four or more religions. Other exercises will serve the same purpose without being identifiable as religious practice.

Why did you get a minus for this? It is true.

Yoga is religion. Keep it the fuck away from public schools.

34 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:01:03pm

re: #29 A Mom Anon

If the Southern Baptists had a form of exercise and relaxation that could be adapted to remove all religious context I wouldn’t give a rat’s furry behind where it came from. What matters is the results of the practice, I could give two shits about the origins. I’m not a freaking hypocrite.

They came up with Christian Yoga. I am still trying to wrap my head around that one.

[Link: www.christianyoga.us…]

35 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:06:19pm

re: #32 Randall Gross

Just going to have to agree to disagree with you on this one here. I’m a fan of looking at the actual implementation of what is done, which in this case was a non-religious, non-spiritual stretching and relaxation class.

It’s very hard for me to understand the argument that yoga is a religion when you then point to four different religions that involve it. I would interpret that as yoga is a practice separate from religion but that can be used in a religious context.

36 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:07:35pm

re: #33 Destro

I’ve struck a nerve because yoga appears to be a form of mysticism that’s popular with a lot of people here.

37 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:08:31pm

re: #35 klys

Just going to have to agree to disagree with you on this one here. I’m a fan of looking at the actual implementation of what is done, which in this case was a non-religious, non-spiritual stretching and relaxation class.

It’s very hard for me to understand the argument that yoga is a religion when you then point to four different religions that involve it. I would interpret that as yoga is a practice separate from religion but that can be used in a religious context.

More than four religions use some form of the old testament, that doesn’t make it less religious.

38 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:13:17pm

re: #33 Destro

Why did you get a minus for this? It is true.

Yoga is religion. Keep it the fuck away from public schools.

You seem so afraid of or angry about such a little simple thing. As if young minds would be brainwashed into some Asian religion. Have you ever been to a secular exercise class that includes yoga or tai chi? They abound out there in gyms that must accomodate people of all kinds ofreligions or that have none at all.

This is fundamentalist/puritan extremism. Ban this and censor that. Fear the things that have even the most distant ties to ancient ways. Yoga is about as religious as Valentines day.

39 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:13:38pm

re: #37 Randall Gross

More than four religions use some form of the old testament, that doesn’t make it less religion.

It’s true, I wouldn’t call the text of the Old Testament a religion, nor would I claim that a class studying the text itself is necessarily a “religious” one, same as I wouldn’t claim a class studying the works of Karl Marx a “Marxist” one.

For the record, I don’t do yoga. Never have.

40 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:15:07pm

re: #36 Randall Gross

I’ve struck a nerve because yoga appears to be a form of mysticism that’s popular with a lot of people here.

it’s popular with me as exercise. It’s not a religious experience. I have to go elsewhere to find that. Which I do. I go to another class that embraces certain Buddhist beliefs about the body.

41 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:17:11pm

re: #39 klys

I allow for religion in school - if you are teaching a comparative world religion elective class, or if you are sharing bible passages or veddic verses in lit class so people can understand allegories. Teaching religious practices, meditations etc. in PE doesn’t make sense however. There are enough pathways to magical thinking that we don’t need to offer kids more.

42 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:17:26pm

re: #32 Randall Gross

Chi and Enlightenment are both mystic, supernatural, and not based on empirical, natural world phenomena - as such they are supernatural. Just because it’s a form of religion we like doesn’t make it any better for public schools.

You are only presenting one way chi is used or taught. I use it in classes with private students that want nothing to do with the Asian religions. It still helps them perform the moves better. We call it “muscle memory”, a rough term that points at exactly the same thing.

43 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:20:50pm

re: #40 Political Atheist

I do yoga, as I pointed out above. I’m an atheist, but I still don’t expect that people should have their PE time taken up with sessions that someone might find offensive. I’m here to protect people from having religion forced upon them as well as freedom from religion. It’s not a big deal but if you allow this avenue, you allow others. Individual rights must be protected, even when we don’t agree.

44 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:22:02pm

re: #41 Randall Gross

I allow for religion in school - if you are teaching a comparative world religion elective class, or if you are sharing bible passages or veddic verses in lit class so people can understand allegories. Teaching religious practices, meditations etc. in PE doesn’t make sense however. There are enough pathways to magical thinking that we don’t need to offer kids more.

