AC writes: “. . . I have ordered items from a company that offers clothing geared toward various athletic activities. One of these activities is yoga, but there are many others (surfing, golf, skiing, etc.). . . . Now that I’m learning more about the new age, it is especially disturbing to me to have found that they created a logo symbol for their company that they are calling their “chi logo.” At the bottom of one of the pages on their website they define “chi” as “the circulating life energy inherent in all beings.” On the ordering website, you can click on “chi blog” and go to the blog area which they describe as a ‘collaborative blog for connecting active, athletic, women to the energy of inspiration.’
“Their e-mail is called chi-mail and you are invited to “share your chi” . . . . I am conflicted about ordering from this company knowing that they are choosing to represent themselves with this “chi” logo. What type of guidelines would there be with regard to buying from a company such as this? Would it be forming a bad connection &/or would it be a way of advocating/supporting an ideology?”
Yes, doing business with a place like this would definitely be supporting a non-Christian ideology.
I reviewed this website and found it to be riddled with eastern ideologies, from the type of meditation they recommend to the “chi” they are celebrating. (“Chi” is a universal life force that allegedly permeates all of creation and, according to the Vatican, is the equivalent of a New Age god. See What You Should Know About Energy Medicine at /?p=4 )
These beliefs are reflective of a pantheistic worldview inherent in eastern religions and that has utterly hijacked the fitness world. People actually believe they can’t achieve fitness without yoga and pilates!
But Athleta takes it to a new level by creating a “chi” blog where women can talk about more meaningful things than just their products. They tell bloggers that the “voice of the chi” must speak in a certain way on their blog (not too simplistic and devoid of meaning) so that the blog can serve as a way to express the yoga greeting known as “namaste” which means “I bow to the god within you.”
This company certainly has the right to sell whatever it wants, but to include a religion in their business model is totally over the top. Even if the blog is voluntary, they’re still encouraging people to use it in order to communicate with the company. By doing so, they are foisting their religious beliefs off on customers who come to their site for the purpose of buying fitness products.
But they won’t see it this way. Why? Because eastern fitness regimes have become so hip and so entrenched in this field that companies have become oblivious to the fact that yoga, tai chi, qi gong, et. are all part of the spiritual practices of particular cultures! If it’s okay to have an Athleta Chi blog, then it should be perfectly alright to have an Athleta Jesus blog too, right?
But beware! If you protest, you’ll get the usual argument – “but this isn’t a religion!” – to which the informed Christian must respond, “Tell that to the Hindus, the Taoists, the Shintos, and a variety of New Age religions whose belief systems are based on this (scientifically unsupported) energy force.”
You should definitely stop doing business with them, but be sure to send a letter to its officers explaining how offended you are by these practices. Tell them that you’re interested in their fitness products not their religious beliefs, and because the two seem to be intertwined, you’ll be giving your business to an organization that is more “inclusive” and respectful of a Christian audience. (They hate it when we turn the tables on them!)
Send your New Age question to firstname.lastname@example.org