Category: Parenting

Should Yoga be Taught in BC Public Schools?

UPDATES: RESPONSES below added

 

 

The following is a real dialogue between a British Columbia parent who didn’t like the idea of their child doing yoga without their permission in what they thought was a secular school.  Note that the parent received no further communication after sending their time-consuming response below:

Original Email written by Teacher to Parent

Mrs. “Grade One Teacher” has expressed that you are concerned about ‘yoga’ done during Physical Education/ movement classes that I teach to the grade ones.

I want to assure you that there is absolutely no religious/nor any teaching of where ‘yoga’ has come from.  Instead, as per what the B.C. curriculum asks teachers to teach, ‘yoga’ or ‘stretching’ as we often  call it, is focuses on stretching our bodies safely to prevent injury. Some of the stretches are a little harder to do than others, and the students are always told and reassured to try out the stretches but to listen to their bodies and not do anything that will hurt themselves.

Part of the curriculum for Physical Education is to talk about ‘healthy living’ and students often talk about stretches that they do when they play soccer, baseball etc.  The terms ‘yoga’ and ‘stretching’ have been
used in class interchangeably, as many students practice yoga outside of school and recognize some of these stretches mimic yoga moves and stretches.

Please let me know if you have any further questions,

Response from Parent to Teacher

Hello “Teacher”

Sorry for the late reply.

Thanks for your email and for taking the time to send us an email in regards to our concerns.  You are correct that we are concerned.

Here is a quick link to show that we are not alone in our concern about the introduction of yoga into the public school system:
http://bismarcktribune.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/school-adds-yoga-to-physical-education-curriculum/article_824bc80e-4807-11e2-8f30-001a4bcf887a.html

Although I’m sure the Minister of Education wholeheartedly believes what you explain about yoga being ‘non religious’ a basic search will reveal that Yoga is absolutely rooted in Hinduism and eastern religious
practices.  We did not have any participation in the decision to implement yoga in the public school curriculum, nor do I recall being notified that this practice would be included in the curriculum, but I’m
also very busy so it’s absolutely possible that we missed the memo – and it’s not like I’m on the PAC even though I really wish I was.

For us it’s not about whether or not the the historical teachings of the religions are taught or not with yoga that concerns us. In fact, a neutral, unbiased course on all world religions could be quite
beneficial in helping kids understand more about the religious backgrounds of the students in their class and the world around them.t teach about different world religions at home for this very reason.  We have several friends who have turbans, for example, so we explain about the turban and Guru Nanak before we go to their home so they are not without understanding and can even engage in meaningful
cultural-crossing conversations.

However, what is happening here at Gray Elementary is not the teaching about yoga, but instead the *participation in* the physical movements of yoga, which is a spiritual activity involving the union of mind, spirit, and body which is even deemed dangerous by people who practice yoga at
the highest levels.

Simply put, to ask a child to *participate* in yoga, which in its very name comes from Hinduism and such practices, should not be included in a secular school system curriculum. Incidentally, I have several Indo-Canadian friends of said religions who agree with my position, even though they deem the practice to be beneficial to themselves.  They understand and agree that it comes from these eastern religions and are also confused as to its presence in the public school.

Our position is that because we enrolled our daughter in a *secular* school and we are not comfortable with our child participating in non-secular activities such as Yoga without our consent.  This would include Tai Chi, and other similarly rooted activities.  Stretching, inbthe way that a runner would stretch before a track meet, is absolutely fine, of course.  That is, unlike Yoga, is “just stretching”.

We thank you in advance for understanding our position as it pertains to parenting in relation to our daughters participation in school activities.

In a similar way, do not hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions and thank you so much for your hard work teaching our child.

Sincerely,

Parent

Response from School Principal cc’d to ‘unknown other recipients’

Good afternoon Mr. Parent,

Ms. Yoga-Teacher informed me of your concerns regarding the movement class.

Please be assured that if you choose for your daughter not to participate in the stretching class, an alternate activity will be found for her. Please inform either Ms. Yoga-Teacher or Mrs. GradeOne-Teacher if that is your wish.

