Raleigh wingnuts worried about yoga corrupting kids
Watch out, that deep breathing is going to corrupt your kids. I’m sick of Called2Action, a group of professional AmTaliban protestors and activists. Usually these folks spend their time homo-bashing. C2A promoted a state marriage amendment here in NC, but since that failed to get out of committee this year, I guess the wingnuts have some time on their hands so the next big issue is…yoga in schools. Yawn.
…A Christian group says some stress-reduction classes for elementary school students promoted “New Age” religion and were unconstitutional in a public school. Called2Action says it received complaints from a mother whose children were asked to do breathing exercises, chant and use their “life forces” last month at Partnership Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina. The group has sent a letter to Wake County’s school board and superintendent asking them to make sure this kind of “spiritual and religious program” does not happen again.
I had to go to the C2A web site to see the “Action Gram” for myself. This, Blenders, is a howler of bullsh*t wingnuttery. My emphasis on what made me laugh out loud.
In August we received an email from one of our members regarding an incident that took place at Partnership Elementary School in Raleigh. This member’s children were disturbed by some odd things they had been taught in class. A New Age “Elder”, Ms. Emily Gunter, had been invited in by the school Principal to teach K-5th graders about dealing with “stress” via her Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Program. Activities such as “Conscious Breathing for a Relaxed Mind”, “Unity Circle”, “What Are Your Colors and Values”, as well as something along the lines of chanting (non-english words/sounds) were taught to children as young as Kindergarten. A brief note in the school newsletter informed parents that there would be a class on dealing with stress, but it did not elude to the new age nature of Ms. Gunter’s teachings.
As a Christian, you may be most offended by the teaching of a false religion to children, whether they are yours, a friend’s, a neighbor’s or a stranger’s…but the issue runs to matters of law as well and should be troubling to people of all religions, or those with none at all.
We immediately did some fact checking and paid a visit to Ms. Gunter’s website where her mission statement reads: “Bringing peace to our world through the personal development and spiritual empowerment of the youth”. The new age basis of her teachings is easily discerned when you spend just a few minutes going through her site. Not knowing exactly what we were dealing with, we placed a call to the Christian Law Association and law firm of David Gibbs III, who you may recall was the attorney for Terri Schiavo. They put together a very detailed evaluation and came to the conclusion that the Wake County Public School System (via Partnership Elementary) had, in fact, broken the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At this point, we knew we had to pursue some course of action.
We have sent a letter to Superintendent McNeal, as well as all of the School Board members, asking them to do two things:
* Issue a formal reminder to all Wake County Principals and Administrators regarding these types of religious activities in the classroom.
* Inform all of the Partnership Elementary parents of this incident and and what they are doing to keep it from happening again.
We gave them copies of the Overview and Legal Opinion Memorandum provided by Mr. Gibbs’ firm, as well as Guidelines for Religious Freedom in Public Schools which was put out by the Department of Education in the 90’s to every school district in the nation. In most cases like this one, the school officials simply do not understand the law. Our prayer is that Superintendent McNeal will take strong corrective action to see that it does not happen again. Here is what we are asking of you:
* Pass this email on to people you know who have children in the Wake County Public School System so that they can be on the “lookout” for this kind of activity in the future.
* Take the time to download and read the overview/legal memorandum so that you will fully understand the facts surrounding this incident.
* If you have children in the WCPSS, download the Guidelines for Religious Freedom because you need to know the facts… remember, Christmas is right around the corner.
* Please inform us if anything like this has happened at your school.
* Pray that this will be well received by our WCPSS leadership and that they will act accordingly.
Last but not least, VOTE in the School Board Elections on October 11th for those candidates who support our values! We will have a non-partisan voter’s guide available online by October 1st for you to download and distribute. We have also started a Political Action Committee (Called2Elect) which will be endorsing individual candidates in these critical races. We must act to protect the innocence of our children (more information on the election will be coming soon).
As always, thank you for your prayers and action. Together, by the grace of God, we are making a difference.
In His Service,
(Photo by Sher Stoneman, N&O;)
This guy is outrageous, but hey, he’s a rising star in the AmTaliban, catching the eye of James Dobson of Focus on the Family and invited to join the super-secret Council for National Policy (a group that includes Paul Weyrich, the co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and Mother Phyllis Schlafly).
I’m curious as to how far this effort will get in Raleigh. You can check out the list of churches that work in partnership with C2A here. One is the virulently homophobic Upper Room Church of God in Christ, home of our local bigot black pastor, Patrick Wooden, who said “We have to block the use of euphemisms when we talk about homosexuals. They are not gay. We’ve got to use terms like ‘deviant’ and ‘abomination.'”
I also located another of C2A’s partners. King’s Park International Church, just a few miles from my house, geez.
That reminds me, when I’m feeling better, I have to go take a picture of a house that’s about a mile from ours; it is the apex of wingnuttery. I have no idea why these people built their compound here in Durham, amidst the homos.
They have a heinous life-size white statue of a white couple embraced in an ode to traditional marriage, with a “Jesus is Lord” banner strung along the iron fence gating in their property PLUS the Ten Commandments mounted at the driveway gate. Our jaws dropped one day when we finally saw someone emerge out of the compound as we drove by (it’s on a main road) — a black family lives there.
And people say that the Religious Right isn’t making inroads with black evangelicals. Alrighty then.