A civil rights lawsuit was filed Wednesday aimed at stopping the teaching of yoga in Encinitas public schools on the grounds that yoga represents religious indoctrination.

Having the program in the nine schools of the K-6 district "represents a serious breach of the public trust" and a violation of state law that prohibits religious instruction in public schools, said Dean Broyles, attorney for the Escondido-based National Center for Law and Policy.

Yoga, the lawsuit asserts, "is inherently and pervasively religious, having its roots firmly planted in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and western metaphysical religious beliefs and practices."

If the roots of yoga are firmly planted in so many different religions then it is obviously primarily a cultural, rather than religious thing. If it is a part of so many religions then which religion exactly are the school teachers indoctrinating their students into?

Okay, yoga is used as part of the religious practice of adherents of certain religions but an evangelical church near to where I used to live ran keep fit classes "for Jesus" every week but that didn't make all work outs intrinsically Christian. Buddhists meditate. So do sufis and so do Christian mystics. Does that mean that sitting still and being quiet should be banned from all schools? Heck, that was pretty much what was expected of us kids when I was at school.

Perhaps there should be no singing in American schools. I mean all sorts of religious people sing in their places of worship. It's a slippery slope. One day the kids are singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and the next thing you know they're running through the streets of their neighbourhoods crooning "Shine, Jesus, Shine" at the top of their voices and the world ends.



  1. Almost every High School and University in the United States actively encourage the practice of the religions known as Football and Basketball. The High Priests (AKA Coaches) are paid exhorbitant salaries and the best Acolytes (AKA players) are given free, if useless, educations.