A Maryland elementary school’s solution to helping students cope with stress was met with outrage by local Christians because they claim it’s deceptive and “unholy,” according to DelmarvaNow:
Buckingham Elementary School in Berlin announced in early March the addition of a daily “Mindfulness Moment,” a locally produced program in recorded video format to help its young students calm themselves both physically and mentally, and thereby help them focus on their schoolwork.
Each morning, according to a March 5 post on the school’s Facebook page, “as an extension of our announcements, students participate in a mini 6-10 minute mindfulness and yoga session to help them positively start off their day.”
While many comments posted on the school’s Facebook page in response to the announcement were positive, some were not.
“THIS IS COMPLETE LAST DAYS DECEPTION! There is nothing wrong with stretching, or being still to focus on your day, but yoga takes it another step further,” wrote Linda Hostelley on the school’s Facebook page. “There are spirits invited in by focusing on things not of God … there is an unholy Spirit behind it. If this is allowed in school, than Jesus must be allowed to be enjoyed in school also.”
Who ever said Jesus wasn’t allowed?
It’s interesting that a God who is so big and powerful is threatened by a few exercise poses. While some people think it’s a form of cultural appropriation, it is possible to practice yoga strictly for the physical benefits and not the spiritual ones. (Even some atheists practice meditation for personal reasons.)
The coordinator for public relations and special programs for the schools, Carrie N. Sterrs, gave this statement to the outraged parents and concerned citizens:
“In Worcester County public schools, we value the partnerships we have with our parents, their families and the Worcester County community as a whole, which includes our faith-based partners,” she said a prepared statement. “As we do with any concerns raised from these partners, we invited those individuals with questions about the program to come in and observe firsthand Mindfulness Moments at Buckingham Elementary School. After the group’s observation it was expressed that there were no further concerns, and no programmatic changes have been made.”
Seems like a rational response to me.
There’s another solution on the table: if parents are that concerned about their kids being possessed through exercise, they can simply write a note forbidding them to participate. Problem solved. No need to ruin it for everybody else. It’s not like this is a religious ritual being foisted upon kids.
(Image via Shutterstock)