Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Do "MegaChurch" Pastors and Muslim Clerics Have in Common?



Answer: They fear Yoga.

Yes, the American version of the Taliban attempts to tighten it's grip on modern society. From The Huffington Post:

"Other Christian leaders have said practicing yoga is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus. Pat Robertson has called the chanting and other spiritual components that go along with yoga "really spooky." California megachurch pastor John MacArthur called yoga a "false religion." Muslim clerics have banned Muslims from practicing yoga in Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia, citing similar concerns."

Interfaith Minister Philip Goldberg offers this well-balanced historical rebuttal:

Conservative Christians have been issuing lurid warnings about contamination from the East for more than a century. Back in the 1890s, Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu leader to make a splash in the U.S., was mercilessly assailed on his Midwestern speaking tour. In newspaper exchanges that would have made for great TV had the technology existed, the erudite Vivekananda gave as good as he got, blasting Christian arrogance and winning the hearts and minds of open-minded Americans in the process. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the gurus and yoga masters who trickled into the West were greeted with alarm by xenophobes and self-appointed defenders of womanhood. Articles like "American Women Going after Heathen Gods" stoked fears of innocent maidens being seduced by dark-skinned pagans. In 1911 a broadside titled "The Heathen Invasion" claimed that yoga "leads to domestic infelicity, and insanity and death." Come the late 1960s and early 1970s, a tidal wave of popular gurus attracted followers and were accused of doing the Devil's work. In 1975, for instance, when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi appeared on Merv Griffin's talk show (the Oprah of its day), protesters outside the studio carried signs like, "Jesus Is the Lord, Not Maharishi."
(snip)
"Old-fashioned religious supremacists are under threat not from yoga but from the currents of history itself."

Amen, brother.

6 comments:

Mendur said...

I would love to believe that every one of those religious leaders who calls the OTHER religious leaders' beliefs "false religions" is well and truly concerned for my eternal soul (assuming I have one). I would love to believe it has nothing to do with those leaders' income or desire for control over people or other less benign reasons.
.
I'd love to believe that ... but I don't. For too many of them, they're playing a zero sum game in which whichever religious leader has the most followers gets to conquer the others and wins. I didn't say religion, I said religious leader. Too many of them can't be bothered to follow the rules they set for others.
.
I've heard messianic Jews call Islam a religion of Satan. I've heard muslims say that of Christians. And I've heard Christians say that of Jews. And I want no part of any of them. Which probably makes me the devil in the eyes of *someone* out there. And if anyone becomes too aggressive about it, I'll be with Blue Oyster Cult on this one: "If he really thinks we're the devil, then let's send him to hell."
.
Oh, and to dig up an old chestnut which might be relelvant to the situation, the definition of "cult" is the church down the street from yours.
.
Thanks for the heads up about the anti-yoga protestors. It's always good to know where the insane people are.

Dojo Rat said...

Blue Oyster Cult; Love that quote...
And how can some huge and powerful religious institutions keep their tax-free status when they involve themselves in politics-
(beyond Yoga)...

Brown Dragon said...

What man does not know, man fears...
What man fears, man destroys...

Sadly we have too many ignorant and unknowing people... alas, let the light of education shine.

Brown Dragon said...

What man does not know, man fears...
What man fears, man destroys...

Sadly we have too many ignorant and unknowing people... alas, let the light of education shine.

daniele.perkele said...

And what's wrong in "going after heathen gods", I wonder?

They must have realized that the dojo is much more crowded than sunday mass...

kenposan said...

Have you ever done yoga? It is the devil! Makes me feel totally inadequate. lol