Saturday, October 4, 2008

Damn Dem Dere Hindooz

© 2008 Stan Spire

According to an Associated Press article, some provincials in Massena, NY – one of the remote outposts of NENYland – don’t want their children exposed to yoga in high school because it indoctrinates students into Hindu rites.

A couple of teachers were using yoga exercises to relieve stress in their classrooms. The American Yoga Association says yoga predates Hinduism by many centuries. Hinduism and other world religions just adopted it.

But don’t tell that to Rev. Colin Lucid of Massena’s Calvary Baptist Church. He claims yoga, even in its basic form of relaxation techniques, is tied into Hinduism.

Sure. This reverend is “lucid,” all right.

What’s ironical is that parents against yoga in the classroom are bitching about the separation of church and state – that it should be enforced in this case. Apparently they think yoga is Hinduism in disguise, sneaking in, trying to brainwash their kids. But would they object if Baptist breathing exercises were being offered?

Another religious group, creationists, rants against the church-state boundary line, especially when they try to sneak their beliefs into the classroom under the guise of “Intelligent Design.” Religionists want it their way, no one else’s. So if they can’t have their God in the classroom, they use the church-state argument to keep out other beliefs they dislike by saying those beliefs are “religious.”

For Reverend Lucid and his followers, only their “truth” matters. In the marketplace of ideas, they don’t want a free market. Strange, alien ideas have to be kept away at all costs like deadly viruses. What is going on in Massena is a mindturf war. Essentially xenophobes are saying: “We like the way we think and our kids will think the same way, so don’t confuse us with other non-Christian concepts or anything we consider to be non-Christian.”

A harsh view? Consider this statement by Rev. Lucid in the AP article, explaining that the controversy has been blown out of proportion:

“People have made it a religious war, and it’s not a religious war. We are basically concerned parents, saying we don’t want our children participating in something that could cause them more stress and confusion.”

So what’s causing the stress and confusion – the yoga or the controversy? So far the yoga has been successful in relieving stress before exams. Also, participation is voluntary.

NENYland – the northeastern corner of New York State – has seen great changes over the centuries. Newspapers, radio and TV have made it less isolated. Free education has also exposed its rural citizens to the outside world.

So the backward dirt-poor hick with the outhouse in back has vanished, the kind of person who thought the earth is flat and God was in heaven, favoring the USA over all other countries.

Ask such a person about Hinduism and he would’ve replied:

“What’s dat, Hindooz? Sounds like one of dem dere commies.”

And while that stereotype has disappeared from view, his mindset still lives on.

Source: Yoga at NY high school causes stress among critics Associated Press