So my confusion here is: all they were teaching in PE was stretching and breathing techniques. As the district’s website says:

“There is no discussion of spiritualism, mysticism, religion in any context. The students simply perform the physical components of movement and breathing related to mainstream yoga.”

I find it a bit of a stretch to claim that leads to magical thinking.

I thought back to recall, I have done yoga once. On September 11, 2001, in school, because my Spanish instructor (who also taught yoga on the side) was too shaken to have an actual class that day. So we did yoga.

I seem to have avoided converting to Hinduism/Buddhism/Sikhism/Sufism.

45 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:22:02pm

re: #42 Political Atheist

Then I challenge you to say “muscle memory” and loose the magical thinking mystical term “chi” then.

46 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:48:42pm

re: #45 Randall Gross

Then I challenge you to say “muscle memory” and loose the magical thinking mystical term “chi” then.

There is no challenge to be had. I’m not using magical thinking. I reject it. I’m using the term(s) to describe certain human physical phenomena. In fact I flatly declare there are no supernatural physical skills. I also point out that anyone that seemingly displays such a skill has either used trickery (magicians) or some extraordinary talent to show that skill is in fact perfectly natural if very rare. A guy like Bruce Lee who was so far above ordinary performance it seemed mystical to the gullible. There is an interface in our bodies between our mind and our actions. It’s not well described simply in anatomy or chemistry. So we grab a term or two that allows a person to improve that interface by simplifying the language. Whatever brain/bodily process that may be in fine detail.

47 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 2:51:59pm

re: #45 Randall Gross

I offer a humble challenge of my own to you and Destro-Show me the religion in this video. Where is the religion?

48 Bob Dillon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:00:31pm

re: #32 Randall Gross

Chi and Enlightenment are both mystic, supernatural, and not based on empirical, natural world phenomena - as such they are supernatural. Just because it’s a form of religion we like doesn’t make it any better for public schools.

That is a false statement.

[Link: www.sciencedirect.com…]

Abstract

This paper proposes a third meditation-category—automatic self-transcending— to extend the dichotomy of focused attention and open monitoring proposed by Lutz. Automatic self-transcending includes techniques designed to transcend their own activity. This contrasts with focused attention, which keeps attention focused on an object; and open monitoring, which keeps attention involved in the monitoring process. Each category was assigned EEG bands, based on reported brain patterns during mental tasks, and meditations were categorized based on their reported EEG. Focused attention, characterized by beta/gamma activity, included meditations from Tibetan Buddhist, Buddhist, and Chinese traditions. Open monitoring, characterized by theta activity, included meditations from Buddhist, Chinese, and Vedic traditions. Automatic self-transcending, characterized by alpha1 activity, included meditations from Vedic and Chinese traditions. Between categories, the included meditations differed in focus, subject/object relation, and procedures. These findings shed light on the common mistake of averaging meditations together to determine mechanisms or clinical effects.
Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Cognitive processing and EEG frequency bands
2.1. Gamma bands (30–50Hz) and Beta 2 (20–30Hz)
2.2. Beta1 band (13–20Hz)
2.3. Alpha band (8–12Hz)
2.4. Theta band (4–8Hz)
2.5. Delta band (1–4Hz)
3. EEG patterns during different meditation practices
3.1. Category: focused attention
3.2. Category: open monitoring
3.3. Category: automatic self-transcending
4. Discussion
4.1. What is the relation of Transcendental Meditation to focused attention?
4.2. Investigation of automatic transcending
5. Conclusion
Acknowledgment
References

49 Aligarr  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:25:32pm

It’s people like you Randall Gross that give atheists a bad name .Muslims forbid Yoga on the same narrow principle that you yourself embrace . Your argument is anal retentive . Yoga can and IS practiced by millions without any religious connotation . No repeated mantras or goals for different levels of spiritual planes . Meditation in and of itself is not religious at all .
You have an overactive ,overworked ,overzealous imagination . Sorry but someone’s got to say it ….you’re being ridiculous .

