The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Lawsuit claims yoga promotes Hinduism

Lawsuit claims yoga promotes Hinduism

San Diego’s 4th District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed a family’s lawsuit trying to ban yoga as an alternative to traditional gym classes in Encinitas Union School District. The California appeals court ruled that yoga isn’t a gateway to Hinduism and does not violate the religious rights of students and their parents.

Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their two children filed a lawsuit claiming that yoga promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity. They were disappointed by the ruling and are considering their options.

Religious freedom means allowing people of all faiths, not only Christianity, to practice their beliefs without hindrance. The Sedlocks filed a lawsuit with the intention of banning yoga because it promotes Hinduism. This claim that tries to preserve religious freedom ironically neutralizes the premise of the act.

I fail to see exactly how yoga inhibits Christianity and why this family only targeted this class. English classes examine and analyze Homer’s Odyssey, a Greek epic that references Pagan gods. Math classes teach a Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which is the most common symbolic representation of numbers in the world. English and math classes are required classes. and I have yet to hear of a court case claiming that English promotes paganism or math classes promote Hinduism.

This district allows students to opt out of these yoga classes if they desire. Since 2011, about 30 families have withdrawn from the classes. If you or your children don’t want to take the class, then don’t take it. But don’t ruin yoga for other students that do.

The court wrote in a 3-0 ruling, “”While the practice of yoga may be religious in some contexts, yoga classes as taught in the district are, as the trial court determined, ‘devoid of any religious, mystical, or spiritual trappings.”

Unjustified self-righteous families like the Sedlocks give Christianity a bad name. Attempting to promote Christianity by banning yoga because it may be religious in some contexts demonstrates intolerance. This intolerance stems from a family preaching the gospel of the Bible, a holy book that promotes tolerance.

If you don’t like something, don’t do it. And if that something doesn’t hurt, discriminate, or hinder the rights of another person, you’re not morally justified to squash it and ruin it for others.

Yoga represents a form of exercise that promotes strength, flexibility, and balance. Granted, certain yoga stretches contain spiritual elements. For example, the Surya namaskar consists of a series of positions designed to greet the Hindu Sun God Surya. But merely because something looks religious doesn’t mean it intends to be. If I rest my elbows on a desk and clasp my hands, am I praying to God or simply relaxing?

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