back to article Church hall bans 'unchristian' yoga for nippers

A Somerset church has banned toddlers from practising yoga in its hall because the "unchristian" practice "promoted other spiritualities", the BBC reports. Teacher Louise Woodcock from Taunton got a nasty shock when she applied to rent Taunton's Silver Street Baptist Church hall for her Yum Yum Yoga classes. She explained: "I …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ultra-Christian=gibbering idiot?

    Well, in my experience anyway. If anything should be banned from being able to influence children, it's ultra-reactionary idiots like these.

    Somehow, this reminds me of when microwave ovens had only been out for a few years, and a waitress told me with a deadpan look on her face, that she would never use one because of the danger of radiation getting into the food.


  2. Iain

    That's not all...

    I really hope they're remembering to ban the mathematicians with their dodgy Al-Jebra teachings from those nasty Muslims, and ensured we haven't got any of those eeevil Mah-Jong or Go players at the local boardgame meet.

    Paganistic morris dancers are right out, obv.

  3. Phil

    Typical Religious Crap

    This story really infuriated me! What a bunch of narrow minded stuck up old farts.

    Not content with holding back scientific knowledge and causing wars and terrorism, religion is now threatening 'Thursday night belly dancing lessons' at the village hall.

    Yet more proof that all religion should be banned.

  4. Lloyd

    It's an old story

    But I'll bite anyway.

    Have you seen some of these yoga mums and the clothes they wear to do yoga in? Definitely not for kids but certainly MILF material.

  5. Richard Sower

    Right wing nut jobs

    Im Catholic, and i hate people like this. It gives the rest of us a bad name. These right wing, the rest of you be damned, literal reading of the bible idiots seem to be only ones with a microphone infront of them. Of course this is not going to be corruptive in any way shape or form. What ever happened to common sense?!?

  6. Ash

    A Christian Alternative

    Have them recreate the Crusades by burning or hanging the Yoga teacher, and while they're at it forcing the non-Aryan children to shine the shoes of the white kids.

    Prescribed religion sickens me.

  7. Bez

    There's a surprise

    "...a letter from the minister a few days later saying I couldn't have the hall, with no reasons given."


    "...when we let rooms out to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos."

    Religion in total hypocrisy shocker.

    Mind you - baby yoga? I'd have just written them a letter saying "you can't use our hall for your activity because it is plainly bonkers."

  8. Steven Foster


    I know idiocy such as this exists in the world, but it still amuses me to read stories like this.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical Kneejerk reactions

    Blah Blah Blah, obviously a fundamentalist etc.

    Has it ever occurred to people that there is no 'Law given right' for someone to hire any hall for any purpose? If the hall is owned by the church it's up to the church to choose whether they want to rent it out and to whom.

    All that aside, Kids Yoga? Are you having a laugh? Why the hell do kids need to do yoga? Damn hippies.

  10. Andy

    Hey...'s their damn hall. They can do whatever they want. And stuff like yoga does have its routes in decidedly un-Christian (show some respect, it requires a capital letter, if nothing else because it's derived from a proper noun) activities. It doesn't matter whether you agree with them or not, they have an absolute right not to allow something they disagree with to take place on their own premises.

    I don't have to allow church services in my living room, after all. Grow the hell up.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PraiseMoves: “The Christian ALTERNATIVE to Yoga”

    No, really - it exists. :(

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what's in a name ...

    I had to start calling my tai chi class 'low impact aerobics' for the same reason.

    Don't bother trying to break through the wall of ignorance. They have been maintaining it for centuries, and any attempt to change their minds only proves that you are an agent of the devil trying to lead them astray.

    Cliff notes on religion:

    1) believe everything we tell you on faith alone

    2) all other ideas, facts, evidence that you may encounter are tricks of the devil

    3) give yourself to a lifetime of servitude for our religious (aka political) causes and we will pay you back after you die.

    4) the boogie man (aka the devil) will torture you forever if do not play for our team


    P.S. good luck with your new 'zoo-robics' class ;-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Richard Sower

    I have a lot more respect for an idiot that says "I believe in God and this is his Holy Work so I shall obey it absolutely" than I have for an idiot who says "I believe in God and this is his Holy Work so I shall read it selectively, bend the meaning where I can, rewrite if I can get away with it and do whatever I want while [so said idiot thinks] maintaining the high ground".

