Church Bans Tai Chi

Posted: May 7, 2009 in Atheism, Australia, News, Religion
Tags: , , , , ,

In yet another example of a religious organisation demonstrating that it is indeed incredibly backwards in it’s thinking, a Baptist Church is Tasmania has banned Tai Chi classes that were being held on the basis that the exercises go against the Bible.  It certainly makes you wonder about church mentality but is also very revealing about the regard certain religious organisations have for the citizens around them; even those who were receiving great benefit from the classes in question.

Tai Chi class clashes with Bible: Baptists

Arthritis Tasmania has condemned the actions of a church in north-west Tasmania which has cancelled a senior citizens’ Tai Chi class.

The Wynyard Baptist Church says the martial arts-based exercises go against the Bible.

Elderly people who have been attending the classes for the past two years say the gentle art helps relieve their arthritis.

Wendy Broomhall is all but crippled by arthritis and drugs have done little to help.

Two years ago she found Tai Chi provided some relief and had been attending the local classes.

“It’s just given me mobility, helped with my balance, because I’ve had ill health had two aneurisms and my arthritis is crippling,” she said.

“It just seems to get me through each and every.”

But the church leader, the Reverend Viv Morse, says he thought Arthritis Tasmania was holding simple exercise classes, not Tai Chi.

He says the classes have now been cancelled because parishioners were concerned about the martial art’s links to Buddhism.

“Anybody that focuses in on the exercise has the wrong message. It’s the belief systems that are clashing.”

“We have a right to say that is not acceptable in our church because it clashes with our Christian beliefs,” he said.

Jackie Slyp from Arthritis Tasmania says the church should show more understanding about Tai Chi’s therapeutic benefits.

“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t have the opportunity to talk to them about the benefits of Tai Chi for arthritis.”

The Church says its decision is final but will help the group find another venue.

I can not recall any passage in the Bible that forbids the practice of Tai Chi or any other exercise.  I do recall, however, Jesus’ general message being along the lines of ‘Help out those in need’ which is exactly what the church is not doing.  Sheer idiocy.

  1. Sabio says:

    Devil’s Advocate
    I just wrote a short post to disagree with you.
    Entitled, “Christians aren’t Stupid.
    Mind you, I dislike them for their close-mindedness just like you, but I think they are wise !

  2. Matt says:

    *shrugs* Your reply is fair enough but doesn’t really address the story. Regular gentle exercise (which is what the class participants were there for) is shown to often ease pain in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. By all accounts the classes were not spiritual in nature but merely the afore mentioned gentle exercise.

    And there can be nothing wrong with that.

    • Sabio says:

      “by all accounts of the class”
      Last summer, my kids were invited to a 1-wk church camp and I was reassured that no “God talk” would happen — it was just suppose to be a community service for kids to enjoy wholesome play in the summer and to socialize. I did not send my kids.
      To underplay the suspicions of another is to make your suspicions suspicious !

      • Matt says:

        I’m simply going by the available evidence; that it was a form of gentle exercise used to lessen pain and that no spiritual teachings (from Buddhists, Taoists or Christians) took place.

  3. Susan says:

    Well what a sign of the times that a) a non-demoninational group of people who want to excercise but are banned from the venue due a “clash in beliefs”; b) that seemingly intelligent people are using this incident as a sounding board from their hidden agendas. What occurred at the Baptist Church in Wynyard was ill infomred, prejudiced, and quite ignorant behaviour – nothing less. It is not a question of “christianity” as many religious groups all have underlying beliefs and values which are based on a christian way of living and being. Those values have NEVER been shown to my by that particular church, in fact, there are many things that if made public may in fact show their gross lack of christian faith. It is not a slant on any other individual or group and their beliefs. This is one man in one group who have caused hurt and disheartenment within his own community, in which I too call home.

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