50 EPR-radar  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:31:45pm

re: #49 Aligarr

It’s people like you Randall Gross that give atheists a bad name .Muslims forbid Yoga on the same narrow principle that you yourself embrace . Your argument is anal retentive . Yoga can and IS practiced by millions without any religious connotation . No repeated mantras or goals for different levels of spiritual planes . Meditation in and of itself is not religious at all .
You have an overactive ,overworked ,overzealous imagination . Sorry but someone’s got to say it ….you’re being ridiculous .

I remain convinced that this lawsuit is being deliberately brought as a frivolous action. The prime mover here is a conservative legal outfit, so it is safe to say they have no use for separation of church and state, and seek to discredit the idea with this law suit.

I’d like to see the courts impose sanctions for stunts like this.

51 Bob Dillon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:32:35pm

re: #49 Aligarr

If yoga and meditation are religious then atomic energy is Jewish.

52 FemNaziBitch  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:35:18pm

Having practiced Yoga since 1993, I find the idea that group yoga classes are in anyway considered Yoga is really hilarious.

The purpose of the postures is to prepare the body for meditation. They are one of the 8 Limbs necessary for enlightenment.

The postures alone are nothing more than acrobatics.

How this in anyway is considered religion or even that Yoga is considered religion is insane to me. If the purpose of religion is to put each person on an individual path to self-realization, then Abraham got it all wrong.

53 A Mom Anon  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:46:49pm

re: #36 Randall Gross

It’s NOT mysticism to me, get a grip. I am not religious and the yoga classes I take at the community center are not either. There’s no meditation, no “enlightenment” as a goal, none of that. It’s freaking exercise, it’s a very gentle way of stretching and relaxing for people like me who have had knee and leg injuries in the past. It helped my son to learn to relax and helped him focus IN SCHOOL, where a person might need that kind of help. Especially someone with sensory integration issues. What part of there is no religion involved in the classes we’re talking about do you not get. It works because it’s a system that has some flow to it, it’s a gradual and gentle thing. It’s also easy for beginners, which is what the appeal has been in our family.

Hell, Carrying Water and Chopping Wood can be a religious exercise IF you add religion. If not, then it’s just doing chores.

54 JeffFX  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:53:42pm

re: #36 Randall Gross

I’ve struck a nerve because yoga appears to be a form of mysticism that’s popular with a lot of people here.

No, you’re just being a jackass. You’re the kind of atheist that makes us all look terrible due to your extremism. Yoga has nothing to do with mysticism for the people here.

55 Decatur Deb  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:54:19pm

FWIW. Our Deep Baja Alabama city-owned rec center offers yoga, taught by a nice Methodist lady. We have had a hard time just keeping Halloween safe from the god-botherers.

56 EPR-radar  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 3:57:02pm

re: #54 JeffFX

No, you’re just being a jackass. You’re the kind of atheist that makes us all look terrible due to your extremism. Yoga has nothing to do with mysticism for the people here.

Not so incidentally, nonsense of this sort helps the agenda of the jokers who filed suit in this case. Conservative legal groups want to end separation of church and state, and one way to advance that goal is to make separation of church and state look like a stupid issue raised mainly by cranks.

57 b_sharp  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 4:01:28pm

Randall, I’ve been an atheist for 43 years. I’ve taken martial arts, I’ve done yoga, and I’ve drunk wine.

At no time was there any mysticism, metaphysics or magical thinking involved.

Meditation is used by several different religions. Should I avoid meditating, even though that meditation is just an exercise for my brain?

I partake in Christmas, which is considered by many Christians as a holy day. I consider it a family day.

Should we dump the celebration of Xmas?

58 Decatur Deb  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 4:20:55pm

re: #57 b_sharp

Randall, I’ve been an atheist for 43 years. I’ve taken martial arts, I’ve done yoga, and I’ve drunk wine.

At no time was there any mysticism, metaphysics or magical thinking involved.

Meditation is used by several different religions. Should I avoid meditating, even though that meditation is just an exercise for my brain?

I partake in Christmas, which is considered by many Christians as a holy day. I consider it a family day.

Should we dump the celebration of Xmas?

Mardi Gras is clearly a preparation for Catholic Lent.

59 CarleeCork  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 4:51:13pm

re: #23 Randall Gross

I think if these were Southern Baptist practices instead of Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, and Sikh, that many in this thread would be of a different mind about it.

