January 9, 2013

Yoga in public schools — an Establishment Clause problem.

NPR has trouble seeing the objection. This kids are stretching, readying their minds for learning, don't you know? But here's one mother's report:
"They were being taught to thank the sun for their lives and the warmth that it brought, the life that it brought to the earth and they were told to do that right before they did their sun salutation exercise"...
The woman, Mary Eady, was able to take her son out of the classes — which is an appropriate accommodation but insufficient to solve an Establishment Clause violation. (In the old prayer-in-school cases, excusing the students who chose not to pray did not suffice.)

The school's program was richly funded by the K.P. Jois Foundation, whose Hindu founders connected yoga to their religion.
"It's stated in the curriculum that it's meant to shape the way that they view the world, it's meant to shape the way that they make life decisions," Eady says. "It's meant to shape the way that they regulate their emotions and the way that they view themselves."

"And then the question becomes — if it is religious, which it is, who decides when enough religion has been stripped out of the program to make it legal?" [says Dean Broyles, president and chief counsel of the Escondido-based National Center for Law and Policy]. "I mean, that's the problem when you introduce religion into the curriculum and actually immerse and marinate children in the program."...
"It is the stated goal of both the Jois Foundation and the district itself to prove scientifically that Ashtanga yoga works for kids here in the district and then export it nationally," Broyles says.
The Jois Foundation has a director, Eugene Ruffin, who is himself Catholic and who says the values taught in the program aren't specifically Hindu. But making religion generic doesn't solve your problem. Consult the original Warren Court school-prayer case, Engel v. Vitale, which involved a prayer concocted by the state that stripped out all denominational specificity.

My position — explained here in the context of Kwanzaa — is that the government should not use schools for exercises that reach into the spiritual aspect of the child's mind. Quite aside from whether courts would see an Establishment Clause violation, it should be rejected as a policy choice. Even where you have trouble deciding whether something is religion or not, if it's a religion substitute, operating like religion, you should be revolted by the government intruding into the sphere that belongs to the individual, parents, and private organizations. And on this ground, I would object to all sorts of indoctrination and idol-worship. Public schools must be committed to teaching real substance of the secular kind. Think: math and science.

ADDED: Imagine if a Christian foundation were handing out huge grants to public schools to adopt a program based on its values, with generic prayer-like incantations led by the teacher. Would NPR and its devotees be nodding calmly at how nice it was?

ALSO: NPR quotes the mother's attempt at paraphrasing the prayer-like incantation. I'd like to see the actual text that the school uses! Here's some material at the Jois website, but it doesn't show the text I'm looking for.

77 comments:

Moose said...

I think that yoga instructor should also be thanking the gods for Dow silicone...

rhhardin said...

I'd ban Gatsby too, under the women's literature clause.

wyo sis said...

Think.
Is environmentalism science or religion?

Danno said...

Thank you for posting on this, as I hadn't heard of this. This principle works both ways!

Paddy O said...

Sol Invictus!

MInTheGap said...

Going further with wyo sis, I've been taught that just about every subject can have religious meaning...

Math - Was it created? Explain pi?

Science - Creation or Evolution?

History - Did God help the USA, or was it just man? What about those Founders and God?

English - #1 book of all time, the Bible, but we can't have people reading or studying that, and reading some other works that reference it could be an issue.

And could you not make an argument that secularism is a religion as well-- I know that humanism is, which is like secularism.

I'm not sure it's possible to teach a topic without referencing a religious viewpoint.

ricpic said...

Does the school day still start with The Pledge of Allegiance? Or is that purely optional nowadays? Anyone know? It was a great E Pluribus Unum enhancer, or as Al Gore would say, "In one, many."

sparrow said...

Here's the problem religion is a serious subject that should be taught. Governments should be out of the education business all together. Give vouchers for everyone and let Mom and Dad choose. Government can certify schools for safety etc and that should be it. Government intrusion is the problem here; it's only because this intrusion is over a century old (and the Feds never give up power without a fight) that it's rarely considered.

Darrell said...

Next you'll text us that the Chakras aren't based in pure science. Al Gore weeps!

SeanF said...

wyo sis: Is environmentalism science or religion?

