There is nothing in the world of journalism more delightful than a stupid opinion piece published in a college newspaper. What race, gender, or religious group will be hilariously insulted by an undergrad this week?
The great thing about college newspaper uproars is that they are simultaneously more outrageous than regular newspaper uproars, and less meaningful. Op-eds in college newspapers impact nobody. Who gives a shit what a college sophomore thinks about anything? For that reason, we are free to revel in their awful opinions and/ or the misplaced campus outrage over their opinions without any lingering sense of guilt. (This is also why we should not be so harsh on college journalists who mess up. That is the whole point of college journalism.)
If you had "Hindus" in the "College Newspaper Op-Ed Offended Group" pool this week, you win! Here is an op-ed in the John Brown University Threefold Advocate, by Deborah Raiees-Dana, about the important topic of Why Yoga Is Evil. It is extra special because its author is a full grown adult!
This column is not a theological exegesis, but rather a heartfelt cry. I understand that yoga has become an accepted part of the American culture. The National Institute of Health promotes it vigorously and much of the Church has accepted it as harmless. I have to disagree.
As I have been thinking of all the arguments and reasons why yoga is not as beneficial as we've been led to believe, it all keeps coming back to the fact that yoga has its roots in the worship of demonic Hindu gods.
I believe that while yoga may offer some benefits, those benefits have hidden, demonic strings attached. I spoke to one of our chapel speakers years ago about this. He was a Dalit "untouchable" from India who had become a Christian. His view is that yoga is the beautiful face that the very ugly religion of Hinduism uses to sell itself to Americans.
Is this sort of op-ed standard in Christian college newspapers? If so, I need to subscribe to more of them. Anyhow, Inside Higher Ed reports that there is a bit of an uproar now, and the newspaper had to disavow the author's views, because in this age of political correctness you can't even call another religion "demonic" without offending people.
But let's look at the big picture. In the era of Thought Catalog, we sometimes wonder whether or not college newspapers can still compete in the field of Young People Writing Unintentionally Dumb Things. Here is proof that they can not only compete—they can even recruit members of other generations to help. This should be considered a public service. As one of my favorite authors, Deborah Raiees-Dana, once wrote, "We don't need to be afraid of the demonic realm, but we do need to be wise."