How about The Pledge of Allegiance?

60 JeffFX  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:17:20pm

re: #59 CarleeCork

How about The Pledge of Allegiance?

Extremely creepy, not because religious people tampered with it so it doesn’t flow properly anymore, but because having children recite a loyalty oath every day is obscene.

61 Aligarr  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:22:30pm

re: #23 Randall Gross

So you are casting the aspersion that criticism of such a lawsuit is based in bigotry ?

62 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:39:00pm

Directly from the foundation page that is funding the program:

At its simplest, Jois Yoga is an extension of the Ashtanga philosophy and practice developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India in the early 20th century. At Jois Yoga shalas in Encinitas, CA, (where Ashtanga was first introduced in the US in 1975), Greenwich, CT, Islamorada, FL, and Sydney, Australia, hundreds of students receive instruction in Ashtanga yoga though the vehicle of parampara–uninterrupted succession–in a lineage that traces directly back to the Mysore teachings of Pattabhi Jois, R, Sharath Jois, and R, Saraswathi.

But Jois Yoga is more than just a collection of shalas. It is also an instrument of outreach, through the newly formed Jois Yoga Foundation, which was created to bring the Pattabhi Jois philosophy to youths in underserved communities. The Jois Yoga Foundation is currently partnered with two schools, one in Virginia and one and Kenya, and intends to bring Ashtanga instruction to upwards of 7,000 youths by midsummer 2012, with much more ambitious outreach goals on the horizon.

Additionally, Jois Yoga is a spiritually conscious line of clothing, created in keeping with the Jois philosophy of non-violence and sustainability. Jois Yoga apparel is designed to allow physical flexibility, with the intention of inspiring spiritual flexibility as well.

It’s about religion. Sorry to give atheists a “bad name” because I oppose the second coming of TM to schools, but I see no difference between this foundation funding the teaching of their very religious founder in schools and Discovery Institute funding their bullshit.

63 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:40:47pm

re: #61 Aligarr

So you are casting the aspersion that criticism of such a lawsuit is based in bigotry ?

No I am not.

64 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:41:31pm

[Link: joisyoga.com…]

65 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:42:55pm
66 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:44:38pm

re: #62 Randall Gross

I see no religion. I see outreach about Yoga and a lineage of teachers. Where are the exhortations for their version of god or gods? Not there. Where is the evangelism to join a religion? Utterly absent.

I put up a video of yoga exercises in a class above. Can you show me the religion in that video? You can not because there is none.

Checkmate.

67 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:44:58pm
In today’s conference Sharath began by telling us that this system is less about talk and more about practical experience in the form of āsana, the third limb of yoga. Āsana, through its stabilizing effects, Sharath explained, is our greatest tool in progressing in our spiritual practice and growth, eventually leading us to mokṣa (liberation). Posture, accompanied by proper breathing and vinyāsa krama, is not just exercise, but changes the focus of body and mind. It promotes both physical and mental health, creating a body that is free of disease, a clean and pure nervous system, and a more calm, quiet mind. Through direct physical experience we begin to cultivate these qualities and, in turn, become aware of the spiritual and moral changes taking place inside.

Magical Thinking.

68 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:46:25pm

re: #66 Political Atheist

I see no religion. I see outreach about Yoga and a lineage of teachers. Where are the exhortations for their version of god or gods? Not there. Where is the evangelism to join a religion? Utterly absent.

I put up a video of yoga exercises in a class above. Can you show me the religion in that video? You can not because there is none.

Checkmate.

Sure and the TM movement and scam wasn’t about religion either I suppose, or those scientologists who are also running programs with public tax dollars.

69 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:52:11pm

re: #68 Randall Gross

Sure and the TM movement and scam wasn’t about religion either I suppose, or those scientologists who are also running programs with public tax dollars.

Randall your frustration is showing. You just tried to change the subject. Moved the goalposts by bringing up TM and Scientology, neither of which have anything to do with this Page. I’m not following you down that red herring path.

70 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:52:50pm

re: #67 Randall Gross

Magical Thinking.

Does not equate to a violation of church and state.

