My Achy Reiki Heart

Boing!You gotta love those wacky Christians. On the front page of the Boston Globe this morning (or, at least, on the homepage of, I saw an eye-catching headline declaring that the holistic massage technique, reiki, has been banned from use in Roman Catholic hospitals.

The reason?

Reiki, according to the bishops, is not grounded in science or Christianity and is therefore inappropriate for Catholic institutions.

Wait, it gets better. The church goes on to state that,

Without justification either from Christian faith or natural science, a Catholic who puts his or her trust in reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man’s-land that is neither faith nor science… Superstition corrupts one’s worship of God by turning one’s religious feeling and practice in a false direction.

Please tell me that I’m not the only person who finds it hilarious that the Catholic church is attempting to distinguish between superstition and religion. How did their spokesperson even keep a straightface while he was writing that a Catholic who puts his or her trust in reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man’s-land that is neither faith nor science.

Since my WTF-o-meter is about to sputter off the charts, let’s take a brief timeout for that thing we call learning and turn to to see how it defines “superstition”:

1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Hmmm, now why do these definitions seem so familiar…? I mean, if I didn’t know better, I’d say that those Godless heathens at were actually defining something else entirely when they wrote up the “superstition” entry. Something very similar, in fact, to — shoot, what was it? Oh yeah: religion.

So just to confirm: Turning water into wine? Check. Bringing people back from the dead? Check. An omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent being who is somehow totally cool with war, famine, disease, and Two and a Half Men? Check. But stimulating natural healing abilities by moving your hands gently over a person’s body? Hold the fuck on.

Next thing you know, the Pope is going to start speaking out against condom use in Africa to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids!

Oh wait.

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