That right there is what we call a "false dichotomy."

SeanF said...

And let me just say that I'm with Sparrow.

If we accept that, because of the First Amendment, we can't have both government and religion operating in the same sphere, why presume it's religion that needs to get out of that particular sphere?

Shouting Thomas said...

A puzzling issue, because I think that any school program that has an athletics program should be encouraging its athletes to do yoga.

The New York Giants agree with me. When I was taking yoga classes at Chelsea Piers, the Giants had their own special classes.

I didn't mind the instructors bringing in Yogic philosophy and religious ideas into the sessions, but I hated it when they brought in their wussy leftist shit.

Every sensible athlete should be doing yoga. I wish I had been doing yoga when I was a kid athlete. The flexibility, relief from pain and increased awareness of your body that you gain from yoga will improve your performance.

So, maybe schools should be teaching yoga, but they should be leaving the religious philosophy out? Seems hard to do.

sparrow said...

Detroit public school kids literacy rate is ~10%. That school system is a near total failure, a fraud, but because it's a government school it's practically untouchable. Freedom, school choice self determination will work but liberals in power rather feel good than do good.

Surfed said...

None of that foolishness here in my school district. The powers that be would make short work of that and it would be ignored in toto by rank and file teachers. Personally I even ignore our daily admonition morning intercom announcement to the kids to stand for a moment and reflect upon...whatever. I just tell them to sit down and lets get on with the day.

Shouting Thomas said...

One of the most common interpretations of the story of Christ is that it is a re-purposing of the ancient religion of the sun god, Helios.

The Christian calendar follows the agrarian calendar, doesn't it?

So, maybe Yogic philosophy and Christian philosophy aren't that far apart.

Darrell said...

You can do all the Yoga movements with doing all the rest of the bullshit. I know. I've been doing that since the 1960s. If it has some physiological benefits, those benefits come from the mechanics, not the philosophy.

Forthenri said...

You all worry too much. We are the Borg.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

So, maybe schools should be teaching yoga, but they should be leaving the religious philosophy out? Seems hard to do.

The only way to stop teaching the religious philosophy associated with yoga is to stop teaching the religious philosophy associated with yoga.

Just teach the moves as exercise, like P90X - They don't go into the philosophy at all.

Forthenri said...

You all worry too much. We are the Borg.

EMD said...

And I think that yoga would be beneficial to teach kids as an exercise mechanism.

Darrell said...

You can do all the Yoga movements WITHOUT doing all the rest of the bullshit. I know. I've been doing that since the 1960s. If it has some physiological benefits, those benefits come from the mechanics, not the philosophy.

garage mahal said...

I wouldn't mind sitting in and watching this yoga class.

Shouting Thomas said...

If it has some physiological benefits, those benefits come from the mechanics, not the philosophy.

I doubt that.

Although I haven't delved that deeply into the religious philosophy, I imagine that the meditation, chanting and spiritual practices of Yoga provide the serious practitioner with benefits beyond physiological.

Like mental clarity, peace of mind, connection with the cosmic unity we call God, etc.

I would imagine that the combination of the spiritual practice and the physical practice produces tangible benefits.

MayBee said...

I love yoga as a work out, but I hate it when the instructor tries to introduce the Hindu religious aspect into it. I either ignore it or avoid that kind of class. They often end up a little cult-y.

The teacher of those classes should just drop that part of the class.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Progressive lawyer "interpretations" of the Establishment clause are risible and ridiculous on their face.

Let's just switch the order of the first part of the 1st Amendment and read it this way:

Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or respecting an establishment of religion . . .

Interpreting "establishment" as Progressives do, in the public square, say, makes the words a self-contradiction, as in "Congress shall make no law prohibiting or allowing religion".

It's clear the Founders were not that stupid.

So how do we remove the contradiction?

Well, "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" is pretty clear, so the problem must be in what "establishment" is said to mean. It cannot be allowed to mean, as Progressives insist, "mention of", so that has to be the risible part.

What fixes the contradiction is "establishment" means: declaring/setting a one, official (e.g. Church of England) religion for the US, against all other possible religions.

So, schools, yoga away. Demonstrate Kwanzaa. Put up a manger.