  14. Dave Murray

    Kids Yoga not so daft

    Actually young kids doing yoga isn't as daft as it sounds. It helps them learn to relax, calm down and concentrate. It also teaches them to be gentle and not use their full strength for everything. My friend's wee boy takes one of these classes and it's probably the only hour in the week when he's not running around at full speed like a Tazmanian devil.

  15. Gareth

    Nothing that could damage their minds?

    "...there is nothing that could damage their minds."

    As opposed to sending them to Sunday school where they'll be taught not to think critically, that they'll burn in hell for thinking about sex, to believe everything they read in a magic book, etc...

  16. A J Stiles

    Not surprising

    Yoga is based on ancient hindu teachings which precede christianity, so the church are well within their rights to object to their premises being used for unchristian purposes.

    If this wakes people up to how organised religion is intrinsically a bad thing, so much the better.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can it be Yoga?

    "We're talking about kids pretending to be animals and doing exercise routines to rhymes - there is nothing that could damage their minds."

    Well then why call it [Baby]Yoga? If she had said it was a Toddler Activity Group which it plainly is, then there would have been no problems whatsoever.

  18. Julian

    Breathe deeply now

    It's refreshing to see such a tirade of insults, anger, vitriol, condemnation, accusations, obscenities, mockery and all round hatred pouring out of the hearts of our commentators here.

    I didn't know there was so much love to be found outside of Christian circles, but now I know and I'm sure in the light of it, Silver Street Baptist may probably revise their opinion of toddler yoga.

    Meanwhile, I recall an invisible friend of mine who said "Love your enemies." So, breathe deeply now and feel the blessings coming your way.

    Be blessed, love from Julz.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who are the ultra-reactionaries? Probably all of us!

    This is an old story - someone in an old workplace of mine wanted to run Yoga in a church hall and they wouldn't let him - probably happens all the time.

    I am a Christian and I can understand why the church would choose not to allow certain types of Yoga (specifically those that include chants to, and focus on, some higher power that's not God - with a capital G). However, I don't understand why the church would not allow other Yoga classes that are purely physical relaxation/exercise.

    It's a shame that some churches seem to ban things like this without engaging with it. How hard would it be to have a conversation to work out what the activity involves and then make an informed decision?

    As for "ultra-reactionary idiots" and "narrow minded stuck-up old farts"...that sounds like the kind of person that would say something like "all religion should be banned".

    So, may I ask why it is that you folks are happy to ban all religion, but not happy with a church controlling what activities go on on its own premesis? I thought us religious types were supposed to be the hypocritical ones. ;-)

    Might I suggest that, as well as this church evaluating its policies, you evaluate your own narrow-mindedness and over-enthusiastic judgement of others?

    Yes, religion in the hands of the wrong people has been, and continues to, used for bad purposes by a small minority. But SO much good is done by millions of people of all faiths in the names of their gods. It just never gets reported on.

  20. Mark

    Carry On up the Altar ...

    "... when we let rooms out to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos."

    Presumably that means taking the kids to meet the vicar for quick feel and fiddle.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Typical Kneejerk reactions

    Wot he said.

    The rest of you sound like are a bunch of namby pamby liberal doormats. Remember, England is a Christian country and long may she stay so. Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’, and be proud when you do so.

  22. Joel Lewis

    Storm in a tea cup

    Why on earth shouldn't a church be able to have a say on what activities go on in its own building?

    Would there be a fuss if a synagogue refused to rent out their hall for a hog-roast? Or if the Conservative club refused to rent out their hall for a UKIP fundraiser? Or if a mosque refused to rent their hall out for a swim-wear fashion show?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok, calm down...

    Yoga (when taken as more than making yourself a bit more bendy) is to do with spirituality, therefore I can see why the Church would be reluctant to hire out their hall for what they may see as potential non-christian evangelising. After all you wouldn't expect them to hire out their hall to water divining classes for tots, granny tarot or the junior Richard Dawkins' fan club would you?

