Vicar bans 'anti-Christian' exercise class Tai Chi from church hall
As far as the pensioners were concerned, their weekly Tai Chi classes in the church hall simply helped them to relax and do some gentle exercise.
But the vicar and senior members of the church community saw a more sinister side to the popular £2 a time lunchtime sessions.
They decided the ancient martial art, with its roots in the Chinese Taoist philosophy, was incompatible with Christianity and should not be tolerated.
So the Rev David Rhodes told the group of around 20 regulars who attended the classes at the All Saints Church Hall in the South Yorkshire village of Totley that they were banned and must find an alternative venue.
Needless to say, the decision has brought ridicule upon the vicar and his church 'elders' who have been condemned as 'bigots'.
Pat Parkin, 74, said : 'We are not anti-Christs, we're just a group of mainly older women trying to keep fit and healthy.
'I find it absolutely astonishing that we should be banned as anti-Christian. We are not learning anything about any Eastern religion or philosophy.
'It is just about calm , gentle movements and breathing. I have had a stroke so this is perfect for helping me with my balance.
'I don't know if the vicar thinks we are learning kung fu or martial arts and are training to kill people but we're just trying to keep healthy as we get older - what's anti-Christian about that?'
One class member Betty Warwick, who is in her 80s, said the vicar told them Tai Chi was a 'spiritual exercise which was anti -Christian.'
She said:'This all seems so petty. There's nothing anti Christian about it, it's all about keeping calm and breathing and trying to keep fit.It has caused a lot of upset.
'I can't understand it, we are living in the 21st century. I am a Christian but this isn't a Christian attitude at all, stopping us from using the church hall just for doing some gentle exercise.
'We are not doing anybody any harm at all. Now we will have to decide if we are going to keep going.'
Tai Chi combines deep breathing and concentration with slow, controlled movements aimed at developing strength, balance and calm. It is beneficial to the joints and works the muscles gently.
The hour-long sessions have been running for five months and were organised by Sheffield Council as part of its health promotion programme.The Totley class started at the local Conservative Club but switched to the bigger church hall venue.
Jennie Street, a community leader, who rang the vicar to protest, said:'The bigotry is appalling. Some of the older people were very upset about it. They say they're just doing exercises and being healthy, it's got nothing to do with religion.
'All Saints' has recently asked the local residents' association for financial support to help refurbish the church hall on the grounds that it is open to all. But it seems a cheek to be asking for help and then throwing people out.'
But the Rev Rhodes has remained defiant. He said:'Within the the church we see Tai Chi as being an aspect of the Taoist religion. We want to promote a whole life spirituality which centres on following Jesus and nd we feel that the two things clash.
'Our understanding is that the basis of Tai Chi is in Eastern religion and from the church's point of view that isn't something that we want to be involved in.
'Had we known that is what was intended, we wouldn't have taken the booking in the first place. Our first priority is to seek to be consistent with the Christian faith as we understand it.
'This is not my own personal decision. It's something the church leadership team has considered. We feel very upset at the upset it has caused.'
Ronnie Robinson, spokesman for the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, said:'These little old ladies in the church hall will have no knowledge or concern about Taoism or anything like that.'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -hall.html
HERE is the bit that made my slap my face and headbut the dask;
'spiritual exercise which was anti -Christian.'
And pray, DO tell Mr Vicar, WHAT, if not a "spritual exercise" is the comunion, or praying (preying? hard to tell with Vicars), or singing hymnes, or babtism, or...or?
Is this fool telling us that the Exercising of spirituality is non christian?
(Swedish/Norwegian; Vikar = Idiot. TRUE!)