With Common Core's focus on math and reading, social studies is still on the back burner in many states. Many social studies teachers and administrators I work with have told me that a challenge to eventually applying Common Core frameworks to social studies is the dearth of up-to-date content.
While every American has a right to free exercise, I believe two initiatives of the U.S. government, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the G.W. Bush administration's expansion of the Faith-Based Initiative, have perpetuated a very asymmetrical view of religious freedom.
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.
Among many intellectuals and activists, Hinduism is seen as a backwards and even reactionary religion, and not applicable to our experience as second- and third-generation Americans. I could not disagree more with that sentiment.
When are freedom-respecting citizens of the world and, especially those in Pakistan, going to step up to the plate and end this terror? How many Rinkels and Rachnas will have to face a life stripped of dignity and freedom of conscience?
We understand that what may be offensive to one Hindu is not offensive to another. But at least for what appears to many to be "misuses", Hindus should and must assert the right to rule-making that others have asserted before us.
Contrary to the wide academic conflation of caste and Hinduism, the practice of caste-based discrimination is in contradiction to the Hindu teaching that each individual is equally divine and has the potential to realize God based on his effort.
Of course no one owns yoga. Nor do you have to be Hindu to practice and benefit from yoga. Pretty obvious one would think, but not so for the many perturbed Western yogis who have entered the debate about the Hindu origins of yoga.