File under: Yogaphobia. Oh, Pat. Most of us know Pat Robertson is bat turd crazy, right? (Sorry. No judgement.) The 84-year-old conservative Christian evangelist still speaks on TV, dispensing his advice on the American public through his “The 700 Club” show broadcasted every weekday on ABC Family via his Christian Broadcasting Network like the super religious grandpa you wish would keep his behind-the-times opinions to himself.
On Tuesday’s episode, a concerned viewer inquired about letting her teen daughter practice yoga with friends. Their family had recently moved to New Mexico and had been met with New Agey stuff like “dream catchers, yoga, veganism, that sort of thing.” What’s a mom to do?
Robertson advised that simply stretching is ok, but “along with yoga they have a mantra, and the mantra you say is in Hindu.” And? (By the way, Pat, Hindu is not a language.)
“You don’t know what the Hindu says, but actually it’s a prayer to a Hindu deity and so it sounds like gibberish. So you’re saying ‘kali, kali, kali,’ but you’re praying to a Hindu deity and you don’t want your daughter in that,” warned Robertson. “Stretching exercise is cool, praying to a Hindu deity is not too cool.”
Essentially you’re speaking in tongues to a Hindu god, according to Robertson. And that’s just no good, now.
At least he hasn’t strayed from his thoughts on the “spookiness” of yoga mantras. This clip is from around 2007.
But select conservative Christians have long been yogaphobic. Compared to other extreme evangelists, Robertson is actually pretty soft on the subject. Pastor Mark Driscoll, a popular and hip megachurch star, has said that yoga is demonic and practitioners will go to hell. Recently, a Catholic priest in Northern Ireland made headlines with a sermon he gave about yoga leading to Satanism and the “Kingdom of Darkness.” So, there’s that.
However, despite all of this devil and demon rhetoric, we do know that yoga and other religions, including Christianity, can play nicely together without evil spirit interference. Hopefully that will be the message that transcends.
[Via Right Wing Watch]
Let me start by saying I am a Pastor and my wife is a yoga teacher. Pat Robertson does not represent Christians like he thinks he does. My wife has never been a part of a training or class that does anything like what Robertson is talking about. The uniformed just look stupid when they open their mouths. I’m glad my wife teaches yoga and even teaches my daughter yoga. It is a part of them staying healthy physically and in some ways mentally. Fear of the unknown is more often the greater problem.
Don’t know ’bout Hindu god worship, but sure is a threat to ‘Murica worship.
Ignorant man who can’t even correctly cite what he’s trying to critique and doesn’t know the difference between Hinduism and Sànscrit or Hindi.
So well informed! Keep on stretching without those mantras!
he said the truth! yoga converts dump person to an enlightened person, that’s what hinduism do to human kind!!!
C’mon guys. Apart from the his lack of understanding that Hindu is not a language, Robertson is not saying anything incorrect. The overwhelming majority of chants and mantras are prayers to Hindu deities and avatars. For a Christian pastor to recommend against people praying to other gods isn’t disrespectful or misinformed. If you believe these chants have any power to influence consciousness or shape our actions, then you’ve basically proven Robertson’s point. If you don’t, then why are you chanting them?
I’m not a Christian myself, and in most other respects I think Robertson is a total loon, but when yoga lovers act like their prayers to (someone else’s) god ought to have more street cred than a Christian’s prayers, that’s just silly.
Oh, Pat… please! Must be a slow week, huh. Shall we trade in the 700 Club for the 108 Club.
People should be stopped from voicing opinions without actually knowing something about the subject. How absolutely uninformed this person is, is clear to anyone who has ever attended a Yoga class.
I belong to a hindu family. I have never seen or heard any yogi chanting mantras for god during yoga practice. This man doesn’t know when these mantras are actually chanted. We generally chant these mantras in morning or evening prayers and also during some religious ceremony (including marriage).