The devil inside, the devil inside, every single one of us, the devil inside. – INXS
Newsflash: yoga is satanic and you’re all evil. Also, you’re dead spirits.
Virginia’s GOP candidate for lieutenant governor and conservative pastor E.W. Jackson has just taken over as head conductor of the “yoga is satanic” train to Kooksville, making local stops in Paranoiatown and What? City. Jackson is preceded by the hip evangelical pastor Mark Driscoll who says yoga is “demonic” and the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist who says yoga (and Harry Potter) are “evil” satanic “magic.” So, you know, at least he’s not alone.
Jackson’s view on yoga came to light after Betsy Woodruff posted a profile on him in the National Review and included some quotes from his 2008 book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True.
The excerpt on yoga goes like this:
When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana…The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself…[Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to, but no one can be a child of God without making a decision to surrender to him. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.
Well, that’s strange. Does he mean the self-acceptance and tolerance, or the feeling of connection to all living things or a healthier body that we don’t want? Maybe it’s all the hemp and chia seeds we’re filling up with that’s the devil’s work? Coconut water demon vacuums, we are! Nom nom.
Of course, he also says, “most people are dead spirits,” so there’s that, too. Only in savasana, dude. And even then, it’s only our empty vessel of a body that dies. Our spirits are doing just fine, thank you very much.
ps. we know plenty of god-loving/fearing folks who practice yoga and have not grown devil horns just yet.