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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christian Fundie Upset About Army's Adoption of Yoga

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Richard Dawkins Net:

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...."

Because a soldier is more likely to be killed by his own hands than an enemy on a battlefield, the army is looking for ways to better balance the minds of its troops.


Comments (22) RSS

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Huh. The dipshit must really be pissy about all the studies that show aesthetic meditation has the exact same health benefits as prayer, without all the unnecessary worship as baggage.
Posted by NateMan on January 10, 2013 at 8:37 AM · Report this
Here's a crazy thought: Let the army have Christian chaplains AND yoga classes, and let the people in the military choose which to utilize: one, both or neither.
Posted by Clayton on January 10, 2013 at 8:41 AM · Report this
What's an atheist chaplain?
Posted by The CHZA on January 10, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
@3: A cross-dresser.
Posted by NateMan on January 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM · Report this
@1, so none, in other words.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 10, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 6
Christians want freedom of religion, but only if it's freedom of their religion.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 10, 2013 at 8:57 AM · Report this
rob! 7
Although California third-graders don't have the same risk of suicide (just the risk of adults running amok with guns), fundies are freaking out about school-based yoga too:
DEAN BROYLES: And then the question becomes, if it is religious - which it is - who decides when enough religion has been stripped out of the program to make it legal?

[Reporter] CALVERT: That's Dean Broyles, lead attorney with the conservative Christian National Center for Law and Policy.

BROYLES: I mean that's the problem when you introduce religion into the curriculum and actually immerse and marinate children in the program.
Not to mention constructing inappropriate food-based fantasies about kids.
Posted by rob! on January 10, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
@5: Actually, it has a fair amount. Prayer or meditation reduces stress, which has a whole bunch of health benefits. It aids in healing, dealing with chronic conditions, etc. The Mayo clinic and other reputable medical organizations have done a number of studies on it. It doesn't take the place of medication for serious physical or mental issues, but it does help. Prayer works the same way, if it's done as time of contemplation and rest rather than "Jesus, help me win the lottery."

Of course, I don't pray and I rarely meditate, so I don't have a dog in the fight. But it's not just a waste of time.
Posted by NateMan on January 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Hey Perkins, your religion doesn't belong in any part of my government, the military included. Now STFU and sit the fuck down.
Posted by treehugger on January 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 10
Westboro fundies protesting at military funerals do not create mental calm. They create a slap in the face that the military won't forget.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Given that Perkins and the Christian right have launched two anti-yoga campaigns in the last week (one against yoga in schools, now one against yoga in the military), I wonder if this means they're conceding defeat in the marriage-equality fight and looking for a new fundraising bogeyman to use in the next century?

If so, and if their new target is the uncontrolled spread of yoga, I'm screwed again; in addition to being gay, my husband is a yoga instructor.
Posted by Clayton on January 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
fletc3her 12
I want to be marinated in yogurt.
Posted by fletc3her on January 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Oh the horror of atheist chaplains and Wiccan worship! Not even sure what the former is-- probably a therapist or life coach type. FSM forbid that non Christian philosophies receive recognition.

Seriously this thing reads like one of the scary overblown chain letters that fudies use to raise money. We shouldn't give them the time of day.
Posted by wxPDX on January 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM · Report this
mkyorai 14
I particularly like that the guy "exploded" with anger in order to make the case that his Christian faith promotes relaxation and mental calm. Nice one, dude...
Posted by mkyorai on January 10, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Athiest Chaplins most likely are bartenders. Most people in the combat arms branches of the military also find wine, woman and song to be a great stress reliever (aka sex, drugs, rock). I also subscribe to the military theory, show me a soldier who doesn't want to fuck and I'll show you one who doesn't want to fight.

Fuck the Fundies. I have found a little Yoga is a benificial addition to anyones fittness program.
Posted by charliebickle on January 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 16
Why are Chrisitian chaplains failing so miserably at supporting their charges? The vast majority of army recruits self-identify as Chrisitian. There is no dearth of chaplains and no impediment to worship for soldiers, yet they are dying by their own hands at numbers that exceed combat deaths. Chrisitian leadership is at fault here. They have no meaningful succor to offer so they blame others and refuse self-examination, which is a major component of prayer. Talk about whited sepulchres.
Posted by thatsnotright on January 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
dirac 17
@5 Someone needs to read about neuroplasticity.

There's all kinds of hypocritical historical context here.

Yoga and meditation (really the same) are also tools used by contemplatives to make good on the "personal relationship with god" bit but without the need for an intermediary, so this has been a threatening idea for millennia--even within the Catholic church who successfully purged the gnostics and wrote their religious stories to ensure that the papal aristocracy had the only claim to ineffable human experience [or God if you want to call it that]. So as a protestant, it makes Perkins doubly hypocritical.
Posted by dirac on January 10, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Knat 18
@5: You may be thinking of the studies that proved that prayer has no benefit to healing, such as others praying for someone to swiftly recover from surgery, for instance. Many doctors (such as Dr Benson in that article) still prescribe meditation/prayer for its personal benefits, like lowering heart rate.
Posted by Knat on January 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 19
umm... "faith" doesn't stretch your muscles & ligaments out.
Posted by Max Solomon on January 10, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 20
About time the Army did this.

The Canadian Army had Yoga a long time ago.

Welcome to the 21st Century, guys!
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM · Report this
treacle 21
With any luck, all this yoga and meditation will enlighten soldiers to quit the military altogether. This may be the beginning of the end of the US Army... meditating themselves out of existence! <crosses fingers>
Posted by treacle on January 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
venomlash 22
@6: Pretty much. Remember that bill in Louisiana, where Republicans passed a law allowing religious schools to get public funding? And then they were like "oh shit, what if Islamic schools want to get funding under this law?"
Posted by venomlash on January 11, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this

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