If you’ve been reading me for any period of time, you know that one of my favorite games is to point out the OTHER things that anti-gay wingnuts believe, partially because it’s hilarious, but also because it’s important to understand, as I’ve said in the past, that wingnuts are never, ever bat crazy on just one subject. Ever. Scratch an anti-gay bigot, find a misogynistic rape defender. Scratch a rape defender, find a crazed militia of one ranting about North American superhighways and “ameros.” Scratch Glenn Beck [ew], etc., you get the idea.
So right in keeping with that, it’s fun for us to point out that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler, who recently penned a rancid, vile piece about the gay teen suicides, also thinks that yoga is completely scary, and mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll thinks that yoga classes are wormholes whereby “little demons” can come and get you and, I don’t know, make your muscles really flexible or something. I am not kidding:
A recent essay by the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., warned Christians that yoga is contradictory to Christianity. And local megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church went even further, saying earlier this year that yoga is “absolute paganism.”
“Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic,” Driscoll said. “If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you’re signing up for a little demon class.”
“Yoga begins and ends with an understanding of the body that is, to say the very least, at odds with the Christian understanding,” Mohler wrote in an online essay last month. “Christians are not called to empty the mind or to see the human body as a means of connecting to and coming to know the divine. Believers are called to meditate upon the Word of God.”
The Associated Press reported this week that Mohler has received plenty of pushback from yoga enthusiasts, including Christians.
Driscoll, in a Q&A session with church members in February, issued a similar warning, calling yoga a form of pantheism. “There’s not creator and creation,” he said. “All is collapsed into what we call oneism. The result is that you don’t go out to God, you go into self. It’s not about connecting to God through the mediatorship of Jesus. It’s about connecting to the universe through meditation. It’s absolute paganism.”
It is a wonder these men don’t shriek when they see their own shadows, seriously. Or maybe they do! We do not know.
And I’m going to guess that neither one of them has ever done yoga, which is one of THE single best types of physical exercise you can do for your body.
Or maybe they tried it once and Downward Facing Dog made their fannies feel vulnerable?
In case you’re not familiar with Mark Driscoll, he’s one of those weird Evangelical types who desperately tries to market severe Evangelical Calvinism as something “cool,” by saying potty words and stuff. In reality, his message is basically in line with the Puritans:
God called Driscoll to preach to men — particularly young men — to save them from an American Protestantism that has emasculated Christ and driven men from church pews with praise music that sounds more like boy-band ballads crooned to Jesus than “Onward Christian Soldiers.” What bothers Driscoll — and the growing number of evangelical pastors who agree with him — is not the trope of Jesus-as-lover. After all, St. Paul tells us that the Church is the bride of Christ. What really grates is the portrayal of Jesus as a wimp, or worse. Paintings depict a gentle man embracing children and cuddling lambs. Hymns celebrate his patience and tenderness. The mainstream church, Driscoll has written, has transformed Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture that . . . would never talk about sin or send anyone to hell.”
Yeah, he’s fightin’ against that fag Jesus that everybody’s always going on about. If you read that profile, you’ll see that he’s also very anti-woman, so basically he’s a normal fundamentalist Christian who happens to wear jeans when he’s preaching.
Anyway, so to sum up: Two guys who fear gay people also happen to think that if you do yoga, you will release tiny demons into the atmosphere. These two beliefs are equally sane, and par for the course for the American Wingnut.