    As an aside, this is quite an old story in itself, but it a very old subject, it comes up all the time. The problem is that it isn't the sort of thing that is well understood by non-Christians (or even most Christians) or by people who think they know what Yoga is.

    Furthermore BABY YOGA? FFS! Bloody hippies.

  24. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Let the children come unto me, for theirs in the kingom of heaven

    No ifs, ands or buts.

    and, @That's not all:

    Quite right. I seem to recall that Arabic numerals were once outlawed by the "Christian" church.

    Also, if I remember aright, it was only in 1995 that Galileo was formally cleared of his alleged misdemeanours fo rsuggesting the Earth went round the sun.

    I also seem to remember a story told by a college lecturer that one of the pioneers of thermodynamics got pilloried for suggesting the pressure of a gas was due to the random movements of its atoms. The church got hold of this, spat its dummy out and said that this was obviously cobbnlers, because it inferred that there was free will, which, according to the church's interpretation of its teachings, didn't exist. According to the tale, the guy had the last laugh: He had the formula embodying this engraved on his headstone.

    I'm blowed if I can remember who that was, so if someone out there can enlihgten me, I'd be grateful.

    Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if somone who suggested we be nice to each other got himself nailed to a tree by some group.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nah, to all that...

    ...become Pastafarian and join The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  26. caffeine addict

    why the feck do we need a title...?

    My otherwise sane wife has the same problem with yoga... apparently you can't get to the higher levels of yoga without becoming buddist. Or Hindu. Or maybe rastafarian. One or other of them...

    Apparently it's a kind of brainwashing where you start doing something fun and end up with religion. Comparisons to sunday school led to me sleeping on the sofa...

  27. EvilFairy

    RE: PraiseMoves

    OMG can't believe I read half that to find out what it is. She really has it in for yoga, makes it out to be allowing satan in rather than just relaxing your mind and body

    That woman went from hippy yoga teacher to Christian fundamentalist!

    back on topic, I agree its up to the church what it allows in its halls, but it should have given a proper reason early on rather than just say no you cant do that and give no reason

    that said yoga for babies just is silly, stress relieving exercise for kids that don't know what stress is

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if somone who suggested we be nice to each other got himself nailed to a tree by some group."

    I think you might owe Douglas Adams a dollar, or something.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a case for....

    Anyone have the address. I feel like hiring the hall for a meeting the militant atheists association - a talk entitled "Bringing down your Local Christian Bigots".

    They can't have a problem with that, can they?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the IT angle

    Errr... where's the IT angle here. The way this is reported the only people looking a bit suspect on their bias is the Register for printing it in the first place. Agreed, baby yoga is probably baby exercise with the word yoga put in there for effect, but yoga itself is based on a different religious basis to Christianity and everyone jumping up and down should go and look it up before inferring that the Christians involved here are ignorant! That being the case, why should they let their building be used by a group that is asking for an activity that has a different world view in it's title. I doubt that the reg would let me use their offices for our church house group sessions any more than the most of the commentors here.

  31. Bill Coleman

    IT angle?

    I read and re-read the article looking for some reference to the "hand that feeds IT" - but it wasn't until I read the coments that it dawned on my. The outcry from the IT world _is_ the IT angle. You might as well have quoted verses of the Koran to Salman Rushdie! Narrow minded religeous zealot standing in the way of spiritual well-being (for toddlers)!!! And the tsunami of angry cries came from the bowels of the IT world. Someone should cross post this to /. and see what those nerds have to say about it... they'll get all angry and mode eachother up to 5 on every comment.

    Now if you excuse me I'm off to start a PC Vs Mac flame somewhere and create a madlib using the word 'fanboi'...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yoga is from India

    Certain techniques have hindu names but you don't have to be hindu to benefit by it lets face it kids as they get older don't get much activity that isn't sports oriented and if they don't care about that and many don't thats it also it's low impact which is best for people whose bones are still growing. You are not worshipping anyone or anything by doing yoga I should rework a yoga class or two for christian biggots it'd be the same class but it would use that old biblical language from the holee land i.e. english (as aramaic sounds too much like hebrew).

