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Raikes Hodson
It puzzles me why their faith seems to be so weak that they are threatened by a small group of people practicing posture and breathing exercises

With all the mental dexterity and prowess of Medieval Christians a Church of England Vicar has banned yoga classes from his church hall. He fears they could encourage the growth of Eastern mysticism and lead his congregation away from Christ. The Rev. Dick Farr is reported (by Reuters web site) to have said that ‘we are here to promote Jesus and don’t want to offer a platform to anybody who is going to undermine that.’

Not only does this show a complete ignorance (of what yoga is and why people do it) but it displays the typical arrogance and lack of respect that seems to be rife amongst the Christian rank, unable to think any further than what colour hat they might wear for the Sunday Service. Whilst they celebrate their god being nailed to a tree, whilst they nibble his flesh and sip his blood, they might do well to ponder on the meaning of his message (and its source) rather than just paying it lip service. Because unfortunately this is not the loan ramblings of a devotee, far from it, apparently he has full backing from the parish council.

It puzzles me why their faith seems to be so weak that they are threatened by a small group of people practicing posture and breathing exercises and they feel so enfeebled that they have to foist a small minded and blinked view of Christianity upon a world when the central and pivotal belief is supposed to be ‘love’? This episode once again displays the inherent distastefulness that comes with many of the worlds organised religions, insisting that their version of events, their belief system is absolutely right and there is no room for any others. None of these ‘different religions are just different paths to the same place’ nonsense, no, do it our way or perish for eternity, if not sooner.

Who’d have thought that in the 21st Century Christians would be continuing in their long tradition of denying different cultures the right to exist, and thus robbing the world of some of its beauty. Consider the plight of indigenous peoples everywhere at the hands of Christians; the treatment of Native American Indians from either continent being a prime example. Ask the millions of people currently asphyxiating under the reign of Catholicism in the east how they feel about a culture being trampled under foot by European Christians.

How far away are we really from incarcerating and murdering people because they say the world is not flat. We complain about the Taliban’s religious dogma denying woman, the arts, the media or anything, which does not conform to their accepted belief system but is banning an exercise class because it is rooted in a different culture so very far away?

In a world so lacking in cooperation and community spirit is it really appropriate to treat people as unclean lesser mortals because they are not the same as you? Common decency should prevail. Christian love needs all the yoga it can get.
© Raikes Hodson 2001

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