You can't trust the media when they try to report on religion.
For a perfect example, check out this story from ABC News:
"Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health, Study Finds."
Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on "holy" springs.
Tests indicated 86 percent of the holy water, commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants' lips, was infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.
Who in their right mind is drinking holy water from a font where hundreds of people are sticking their fingers?!
I thought about commenting on the media hubbub surrounding Pope Francis' recent remarks about atheists, but refrained because I'd rather shake my head and walk away (So much for standing in the gap on that one...). But this story about the harmful effects of holy water is just too much.
Okay, I get it. They may not be referencing the Catholic faith alone here because they never name any particular religion. But holy water is a big part of Catholic tradition, plus the picture they use makes it pretty evident who they're talking about.
Also, I understand how in certain areas, or in some religions it may be customary to drink holy (or "holy") water, but that is definitely not the intent or purpose of it by-and-large in the Catholic Church. And dabbing it on congregants lips? I've never, ever seen anyone do that in church, nor heard of that custom. Even if it is done, I'm fairly certain that's not the intent of holy water. Furthermore, the Catholic Encylopedia entry on holy water makes no mention of drinking holy water straight from the font.
So what's next? Government mandated signs next to the holy water font? Warning labels in the baptismal area?
"WARNING: While holy water may or may not increase your spiritual health, studies have shown that it definitely is harmful to your physical well-being."
As an aside, for anyone wondering about the title of this post, here's some context from Catholic Memes.