Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Parable of the Kosher Deli

One of the witnesses at Darrell Issa’s Sausage Fest Committee today was the Bishop of Bridgeort, representing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. He recounted for the committee what he called “The Parable of the Kosher Deli.” In it, “once upon a time” a law mandated that any business serving food had to serve pork, including kosher delicatessens, which pisses off the Orthodox Jews but “those who support the mandate respond, ‘But pork is good for you. It is, after all, the other white meat.’ Other supporters add, ‘So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.’ Still others say, ‘Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.’”

What’s hilarious is that he goes on and on about this pork thing, without ever mentioning women or contraception. Here’s a bit more:
the question generated by a government mandate is whether the government will impose its belief that eating pork is good on objecting Orthodox Jews. Meanwhile, there is no imposition at all on the freedom of those who want to eat pork. That is, they are subject to no government interference at all in their choice to eat pork, and pork is ubiquitous and cheap, available at the overwhelming majority of restaurants and grocers. Indeed, some pork producers and retailers, and even the government itself, are so eager to promote the eating of pork, that they sometimes give pork away for free. In this context, the question is this: can a customer come to a kosher deli, demand to be served a ham sandwich, and if refused, bring down severe government sanction on the deli. In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
The answer to a deeply stupid question, that is.

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