Regards,

Response from Parent back to Expanding Party

Hello “Principal”,

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.  I’m very pleased with all the professional response we have received.  “Nice” Elementary is undoubtedly a great school and we are very thankful for all of you and your hard work.

We are still slightly confused, though.  Is it a stretching class “Daughter” will be doing, or will she be doing yoga?

As we have stated, we are fine with stretching (ie. track-and-field).

However, we are *not* fine with yoga. (ie. rooted in eastern religion(s))

It seems as though the two terms are now being used interchangeably as if ‘yoga = stretching’.  But yoga does not equal stretching.  Yoga is yoga. If we say ‘it’s fine for her to do stretching’ and then she ends up doing yoga, this would be a ‘challenge’.

On another note, please rest assured that we are not trying to be a pain.  My dad was a teacher and I know you don’t need extra admin added to your jobs.  However, I think we’ve presented a pretty good case here
on the topic of secular vs faith-based activities.

I should also state that I would not be whatsoever offended if Christmas activities were removed from the menu as well, and diwali.  all for the same reasons.

A kind of ‘solution’ that I was thinking about is to keep this kind of simple that would be permissible:  When “Yoga-Teacher” is doing yoga-related activities, “Daughter” (and anyone else who wasn’t comfortable doing yoga) could be instructed to do “standard track-and-field stretches”.  We would be fine with that.  We don’t want to make this annoying.

And on a final note, how does a parent get involved in the decision-making processes that lead to activities like these being introduced into the curriculum?

I won’t deny that I was pretty shocked that yoga had landed in my daughter’s grade one curriculum without even a consent form…

Thanks again for all of your feedback and response.

Sincerely,

Parent

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The Most Relevant Documentary of Our Age

I’ve seen a lot of documentaries, a lot of conspiracies, a lot of interesting things.

Nothing comes close to the importance and relevance of this one.

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Question the Magic (QTM): Hello Barbie

hello-barbie

Thanks to my usual homeboys for forwarding this one.  It’s simply…. MAGIC!

HELLO BARBIE which costs a mere… oh…. HUNDRED BUCKS, will also, for that small fee, spy on your children (and you as a bonus) and report its findings to an unidentified source for not-fully-disclosed purposes.

The Magic

Your kid speaks to Barbie and Barbie comes back with one of EIGHT THOUSAND possible lines.  That size vocabulary seems like ‘magic’.  To kids, even more so.

The Smoke.  The Mirrors. (new section)

Your kid’s voice (and yours if you spend any time with your kid which you will likely no longer have to do once they get this bad-boy) is ‘magically’ whisked away through your wifi connection, to a server that is not yours, where it is torn apart, analysed and then matched to a good response.  The good response is sent back to Barbie who ‘magically’ speaks it to your kid.

The Risks

Your kids voice is leaving your house and going into the hands of a bunch of people you don’t know.  Entire conversations could be recorded and analysed by unknown groups of people with unknown motives.  You put your own child at risk, you put at risk the children who hang out with your child, and you put at risk anyone within earshot of Hello Barbie’s ‘magic’.

The Solution

By your child a gift without a battery or internet connection this year, or, better yet, don’t buy them anything at all and take the money you were going to spend on them and go for a nice meal out, look in their eyes, and tell them how much you love them.

Hello Barbie won’t cry about it.

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Pornography is Worse than Cancer

scf

I know the title of this blog post is pretty strong, but it’s the truth.  As I get older the burning desire inside of me for truth has been further fueled.

At about the age of 11 I had my first exposure to pornography when I found a magazine under a bush near my house.  The very depths of my being knew (without having been taught, please note) that it was wrong and very dark.  Yet I was drawn to it like a moth to a headlight.  Everything in my heart knew it was wrong and I should run but everything in my flesh pulled me back.

My flesh won.

From that point I was a captive and a slave for the rest of my life until just a few years ago when I enrolled in a course called Setting Captives Free.