McTriumph said...

Wouldn't the school children get the better cardio exercise doing high speed genuflecting for an hour with out the Mass.

Shouting Thomas said...

They often end up a little cult-y.

Amusingly, the cult is often a sex cult.

In NYC, at least, yoga classes are an acknowledged meeting place for the singles crowd looking to get laid.

The assumption seems to be that you're likely to meet somebody who shares your values in yoga class. Among lefties, those values are assumed to be vegetarianism, wussy pacifism, feminism, etc.

MayBee said...

My ashtanga teacher says things much more benignly. She'll say, "set your intentions for the practice" or "think of what you'd like to offer in your practice today". I'll use those moments to think about myself, my kids, God, or nothing. It's peaceful.

There's no reason a public school child needs to be told which specific entities to thank.

TMink said...

Again, it is not about keeping religion out of the schools and government, it is about keeping Christianity out of schools and government. Your recognition of the double standard is accurate, but the valence and vector of the "double standard" is clear: it is anti-Christian.

Trey

Darrell said...

I doubt that.

Doubting Thomas, I see, too. Doesn't prove your point, though. You've lived amongst the Lefties too long now, you've caught their disease (like Father Damian and leprosy.) The muscle stretches/manipulations, and the corresponding effect on the skeletal system is what it's all about.

MayBee said...

Amusingly, the cult is often a sex cult.

In NYC, at least, yoga classes are an acknowledged meeting place for the singles crowd looking to get laid.


Isn't that what happened in Eat, Pray, Love?

The yoga center she attended was very cultish, and she wasted a trip to India holed up in it's culty Ashram rather than really learning something about life.

Scott said...

Althouse has a history of conflating meditation with religion. Sometimes she gets unhinged. This has the potential to be a fun thread.

LarsPorsena said...

What's wrong with Aten-Ra?

Shouting Thomas said...

When the atheists want to get under my skin about Christianity, one of the first things they'll go for is the issue of prayer.

"Isn't it kind of childish to be begging some imaginary person in the sky to give you the stuff you want?"

That's the way the jibe is often phrased.

This kind of misses the mark. I don't see that as the purpose of prayer. Nor, is it likely to be the purpose of meditation or chanting.

The purpose is to gain control of one's mind, to find focus, to clear the mind of all those nagging irrelevant voices and to find peace.

I find real, pragmatic benefits in this. Prayer, meditation, chanting... all those things... were built (at least I believe) on a firm understanding of the human mind and consciousness. That's why people have been doing it for thousands of years.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I've always assumed that great-looking women in their 20's, who are into yoga, are easy to bring to climax but that's just an assumption.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've always assumed that great-looking women in their 20's, who are into yoga, are easy to bring to climax but that's just an assumption.

I suggest further research. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

Sorun said...

They often end up a little cult-y.

Every instructor is different. You just have try classes out and pick and choose.

Yoga is very Americanized in that the people teaching it are always trying to find some niche or modification to attract more students.

The sort-of religious aspects of it, like chanting "Om," are unpopular and therefore disappearing.

campy said...

TMink nails it.

I'm surprised it took so long.

traditionalguy said...

Yoga has an effect on the mind and the body. But the religious basis of Yoga in India is not an optional add on. It is the purpose for the religious sessions and it has a powerful effect.

The word worship means an attitude of the human body held in a position to show reverence.

At best case Yoga is the worship of the "unknown god." The unknown god really likes it.

Bob Boyd said...

"Aw to Hell with it. Everybody line up for dodge ball."

chrisnavin.com said...

I, for one, welcome our Statist overlords. They let us do yoga in the morning, work the community garden during the afternoon, and go to a Krugman rally or Bob Wright meditation at evening-tide.

Merry Kwachaunkahmas to you too Julia!

chrisnavin.com said...

P.S. I live in box 34334, it's one of the new ecoflex pods just off of Clinton on Deepak Chopra lane.

Class factotum said...

My ashtanga teacher says things much more benignly. She'll say, "set your intentions for the practice" or "think of what you'd like to offer in your practice today". I'll use those moments to think about myself, my kids, God, or nothing. It's peaceful.