  33. Michael

    OH NO!!

    Oh no!! An organization is itself deciding what activities it will allow to use their facilities. How dare they decide what to do with their own building!! The bastards!!

    Seriously people, grow up.

  34. Duckworth Lewis

    Mosque turns down request for Bible study meeting

    In the same week, Imam Muhammed Muhammed Muhammed of the PBUH Mosque refused a request by a group of people who wanted to use the building as a venue for a mid-week Bible reading meeting. No reason was given, but a close aide of the Imam said, on a recorded video tape from the mountains of Snowden, we will have to cut off their scrawny infidel heads because we've discovered they have Bibles, which we do not read, or allow to be read.

    And, in related news, the vegetarian society of East Swansey refused permission to the local Bratwurst federation for it to hold a banquet in its St Vegan Hall.

    In an unmatched show of intolerance, The Hilton hotel turned down the opportunity to host a conference on the subject "Why the Hilton Hotel sucks." The organisers say they were very surprised, because the hotel seems like the ideal venue, and lots of cute little kids will benefit from the programme.

  35. Daniel Snowden


    @Typical Kneejerk reactions

    Posted Thursday 6th September 2007 14:45 GMT

    "Wot he said.

    The rest of you sound like are a bunch of namby pamby liberal doormats. Remember, England is a Christian country and long may she stay so. Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’, and be proud when you do so."

    What a load of bigoted, right wing clap trap. England is not an exclusively Christian country. There are many Christians in this country, but there are also those of other religious beliefs and those of no religious beliefs.

    I will not cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’ because I do not believe in a God and that is my right in England, a free country! I am under no obligation to venerate anyones God or Gods.

  36. Ed Deckard

    Is this even Yoga?

    It sounds like Ms Woodcock is just sticking the name on whatever the hell she's teaching, ignoring the original meaning. I suppose the same could be said of most contemporary Yoga instructors, anyway. Ultimately harmless but could to some confusion, for example from the good Rev?

  37. Jason Hall

    My church too

    "Why on earth shouldn't a church be able to have a say on what activities go on in its own building?"

    I agree - IF THE FECKING CHURCH HALL WASN'T PAID FOR BY THE COMMUNITY LIVING AROUND IT. That means it belongs to us all. That clearly includes the nutty yoga brigade too.

    Since I pay for it - even if indirectly through taxes, and also churches being tax-exempt then I want the use of it to be for EVERYONE.

    If I wanted to start devil worshiping classes - then I should be allowed. Not that I would of course... but you know what I mean.

    Oh yeah - and to the dumbass who complained about people not using capital letters for church/jebus/whatever - grow up. When you start showing the rest of us respect - then we 'might' show some back to you.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just a big marketing mistake

    "Is this even Yoga?"

    No. Not even close. Imitating animals ... it sound more like a bad shaolin kung fu movie.

    It reminds me of the ninjamania marketing back in the 80's, when they were painting every piece of rubbish black and slapping the word 'Ninja' in front of it.

    "why buy an ordinary flashlight, when you could purchase our 'all-black' NINJA flashlight at twice the price."

    But honestly, you can pretend it's yoga when your at the YMCA. I would recommend calling it something like 'Noah's animal party' when your at the church.

  39. Stuart Butterworth


    i assume they dont hold any christmas or easter services in this hall then, either - after all, these are basically pagan rituals which were taken over by the church.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Minister is spot-on

    I work alongside workplace Occupational Therapists, and they all recommend prayer for back problems, and stress; they say Yoga doesn't work, and that it's scientifically proven to let in the Devil. So the Minister was right. Ok?

  41. Jon Tocker

    re Jason Hall

    He has a point. Such halls are at least in part funded by local councils to whom we as individuals - not the church - pay taxes/rates etc. That's everyone - Christians, Jews, Muslems, Atheists and Pagans alike paying for that building.

    One of the local church halls here used to rent out its rooms to at least one Martial Arts club and martial arts are usually big on embracing the meditation/spirituality of nonChristian beliefs - more to Aikido or Tae Kwon Do than running around practicing rolls and throws or kicks and punches.