71 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:56:13pm

re: #54 JeffFX

“for the people here” Again I will point out that our constitutional rights protect all individuals, not just “the people here”. I’m not criticizing the people here, I’m saying that religious institutions shouldn’t fund classes teaching their practices to public school children, and that this case will be won, and as odious the group and purpose of the case is, I’ve got to support it as a rational, critical thinker.

72 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:57:56pm

re: #69 Political Atheist

Randall your frustration is showing. You just tried to change the subject. Moved the goalposts by bringing up TM and Scientology, neither of which have anything to do with this Page. I’m not following you down that red herring path.

They are all just flavors of the same thing, magical thinking. I’m not moving the goal posts, I”m making comparisons. I’ve shown you the spirtual connection direct to the foundation funding the classes, yet you refuse to recognize that the foundation is religious.

73 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 6:05:27pm

It’s with no surprise that I find self help scam master Tony Robbins involved in the background

[Link: www.vanityfair.com…]

74 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 6:07:44pm

re: #72 Randall Gross

They are all just flavors of the same thing, magical thinking. I’m not moving the goal posts, I”m making comparisons. I’ve shown you the spirtual connection direct to the foundation funding the classes, yet you refuse to recognize that the foundation is religious.

No, I get that the historical foundation of Yoga is religious. It’s so old it predates Hinduism. It’s a philosophy of physical actions to promote mental and physical health. Stripped down to the exercises and leaving religious references out of the class is good enough for me and not for you. That is where we are.

I think we have each made our best case. Moving on, and I enjoyed the discussion. We gave some readers food for thought. Not a bad day at LGF.


Be well Randall chat with ya next time.

75 Randall Gross  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 6:14:08pm

re: #59 CarleeCork

I certainly find the “one nation under god” part to gratuitously favor religion, and consider that wrong.

76 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 9:08:47pm

re: #36 Randall Gross

I’ve struck a nerve because yoga appears to be a form of mysticism that’s popular with a lot of people here.

But it is. Yes, there are benefits to moving your body around but jumping jacks can do the trick just as well as a yoga pose for a kid.

Your statement was right on.

77 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 9:13:07pm

re: #38 Political Atheist

Have you ever been to a secular exercise class that includes yoga or tai chi?

I do yoga - I ignore the religion. I am also an adult and pay for the class. I also do several forms of martial arts which also have a mystical component - classes I do as an adult on my dime where I ignore the mystical stuff.

Why would you introduce it to kids…in a public school?

By removing religion from the public sphere I am making it safe for people to practice whatever supernatural mysticism they want in private and doing so I feel prevents religious hatreds and divisions in America and avoiding what Europe went through before they became a-religious.

78 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 9:14:38pm

re: #39 klys

It’s true, I wouldn’t call the text of the Old Testament a religion,

I call it horror porn myself. Rapes, murders, god pulling a human sacrifice prank…. that part is comedy.

79 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 9:15:19pm

re: #32 Randall Gross

Chi and Enlightenment are both mystic, supernatural, and not based on empirical, natural world phenomena - as such they are supernatural. Just because it’s a form of religion we like doesn’t make it any better for public schools.

Again, spot on.

80 klys  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 9:50:03pm

re: #78 Destro

I call it horror porn myself. Rapes, murders, god pulling a human sacrifice prank…. that part is comedy.

I may not agree with everything or even most of what it says, but I still try to offer some level of courtesy to continuing the discussion with folks who do believe such.

I realize you probably don’t care and think less of me for that, but that’s ok.

81 Destro  Thu, Feb 21, 2013 11:45:04pm

re: #80 klys

Why would I think bad of you for your opinion when what you think has no impact on me? With me the only consideration I want to give religion is to allow it to be practice without limits as long as it does not in any way come in contact with me by govt mandate or law or on public grounds.

In their homes or places of worship people can do whatever mumbo jumbo rituals they want just leave me out of it.

With that said, that Abraham punking that god did is really funny! Psyche! I was kidding Abe! LOL! You thought I wanted to test your faith? LOL! I’m “Omniscient” I would know already! Helloooooooo what part of all knowing God did you not understand? You should have seen Isaac’s face!!

See, how can I respect a god that does that?


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 Frank says:

My music makes the mind think -- Time magazine Dec.20/93, page 73