My class was not peaceful because the teacher never shut up. Always going on and on about getting in touch with whatever and feeling our space, blah blah blah. I couldn't turn up my mp3 player, where I was listening to a political talk show podcast, because then I wouldn't hear her instructions. But only one out of every 40 words she spoke were actually useful. I usually walked out of that class pretty ticked off.

Surfed said...

Yoga in my inner city school. That's almost the funniest shit I have ever heard. I would pay money to see someone attempt that. I want ringside seats. I'm laughing my white boy ass off now just in contemplating it. What kind of world does most of America live in?

Class factotum said...

Although the worst instructor was the one who yelled at the students for not paying close enough attention:

http://class-factotum.blogspot.com/2011/06/drop-and-give-me-20-maggots.html

Darrell said...

work the community garden during the afternoon

But don't dare plan your own and eat what you grow, or they'll start fining you $500/day. Drudge has a link for the current story. There have been others.

Alan said...

I've been doing it for a few months and there is a large religious component. Several times it is clear you are praying. I go through the motions, kind of like a Wicccan during grace at their Presbyterian friends Easter dinner.

Of course all the poses are nearly identical to the stretching warm ups I did for wrestling in high school. It shouldn't be hard to strip out the religious elements and still have a good exercise program. No salutations or prayers, use the name 'Scoops' in place of 'Chaturanga' and you are on the right side of the constitution.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Assuming that the purpose of the Yoga sessions is for physical health then why don't they just allow the kids to go outside and play.

Gasp... I know. Novel concept. Playing. Unstructured and free form activities. When I was a child we played. Tether ball, volley ball, four square, jump rope, double dutch jump rope, climbing on jungle gyms. AND yes. Falling, getting hurt and scraped up and even some arguing, teasing and fighting. All of this prepared us for 'real life' where....
LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

Unfortunately, today's children are not allowed to BE children. They are controlled and boxed in, in everything they do. Supervised and suppressed to within an inch of their lives.

No wonder some of them snap and shoot up theaters and schools. They have been warped and tortured by our joke of a public education system and aided and abetted by their wimpy brainwashed parents.

Caedmon said...

Not entirely on topic, but children's bodies are different from adults in proportion and even in the number of bones they have. Small children should not be taught yoga at all, except possibly by somebody properly qualified in physiotherapy.
There is a metrosexual assumption that you don't get sports injuries in spiritual disciplines. Oh yes you do.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt,

Hell, at the time the Bill of Rights was enacted, some of the States had actual established churches. Connecticut disestablished only in 1818. But of course at the time the Bill of Rights restricted only Congress, and the purpose of the Establishment Clause was only to prohibit the establishment of a full-blown American state religion along the lines of the Church of England.

edutcher said...

When the civil war/revolution comes, hopefully all the professional atheists will be the first to go.

PS The article talks about "parents", but only one is named. I wonder why.

PPS There's nothing in the First amendment that says you can't say, "God", or, "Allah" (let's see the professional offended class object to that), or "Isis! Isis! Ra, Ra, Ra!".

This is baloney.

creeley23 said...

Of course the gratitude meditations from the postures can be stripped out of the postures -- and should be if taught in American public schools. Ann's comparison to generic prayer in school is spot-on.

This is just more culture war and liberal hypocrisy. If Christian spiritual messages are going to be excised from schools, then so must the green, leftist, Eastern ones.

Currently there is worldwide push to bring Transcendental Meditation into schools, including American ones, backed by something called the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, which is really just a front for the Maharishi Institute.

Music and Hollywood celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Ringo, Donovan and David Lynch are shilling for this drive.

http://www.istpp.org/news/2009_05_dlf.html

JAL said...

TM was challenged in NJ public schools 35 years ago.

According to the Golden Wiki:

In 1979, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 1977 decision of the US District Court of New Jersey that a course in Transcendental Meditation and the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) was religious activity within the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and that the government funded teaching of SCI/TM in the New Jersey public high schools was prohibited.[3][4]

The court ruled that, although SCI/TM is not a theistic religion, it deals with issues of ultimate concern, truth, and other ideas analogous to those in well-recognized religions.