    As to getting one's knickers in a twist about "baby yoga", FFS, a price-inflating name ("Exercise classes $30 per hour", "Yoga classes $100 per hour") attached to a few stretching exercises for toddlers does not constitute subverting their minds to Hindu ideology.

    Christianity in some sectors is still very much a child - it is, after all, less than 2000 years old (some sects much younger than that) and it's not too surprising that some churches are still feeling threatened by older, longer established religions. Give these buggers a break - it's hard being a pack of Johnny-come-latelys and coping with the apparent presence of a much older faith.

  42. The Mighty Spang

    it never got in the news

    but i tried to hire the local mosque to host my birthday hog roast for me and my scientologist friends and they turned me down....

    "church stands up for what it believes in shock horror"... i wish this would happen more often, chastising the middle class asshole who has a breakdown and goes to india on an ego-tourism trip, whining on about "how they are so spiritual in their poverty maaaan" when they could have just gone oop north to some awful poor ghetos.

    the stupid treat 'spirituality' like some kind of holy pick and mix then claim they are something like "christian" and get all high and mighty, not quite understanding any of it.

    BTW I'm an atheist, I think they are all mad. Nothing worse than a hyprocritical idiot though....

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gotta love 'christians'

    Heh .. 'christians' ... especially 'roman catholics' have to be the MOST un-christian like people you would ever be unfortunate enough to meet.

    Scarily enough, of all the people I have ever met, it is the Wiccans who are the most 'christian' - in terms of kindness, open-ness, forgiving, welcoming, accepting and all those other wonderful adjectives you expect to associate with christianity!

    Hey, what can you expect from a religion that was based on a bare-faced LIE (see Constantine, roman catholicism and the sun-god Ra ;)

  44. Grant

    @just a big marketing mistake

    "But honestly, you can pretend it's yoga when your at the YMCA. I would recommend calling it something like 'Noah's animal party' when your at the church."

    YMCA - Young Mens Christian Association.

  45. Joe

    Exercise IS evil, I tell you!

    Now pass me another slice of that heavenly pizza...

  46. Bert Chadick

    I don't believe it.

    Are you sure this didn't happen in Texas?

  47. Tim Bates

    Research required for some it seems

    I have a really, really wacky idea....

    All those people declaring Christians as <insert favourite crazy description here>, how about you go look at the origins of Yoga and the laws regarding private property.

    I think you'll find:

    a) the church is correct (heck, even the Wikipedia entry on Yoga starts with the words "is a group of ancient spiritual practices").

    b) there's no legal reason the church has to let anyone hire their private building.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their turf, their rules...

    I see no problem with this church choosing to ban something on their property. You wouldn't do any better trying to teach yoga in a mosque, would you? Some religions ban or shun anything related to another religion. If it's in their own church, then why not?

    As for yoga and imitating animals, yes, that does happen in yoga. Many of the postures refer to animals - bhujangasan is the cobra posture; simhasan the lion; mayurasan the peacock; and so on. Traditional yoga *is* a spiritual pursuit, even though what is practiced in the west is generally not.

    So our erstwhile yoga instructor should probably quit whining and go find another place to teach it.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Oh yeah - and to the dumbass who complained about people not using capital letters for church/jebus/whatever - grow up. When you start showing the rest of us respect - then we 'might' show some back to you."

    Its not a question of 'respect', merely a question of good English. Proper names begin with a capital letter (God, Jesus), even if you believe they are mythical (Gandalf, Zaphod).

  50. Colin Jackson


    Religious indoctrination = child abuse.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't this all smack....

    ...of the "My God is better than your God" brand of bigotry?

  52. Phil

    re, Jason Hall, Jon Tocker

    Are you sure your correct? I don't know how the system works, but while I can well believe a CofE church might be part funded by local councils, I'm sure this doesn't apply to all churches.

    This was a baptist church. As far as I'm aware, churches like Baptists, Pentecostals, NFI, Brethren etc self fund?

  53. John PM Chappell


    So much bollocks on this thread.

