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Conservative Leader Upset Over Marine Corps Meditation

Photo credit: DVIDS

Members of the All-Marine Warrior Games team meditate to end their practice session May 13, 2011.

A recent news article about Camp Pendleton Marines using meditation as a means of improving their mental health has the head of the Family Research Council up in arms.

Tony Perkins's comments were prompted by an article that ran last month in the Washington Times. In the piece, Camp Pendleton-based Marine Staff Sgt. Nathan Hampton discussed the benefits he got from attending meditation classes on base before deployment. Hampton told the Times at first he was doubtful:

“But 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.”

But Perkins isn't buying it. He said today on his radio show:

"Unfortunately, the military seems intent on driving religion out and replacing it with wacky substitutes. They've added atheist chaplains, Wiccan worship centers, and now, meditation classes. But none of them are effective or as constructive as a personal relationship with God. Unfortunately, though, it's mind over what matters--and that's faith."

The meditation classes at issue are given through Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training. The MMFIT training at Camp Pendleton is part of an ongoing study funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Bureau of Navy Medicine and Surgery.

What do you think about Tony Perkins's comments?

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