The concept of God is a shaky subject. Add to it the yoga-inspired faith in the God within us all, and you have a huge mess on your hands. Calling yoga non-religious isn't just about altering yoga to make a buck. It is to avoid starting a war.
The deductibility of donations to religious organizations creates a discriminatory religious subsidy. One is free to donate to the religion of one's choice, but government support of these donations burdens every American, even the non-religious, with support for the faith industry.
Hardly a month goes by when we don't read about the decline or collapse of organized religion in America. But religion -- including the organized sort -- remains vital and vibrant, defying the predictions of doom that appear with numbing regularity.
The act of questioning whether organized religion makes people stupid is bound to provoke a heated response. On one hand, there are people who claim to live in faith-based communities who attribute every event in their lives to God. On the other hand, there are those who are confirmed atheists.
There are times and places when our worship requires a sense of awe and dignity. There are times when we need less "here and now" and more transcendence and beauty. There are times when our prayer must be marked by reverence and earnestness.
The Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain leaders present at the White House did not simply want to find common cause in the present but determine systematic ways of articulating their religious values through action in the future.
I appeal to Americans to attend the prayers by demanding an inclusion and not allow Gov. Perry to chop God into bits and pieces; yours and mine. America is yours and America is mine, let's not allow any rascal to monopolize God to serve his interests and whims.
The Second Great Awakening and the Fundamentalist Movement sought to transform the United States into a distinctly Christian nation and, in that way, paved the way for the Christian Right of our own time.
The Christian Right has claimed from its inception that others -- liberals, secularists and humanists -- were eroding the values of the nation that they sought to affirm and protect. In that claim we find the seeds of the current American crisis.