Thursday, December 16, 2010

Field Day

Christians In Karachi Comes Under Attack From Islamists: "KARACHI, PAKISTAN (ANS) — Local Pakistani Christians and the family of a Christian youth are facing potential death threats and the terrorization of “dire consequences” following the elopement and marriage of a Christian young man who has converted to Islam and his young Muslim bride.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

So. Converting to Islam doesn't matter. No one even notices it. Religion, race, language--just markers of group affiliation, where that is totally arbitrary.

In elementary school we were divided up, arbitrarily, into blue and gold teams on Field Day. But immediately we hated our opponents and were ready to die for our teammates.

Religion just doesn't matter.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Why Can't Christianity Be More Like Yoga?

Hindu Group Stirs Debate in Fight for Soul of Yoga - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

[A] group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism. The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions.
Almost everyone I know does yoga. Some are interested in the 'philosophy' behind it; most are just looking for stretching exercises to improve flexibility and general health. Some are devoted, most are casual, and no one thinks that they're under any obligation either to go the whole hog on yoga rather than participate casually, or that they ought to buy the 'philosophy' attached to the practice. Some do; some don't.

Most who do their yoga on the beach or at (my gym) Women's Fitness World may may be shocked to discover that yoga has its roots in Hinduism. People take yoga on their own terms. They buy what they like. They don't think of it as a religion, or as a component of a religion.

Why shouldn't we treat Christianity that way? Most people in fact do: they treat Christianity casually, cherry-pick and buy what they like. The general consensus is that this is a very bad thing, but why?

There is, of course, the Creed. But there are all sorts of doctrines associated with yoga--about chakras, vedas and that kind of thing. Some believe, many think their might be something to it but don't pay much attention, some are just there for the exercise and dismiss it completely. No one is bothered. There are also some Christian enthusiasts who are gung-ho for every article of the Catechism and make strenuous efforts to walk the walk. But there are also many who think their might be something to it but don't pay much attention and some who are just Evensong concert-goers. Why is it ok to be a casual, skeptial yoga practitioner but not a casual, skeptical Christian.

Flap your mouths, waffle around, bluster and blow: there is no answer, no reason why should be somehow wrong, and vicious, to treat Christianity casually, to be a skeptical Christian, and to buy what one likes.