From that point, I would never look at females the same and I would never be fully free in my mind, heart, conscience or otherwise.

Pornography is a very secretive and dark sin that thrives in the dark like mould on a wall.  The only solution to the problem is light.  Like mould, it continues to grow and worsen in the dark until the problem has reached an epidemic and ultimately sickness and death follows.

“Death?  Oh, Wayne-Out-There, you are too extreme! It’s just porn.  All guys do it a little.  As long as you don’t touch it’s ok.  It’s a release!  It improves sexual creativity, blah blah blah blah blah blah”

No. You know I’m right and you’re in full blown denial, just like I was.  I totally understand you, but you are rejecting the truth and choosing death over life.

Sickness is the first sign of impending death.  Your mind becomes sick.  What made you full yesterday isn’t enough today.  You need more excitement, more extremism, more depravity, more, more, more.  Your flesh will not leave you alone.  You become a lustful person – a person full of lust.  You have to fight your mind and tell it to behave because it no longer obeys any form of normal. It is now sick (and twisted).  What was wrong yesterday is ‘somewhat wrong’ today.  What was unacceptable before, is ‘not the worst thing’.

You have become sick and death is coming soon.

First comes the death of your relationships.  You become angry because you are fully aware of how your adulterous and twisted mind is.  Peace departs from you and rarely returns.  If there was intimacy in your marriage, it quickly fades and disappears because no spouse could compete with the speed of evil streaming through your internet connection.

Once your marriage is dead, you may see the death of your job, dreams, relationships with children and more.

It’s all one big ugly package and it was planted by that one seed of wickedness that was planted in my mind at 11.

But I’m free now, by the grace of God and the work of the volunteers at Setting Captives Free, and I would not trade this new found freedom for all the coffee in Peru.

Today could be the first day on your long road to freedom.

There is hope.  If you can’t trust yourself (I was in this condition), trust *me*.

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McDonalds Food in Your Stomach: Pure Nastiness

If you regularly go to McDonalds, you may change your habit if you watch this video simulating a cheeseburger in stomache acid.  Gross!!

However, it should be stated in fairness to any company that the same results may occur if you put *any* food into straight hydrocloric acid – I don’t know.  Since I haven’t done this test with a high quality, home made burger, I cannot say for sure that this is because McDonald’s is nasty – although I wouldn’t be surprised.  I hope someone has time to run this same test as a follow up using a high quality burger…

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Overcoming the ‘spirit of christmas’ with the Spirit of Christ: Part 6 in a Series: Dealing With Pressure to Buy Gifts

ghetto-gift

If you haven’t been following the series, it started a while back now and the goal here is to shoot some ‘sacred cows’ and see if the foundation we are building on is solid, or one of ‘shaky foundations’.

Here are some quick links to the series:

Today in Part 6 we’re going to focus on perhaps one of the most challenging and dangerous parts of our big holidays – the pressure to buy gifts.

First, as a believer, I wanted to review what God said about giving.  Thanks to the world wide webbers, I don’t have to do it myself!  Someone already made this comprehensive overview page on the topic.

>>What the God of the Bible says about Giving<<

I like how this page started out by pointing out the greatest gift of history: God gave Jesus to die on a cross for us.  Top that gift!  The next best thing you can do in line after that is to lay down your life for someone else.

Have you laid down your life for someone else or have you been clinging to ‘what’s in it for me?’  Don’t be hard on yourself.  It’s a work in progress.  Selfishness is rooted deep in your blood thanks to that couple that goofed up in the garden way back when.

Before we even talk about ‘gifts’ it’s important to look straight at our hearts and decide if we are ‘giving people’ or ‘taking people’.  I don’t suppose we can be both.  However, we also must learn how to receive.  Why?  Well, if you don’t know how to receive then you are blocking the giver from receiving their blessing from performing the good act of giving. Simple as that.  Now, if someone has evil motives for giving (ie. a brown bag of cash under the table to a politician) then you don’t need to be a receiver, nor will you block any blessings.  But if someone feels in their heart they want to give you a gift, you have to learn how to receive it and be thankful deep in your heart.

