Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Calif. Judge OKs Teaching Hinduism in Public School

A ruling by Judge John S. Meyer of San Diego Superior Court once again demonstrates that Christianity is the only religion NOT permitted in public schools.  Parents sued the Encinitas Union School District over weekly lessons in Hindu Ashtanga yoga in every elementary school taught by certified practitioners of the Jois Foundation, an advocate of Hinduism.

For background, read Parents Sue California Schools for Teaching Hinduism

For background on "religion in schools," read Atheists Say Illegal Christianity is 'Rampant' in Georgia Schools and also read ACLU Warns of Christianity in South Carolina Schools and read about myriad attacks on Christians via public schools.

-- From "California: Judge Allows Yoga in Schools" by The Associated Press 7/1/13

. . . Yoga is a religious practice, but not the way the district teaches it, Judge John S. Meyer of San Diego Superior Court said. He emphasized that the district stripped classes of all cultural references, including the Sanskrit language. The lotus position was renamed the “crisscross applesauce” pose. A lawyer for two Encinitas parents said he would most likely appeal. About 30 families have opted out of the classes.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Yoga in school not same as teaching religion, California judge rules" by Marty Graham, Reuters 7/1/13

Judge John Meyer acknowledged that yoga "at its roots is religious" but added that the modern practice of yoga, despite its origins in Hindu philosophy, is deeply engrained in secular U.S. society and "is a distinctly American cultural phenomenon."

"A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas School District yoga does advance or promote religion," he said.

"If yoga is a religion and has religious aspects, it doesn't belong in the public schools," said Dean Broyles, who represents Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, whose two children opted out of yoga for physical education. "There is a consistent anti-Christian bias in these cases and a pro-Eastern or strange religion bias."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Yoga in public schools is not religious instruction, judge rules" by Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times 7/1/13

Dean Broyles, president and attorney for the Escondido-based National Center for Law and Policy, had filed a lawsuit on behalf of a couple with two children in the school system . . . [saying] having yoga in the schools "represents a serious breach of the public trust." .

The [yoga] studio is linked to the Jois Foundation, supported by hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II and his wife, Sonia, who were followers of yoga teacher Krishna Pattabhi Jois. Jois, whose devotees included Madonna and Sting, stayed briefly in Encinitas.

"This case is simply about whether public schools may entangle themselves with religious organizations like the Jois Foundation and use the state's coercive powers to promote a particular religious orthodoxy or religious agenda to young and impressionable schoolchildren," Broyles said after Monday's ruling.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Excerpts from "Information for Parents: The EUSD/JOIS Foundation Yoga Program" posted at The National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP)

JOIS Foundation classes include physical practice of yoga along with religious instruction called “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” – literally, a class in the eight spiritual limbs of yoga, systematized in 150 A.D.

The founder of Jois Yoga, Sri K Pattahbi Jois, the guru of JOIS yoga (a guru is a Hindu religious leader or enlightened master) said, "It is very important to understand yoga philosophy -- without philosophy, yoga practice is not good, and yoga practice is the starting place for yoga philosophy. Mixing both is actually best."

The ultimate (eighth) goal of Ashtanga Yoga practice (which includes moral codes, self purification and study, postures, breath control, sense control, concentration, and meditation) is absorption in the Universal (Samadhi).

The physical poses of yoga (Asanas) were developed to tell the stories of Hindu gods and events. In a widely acknowledged book called Myths of the Asanas, the authors write to yoga teachers and practitioners, “Asana practice’s... philosophical principles encourage spiritual growth ...[that] Asanas can be viewed as a kind of prayer.”

Even according to expert yoga teachers and practitioners, yoga poses are not ever merely exercise, they are different from other forms of systemized practices because they are inherently religious.

Students at one school site have already been instructed regarding how to channel energy through a yoga pose to calm anxiety. Students are required to take these courses and are being graded in participation.

Parents will not be asked permission to opt their children into this program. It is a compulsory program and all children are participating unless their parents opt them out.

Students whose religious beliefs conflict with the beliefs taught in Ashtanga yoga are not being offered an alternative course of physical education.

The federal courts have already ruled that the promotion and practice of Transcendental Meditation in New Jersey public schools, which like yoga is also a Hindu religious practice, is a violation of the First Amendment’s prohibition of governmental establishment of religion (See Malnak v. Yogi, 1979).

To read the entire posting above (.PDF), CLICK HERE.

Also read Teaching Islam in Georgia Schools Challenged as well as Prayer Back in Wisconsin School (Muslim Prayer, that is) plus read Public School Teaching Islam Closed by Minnesota