    First, "god" is not a name or 'proper noun', sorry. It came to be used as if it were as a result of arrogance and ignorance. For the record, there is a proper name for that mythical being and it is variously rendered as "Yahweh" (in Roman letters) or "Jehovah" (thanks to some truly awful mistransliteration by an ancient scribe).

    Yoga is not a 'spiritual' pursuit in and of itself, arguably, but it was most definitely first practiced by people who saw it as a tool to assist them in their 'spiritual' goals, which happen to include being physically and mentally fit and flexible. As such, it can often contain pseudo-religious clap-trap which followers of a different set of silly superstitions (such as Xtians) would probably find 'offensive' (i.e. it doesn't unquestioningly back them and therefore must be suppressed).

    The Xtians can reject whatever they like, when it affects only themselves and their lives, but CoE buildings and village halls (which are often actually attached to a church) are funded by the state from taxes. As such, they are not in a position to refuse their use unless it would be for illegal activites. The obvious solution is, of course, to finally do away with the ridiculous notion of state sponsored and funded religion.

    Personally, I consider any and all superstition to be equally worthy of contempt, though it should be noted that this is not the same as treating *people* with contempt. If some idiot vicar gets in a huff about Yoga, where's the story? However, the point, for me, was more that he used his dubious power of veto to prevent a reasonable public use of what amounts to a *public* building. With any luck, this story and others like it will be the final nail in the unwholesome marriage between "establishment" and the mess of incoherence known as the CoE.

    As for the poster who went on about respecting what amounted to zealotry and irrationality whilst hating those who bother to critically examine their beliefs and reinterpret them as necessary ('pick and mix'); I'd much rather have the, relatively, tolerant and well-meaning if misguided and silly liberal-CoE types, lapsed RC types and so on than the fire-and-brimstone, "Spiritual Warfare" and "Evangelism" crowd, thankyou very much. Respect at your leisure but get a fucking grip.

  54. Cortland Richmond

    Half a Yoga?

    Is better than nun.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John PM Chappell et al

    "CoE buildings and village halls (which are often actually attached to a church) are funded by the state from taxes"

    Are they now? That would be interesting news to my vicar and many others. See we have a church and hall which we paid for the land, we paid to be built, we pay for the maintenance, we pay for improvements etc. We get no funding from the state and don't even ask for lottery money. Most churches are not funded by anyone except the church congregations in the diocese. A few cathedrals and architecturally / historically important churches do occassionally get money from English Heritage like many other historic buildings in this country.

    Now I'm certain that describing a church hall in general and this one in particular as a public building is wrong because the BBC article and various others (Lester have you been reading the Daily Mail or are you a Torygraph man?) note that the Baby yoga classes will be going ahead in the local village hall (yep a public building that is probably funded by the state).

    To be honest I utterly agree with the you that the Church of England needs to disestablish, mainly to avoid this sort of cobblers from being levelled at us all the time.

  56. bob rayner

    Don't corrupt kids' minds with spiritual nonsense!

    Keep 'em out of the church hall ;-)

  57. Cyberspice

    @{@Richard Sower}

    I'm impressed by anyone who can follow Christian teachings and the bible to the letter without over heating and blowing a fuse due to the numerous contradictions. You have to be selective otherwise it doesn't make sense and once you're selective in one place you can be selective else where and then the whole thing collapses in a puff of logic...

  58. Rich


    > I also seem to remember a story told by a college lecturer that one of the

    > pioneers of thermodynamics got pilloried for suggesting the pressure of a

    > gas was due to the random movements of its atoms. The church got hold

    > of this, spat its dummy out and said that this was obviously cobbnlers,

    > because it inferred that there was free will, which, according to the church's

    > interpretation of its teachings, didn't exist. According to the tale, the guy

    > had the last laugh: He had the formula embodying this engraved on his

    > headstone.

    > I'm blowed if I can remember who that was, so if someone out there can

    > enlihgten me, I'd be grateful.

    That sounds like Ludwig Boltzmann, who had the formula for entropy (an aspect of the Second Law of Thermodynamics), S = k log W, engraved on his tombstone. He did do considerable work on the kinetic theory of gases, and was a strong supporter of atomic theory, but I don't recall hearing of the church ever laying into him for any of it. Then again, they probably wouldn't have been too chuffed that he committed suicide.