And for some reason this is hard for me, but I am slowly getting better.

For me, as soon as I receive a gift, I feel that I owe the giver something. I feel that I have to ‘level the playing field’.  This is especially true in Korea.  Ask any Korean how gift giving works at a wedding for the bride and groom!  But this is neither giving nor receiving.  This is cold, cruel accounting.  Our hearts, if we cannot receive a gift with thanksgiving, nor can give a gift with joy, are cold and of no value, in my not-so-humble-opinion.

Now that we’ve covered quickly the topic of making sure we are actually giving and receiving people, let’s look at gifts themselves.

For most people, they envision a gift as a box with wrapping paper.  Ask a kid to ‘draw a gift’.  I’m guessing they will not draw Jesus bleeding on the cross for you, but praise God if your kid does!  They will likely draw this:

ghetto-gift

But the thing is… people forget that a ‘gift’ is different to each person.  If you read the awesome and famous book ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, you’ll quickly learn that for some people it is a gift in a box but for others, it’s a walk in the park.

Time is Money.

Time is a Gift That Cannot Be Replaced.

2008 until now has been a hard time for our family in the sense that we’ve had to rely on others due to some sad financial situation that has hit us that was largely out of our control.  This has made the idea of lavish spending and long vacations a difficult task to say the least.  Through it all, though, I cannot thank God enough for the experience because I can truly be content now.  I drive a 1997 Dodge neon. I have no idea when it’s going to die but praise God it works today.  My wife has the nice car (Ford) which I had to buy for a sales job…  Anyway, who cares?  I couldn’t be happier this year.  I’ve got my health, my family, my friends, my brain.  I’m learning, I’m growing and in due season ‘it too shall pass away’.

In the meantime, though, what matters?

I spent some time thinking back on my childhood about what I remember.  I can remember a couple of gifts (two way radios, and Wayne Gretzky’s Rocket Hockey) but the rest is pretty much gone.  However, what I do remember is a warm house with loving parents. I also remember my dad used to take me out and throw a baseball back and forth and play with me outside.  I’ll never forget that.  I have a great dad and mom.  Mom made me food for lunch so I could walk home and eat it while the other kids ate cheese and salami sandwiches.  I used to feel left out and now I realize I was a king’s kid compared to those processed meals!

That stuff matters.

That stuff lives on.

>>And none of it would be in my memory if they didn’t give their time to me!<<

The sweaters, smart phones, stereos, dancing reindeer, Obama bobble heads…. none of that matters.  It, like your flesh, will one day go back to the earth.

Your time and expression thereof is really all you have to give if you dig down to the heart of it.

And I think that concludes this post.  I got my revelation.

This does deserve a follow up with some practical gift ideas (box/wrap style gifts) for those who feel loved by getting them.  There are great ‘alternative gifts’ out there and I’d like to focus a post on them.  We don’t need to go into debt for this stuff.  Easter is coming and someone told me there is gift giving pressure associated with this holiday now.  Let’s start right now to prepare against that temptation and pressure.

Afterthought:  I also realize that you have to work (spend your time) to get the money to buy the gift in a box so it also, to some extent, is an expression of your time and life.

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Overcoming the ‘spirit of christmas’ with the Spirit of Christ: Part 5 in a Series: Practical Alternatives to Christmas traditions

If you haven’t been following this series, here is a quick link list to the previous articles so you can catch up:

And that brings us to Part 5.

We’ve established that there are good grounds to abort operation Christmas tradition and run for the hills, but it’s not that simple.  As parents who believe that Jesus is Lord and that our God is a Great and mighty God, it may appear as though we are just running away from a big powerful monster.  Not so, nor can we risk anyone thinking this.  Nor do we want to be mislabelled as a JW (Jehovah’s Witness).

I believe the only solution is to do what was originally done: replace the rituals with righteous ones and celebrate all days equally (or as equally as possible) unto the Lord.

That sounds both spiritual and easy but it’s not.