The court found that the religious nature of the course was clear from careful examination of the textbook, the expert testimony elicited, and the uncontested facts concerning the puja ceremony, which it found involved "offerings to deities as part of a regularly scheduled course in the schools' educational programs".[34]

State action was involved because the SCI/TM course and activities involved the teaching of a religion, without an objective secular purpose.[4] According to religious scholar Cynthia Ann Humes the Malnak decision "dismantled" the TM program's use of government funding to incorporate Transcendental Meditation into public schools.[5]

However, according to religious scholars Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley this "judicial rebuff" of the New Jersey school project did not render "a negative evaluation of the program itself" and those who oppose the practice in public schools are said to be mainly conservative Christians and civil libertarians who seek to preserve church-state separation.[35]


{Nasty close-minded conservative Christians and ! civil libertarians !}

So if yoga isn't doing puja .... just thanking the sun while positioning one's chakras to enhance the enlightenment process heading for the third eye, I guess it's all cool.

Just whatever you do, do *not* have a minute of silence at the beginning of the school day.

/s

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Yeah, the idea that energy transfer from Sol to Earth has any influence or effect on our lives is totally wrongheaded.

Much better children be taught to ignore the sun.

creeley23 said...

Assuming that the purpose of the Yoga sessions is for physical health then why don't they just allow the kids to go outside and play.

Gasp... I know. Novel concept. Playing. Unstructured and free form activities.


DBQ: That was my first thought.

I like yoga. I even did it on my own from books as a teenager. I was taking classes until seven years ago when I aged out of the rather strenuous school I attended. But yoga is not for everyone and I question it as a great thing for all children.

When I was a kid in Marin, before California let its schools deteriorate, we had a ten-minute free-form recess almost every hour in addition to a structured thirty-minute PE class. I was not a jock at all, but I loved that release and needed it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Much better children be taught to ignore the sun

They already are being taught that. The religion of Global Warming totally ignores that big fat ball of fire up in the sky that periodically warms us up and cools down in cyclical fashion. Nope. No reason to think that the Sun has any effect on the Earth. It is all evil us, breathing out CO2 and destroying the entire world. Maybe even destroying the whole solar system. OMG!!!! Kneel down to Gaia.

Carol said...

"why don't they just allow the kids to go outside and play."

Whenever I go by a middle school playground, the boys are playing but the girls are off near the fence yakking..maybe the schools are trying to get them to, you know, participate and stuff.

Ann Althouse said...

"Whenever I go by a middle school playground, the boys are playing but the girls are off near the fence yakking..maybe the schools are trying to get them to, you know, participate and stuff."

Yakking is play.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

maybe the schools are trying to get them to, you know, participate and stuff.

Maybe the girls don't WANT to participate. Girls in elementary school generally don't WANT to play with the boys. Girls play in different ways than boys do. Different types of games and with different skill sets.

Hey teacher....leave those kids alone!!

elkh1 said...

Replace yoga with Kung-fu: great exercise, great self-defence.

The yoga teacher is crap. I've taken yoga classes in college awhile back, the teacher showed us how to relax, meditate, and stretch, never salute to the sun. She told us if we wanted we could lie down and close our eyes, she would wake us up at the end of the period.

creeley23 said...

Maybe the girls don't WANT to participate.

I'll bet the boys don't want to participate either. They want to play on their own terms.

Forcing slow, controlled movements and still, controlled postures on young boys, who have to spend the rest of the schoolday sitting still, is more War On Boys stuff. I would have hated it.

Steven said...

Yeah, the idea that energy transfer from Sol to Earth has any influence or effect on our lives is totally wrongheaded.

If that was the whole extent of the idea, there wouldn't be any thanking involved. There's no point in thanking an inanimate fusion reactor for doing what physics make any entity of its approximate mass and composition do.

Animism is religion; indeed, it's the oldest known religion. Thanking the Sun for your life is fully as much prayer as thanking Jehovah for food.

Thomas said...

"Eugene Ruffin, who is himself Catholic"

That's what he wants you to think, but it isn't what the article represents as what he said:

"Ruffin says those ideals aren't specific to Hinduism and don't conflict with his own Catholic upbringing."

