Thursday, August 6, 2020

Senate endorses New Age medicine

Last night, the Senate offered yoga and alternative medicine a promotion in U.S. law.

In 2016, Public Law 114-198 established a commission known as the Creating Options for Veterans' Expedited Recovery or COVER Commission.

Its duties included examining available research on “complementary and integrative health” treatment for “mental health issues” and to “identify what benefits could be made with the inclusion” of “(A) music therapy; (B) equine therapy; (C) training and caring for service dogs; (D) yoga therapy; (E) acupuncture therapy; (F) meditation therapy; (G) outdoor sports therapy; (H) hyperbaric oxygen therapy; (I) accelerated resolution therapy; (J) art therapy; (K) magnetic resonance therapy; and (L) other therapies the Commission determines appropriate.”

This is the first mention of yoga in the United States Code.

Business author Josh Kaufman described his exploration of yoga in his book, The First 20 Hours. He wrote, “If yoga only consisted of stretching, people would just call it ‘stretching.’” He continued:
Ancient Vedic priests completed elaborate physical rituals to connect the physical world to the divine in search of Brahma, the “ultimate ground of all being.” The word “yoga” comes from the ancient Sanskrit word for yoke. In the same sense that an ox is attached to a plow to work a field, through their rituals, the priests were trying to tie the spiritual world to the physical world. …

Ancient yoga texts ascribe mystical qualities to ujjayi, as well as other pranayama techniques. Regardless of whether or not ujjayi “builds heat in the body” or “encourages the flow of prana [the universal life force],” it certainly makes it easier to pay attention to your breathing.
The Scriptures teach that the divine came to the physical created world when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). That is referring to Jesus Christ who said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). It is not a universal life force, but Him who is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3) and offers reconciliation with God.

Early this year, the COVER Commission completed its tasks and issued its report. The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee put the Commission's recommendations into legislative form as S. 785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. The bill lists yoga first among its lists of “Complementary and integrative health treatments” and “alternative therapies” for veterans “at risk for suicide.” Also listed are meditation and acupuncture.

More broadly, these things are part of “complementary and integrative health,” a term for alternative medicine also known as holistic medicine, pseudo-medicine, and New Age medicine. Acupuncture is considered a way to “to influence the flow of a supernatural energy.” These practices are rooted neither in a monotheistic view of God, nor a naturalistic view of the world, but rather a transcendental worldview. These practices are not just methods. As Ray Yungen explained in A Time of Departing, “When you borrow methods from Eastern religion, you get their understanding of God.”

Last night, by the unanimous consent of all Senators, the U.S. Senate passed S. 785. This is a full endorsement by the Senate of these eastern practices with America's veterans. The bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Veteran suicide is a problem. The problem, however, is not primarily mental. It's a spiritual matter. We were each created for a purpose in a world that was created good and has been corrupted by sin. Many veterans have had up-close experiences with how corrupted and fallen this world truly is. What they need is hope, and for some, a sense of forgiveness. Veterans need their yoke lifted off them, not another yoke adding further weight to their burden. Veterans need an eternal perspective, a sense of purpose, and healing from their experiences. The Church is uniquely positioned and equipped to deal with these matters.

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