It will require planning and a resolve to stick to your plan in the face of adversity.  You will be most surprised at the amount of opposition will head your way from both within the church and without.  Thankfully, in my case it was more from without.

In this part of the series, I sincerely hope that I’ll get some help from other believers out there who can add to this list of suggestions.  Just throw your ideas in the comments below and I’ll update the expanding list.

We need ideas of things we can do that will show the world that

  • we are all about family
  • we are not about pagan rituals
  • we are people who don’t compromise
  • we are all about fun!

The last part is key – fun.

It’s quite remarkable how a fat man in a red suit has become the highlight of a child’s year.  Surely we can compete, I’m thinking.  And perhaps we could even teach the Bible and characters of the Bible in the process.

Here are some things I did this year that worked well in no particular order and others that came to mind while I was doing them that I could have done:

  • audio streaming of great Holy Spirit filled music to sing to and dance to (yes, I put my groove on)
  • movie nights (all the time) with movies that were wholesome, righteous, or, at worst, spiritually neutral
  • physical activities: ice skating, walking outside,
  • non-physical activities: crafts, arts, gift building, etc
  • learning about how Christians celebrates christmas around the world: poverty, suffering, persecution, mockery
  • formulate a plan for helping someone celebrate christmas locally (giving, loving, giving, caring, giving)
  • figure out a way that shows that giving is better than receiving
  • teach them about the destructive power of the commercialism around christmas
  • teach the truth about the christmas tree, santa, and the other rituals but not forgetting to also teach not to burst other’s dreams in a mean way….
  • and more

A reader from out in Ontario somewhere sent me a note and pointed out that she had gone ice skating and it couldn’t even compare to the 5 minutes of excitement of opening a gift.  This made me think of the key point about why this is truly valuable.  It’s your number one and never replaceable asset: your time.

While you breath, you have time.  When you stop breathing time is taken away from you and you will go into eternity (yes, even you who don’t believe it will experience it so get saved).  So if it takes time to make money, and you give someone your time, you are giving them money.  I’m not an intelligent man and I figured that out!  Time really is money.  So, if you want to give your kids a gift that is worth no less than $11, give them an hour.  You don’t even have to do it all at once!  You can give them $5.5 twice per day.  And I’m not talking about sitting beside them while you slap your friend an what’s app.  I’m preaching to myself, here, too.

I have a strange feeling if we plan how we are going to *gift our time [that expression just came to me but you can use it royalty free]* for the next ritualistic holiday that you will make it a holiday they won’t forget.

I’m so idealistic.  Just writing that made me feel waves of shame.  But oh well, we can all start today…

I hope that you will all join me next Christmas, but what’s exciting is that we have Easter (comes from ‘Ishtar’) coming up very soon so we could start bringing glory to God then as well.

The same reader from Ontario pointed out that apparently Easter is now experiencing gift-giving pressure?  I didn’t know that. She explained that it has extended past chocolates… anyway if that’s true stay tuned and we’ll review the basics right before you start spending your money.

Oh, and one more thing.  Since today is the last day of 2014, I wanted to say that I hope you are all set to have an amazing roller coaster ride of faith for 2015!

Overcoming the ‘spirit of christmas’ with the Spirit of Christ: Part 4 in a Series: To Pull Your Child from School or Not

Well, Christmas 2015 is now behind us.  Before it gets too far behind us, let’s keep this series going so that we are better prepared next year instead of the annual tradition of scrambling trying to figure out what position to take at the end of November or early December.

Here is a quick link list to the previous parts in the series:

  1. Part 1: Roots
  2. Part 2: Christmas tree versus Vine
  3. Part 3: Santa

Thanks for following this developing series.

Now that we’ve covered some articles on the actual theology (in a practical sense) and some possible issues of conscience. Perhaps now you have, like me, begun to wonder if we’ve bought into a system of which God may not approve.

Now your child comes back from school to let you know that they will be doing weeks and weeks of ‘Christmas stuff’ leading up to the holidays.

Now you’re torn.

Do you let your child participate, or otherwise?

