Easter Safety

 Posted by on 19 March 2008 at 11:26 pm  Religion
Mar 192008

So much is horribly wrong with this news report that I just don’t know where to begin…

Easter warning: crucifixion is bad for you
By Thomas Bell, South East Asia Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:54am GMT 20/03/2008

Many people in the Philippines consider crucifixion and self flagellation good for the soul, but it is bad for your health according to new government advice for penitents.

This Holy Week, the thousands of guilt stricken or pious worshippers who will flay the skin off their backs, and the handful who will crucify themselves, are encouraged to get a tetanus shot first and be sure to use a clean whip or nails. “We are not trying to go against the Lenten tradition here because whipping has somewhat already become some form of ‘atonement for sins’ for some of us,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque the 3rd said. “Getting deep cut wounds during whippings or lashings is inevitable and being so exposed during the course of the penitence, with all the heat and dust blowing in the wind, welcomes all sorts of infections and bacteria like tetanus,” he explained.

Re-enactments of the Passion of Christ are common in many parts of the mostly Roman Catholic Philippines but frowned upon by the church authorities. In San Fernando City 23 people, including two women, have signed up to re-enact the crucifixion at three “improvised Golgothas” around town. Four of them will use real nails. The city government’s website trumpets the preparations.

“The City Health Office (CHO) autoclaved all the nails to be used and will administer anti-tetanus vaccine to all the “Cristos” to ensure their protection from possible infection,” it points out. City officials will conduct an inspection of the Golgothas on Thursday.

The festival is sponsored by Coca-cola and a company called Smart Telecommunications.

In a break from the original tradition, penitents are encouraged to “bring enough drinking water for the whole course of the pilgrimage to avoid dehydration, rather than buy bottled drinking water from unfamiliar sources.”

There is also government advice for the many tourists and spectators who attend the events. “It is also better to bring self-prepared foods such as sandwiches, not only to save money, but also to avoid getting diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid after eating food bought from street vendors,” the health secretary suggested.

Wow. Why can’t they just do a nice quiet egg hunt?!? (Oh wait, that’s the pagan tradition. Silly me!)

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