Why Yoga scares ultra-conservative Christians

Pat Robertson Speaks At National Press ClubYesterday on The 700 Club, Pat Robertson demonstrated once again his strange, warped values system when responding to a caller curious about the possible effects of so-called “New Age” type activities such as yoga and veganism on her teenage daughter.

It became clear almost immediately that Robertson had not the faintest clue what he was attempting to explain. When addressing the desire of this woman’s daughter to participate in yoga classes with a few of her new friends, our apparently confused host made this suggestion.

“Along with yoga they have a mantra and the mantra you say is in Hindu. You don’t know what the Hindu says but actually it’s a prayer to a Hindu deity and so it sounds like gibberish…but you’re praying to a Hindu deity. You don’t want your daughter in that. Stretching exercise is cool, praying to a Hindu deity is not too cool.”

First of all, the language is called “Hindi”, which comes from Sanskrit. Additionally not all Hindus speak Hindi and vice versa. Second any individual who has actually put sincere effort into studying yoga or Hinduism understands that not every mantra consists of an invocation of some deity and that one need not even utilize a mantra if it does not necessarily suit one’s ends.

Third, what harm can possibly come (leaving out the high probability of violent demonic possession and the downfall of all western civilization) from invoking any deity worshipped by millions of Hindus on a daily basis; deities, many of which, it may also be noted, pre-exist the Judaeo-Christian God by centuries?

Furthermore, can one really make all that great of a distinction between  saying one’s Christian prayers at night and repeating some type of mantra? They are both enlisted by their respective believers as means towards attaining some semblance of internal discipline, both physically and mentally (think kneeling while praying).

When seen in this light Pat Robertson’s stance on these matters can be recognized as the naked, senseless reasoning of a man who is almost entirely removed from modern, progressive discourse. This removal has been continually fostered by the evangelical information bubble within which Robertson, and countless others like him, have willingly imprisoned themselves.

The very idea that praying to a Hindu deity is inherently “not cool,”  or, in other words, “the path to the dark side,” gives one a fairly transparent look into the way many ultra-conservative Christian evangelicals see religious freedom. On the one hand Christianity is (obviously) the end-all be-all of world religions. On the other it exists in constant battle against all ideological competitors.

Because of this, then, any other religion simply represents an exercise in futility as Jesus Christ is soon to return wielding a flaming sword with which to destroy the evil ones. It is also very important to note that Pat Robertson likely believes that all the world’s Hindus will be among this group.

Progressives must seek to understand the significant differences present across global cultures. Practicing Hinduism, Christianity, or even Satanism will yield to only what one seeks. To that end, what harm can there be in introducing Christian teens to other religions? It seems that Pat Robertson fears that the youth will find something far cooler than he.


  1. Ya know, the rest of us are only hurting ourselves through the constant berating of Christians. We could actually make some progress in issues that matter if we could focus on common ground. For example, Robertson supports Creation Care — ie care of the planet, and there are Evangelicals such as Katherine Hayhoe who try form coalitions for progress on the topic of climate change.

    Gay rights activists and Mormons recently negotiated legislation in which both groups feel respected.

    If people don’t want to feel pressured to utter words they don’t understand, that is their business.

    We need to embrace diversity, even if someone else’s ways seem silly or outdated to us. We cannot have one homogenous culture on the planet (or we will lose the ability to see our own flaws and “doxa”).

    Who cares WHY someone helps a little old lady across the street (whether they do it for Jesus, or Buddha, or just because its the right thing to do)? It only matters that they DO it. What goes on in between their ears is irrelevant if we want to make progress in a world that desperately needs unified action (in ending corruption, human trafficking, pollution, and a number of other issues in which we could cooperate).

  2. It is true there is only one true God. . Jesus was hated because He claimed He was God who had come to earth in human form so He could show in person we all have sin in us and can be forgiven by Him. He was killed for that claim. Not for things He did that were sinful because He was sinless. He proved He is God. People were afraid of him and also jealous. But those who believed became forgiven.

    He was the only fulfillment of the Passover Lamb. His death of His body gave forgiveness as did the Passover lamb’s blood the night of Exodus. He proved His holiness and love. He proved He is the Creator who made life by coming to life after being killed! All others who claim to be gods are still in their graves. Jesus told everyone then and today that there is only ONE WAY To heaven. Not many ways. There is ONLY ONE NAME. That is His name.

    Many claim to be Christian. Satan sends liars to earth. They are counterfeits. People who not know CHRIST believe the counterfeits.

    To know Christ is not just historical knowledge. It is a forgiveness that changes the heart and soul. Because Christ brings His entire being spiritually into one’s being. Not to be Him. But to be joined to Him as God’s child and inherits all the same Jesus has. Eternity first. Rewards next.

    • Either works. Our country was founded on the ideals of freedom of religion and expression and he thinks practices of other religions should not be allowed, so his statement is Un-American as well as outdated.

  3. So he does acknowledge the there are other gods out there, and his Yahweh god is not the only one. Good, guess we are going forward, soon we will have (again) gods for everything we do in our lives, a god for rain, a god for fire, a god for war, a god for SEX (PRAISE this lord!)… Don’t know if there is a god for stupid republicans though.

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