Faith-Based Gyms Near You
Where Faith Meets Fitness is a website which provides information about faith based gyms near you. The site’s purpose is to inform and inspire readers with the benefits of these facilities. By providing such information, it helps individuals make informed decisions when choosing where they want to exercise or train.
The site was started by a Catholic priest named Father Michael Cusick, who has been interested in health issues since childhood. His interest grew into a passion after reading the book “God Is Not Great” by Tim LaHaye. He began researching faith-based gyms and eventually founded the website in 2003.
Father Cusick believes that there are many good reasons why people choose to go to a church-run facility rather than one run by a secular organization like a gym chain or even their own local YMCA. He cites the following:
1) Church-run facilities offer a higher level of personal responsibility.
2) They provide a sense of community.
People feel more comfortable going to a place where they have some kind of connection to others (i.e., not just strangers).
3) Churches tend to be less competitive and thus encourage people to work out together rather than compete against each other.
This leads to greater motivation and results in better physical condition overall.
4) Church-run facilities offer a greater sense of spirituality, which is lacking in other facilities.
5) These facilities also offer other activities such as nutrition classes, counseling, prayer groups, and so on.
The Church Versus the World?
Father Cusick admits that he doesn’t believe that going to church is the only way to get in shape. He just feels that a lot of people are missing out on the benefits of working out in a faith-based environment, and that’s why he wants to spread the word.
In fact, he says there is a double standard going on in this country when it comes to separating church and state. He points out that if a town builds a new community center or athletic facility, it is usually paired with a YMCA inside it. No one complains that this is a violation of the separation of church and state because most people don’t mind the YMCA, yet they would complain if it was a church.
He also points out that many school districts have partnerships with churches and religious-based afterschool programs. No one complains about this even though it’s arguably a greater violation of the separation of church and state.
Of course, an argument against this would be that most of these afterschool programs teach kids things like reading, writing, and arithmetic — which are important for the children’s future. In fact, they are teaching them life skills that many of them would probably not learn otherwise.
This might be true, but Father Cusick points out that these same school districts don’t mind partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide mandatory sexual education classes. In other words, these public schools are perfectly fine with teaching children to explore and engage in recreational sexual behavior, but they are not OK with partnering with a church to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle.
As Father Cusick puts it: “How is encouraging pre-teen and teenage kids to be sexually active any different than teaching them how to eat right and exercise?”
Father Cusick would argue that in this country we believe it is OK to teach kids about the perverted form of sexuality (a.k.a., recreational sexual activity) but not how to have a healthy lifestyle.
So do you think Father Cusick has a point? Should churches be able to partner with public schools on such things as after-school programs and community centers? Why or why not?
Sound off below.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ecclesiastical exercise: faith meets fitness for programs that work body and soul by CM Smith – IDEA Fitness Journal, 2005 – go.gale.com
The Attributes of Physical Fitness and Faith: Exercise Science Meets Scripture by M Apkarian – cjscf.org
Faith-Based Programming for Spiritual Fitness by RSA Shirley, REA Alders, HA Crosby Jr… – … Health Problems in …, 2018 – books.google.com
Engaging Faith for Spiritual Fitness: Helping New Nurses Avoid Burnout by S Busby – Journal of Christian Nursing, 2019 – journals.lww.com