Christian fundamentalists freak out over yoga in the military

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With a temporary ceasefire declared in the war over Christmas, fundamentalist Christian conservatives are looking for other places that religion may be under attack -€” and one radical thinks that that place may be the military.


Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, a right-wing Christian think tank that has been classified as a hate group, has flipped out over a “wacky” new initiative being tested in U.S. military training programs. No, it’s not the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” — it’s yoga and meditation classes.

A new Mind Fitness Training program being tested in the U.S. military has integrated yoga, breathing classes and meditation alongside other more traditional training regimes to keep soldiers calm and mentally fit and to reduce depression and use of alcohol and drugs. To Perkins, however, this new initiative is a stand-in for one’s personal relationship with God.

When he heard about the goals of the program — that yoga promotes relaxation, mental calm, productivity and restraint from substances— he exploded:

“What a coincidence–so does faith! Unfortunately, the military seems intent on driving religion out and replacing it with wacky substitutes,” he said on his morning radio program. “They’ve added atheist chaplains, Wiccan worship centers, and now, meditation classes. But none of them are as effective or as constructive as a personal relationship with God. Unfortunately, though, it’s mind over what matters–and that’s faith.”

Perhaps one shouldn’t tell Perkins this, but faith hasn’t really been keeping up its end of the bargain lately — at least as far as the mental health of service members goes. The suicide rate of active service members has skyrocketed in the last few years. In 2012, the U.S. military averaged one suicide every single day, with service members were — shockingly — more likely to commit suicide than be killed on the battlefield.

Written By: Laura Gottesdiener
continue to source article at salon.com

33 COMMENTS

  1. In reply to #1 by Neodarwinian:

    Is this a spoof?

    Could someone be any wackier!

    Sorry, Neodarwinian, it’s not a sppof. if you follow the link “he exploded” you can hear the audio on the MediaITE.com page this story is sourced from.
    As to your second question, It is possible that Alex Jones has humped the shark with his performance onn CNN with Piers Morgan. http://theocracidal.blogspot.com/2013/01/alex-jones-is-off-his-rocker.html

  2. When I lived in Xian areas I would encounter apprehension to meditation practice. They believe that when one stops their mind demons cam get in…. They think it is dangerous to just stop and reflect. They encourage a constant froth of mania, and I do think that is necessary to maintain certain beliefs and zealotry.

    That being said, I hope it works and they all quit.

  3. “To Perkins, however, this new initiative is a stand-in for one’s personal relationship with God”

    I’ve always thought that a “personal relationship with god” is a very curious phrase, and the very last thing clergy would be trying to encourage.

    People with “personal relationship with god” aren’t Christians, they aren’t Jews, and they aren’t Muslims, they have their own religion which has exactly one member. They don’t need a bible or other holy book because they already have a “personal relationship with god”. They don’t need a church, and they don’t need priests to tell them what god wants because (you’ve guessed it) they have a “personal relationship with god”.

    Being a Christian (like Mr Perkins) or any other “established religion” is all about NOT having a “personal relationship with god”, its about being addicted to having a psychological support structure with a large and expensive staff to rationalise the irrational and implausible actions of a malignant, vengeful, and petty minded “god” whose total inactivity against evil would render him unworthy of veneration if he wasn’t already wholly imaginary

  4. “What a coincidence–so does faith! Unfortunately, the military seems intent on driving religion out and replacing it with wacky substitutes,” he said on his morning radio program. “They’ve added atheist chaplains, Wiccan worship centers, and now, meditation classes. But none of them are as effective or as constructive as a personal relationship with God….”

    He’s probably right. It’s hard to see how effective yoga could be at persuading someong to fly a plane into a skyscraper. A personal relationship with God would appear to be just the ticket.

  5. Actually yoga is a branch of Hinduism. Serious yoga practisioners encourage spiritual study along with physical exercise. Some Hindu are not happy that yoga has been hijacked and taken out of the spiritual context. The thing isbecause yoga has been westernized, many overlook opening and closing the the session with chanting ohm three times. They overlook the talk of Oneness and other clearly Hindu beliefs expressed during the session. I find it interesting that people are bashing this man when he is correct that the views are not Christian. Would we expect otherwise? This kind of talk has been going on for years. What I think is interesting is that this is being done in the military. Yoga classes are dominantly female with a few men tossed in. It is excellent exercise and can be strenuous.

    Oh well, cha—–tur—a—n–g—a

    Namaste
    The light within me recognizes the light within you.

  6. You could not make this shit up. Reality is truly more insane than fiction.

    “But none of them are as effective or as constructive as a personal relationship with God,” says Perkins. That’s kind of the problem with religion; it’s disconnected from reality. It promises so much, but delivers so little. Perkins is talking about how beneficial religion is, but the evidence speak against it. Does Perkins care? Of course not.

  7. Wait wait wait….. How could a person of faith possibly be in or support war??? I thought the “good book” tells them that “Thou shalt not kill”???? Isn’t it one of their “top ten” (like on Letterman)?

    i am very confused. Shouldn’t the military be full of atheists and completely opposed by the religious? After all we are the ones with no morals.

    Oh, oh, oh….. after looking it up on Google I see that religious people kill one another (and everyone else) indiscriminately and many times without provocation or cause. And, there is a long and rich tradition of hate and murder in their annals.

    So, now I feel better.

    “Tony Perkins” HMMMMMMM….. Didn’t he star in “PSYCHO”? What an apt name for this guy.

