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Friday, January 2, 2015

Bacon and dregs - Pork wars and Christianity

Continuing with the theme about the hypocrisy of the campaigns against Islam, there are a number of people who are waging a 'bacon' war against Muslims. The theory is that because Muslims don't eat pork products, they can be driven out of Australia if some dang fool goes and smears bacon fat on the counter of a Muslim owned shop, or if said fool carries a ham sandwich around (somewhat akin to carrying garlic to repel a vampire ... and about as effective), or throwing a pig's head into the grounds of a mosque.

The world truly has gone mad.

The scary thing is that there really are people who honestly believe these actions will effectively repel Islam. What the hell is wrong with these people? They are the dregs of society, attacking innocent people with idiocy such as this.

Even more so, the Christians who promote these pork wars and think it is their calling in life.

Some argue that Australia is a Christian nation and therefore Halal does not belong. Australia actually is not a Christian nation. For it to be so, there would need to be some official government document to that effect, say like the Constitution. Section 116 of the Australian Constitution indicates that Australia is a secular nation with complete freedom of all religions in which the government can make no religious law either for or against any religion: 'The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth'.

Every religion is welcome and protected in Australia.

Moving on.

Keep in mind that many of the anti-Halal Christians are also Zionists. Which means they worship the modern state of Israel as being a fulfilment of scripture. Let's ignore the fact that it is a Jewish state, so Israel does not worship or even recognise Christ. This in itself goes against the whole purpose of Jesus coming to Earth in the first place to redeem man from sin. But pardon my paralipsis. Back to the topic. In a nutshell this means that the pork war is potentially going to be offensive to Jews, whom many Christians have a great affinity for.

Let's have a quick look at what the bible says about pork and about Christians arming themselves with weapons of mass pork warfare.
  • Leviticus 11:7-8 - and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.
  • Deuteronomy 14:8 - Also the swine is unclean for you, because it has cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud; you shall not eat their flesh or touch their dead carcasses.
  • Isaiah 66:17 - “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” says the Lord.
So the bible actually tells Christians they can't eat bacon. Of course, some Christians will argue against this and say that God changed his mind in the New Testament.

For instance, Mark 7:15 says There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

Many Christians believe that this scripture now sanctifies all food. The scripture points out the obvious, that it isn't food that's important, but how a person lives their life. Those Christians who are living their lives to slander other religions are really just defiling themselves.

So, if Christians now believe that bacon is ok to eat ... then perhaps they might want to consider Acts 10:28 about not calling other people unclean:

Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Funnily enough, many Christians will justify eating bacon because the bible tells them its ok, yet they will complain about eating halal because it's not. There rationale? Acts 15:29 which states ' ... abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, from sexual immorality'. Is Allah an idol? Well ... that could be a long stretch, considering the word 'Allah' is the Arabic word for 'God', and the God worshipped by Muslims is the God of the Jews and of Christians. Hardly an idol. Additionally, putting some context around this scripture, it goes on to advise abstaining from blood. This could be taken to mean abstaining from all meat ... or it could mean to abstain from drinking blood ... you know, as Christians do in communion. Of course, it isn't warning against communion, but other religions did drink blood as a sacrifice to idols. Islam does no such thing.

Christians aren't just attacking Muslims by waging war with pork, but are also attacking halal certification. Halal means permissible. For cattle, this means killing the animal in a certain way while praying over them. Pigs are not allowed to be eaten, so are considered haraam (forbidden).

Romans 14:2-3 tells Christians that they are not to attack others for their culinary choices:

For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whatever we do has to be for God's glory ... is attacking Muslims for halal certification or by throwing bacon at them really glorifying God? In fact, 1 Corinthians 10:32 is emphatic about not causing offense to anyone:

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

So do the Christians who attack Muslims think this is some new evangelism strategy? Or do they just not care what the bible is telling them to do? Do they not care about the greatest commandment that Jesus gave them (love your neighbour as yourself).

In the New Testament the disciples traveled around the Middle East and Europe, meeting people from other religions. One of the issues they faced was food sacrificed to idols. 1 Corinthians 10:25-26 clearly says it's ok to eat whatever is sold in the shops.

Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” 27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.

1 Corinthians 10:27 goes on to direct us to eat whatever is served up to us:

If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.

So why the concern about halal? Some Christians believe that Muslims worship a false god, so when meat is killed while prayers to Allah are being said, they believe that this is meat sacrificed to an idol. However, eating halal food should be of no consequence for them given the scriptures about everything being pure and clean.

Titus 1:15-16 states that all things are pure and, just like in Mark 7:15, to not have an offensive attitude which disobeys what God has called us to do, namely to do good works: To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Funnily enough, Christians are called to be do-gooders ... not to do evil ... not to attack others, not to spread hatred.

Some will argue that it isn't halal they are concerned about, but halal certification. They believe that halal certification adds cost to the product. Considering it costs around $1,000 per annum, it would add very little cost to a product. Many others believe that money from halal certification is used to fund terrorism. On 24 November 2014, political journalist, Malcolm Farr appearing on ABC's Insiders program said: 'to those pig-ignorant droogs who shut down a South Australian business because it had halal certified yoghurt selling to Emirates. What stupid, stupid people! If they really think that this money goes to terrorists, they should stop buying petrol'

Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Waging a pork war against Muslims is not a demonstration of Christ's workmanship or the good works he created us for.

It is a pathetic demonstration of racism, xenophobia and hatred. It is anything but showing Christ's love for others. If Christians are so concerned about Muslims forcing their ways onto us, then surely the anti-halal and anti-burqa campaigns are forcing the ways of bigots onto others.

What are these people trying to achieve? Do they honestly think that Muslims will put down their Korans because someone throws a pork sandwich at them? These vile and violent actions will only feed hatred and hostility, and possibly fuel reprisal actions. Such vulgar campaigns only serve to create more problems than they solve.

It should be pointed out that not all Christians believe in attacking Muslims. But for those who do, this disobedience of the bible is more of a threat to Christians than worrying about whether or not a packet of M&M's is halal certified, particularly considering that pastors and other influential people are pushing these bigoted views from their pulpits and Twitter accounts encouraging people to tell lies rather than truth, to have fear rather than faith, to hate rather than love.

Before attacking the speck in your brother's eyes, remove the plank in your own.

Other articles

This is one of a number of articles in the 'Remove the plank' series, regarding the hypocrisy of criticising or attacking Islam. Other articles include:

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