  59. Chris Cheale

    England, Christian?


    England is a Christian country


    Pardon? Flippin' new fangled religions.

    Christmas = Winter Solstice

    Easter = Spring Equinox

    All Hallows Eve/All Saints Day (Halloween for the rest of you) = Samhain

    All our lovely northern-European festivals were knicked by a Jewish cult that originated in the middle-east and despite the witch trials and the burnings they never quite managed to totally stomp out the old faith.

    Even the Romans had a better understanding of people before the monotheists took over; adopt the local gods into your pantheon rather than ostracising their followers. Pantheism ftw - go Hindus!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In summary

    >> Be blessed, love from Julz

    Patronising wanker.

    >> they are mythical (Gandalf, Zaphod).

    Gandalf? Mythical? Excuse me???

    >> why buy an ordinary flashlight, when you could purchase our 'all-black' NINJA flashlight at twice the price

    Cool! Are these still for sale? :)

  61. John PM Chappell


    I apologize, I misunderstood the provenance of the money which the Church Commisioners pass down to the parishes.

    Incidentally, the vicar mentioned above and quoted is indeed a Baptist but I am prety sure the second church the woman approached was a local CoE one, however I cannot now find a link to the article I read.

  62. Neil

    "...there is nothing that could damage their minds..."

    "...there is nothing that could damage their minds..."

    Perhaps that's the problem; what's the point of assembling small children in a church if you're *not* planning to damage their minds by filling them up with a faith they're too young to be able to analyse rationally?

    That said, it's their church and they can do what they like with it; they were right to give no reason in the initial rejection, because they shouldn't have to justify the decision.

  63. Andy

    @ John PM Chappell

    There are so many things in your post that suggest that not only are you an idiot, but you can't read.

    - Noone was talking about "God" being a proper noun - it was "Christian", which is derived from a guy's name. Not only that, but "God" can be a proper noun - in Judeo-Christian religions - because it refers to a single entity; it can also be a common noun, for where it could refer to more than one entity.

    - Yoga is spiritually-derived. Sorry, but history isn't going to change just to fit in with your argument. Whether idiots who take part in it these days see it as spiritual or not is really beside the point.

    - Church halls funded by the state? Well, it's all been said. Plus, if the money is given in full knowledge of it being a church hall, then it's given to the church, and they still have absolute legal and moral ownership of it, and get to decide its use. It's only a public building in the sense that the church allows the public to use it; no more. If it's a village hall - well, it depends whether the church owns it or not, doesn't it? I suspect it probably does.

    Grief, I hope you're not a Torygraph reader, as someone suggested. I'd hate to be reading the same newspaper that someone so hard-of-thinking as yourself does.

  64. John PM Chappell

    Look to your own house first...

    Andy: starting with ad hominem attacks makes you out to be the idiot, not me. Now, one by one I shall address and for the most part refute your nonsense. Thereafter, you shall be ignored as the fool you have now shown yourself to be.

    Either someone is talking about it [God] being a 'proper noun' or they are not, you cannot have it both ways; either you're talking bollocks (you are) or you are lying (we'll be charitable). In any case, it's not a name, in reality, nor is it anything but a simple noun. Using "God" with a capital is simply the Xtian equivalent of Judaism and Islam's use of the Hebrew and Arabic phrases for "the [one and only] god" which originates with the Jewish unwillingness to verbalize the personal name of their version of a god.

    You're also wrong about "christian"; although it later came to be treated as a name, indeed many ignorant of such matters believe it is "Jesus' surname", 'Christ' is an anglicization of the a Greek title (annointed [man]) which alluded to a Jewish scriptural reference. The Jewish equivalent is anglicized as 'messiah', incidentally.

    Yoga is simply a body of exercize, meditation and breathing techniques. It came out of a spiritual movement but that is not quite the same thing. Also, I defy you to even define 'spiritual' in any meaningful way.

