Tai Chi Banned

Just down the road from where I grew up (and where my parents still live) a mighty storm is brewing!

A Tai Chi class in Totley has been evicted from its current location of All Saints church hall. The church wants to focus its attention on a Christian perspective but through doing this has had to tell the exercise group to find a new home for their class.

Tai chi is popular throughout the city of Sheffield. But what is Tai Chi? It can be taught as a martial art but mainly it is used to practise slow motion routines, strengthening the mind and body.

Betty and Pat regularly attend the weekly Tai Chi class and are distressed at the decision, “We went to a class and we were told that the vicar had said it wasn’t just a ladies exercise group and was therefore going to refuse permission for use of the hall. I can’t understand. We are living in the twenty first century.

“This really does put us going off going to the church, it really does alienate people. This isn’t a Christian attitude. It really is a shame. We are not causing anyone any harm.”

Shock horror! The local leader of one religion doesn’t want another religion using his premises. Hold the front page!

Of course, this is just another case of the “find something weird, poke it with a stick and see what happens” school of reporting. There are though some amusing parts to the story. The first is the wonderful line “This really does put us going off going to the church” from the dear ladies involved. Having just got off the phone to the Rev David Rhodes, I can exclusively report that the use of the church hall for Tai Chi since September (notice was given in February after what was billed as an “Exercise Class” was found by Totley All Saints to be not all it originally claimed) did not result in Betty or Pat stepping an inch inside Totley All Saints Parish Church proper, even over Christmas. So when they say “It puts us off going to church”, the corollary is “but we weren’t bothered about going in the first place”.

But the killer is this great quote from the TV report.

It just seemed petty. It seemed to be equating Tai Chi with some sort of religion or some sort of spiritual thing.

Obviously Tai Chi is not a religious or spiritual thing, because if it was, the BBC wouldn’t have a whopping great link to BBC Religion: Taoism on the web page would they?

Oh no, wait a moment…

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