By letting them participate they are essentially celebrating the roots of all the stuff we’ve looked at.

Here are some pros about pulling your child from such activities:

  • they are not dabbling in pagan rituals
  • they are identified as ‘different’ from the rest (which is biblical) and for all the right biblical reasons
  • it will create conversation and discussion which might otherwise not get started (someone might get saved as a result)
  • you can spend the time they would have spent doing something biblical (or something else period)

Here are some cons I considered:

  • the activities are typically quite fun and the child would miss this fun with their school mates
  • they would be identified as ‘different’ which from a child’s perspective is a bit trickier to deal with
  • they may get labelled as a Jehovah Witness

This year we elected to let our daughter do another year of ‘Christmas stuff’ (her first year in kindergarten) but I’m not quite sure it was the right decision.  There is no question when the weeks leading up to the holiday were complete she came out of there very positive about santa and his ways as well as ultra positive about the christmas tree which, in my opinion, is the worst of them all.

I’m just not completely sure we made the right decision but we are human and we want to learn.

One thing I have pulled out of this for certain is that if you elect to pull your child, it is critical that you have big plans for Jesus during that time. In the next post I will start to explore exactly that – what we as parents can do with our children that will glorify God while simultaneously boycotting vain and even pagan rituals of these well established holidays.

Stay tuned for more.

 

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The Battle of Disciples of Christ as Parents of Children in a New Age Education System

Are you a parent of a kid in a ‘secular’ school and find that your spirit is grieved by stuff that’s happening?  You are not alone.  I also am battling this and far, far sooner than I had expected.

First, a quick background: I’m a disciple of Jesus the Christ of Nazereth, aka ‘a Christian’.  I refrain from using the word ‘Christian’ because it was never used by Jesus disciples nor anyone else after them, but was a title given as a label to explain them.  I’m not offended if you use it but I don’t want to be yoked with some of these people who call themselves Christian.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for me, on the third day he rose again defeating death forever for those who believe.  I believe.  And I am striving to act and think more and more like Jesus with each passing day of my short life.  If you want to call that a Christian, go ahead.

Second, let’s get some terminology straight.  It was once explained to me that in BC here it’s a ‘secular’ school system, as opposed to, I guess, a school that teaches religious or spiritual stuff or worships God or a god.  I was under the understanding that a secular school separated ‘the church from the state’ or kept matters of faith ‘neutral’ if allowed at all.  Secular is defined by an online dictionary as “of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal” and, when used in the discussion of education or school “concerned with nonreligious subjects.”  Therefore, according to this definition, I should not be even writing this blog post.  My daughter’s school should be totally neutral.  No Christmas, no Hanukkah, no Ramadan, no nothing – a spiritually neutral place where they can flounder and float in the universe without rhyme or reason for their existence – if their parents don’t give it to them.  And this is the environment that I thought my kindergarten daughter was entering.  Within less than a month, I realize that this is not the case at all.  And I should not be surprised, because evolution is taught as ‘gospel’ at ‘secular’ schools.  But I’ll leave the evolution debate alone for now.

Last night, before going to bed, I received this email from our daughter’s kindergarten teacher.  Names removed for obvious reasons:

Hello parents, On Monday, October 20th we will be celebrating Diwali (a festival of lights celebrated in India) in Kindergarten. Our multicultural worker and the Kindergarten teachers have planned some stations for the afternoon. If you are able to come in and help us from 1-3pm, please let me know. thank you,

What is Diwali? Well, this teacher neglected to explain that or give links to what exactly it is which would be like telling students in India that they are going to celebrate Christmas, ‘a celebration observed in other countries’.  I believe a more detailed definition here would have been helpful so as to let parents decide whether or not they would like their children doing whatever Diwali is.  Thankfully I have been living in the Vancouver area long enough to know approximately what it is (I have a few Indian friends) but that is not the case with many newcomers to Canada.  To spare you a few seconds searching around online, you can just click this link for a quick overview.  After about 30 seconds you should come to the same conclusion that I did: it is a Hindu festival dedicated to Hindu gods and rituals and beliefs.  That’s it.  That’s what it is.  It is not a ‘celebration of lights’ which would imply it’s like our annual fireworks event in English Bay in Vancouver here each year.  Not even close.  It is not secular by the furthest stretch of the word.  It is, by its very nature,  a Hindu, pagan, spiritual festival.

