Conservative Christian leader Tony Perkins does not approve of a meditation program designed to help Marines deal with the stress of war, according to a radio segment aired Wednesday.
Perkins, who is the head of the Family Research Council, criticized military leaders for introducing "goofy" practices like yoga instead of religion. "Unfortunately, the military seems intent on driving religion out and replacing it with wacky substitutes," he said. "They’ve added atheist chaplains, Wiccan worship centers, and now, meditation classes. But none of them are as effective or as constructive as a personal relationship with God."
This was in response to M-Fit, or Mind Fitness Training, program profiled last month in The Washington Times that offers weekly meditation sessions to soldiers. M-Fit draws from research that shows regular meditation helps relieve stress and depression and boosts memory and the immune system. The Marines interviewed for the story shared that it is helping them.
"Over time, I felt more relaxed. I slept better. Physically, I noticed that I wasn’t tense all the time. It helps you think more clearly and decisively in stressful situations. There was a benefit," Staff Sargent Nathan Hampton told the paper.
Soldiers have also reported that yoga and meditation help them deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder upon returning from war.
You can listen to Perkin's views on meditation in the military here.