No, that's not true. There are risks, for example, if a religious ceremony involves a mass gathering of people, then this naturally increases the chance of contracting infectious diseases, but are you not afraid to travel by trolleybus, metro, go to concerts, and oh, horror - to the clinic? The risks are even higher there. Also, of course, there is a risk of picking up something through surfaces when kissing or just touching, but any doctor will confirm that even the threat of picking up an infection through the toilet seat in a public toilet is mostly a horror myth, because bacteria need warmth and moisture to live. both food, and outside the human body, they die in minutes, and if they do not die, then you should remember that there are billions of them on you and nothing terrible happens to you. Kiss, hug, "handle" without fear. Even the ceremony of kissing the relics of saints is not dangerous (although disgusting, IMHO), because if it's not in the movies, then a kiss with a century-old mummy is no more dangerous than a kiss with a piece of bacon.
I will add that some ceremonies serve the opposite purpose. For example, circumcision is very effective in hot countries to avoid infections. In the United States, it seems that they have even introduced almost mandatory circumcision of all newborns. Even in Islam there is a ritual of washing the feet - well, you yourself understand. There is a famous story about Imam Shamil: Imam Shamil asked the general: "Why did you come to our land and fight with us?" The general replied: "We have come to you, savages, with a higher culture and civilization." Then Imam Shamil called one of the Muslims and asked him to take off his shoe and socks and show his leg to the general - the Muslim's leg shone from five times washing. Then the imam called the Russian soldier and asked him to do the same. The soldier's leg was dirty and stank in the distance. The Imam asked: “So you came to us with this culture ?!” .
There is also a theory that food restrictions in some religions are also aimed at these goals. In Judaism, it is forbidden to eat foods such as shrimp and fish without scales, since it was very difficult to control the quality of this food before the advent of high technology. Anyway, kosher products are always of the highest quality and are guaranteed to be made from healthy and clean animals.
This question is answered by the English naturalist and writer Gerald Darrell in his wonderful book "My Family and Other Animals" (1956):
"Everyone, approaching the coffin, bent down, kissed the feet, whispered prayers, and from above through the glass of the sarcophagus, with an expression of strong disgust, the black, withered face of the saint gazed at the crowd. It was quite clear that, whether we wanted it or not, we too would have to kiss the feet of Saint Spiridion. I looked around and saw my mother making desperate attempts to get through to me, but her Albanian bodyguards did not move an inch, and all her efforts were fruitless. <...> Finally, driven to despair, my mother threw away all caution and whispered loudly to me over the heads of people:
- Tell Margot ... no need to kiss ... kiss the air ... kiss the air.
I turned to give Margot my mother's order, but it was too late. Margot stood at the coffin and, bowing at the feet of the saint, kissed them fervently, to the delight and surprise of the crowd. When it was my turn, I, following my mother's instructions, kissed the air loudly and respectfully, six inches higher than the mummy's left leg. <...>
Well, nothing, - said Margot cheerfully. - All this can be endured, if only Saint Spiridion fulfilled my request.
A very unhygienic event, - said my mother. - It is much more conducive to the spread of diseases than healing from them. It's scary to think that only we could pick up if we really kissed those feet.
But I kissed my feet, ”Margot said, surprised.
Margot! How could you ?!
Everyone did it. <...>
So many people slobber over these slippers, and you still went to kiss them!
I only did what others do.
I just have no idea why on earth you did it.
I thought it would help me get rid of acne.
Acne! - Mom mimicked. - Be careful not to catch something else along with acne.
The next day, Margot collapsed from a severe flu, and the prestige of Saint Spiridion shattered ... "
In addition to what was said above, I can add a personal story.
I was once a little (6-7 years old) taken to a "kissing icon" in a church in a small village. We stood in a significant queue, they lifted me up to kiss. I did what they asked (I was not baptized and knew little about religion, it was just interesting: everyone does this). Then I noticed that many, instead of kissing, for some reason put their cheeks.
After 1-2 days, I became seriously ill. I do not claim that the icon and the disease are somehow connected, but since then I have been wary and wary of icons, even in museums. Growing up and growing indifference, of course, diminished the prejudice. But the event of childhood does not let you forget about yourself.
If you think logically, it becomes obvious that kissing relics, icons, etc. really promotes the spread of infections.
Consecration of water also does not guarantee that it will be clean.
For example, during the plague riot, Archbishop Ambrose, realizing that the gathering of people in one place contributes to the spread of the infection, forbade prayer services.
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