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Wednesday, May 14, 2014
WND's Unruh Cranks Out More Lazy, One-Sided Journalism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has long engaged in anti-journalistic practices like refusing to tell the side of the story he personally disagrees with. He's at it again in a May 8 article, which begins like this:

A California school district is going too far when it has public school students “bowing to the sun god” and participating in “liturgical/ritual religious practices” aimed at having them “become one with god,” according to a brief filed with an appeals court.

Yes, Unruh is once again  serving as a stenographer for a right-wing legal group, this time the National Center for Law and Policy, which is fighting yoga classes in a California school district.

And as usual, Unruh lavishes attention on the claims of the right-wing yoga opponents while misrepresenting the other side. Unruh asserts that "a district judge said the school program is religious, but officials can teach it anyway," going on to paraphrase:

San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer heard the case and declared in his July 1, 2013, decision that yoga, including the Ashtanga yoga taught at Encinitis, is religious. But the judge also said that the district did not violate the Establishment Causes of the U.S. and California constitutions by hiring yoga instructors to teach yoga to students during class hours.

Actually, Reuters got it much more correct that Unruh can be bothered with:

A California judge refused on Monday to block the teaching of yoga as part of a public school's physical fitness program, rejecting parents' claims that the classes were an unconstitutional promotion of Eastern religions.

Judge John Meyer acknowledged that yoga "at its roots is religious" but added that the modern practice of yoga, despite its origins in Hindu philosophy, is deeply engrained in secular U.S. society and "is a distinctly American cultural phenomenon."

He also said the Encinitas Unified School District had developed its own version of yoga that was not religious but distinct and separate from Ashtanga yoga.

"A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas School District yoga does advance or promote religion," he said.

Nowhere in his article does Unruh concede that yoga as practiced in America is secular, let alone directly quote anything the judge said.

Unruh must think he can get away with such sloppy and anti-journalistic work -- and since WND apparently has no problem with his anti-journalism, he's probably right.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT

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