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Foodiism

As I write this, my husband, David, is in Ethiopia. He’s there as an advisor as a part of IBM’s Service Corps to assist the Ethiopian Agricultural Ministry in improving their data analysis in relation to farm production and their efforts to reduce mortality and hunger in the northeastern African nation. Also, as I write this, one of the number one channels on television is The Food Network. Its mission is to feed America’s obsession with cooking and eating.

Is there any relationship between the fact that Christianity and organized religion in general is declining in the United States, but, at the same time, worship of food and all things gastronomic is expanding faster than the national waistline? I think not. In many ways, the procurement, preparation and partaking of food has become our national religion. This is concurrent with an obesity and diabetes epidemic. With more science and more access to it than ever before in the history of mankind, westerners have never been more ignorant about or irresponsible in their daily behavior towards nutrition.

In my opinion, this is a sin. One third of the world’s population is starving to death. Almost 40% of the inhabitants of earth are killing themselves with too much food.  We blame it on sugar, or more specifically, high fructose corn syrup. We blame it on the easy access to fast food and its proliferation across the globe. We blame it on the high cost of healthy eating and the lack of time for exercise. When are we going to take the blame upon ourselves? It’s our own fault that our world is in the shape it’s in. It’s time we take responsibility for it.

It’s time for our churches to acknowledge that overeating is an abomination against God. We’re treating our bodies not as the temples the Almighty gave us, but as garbage dumps filled with empty calories and sugary beverages. We’re too busy chasing material wealth and all the idols that go along with it to exercise our brains and the vessels that house our very souls. We refuse to accept the responsibility that we’ve done this to ourselves, because it’s easier to listen to the liars who are in such abundance and are happy to tell us that it’s not our fault.

It’s time for us to acknowledge that parents who are able but unwilling to teach their children to eat healthfully are being irresponsible parents. Mothers and fathers who harm their children physically are held accountable in our society. Why does that not extend into the realm of food? If I gave my children illegal drugs or alcohol, I’d be considered an unfit mother. If I overfeed them on junk, it’s McDonald’s fault.  This is wrong.

It’s time for us to worry more about the lives of the people of the world than the animals with whom we share it. I’m not suggesting that our pets and our livestock should be ill-treated. I’m just saying that too many of us spend more time and money and concern on the housing of chickens in this country than the living conditions of our fellow human beings. Is there any connection between the legalization of abortion and the increase in funding for the humane treatment of animals in the United States? We must respect all life, especially those who cannot speak for themselves. This includes living and unborn children, the elderly, the mentally and physically ill, our planet and the animals that inhabit it. All life is a gift from God.

In the Roman Catholic Mass, near the very beginning of the service, there is a prayer called the Penitential Rite which worshipers pray aloud together.

I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The world would be in so much better shape if we lived those words. We have greatly sinned, through our own most grievous fault, and it’s because of that sin that people like my husband are needed halfway across the world to try to help eradicate the hunger of the body that is so prevalent where he is, and I’m writing about the hunger for God which is so rampant where I am.

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