Food Is the New Legalism

If you have not heard about the scuffle between Travel Channel bad boy, Anthony Bourdain and Food Network darling, Paula Deen then go here and here.

Bourdain takes on Paula Deen’s association with “evil corporations” and her unhealthy recipes.

I’ve been a fan of Bourdain for years and have seen almost every episode of No Reservations. Paula Deen got old very quickly for me and I have not watched an episode of hers in years, partly because we don’t cable but even when given the opportunity, we will look for something else.

But see, here is the problem…Bourdain’s show is not on public access and his show is replete with him eating lots of fatty, high calorie foods.

For Bourdain to blast evil corporations is hilarious. His show is on The Travel Channel and his publisher is an imprint of Harper Collins. Healthy food?

He is famous for his love of tubed meat.

But this is the way of legalism. And for some reason, a new legalism has begun to surround the food we eat. We now look down on others because of where they eat (local v. corporate), what they eat (organic and free range v. everything else) and even how it was prepared. And we puff ourselves up because we can afford to make the choices to eat differently.

Every legalist is a snob looking down the nose at those who know less and do less. Because the less-enlightened didn’t watch the documentary the legalist watched they are looked down on.

We all do it.

But eventually the legalist will move on to something else because it really is not about food so much as pride and control. All of us, Christians and non-Christians have these hearts that just make up rules for people to follow. It would be bad enough if we only beat ourselves up with these laws but we don’t. We are not satisfied until others are moved to take on these laws and made to be as miserable as ourselves.

Related Post: Thomas Merton and “This Cult of Foods”

Random Thoughts for Thursday

1. I daily enter into the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and coffee.

2. Did you even know, the Haiku was part of Zen? I had no idea.

3. After years of affection and intimacy. A diet of spicy food has turned against me.

4. If you were to ask me what the interpretive key to the Universe is, I would probably say “the Trinity.” But my second answer would have to be bacon.

5.  Heard someone say, “When things don’t make sense to others they are contradictions. When they don’t make sense for us they are paradoxes.”

6. If I could write like Merton…

7. I kinda had this picture of sitting on the bleachers and watching Knox play t-ball. But I just realized that since I am now Coach Matt…oh wait, do I get a ball cap and jersey?!

8. The Reds are undefeated and the Red Sox are nothing but. Weird.

9. All the songs you’ve never heard by Van Morrison are better than all the songs you’ve heard by everyone else.

10. They will know we are Christians by the way we forward parodies of those we disagree with.

Why Are Catholics Great Writers and Baptists Are Not?

For a while now I’ve been toying with a question. Maybe a year or so at the most. I’ve had an answer in mind but I still keep asking the question anyway.

Why is it that Catholics are the best writers? And some of my favorites?

Flannery O’Connor. J.R.R. Tolkein. Thomas Merton. Dorothy Sayers. G.K. Chesterton.

And what about those who are far more similar to them than the people I’ve surrounded myself with? You know like the Anglicans.

Shakepseare. C.S. Lewis. Jane Austen.

And one of my favorites these days is Eugene Peterson, who has learned a great deal from those of Rome. Heck, I would have never picked up Merton if not for him.

My first and simplest answer is that they have a sacramental (read: sacred) view of words. Words are precious and full of beauty. They stand by themselves full of value, devoid of their use. But this is not how we evangelicals primarily think of words. We only use them – whoring them out. They have a function. Like machines. Maybe this is why I can think no writer, who is Baptist – outside of Bunyan – who is lauded as a ‘great writer’ by those outside of the evangelical subculture.

What do you think? Can you think of great writers who are Baptists? Who am I missing?

What have you read that could help me think about this some more?

Is it relevant that all of them are Paedobaptists?