Dr. Candy Gunther Brown discusses the background and current efforts by legal groups to oppose the introduction of Mindfulness and Yoga into the public school curriculums in her recent Washington Post article. These programs are spreading like wildfire and many parents are concerned that these programs bring what they consider religiously “idolatrous” activities into the schools. Defining what activities are considered “religious” is central to the debate. In our current culture, many are stating they are “religious but not spiritual.” What does this really mean when “spirituality” is defined as a metaphysical activity without dogma or doctrine, and others view these activities as idolatrous and forbidden by their faith traditions? Is it possible to deconstruct doctrinal faith commitments from spiritual practice from the supposed “benefits” of these practices? If there are truly spirits behind these spiritualities this may not be the case.
Dr. Brown’s article contains many links to background information on the debate and other resources.