I'd guess that Ruffin was raised Catholic and is Hindu.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Steven,

If that was the whole extent of the idea, there wouldn't be any thanking involved. There's no point in thanking an inanimate fusion reactor for doing what physics make any entity of its approximate mass and composition do.

Yes, this. That we persist in thanking the sun for its rays and the sea for its bounty and the earth for its fertility and even the accursed rain (sorry, I'm in OR and it's been pretty damp of late) does seem to suggest that we just find bare existence good, and really want to thank someone for it.

I happen to think that the "someone" exists, despite having been brought up otherwise. But the impulse seems to be almost universal.

Alex said...

I'm sensing a lot of hostility towards yoga from Christian conservatives. So only liberals will be flexible and in touch with their chakras.

Alex said...

99% of the NPR comments are anti-Christian and pro-Yoga religious teaching.

Kirk Parker said...

MDT,

The accursed rain??? You have got to be kidding, up here in OR and WA it's the blessed rain, that keeps even more Californians away.

Sam L. said...

NPR has no problem with this. Why am I not surprised?

SteveBrooklineMA said...

Another church-state conflict exists in the area of alternative medicine. Training and board certification in acupuncture, for example, isn't just about learning where to stick some needles. It involves learning aspects of the Chinese religious beliefs that supposedly make it all work. Imagine if acupuncture were wrapped up in Christianity, and people wanting licenses to practice were required to learn that the power of Christ flows from the practitioner's hands, through the needle, and into patient's body to affect healing.

Howard said...

Yoga is just stretching with isometrics, breathing and relaxation. X-tians are a feared to get mellow and let the devil set on the soul. Much better to remain uptight.

ShoutTom: The latest in elite athletics is dynamic stretching and yoga is so last millennium. The stuff coming out of track & field is mo beddah.

In general, Yoga instructors are horrific coaches. You are better off getting a book like Dynamic Yoga by Godfrey Devereux and following his advise on breathing and form.

mikee said...

In 1977 as a high school senior I was tasked to give the prayer at the beginning of a school assembly. Yes, it was done back then.

As a Catholic, I wanted to bring something from my faith to the event, but found nothing better than St. Francis' prayer, which I read to the 2500 students and parents attending.

I thought little of this, until a Jewish friend came up to me afterwards and thanked me profusely for using a prayer that did not mention Jesus. Apparently everyone selecting prayers for assemblies, before me, were evangelical Baptists or wild-eyed Methodists.

Anyway, prayer in school is made into a bigger deal than it deserves. In high school my friends and I were much more interested in exploring the insides of girl's sweaters than sweating the details of denominations.

Methadras said...

Should someone proclaim that Crack was right? I'll be the first of no one else does.

Nini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nini said...

Ashtanga yoga is just flexing and breathing exercises, not unlike pilates, both of which are becoming very popular in gyms around the world. That ashtanga yoga originated from people who were Hindus, does it mean it is religion being introduced in school? I doubt it. Or is it animism as one commenter likened it because of the invocation the children recite before doing the exercise? Aren't those recitations similar to the philosophies of the Gaia movement or some environmentalist groups in the west?

What I find suspicious is how the program is sponsored via the Jois group which is I think is a religious group whose main goal in the west is to spread their belief system.

I did a bit of ashtanga yoga 30 year ago and I dropped it because I didn't have the discipline for it. But based on my experience, it really has physical benefits just like your occupational flexing exercises encouraged in the workplace. Also, has mental benefits even if only you relax your mind and stop thinking about pressing matters, even for just a few minutes.

I don't think this is something that americans should panic about and invoke the separation of church and state provision. Besides, aren't the children able to opt-out of this program if they don't like it?

And btw, although I subscribe to a particular Indic philosophies as some of you may conclude from a post I made earlier about "Is God happy?", I don't consider myself a Hindu. Many people do ashtanga yoga and many of them are atheists and I don't think they are converting to Hinuism.

mariner said...

creeley23,
This is just more culture war and liberal hypocrisy. If Christian spiritual messages are going to be excised from schools, then so must the green, leftist, Eastern ones.

What are you smoking? Oh, that green stuff ... ;)

The whole *idea* was to replace Christian spiritual messages with leftist bullshit, in disguises such as "green" and "Eastern".