Religion

Police: Inmate Punched Another For Not Praying With Him

| by Michael Allen

Abdullah Abdullah, an inmate at the Lancaster County Jail, Nebraska, allegedly punched another inmate for not praying with him on April 16.

Court papers say police were called to the jail after Abdullah, 23, walked up to the alleged 23-year-old victim and slugged him, notes the Lincoln Journal Star.

Abdullah reportedly told the police he had prayed earlier in the day, and believed he could convince the other inmate to join him in prayers.

According to court documents, the victim told Abdullah: "No, I don't want to [expletive] pray with you, so stop asking."

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The authorities suspect Abdullah was upset by the profanity, and attacked the victim.

Abdullah was jailed on April 8 after allegedly trying to sell alcohol outside a bar and possessing 30 lorazepam pills without a valid prescription.

In more religious news, a Catholic college in Atchison, Kansas, changed the name of its yoga class to "Lifestyle Fitness" to avoid connotations of "Eastern mysticism," notes The Circuit, the college's news outlet.

The new "stretching and breathing" class will be offered at Benedictine College in fall 2017.

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The Benedictine College administration announced the name change after concerns were raised by faculty, alumni, students, Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Abbot James Albers.

Stephen Minnis, president of the college, explained the issues:

Yoga as created has some potential for Eastern mysticism which has caused concern among members of the Catholic Church. [Archbishop Naumann] has expressed his concerns and the issues surrounding that.

We asked ourselves if there was a way to bring those yoga benefits to our students and faculty without the possible effects of Eastern mysticism and are currently investigating other alternatives.

My personal belief is that yoga has become like Kleenex -- a generic term for stretching and breathing. I’m not sure the spiritual harm of yoga could come to our campus but I believe it is better to be safe than sorry. I don’t care what it is called, so long as it is only physical.

Julie Romano, who was scheduled to teach recreational yoga at the school, weighed in on the controversy:

When I was in college, I had a lot of anxiety and still do, I know the sort of person and mother I am and I know I wouldn’t be able to do that without yoga. I don’t want to be anxious [around my daughter] and I’d like to think I am better because of yoga. The mental benefits is absolutely what separates it from other things like cycling or spin classes.

Throughout the country there is a huge increase in mental illness, anxiety and depression and Benedictine is not immune to that. There are students who suffer from things that yoga could help with. I think it would have been beneficial to our students to have someone teach them these things [to help manage their mental health].

Romano is not sure about teaching the Lifestyle Fitness class: "I have a moral objection to taking something that people spent thousands of years working on and calling it something else. I don’t see a conflict in yoga and Catholicism and I don’t see why we should call it something else to appease others."

Junior Josh Olson said: "I like yoga because it gives people a way to exercise in ways they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It strengthens your muscles, increases flexibility, prevents injury, and benefits my mental strength and decreases stress."

"No one has bothered to explain to us the reason why yoga was canceled," Olson added. "Especially on this campus, people should be confident [in their faith] enough to know that a pose isn’t going to open you up in any way to other powers."

Sources: Lincoln Journal Star, The Circuit / Photo credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia

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