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Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in In the news, Law | 0 comments

Teaching yoga not a state endorsement of Hinduism

Yoga Fracas

This litigation seems  frivolous – although at least it shows a judge using some common sense. The question of whether some state activity amounts to endorsing religion (or a particular religion) is going to depend on all the facts, including the surrounding circumstances. Judges should only try to assess how it would appear to an ordinary, reasonable bystander, not produce some sort of mechanical, perhaps silly decision. Here the judge quite rightly concluded that the state was not endorsing Hinduism, and thus trampling on the religious freedom of Christians and others, simply by offering a rather secularised version of yoga.

Similarly, when some of my friends go to yoga classes as a form of exercise they are not thereby embracing Hinduism for that hour or two each week.