Yoga has become a major issue in schools and churches across the globe. Although many see it as relaxation and for clearing the mind, there are also people who are under the impression that yoga is immediately related to Buddhism and Hinduism. I will be analyzing how different sites view and explain the same situation of an Austrian school banning yoga.
In the article “Austrian primary school bans yoga” written on The Local website writes of how a school had to ban yoga after a mother complained that she did not want her child involved due to religious reasons. The instructor, Ingrid Karner, went through all the appropriate steps needed to have yoga included as a monthly exercise in gym class and there were no problems when being approved. Many students, parents, and even the headmistress were happy with yoga being included into the program. When finding out that yoga had to stop due to the mothers concern of “religious reasons”, many were outraged and some even stated “What happened to tolerance and democracy?” The district stated that “anything from the Far East that touches on the esoteric has no place in schools”. The article ended with explaining that yoga has connections with Hinduism and Buddhism and explained how different forms of yoga are more religious than others.
In another article titled “Elementary School Makes Children Conduct Hindu Yoga Ritual, Christian Mother Fights Against It And The School Is Now Banning It (Good For Her!), the author copy and pastes a report from UPI. In this article written by UPI it again explains the same situation that happened in Austria. After the report from UPI, the author adds the statement “Yoga is a demonic ritual and should not be taught anywhere, it needs to be uprooted and utterly obliterated” and then proceeds to show a video called “Yoga Brainwashing Gods of the New Age Religion”
The first article is written on the website “The Local”, which is the largest independent English-speaking news site in Europe, ranging from pop news to religious news. The way they explain what happened is that the school had to ban yoga after a complaint from a mother. However in the second article, written on Shoebat.com, a website for “awareness and action” that collects donations to rescue “persecuted Christians” explains that the school is “making children conduct Hinduism yoga”. The first article uses the word “had” to emphases that it was not something that was wanted all around, while the second article shouts even in the title of the article that the children had no desire to be participating in the yoga and the school was making them do something against their will. Furthermore, while The Local includes statements from parents who are upset about yoga being taken away, Shoebat includes an article that has no such information in it, allowing the reader to take away that there were no fights against keeping yoga and that it is a just thing take away, even though we are supposed to be living in a society of tolerance. Although the article on The Local is a much more positive look on the practice of yoga, it does say that “anything from the Far East that touches on the esoteric has no place in schools” which is falsely eluding to the fact that only people from the “Far East” participate in religious yoga, which is an untrue statement, seeing that Buddhist and Hindus who participate in religious yoga can be found all around the globe. Lastly, the article in Shoebat ends with a statement and video saying that yoga is “demonic” and should not be taught anywhere. This leaves the reader thinking that not only is yoga demonic, but that the religion that it stems from is also demonic and should not be practiced.
Far too often there are sites and newscast stations that are incredibly bias and don’t tell the whole story. Because people tend to watch the same sites and news stations day in and day out, they are missing other key information that is being left out to make one side seem stronger than another. How can this be fixed? How can we make people open their eyes and see that there is biased views for each news site and station? How can we make known that there are people in the world who are paid to make a story more appealing and say things they want to say without actually using the words?