  8. In reply to #16 by crookedshoes:

    Wait wait wait….. How could a person of faith possibly be in or support war??? I thought the “good book” tells them that “Thou shalt not kill”???? Isn’t it one of their “top ten” (like on Letterman)?

    The relidiots love to cherry-pick of course! Ask them and they’ll tell you that killing people for legitimate reasons is fine; war, executions, etc. The “good” book really means “Thou shalt not murder”. Perhaps another mis-translation to go with all the others.

  9. In reply to #17 by ArloNo:

    The “good” book really means “Thou shalt not murder”. Perhaps another mis-translation to go with all the others.

    That is just another reason why the ten commandments is a useless document.
    The statement is meaningless without a definition of murder.
    Commonly: The unlawful killing of another person.

    So, what is lawful?

  10. Faith is a restraint against violence?

    What about 9/11?

    What about the London bombings?

    What about suicide bombers?

    What about the rape of children by RC priests?

    What about the throwing of acid into schoolgirls faces?

    What about the attempted murder of Malala?

    What about the Inquisition?

    What about getting your head read buddy?

  11. In reply to #14 by QuestioningKat:

    Actually yoga is a branch of Hinduism.

    Well, yes. The difference between prayer, meditation, and meditation is just a matter of what supernatural beliefs a person has about the experience, if any. The physiological effects may be almost identical.

    Hinduism doesn’t own meditation, stretching or physical exercise any more than Christianity does.

    I experienced a very memorable and relaxing state of mind while qualifying for my expert marksman badge in the Marine Corps.
    It is not easy to hit a target a 500 meters with iron sights. It takes concentration, relaxation, muscle control, and I found the best results when timing my shots between heartbeats. I am told that one can actually skip a beat. It certainly seemed like it.

  12. In reply to #17 by ArloNo:

    In reply to #16 by crookedshoes:

    Wait wait wait….. How could a person of faith possibly be in or support war??? I thought the “good book” tells them that “Thou shalt not kill”???? Isn’t it one of their “top ten” (like on Letterman)?

    The relidiots love to cherry-pick of course! Ask them and they’ll tell you that killing people for legitimate reasons is fine; war, executions, etc. The “good” book really means “Thou shalt not murder”. Perhaps another mis-translation to go with all the others.

    To be honest, it’s more a case of ‘Thou shalt not murder someone of your own faith’, as is the case with all the monstrous religions of the desert.

    And you can murder someone who claims to be the same faith as you, but believes different things – so it’s okay for Catholics and Protestants to kill each other and Sunni and Shia Muslims too…

    Sorry, I can’t say or write ‘Sunni and Shia’ without hearing ‘I Got You Babe’ in my head…

    It’ll be rattling around in there all night now…

  13. In reply to #22 by Dr Bob:

    Sorry, I can’t say or write ‘Sunni and Shia’ without hearing ‘I Got You Babe’ in my head…

    It’ll be rattling around in there all night now…

    That’s funny, because since reading Stafford’s comment at no.20, I’ve been humming Michael Jackson’s Earth Song.

  14. In reply to #23 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #22 by Dr Bob:

    Sorry, I can’t say or write ‘Sunni and Shia’ without hearing ‘I Got You Babe’ in my head…

    It’ll be rattling around in there all night now…

    That’s funny, because since reading Stafford’s comment at no.20, I’ve been humming Michael Jackson’s Earth Song.

    Blimey – at this rate, we’ll soon be able to release a Now That’s What I Call RDFRS Music! album!

    Merely the first in a long-running series, no doubt…

    :-)

  15. Perkins has strayed far off track with his rant about Christianity’s benefits over yoga. But, speaking religiously, he’s a little “Moron” than most. Unfortunately, his non-existent god can’t cure his metal infirmity.

  16. In reply to #6 by This Is Not A Meme:

    When I lived in Xian areas I would encounter apprehension to meditation practice. They believe that when one stops their mind demons cam get in…. They think it is dangerous to just stop and reflect. They encourage a constant froth of mania, and I do think that is necessary to maintain certain beliefs and zealotry.

    That being said, I hope it works and they all quit.

    When I started meditating I was told the same thing. It’s all a bunch of lies!!! Meditation and stopping my mind has had huge, huge benefits in my life. I’m so thankful I don’t live in fear of all this supernatural junk anymore!!!

  17. In reply to #26 by AlGarnier:

    Perkins has strayed far off track with his rant about Christianity’s benefits over yoga. But, speaking religiously, he’s a little “Moron” than most. Unfortunately, his non-existent god can’t cure his metal infirmity.

    Sorry for the spell mishap between metal and “mental” but, it could be inferred in relation to Perkins infirmity.

  18. A few years ago a school in Quesnel, BC (Canada) had to stop using yoga postures and stretches in physical education classes because of the protests from local Christians. They said that relaxation like that just lets the devil in, and we have to teach our children to be vigilant.

    I kid you not.

  19. In reply to #32 by prettygoodformonkeys:

    A few years ago a school in Quesnel, BC (Canada) had to stop using yoga postures and stretches in physical education classes because of the protests from local Christians. They said that relaxation like that just lets the devil in, and we have to teach our children to be vigilant.

    Canada is a fairly liberal country despite a conservative majority leadership but, they have their share of intolerant Christian whack-jobs. School Boards are easily influenced and cave quickly under any public pressure. Must have been a private catholic school?!!

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