And so now what?

The Bible is clear about stuff like this.  Here are a few quotes from my Maker, some of which you may already know:

  • “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither you go, lest it become a snare in the midst of you. You shall tear down their altars, and break their pillars, and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they play the harlot after their gods and make your sons play the harlot after their gods.”

and a few snippets from the 10 commandments (Exodus 20: 3, 4, 5), shall we?

  • Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  • Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
  • Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me

We are not to touch stuff like this when we are in full knowledge that it is rooted in idolatry and paganism – things God deplores.

Like yoga!  Yes!  Like yoga – and if you are a Christian, you need to read this blog post if you think yoga is ok.

Now it is one thing for this multicultural worker to come in and explain, in a third party and very removed fashion, what Diwali is, who celebrates it, how they celebrate it, and what they believe, is one thing.  Although I didn’t sign my Kindergarten daughter up for World Religion 101 and assumed this stuff would not be covered, she knows Jesus herself and need not be afraid of gods without power.  However, to have a multicultural worker come in and, without the clear and written consent or warning to the parents that there will be participation, even at arms length, in a pagan ritual (whether with some ‘light-hearted lanterns’, yoga, or full prostrated position on the floor worshipping a statue of Rama, I care not) is a totally different ball of wax. I shudder to think that my daughter might have been in this ‘celebration’ without my knowledge if they weren’t in need of extra help and this message not have been sent!

Until yesterday, I didn’t understand why parents sent their kids to religious private schools.  Now I understand.

But I’m a fighter and a writer and running, although easier, is not the solution here.

And so again – what to do?

Since this caught me off guard and I was blown away by the very subtle nature of this religious agenda, for now, I’m going to start by writing a polite reply to this email explaining roughly what’s going on.  I will send this and then offer her to contact me if she would like further explanation about why our daughter will not be there that afternoon.  If she replies and would like to know more, I will present her with a link to this blog post.

Here is my reply to her which any other person in the same boat as us may use as a template that you can tweak if it’s helpful.  And I will update this blog post as things develop.

————————

Dear ____ [teachername],

First of all, thank you for being a tremendous kindergarten teacher.  There is no doubt that you are great at it and our ____ [daughter/son] is really enjoying ___[his/her] first year in school and learning boatloads of great stuff.
Unfortunately, neither I nor _____ [spousesname] were unaware that Hindu religion (Diwali) were not only being taught but also practiced (some stations are apparently being planned) in our ____ [daughter’s/son’s] secular school.  We may have missed a memo with this information, and perhaps a consent form, but this email caught us completely off guard.  Further, as there are many newcomers to Canada who may be of different belief systems, I think it would have been expedient to explain in clear and plain English and in advance that Diwali is indeed a Hindu and non-secular event and offer the parents the chance to remove their students from the event.  If this email did not come out, there could have been a very notable issue if certain parents discovered that their children participated in a non-secular event without being given this notice.

As for our ____ [daughter/son], _____[he/she] will not be able to attend class during this time, nor will we as parents be able to support this activity due to the commandments given us in our religious Book.  We must, as we hope you’ll understand, maintain those commandments above all others.

Furthermore, moving forward, if you could be so kind as to send me the entire multicultural agenda as it pertains to our ____ [daughter/son] so that we can review it, that would be greatly appreciated because we are now concerned that there may be more such non-secular events planned for our ____ [daughter/son].

We again sincerely thank you for your understanding of this multicultural and multi-faith environment in which we all live and we look forward to being fully supportive of all future events, field trips, fund-raisers, and the like.

If you would like further details about this, by all means, don’t hesitate to task and I will fully explain to you our perspective.  It would be my pleasure.

Thanks, [teachername].  We appreciate you.
Sincerely,

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