Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Namaste

8 Fold Path, the 8 Limbs, the 5 Pillars, the 10 Commandments, the 13 Principles of Judiasm, the 4 Tenents of Hinduism are all religious precepts that are the definitive rules/guidelines for that faith.  In America add the Bill of Rights and you get the idea.  Old men love lists and bullet points to keep the faithful in line and the faithless in check. But they are just tools or weapons depending upon who is using them and who they are using them towards.

To teach Yoga you need to study the Patanjali Sutras and in turn use them to guide your practice and share that with your students and cohorts as a guide for life.  I started Yoga in my 20s and read Light on Yoga by B.K. Iyengar and his subsequent book on Sutras as my practice and dedication to Yoga grow and  as a form of my own spirituality evolved.  Now that I have finally embraced Atheism the true foundation of my belief system that has been ever there as either an Agnostic or as a "not Religious but Spiritual" person for decades.  I find it comforting to think whatever floats your boat or any port in a storm type of system that enables one to find inner peace.  Yoga enables me to find the mind body connection and like a church the yoga studio is my community for growth, health and yes spirituality which in my world means knowledge of the self and one's place in the universe.

Leaving Nashville I left one thing behind and that was Ethan.  The boy was struggling and to watch this was devastating in the same way the tornado was as he was surrounded by black clouds duking it out over his soul.  I lost that battle as well religious fantacism is like an Octopus it gets its tentacles in there and it tightens the grip when you fight back, Ethan has never fought back it is not his character so he used booze, pot and meds to come to grips and he could not hold on and he let go.  I miss the boy who was the light and joy of a person coming of age and wanting more in life and open to the idea of one. But alas the roots of his tree tied to Alabama ensured that any limbs, 8 or otherwise, would be promptly pruned away.

Not a day in my life I will not put out there in universe when I practice a dedication to Ethan and my hope and belief that one day he will break free and find balance as that is the goal in yoga, to find balance, inner peace and tranquility.  No wonder Alabama and religious fanatics fear that.


Alabama bill may lift yoga ban in public schools but prohibit 'namaste' greeting

Lawmakers move to lift decades-old ban, but the bill would continue to prohibit chanting, mantras and the greeting

Guardian staff and agencies
Sun 8 Mar 2020

The Alabama Board of Education in 1993 voted to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms.

Alabama could takes steps to lift a decades-old ban on yoga in public schools this week, but would keep a ban on the greeting “namaste” in place.

A bill brought by Representative Jeremy Gray, a Democratic legislator from Opelika, is on the proposed debate agenda Tuesday in the Alabama House of Representatives. If the bill passes with a two-thirds majority, it will then go to the Senate for further debate.

The Alabama Board of Education in 1993 voted to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms. The ban was pushed by conservative groups, and some schools have reported complaints from parents who say the practice endorses a “non-Christian belief system”.

The Alabama yoga ban got new attention in 2018 when an old document circulated listing yoga – along with games like tag and “duck, duck, goose” – among activities deemed to be inappropriate in gym class, according to the board.

The ancient practice of yoga has its roots in Hinduism, though it is now a common form of exercise practiced across the world, including in private gyms in Alabama.

“It’s something that, as athletes, have adopted as a culture,” Gray, who is a former college athlete and has taught yoga, said. “It also helps me with my discipline and being able to focus and to accomplish my goals.”

Gray’s bill was also introduced at the end of the last legislative session but failed to gain traction

Gray’s bill seeks to dissociate yoga from its religious roots, and says that local school systems can decide if they want to teach yoga poses and stretches. However, the moves and exercises taught to students must have exclusively English names, according to the legislation. It would also prohibit the use of chanting, mantras and teaching the greeting “namaste”.


***for the record since this Marc Driscoll like all of his predecessors in this type of church has since been removed but the damage is done.

Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll says yoga is demonic
By Amy Rolph on November 3, 2011 AlterNet

Achieving inner peace? More like achieving inner demon, says one Seattle pastor. (Getty Images)

You’ve heard of gateway drugs, but what about gateway exercise? (We’re talking about the gateway to hell, of course.)

Well, hear this. Christians who show up for yoga class are sinning, according to Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll.

The controversial head of the Seattle-based mega church is taking on yoga for the second time, publishing a long blog post that equates yoga with devil worship.

“There is nothing wrong with stretching, exercising, or regulating one’s stress through breathing,” Driscoll wrote. “But when the tenets of yoga are included, it’s by definition a worship act to spirit beings other than the God of the Bible.”

He wrote that yoga stems from the Hindu religious practice, and therefore must be demonic by nature. And given yoga’s prevalence in American society, Driscoll thinks his burgeoning congregation should be especially wary.

Giving sound teaching on yoga is important because there is increasing adoption of yoga by our culture, with over 15.8 million people practicing yoga and nearly every store you go into selling all kinds of yoga products. It’s gone mainstream. As such, Christians are also adopting it as a healthy aspect of exercise and lifestyle—complete with things like “Holy Yoga,” which is an oxymoron. Saying yoga can be Christian because you do it for Jesus is a bit like going into a mosque, going through the worship practices, and then saying you’re not a Muslim because you’re doing it for Jesus. They don’t mix.