    Publicly funded buildings cannot operate discriminatory policies, so you would be quite wrong. However, I researched the nature of the monies distributed to parishes and established to my satisfaction that in fact I was wrong. It mostly appears to be money generated by the CoE's massive stocks portfolio and property assets.

    What paper I choose to read is utterly irrelevant and I obviously think more clearly than yourself and without needing to bluster verbally, either. For the record the Telegraph aka Torygraph is notorious as the home of the bigotted pseudo-intellectual, but I had not corresponded with one 'in the wild' since leaving Public School, until now ;¬)

  65. Pyromancer

    It wasn't a CoE church she went to

    Re-reading the article, it was a Baptist Church hall she tried to hire. The Baptists are nothing to do with the CoE and hence their property is all self-funded (presumably from their followers and/or investments).

    So the hall is private and they can impose whatever rules they like.

  66. John A Blackley


    Bigotry: The state of mind of a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

    Ignorant: b: resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence

    No, this isn't a rant about the vicar in Somerset. It's a comment on about half of the posters here. C'mon folks, this person is applying what he sees as necessary rules to the property for which he's responsible. Disagree with him? Okay, fine. That, by itself doesn't make him or the church he represents the root of all evil.

  67. John PM Chappell

    Two churches, one CoE, one Baptist.

    The second was "Saint James Church of England, Taunton" and their vicar is Tim Jones. The Baptists do not have vicars, it is a CoE term. Farrar above is a Minister at "Silver Street Baptist, Taunton".

  68. Jos


    Not sure if it had anything to do with a certain religious body ignoring him, but do you mean Max Planck about the headstone thingy?



  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all those who say that religion holds up science...

    I suggest you go and look up the Vatican observatory (currenlty woking on the Quantem Gravety v String theory debate) , and genetics (the first work was done by a Jesuit Monk), and early medicine (Alot of Islamic scolars involved), and so on...

    Also, I could say the same about how evil athisits are. They have been responsibal for alot of Major atrocitys in the 20C (Lenin, Stalin, Chairman Mou, Yougoslavian Ethnic clesing etc...)

  70. Louise


    Oh ffs.

  71. huw


    OK. Something nobody has mentioned yet. It may be the church's own building, paid for entirely by them, in which case, legally they can chose who uses it. If any part is publicly funded, they DO NOT have the right to do this. UK law, not some religious set of rules.

    Where it all falls apart for the 'imaginary friend' crowd is that while they preach tolerance, charity and the rest of it, they appear to be the most intolerant, uncharitable, obnoxious (we are right, we don't need facts...) people this side of the fundamentalists in any other religion.

    I have no time for these so called 'christian' people who have kidnapped moral standards that most people naturally live by and claim it as their own. I have probably done more charitable work, raised and paid more money for good causes than these so called 'righteous' people and have no time for them.

  72. sam

    Overly Religous Idiots

    A church in Greenock Scotland used to have/still has? Halloween parties where the kids aren't allowed to dress up as witches, ghosts etc because their evil and signs of the devil..............................get a life

  73. Colt

    doesnt this lady know she has to be a certified christ-yoga instructor!!

    this is all becaue of the new pope... the ignorant bastard condemned christians doing yoga a few weeks ago... so now christians currently doing yoga have created their own product line which ensures they pay their "tributes" to the church and dont go to hell for doing the downward dog.

    look up "christ-yoga" up and try not to die laughing...

  74. Jim Coleman


    Despite the fact the church hall may be privately owned and funded, the new law concerning equality when offering services to the public specifically prevents descrimination on a religious or sexual orientation basis.

    So basically, if you offer up your church hall for hire to the public, you are no longer allowed to say no to a potential hirer on the basis of their sexual preference or their religious beliefs, as this is unlawful discrimination.

    So they are acting illegally in denying hire to the Yoga teacher, as they based their refusal on faith alone.

    The church fought this new law very hard, especially on the basis that it meant they'd have to compromise their beliefs in order to continue providing such services as adoption agency - they were refusing to place orphans with gay couples, for instance, as it was against their religion, and their religion was more important to them than the welfare of the child.

    So.....the church is wrong, and acted against the law.

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