I’m a little late this one as Albert Mohler’s freak out over yoga occurred at the end of last month with counter-responses posted for weeks afterward…and still for that matter. I don’t care one whit what Albert Mohler thinks and haven’t read his post (or follow-up post for that matter). I’m relatively confident that I can recreate it in my mind…in my sleep. Ironic given that we started going to yoga class around the same time.
I came across this response the other day while looking for something rather unrelated. The last part of this section had me laughing out loud:
I can’t help thinking: What are they afraid of? Are they that insecure? Do they think so little of their flock as to fear that they’ll convert to Hinduism because they chant some Sanskrit mantras, or say “Namaste” instead of goodnight, or hear some tidbits of Vedic philosophy while stretching? Non-Christians absorb through osmosis countless doses of Christian theology just by living in America. We sing Christmas carols like they’re pop tunes. Yet, despite the relentless exposure, there is no sign of mass conversion. One is tempted to tell worried Christians to calm down with a few forward bends and some alternate nostril breathing. (emphasis mine)
It also brought to mind Brenda Peterson’s musings on the Bible and the possibility that some of the New Testament books early Christians edited out had less to do with their inspired merits and more to do with the fact that they were “written by women or the most mystical believers” (“I Want to be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth” pg 174). Many Christians are still doing this, by the way, which makes Philip Goldberg’s article even more apt:
This should comfort most Christians, although it might alarm fundamentalists all the more….Old-fashioned religious supremacists are under threat not from yoga but from the currents of history itself. (emphasis mine)
Silencing the alternate voices in your faith tradition may once have been possible in patriarchal societies who did so by force. It’s a bit more difficult once the power structures shift and some degree of equality begins to surface. Sometimes I wonder if a certain degree of fullness has been lost by the silencing of those we most fear or who think in ways we cannot understand. (Lessons for today’s political conflicts?)