Christian parents suddenly decide secular education is better

Forget about “teach the controversy” and all that stuff about allowing teachers the “freedom of speech” to share their religious opinions. According to the LA Times, Christian parents want the public school system scrubbed clean of any curriculum that even hints at having religious overtones.

Yoga is taught at the local YMCA; at nearby Camp Pendleton, it is used to help Marines who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after having been in combat.

But soon after yoga teachers began leading students at five elementary schools in twice-weekly sessions of stretching, breathing and relaxing, four dozen parents protested to the school board, saying yoga is a system of spiritual beliefs.

The program, which consists of a series of stretching and strength-building exercises with “kid-friendly” names, has some parents even threatening to sue.

But attorney Dean Broyles, representing the parents, said a lawsuit may be necessary to oust yoga from the school district.

“I think school officials are confused about Eastern mysticism,” said Broyles, president and chief counsel for the Escondido-based National Center for Law & Policy, which deals with issues of religious freedom and Christian values.

“If this were a program letting children sit silently and engage in Christian prayer, the district would never allow it,” Broyles said.

And Christian parents would never ask for it, right? Do you suppose Mr. Broyles would mind letting us have a peek at some of the other cases he’s working on at the NCLP?


  1. Zugswang says

    Boy, they’re gonna be so disappointed when they actually read some history about modern yoga and learn it only dates back to the ’60s, and is primarily based off Indian gymnastics. I guess because it uses words from a language they don’t speak, it must be religious. I wonder how they feel about having algebra removed, or maybe that’s OK since I’m sure they also know Al-Ghazali denounced mathematics as a great, counter-religious evil nearly a millenium ago.

  2. says

    If this were a program letting children sit silently and engage in Christian prayer, the district would never allow it

    Study hall? Lunch break? Riding the bus? All are forbidden!

    Anyway, can you imagine their response if the school reduced Christian prayer activity into an aerobic workout? “Kneel, sit, stand, sit, kneel, sit, stand, now cross yourself!”

  3. left0ver1under says

    There was a “letter of the week” that appeared on wingnutdaily back in 2005. The point of the letter has obviously never sunk in with the idiots who run the site, nor with its readers. Excuse the length of the quoted part:

    Coming from a fairly traditional Southern upbringing, I was not at all initially surprised when a voice came over the PA and asked everyone to rise for the invocation. I had been through this same ritual at many other high-school events and thought nothing of it, so to our feet my wife and I stood, bowed our heads, and prepared to partake of the prayer. But to our extreme dismay, the clergyman who took the microphone and began to pray was not a Protestant minister or a Catholic priest, but a Buddhist priest who proceeded to offer up prayers and intonations to god-head figures that our tradition held to be pagan.

    We were frozen in shock and incredulity! What to do?


    [Y]ou might consider attending a football game at Wahiawa High School. Because unless you’re ready to endure the unwilling exposure of yourself and your children to those beliefs and practices that your own faith forswears, you have no right to insist that others sit in silence and complicity while you do the same to them. I, for one, slept better at night knowing that because Judeo-Christian prayers were not being offered at my children’s schools, I didn’t have to worry about them being confronted with Buddhist, Shinto, Wiccan, Satanic or any other prayer ritual I might find offensive.

    Too bad only one in a million of them is capable of grasping the point.

    • Tracey says

      I grew up in Hawaii, about 20 minutes from Waihiawa. Never in my own high school history had I *ever* heard any kind of prayer said before games. While I agree with the message (don’t assault people with religious crap), I’m calling b.s. on the “Buddhist prayer”.

  4. TriffidPruner says

    I expect @Zugswang is correct but (a) many new-age not-religious-but-spiritual types practice and promote yoga for “centering” and as preparation for meditation; and (b) everyone has at some point seen a Nat. Geo. type picture of a gaunt wild-haired dude posing on the banks of the Ganges in some impossible stance, and/or seen a statue of Siva in a writhing posture.

    All such subliminally-absorbed cultural impressions make it easy to assume that yoga must be some tricksy eastern religious practice that the eggheads and liberals are trying to sneak into our culture in the guise of exercise, the better to rot the foundation of the republic.

  5. Christoph Burschka says

    Possibly elated by the events of the past few days, I felt optimistic enough to believe the parents had come to their senses on the whole “teaching science in science class” thing.

    I’m naive like that.

  6. Bill Gascoyne says

    Sorry to say, but they don’t want religion removed from the curriculum, they want anyone else’s religion removed.

  7. godlesspanther says

    I have come across some freak-out about yoga. The only sources for that that I have seen is extreme devil paranoia propaganda. The same people who hear satanic messages in music, think the anti-crist is hiding in the closet, etc.

  8. sumdum says

    To some people it’s as simple as “yoga isn’t in the bible, therefor it’s not christian”. And anything not christian is automatically of the devil. I remember in my childhood for a while my parents wouldn’t even let me and my brothers listen to Michael Jackson. They’re not as strict anymore, thank goodness.

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