He went on to explain why every popular form of yoga is anti-Christian.

Bhakti yoga? A form of paganism. Hatha yoga? Opening you up to evil spiritual influences. Jnana yoga? Replacing Christ with the concept of karma.

The list goes on, chiefly saying that it’s impossible to divorce yoga from religion.

Speaking of divorce, Driscoll also equated yoga with sexual infidelity.

“By way of analogy, there is nothing inherently wrong with intimacy, sex, and pleasure,” he wrote. “But when the tenets of adultery are included, it’s a sinfully idolatrous worship act. A faithful Christian can no more say they are practicing yoga for Jesus than they can say they are committing adultery for Jesus.”

Driscoll also had a message for Christians who want to “take back yoga” for Jesus.

“My advice is to not attempt to redeem yoga properly understood, as it is a system of belief that is unchristian, against Scripture, and thus d

The church’s blend of pop culture and strict Calvinist doctrine allows congregants to occupy a unique, rebellious niche between middle-aged conservative Christians and their secular liberal contemporaries. Mars Hill members talk about sex, drink alcohol, get tattoos, and swear. They listen to Fleet Foxes; they love Star Wars and graffiti art. They also believe homosexuality is a sin, men are meant to lead, and wives must submit to their husbands as the church submits to God.

Mars Hill is part of a movement of “emerging churches” struggling to keep Christian faith relevant in the postmodern world. They typically meet in nontraditional locations (coffee shops, concert venues, living rooms), sermonize through rock music, and connect to their congregants via Facebook and Twitter accounts. Lauren Sandler, author of the 2007 book Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement, calls them the “Disciple Generation…[an] ever-growing population of people ages 15 to 35 who are equally obsessed with Christ and with culture as a means to an evangelical end.” Cloaking the gospel in pop culture is a model most often associated with televangelists of the 1980s, like the Lakewood Church’s Joel Osteen, who modeled churches after shopping malls, playing on capitalist culture to make God’s message palatable. Mars Hill is not a commercial center, but an indie concert where the Kool-Aid comes with a PBR chaser.

A writer for the Christian blog ConversantLife.com called Driscoll, with his stocky frame, six o’clock shadow, and torn jeans, “the original cussing hipster pastor.” It’s Driscoll’s snarky straight talk about everything from oral sex to yoga to God’s eternal wrath that has ignited passion in the hearts of his millennial disciples. After Driscoll and his wife, Grace, founded the church in 1996 in their Seattle home, it grew at a rate of about 60 percent a year—all the more notable when you consider that Seattle is one of the most left-leaning cities in a state that, according to a 2004 Gallup poll, ranked as the third least religious in the nation after Oregon and Idaho (Washington dropped to eighth in 2012). Mars Hill now has more than 5,000 members, with campuses in Portland, Orange County, and Albuquerque. In the late 1990s, Driscoll founded Acts 29, a “church planting” network that trains men who wish to open churches; this led to the creation of the Resurgence, an online training resource with links to sermons, blog posts, music, and forums—essentially, a Mars Hill starter kit.

New converts often discover Mars Hill by stumbling upon Driscoll’s sermon podcast. For evangelists, who essentially devote their lives to making Jesus go viral, social media has literally been a godsend, and it’s what Mars Hill does best. In addition to Driscoll’s podcast, the church has a presence on nearly every social media platform, from Facebook to Pinterest to Instagram, as well as a YouTube channel and an iPhone app that launched back in 2009. The church’s website has an entire music section devoted to Mars Hill’s indie worship bands; in May, Driscoll announced the church’s plans to start a record label. A church with an online presence is nothing new, but Mars Hill’s statistics would make a small media company jealous: as of May 2012, it had 43,245 “likes” on Facebook, more than 10 million views on YouTube, and 39,356 Twitter followers.

In the early 1990s, fresh out of college, Driscoll saw a problem with the state of Christianity: There were no men. In a 2006 interview with the organization Desiring God, Driscoll said, “Church today, it’s just a bunch of nice, soft, tender, chickified church boys. Sixty percent of Christians are chicks, and the forty percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks.” The main reason Driscoll himself had a hard time accepting Christianity was that he couldn’t bring himself to worship “a gay hippie in a dress.” But as he read about Jesus and Elijah and Paul, the gospels started to appeal to him—and he saw a way for them to appeal to other self-proclaimed macho men. “I’ve gotta think these guys were dudes. Heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes.” This revelation became the foundation for his narrative of a masculine, tough-love Christianity. “If you want to win a war, you have to get the men,” Driscoll preaches in a 2006 promotional film on church planting called A Good Soldier.

Driscoll is more general than soldier. Heavily influenced by both Martin Luther and John Calvin, he presents himself as telling the hard truth to a generation raised with the pick-and-choose, postmodern notion of Christianity in which “the God of the New Testament is nothing but hugs and muffins, and we’re all going to go to heaven, except maybe Hitler, but it’s a coin flip for him, too.” As Sandler puts it, Mars Hill offers overwhelmed millennials “liberation from liberation.” The church’s success comes from the hyper-masculine way it brands itself not as Jesus’s religion, but as Jesus’s rebellion—not only against the stuffy Christianity of its members’ parents, but also against the free-for-all liberal culture of their peers.

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