Category Archives: Food

Does it Even Matter? Food in France Feeding Terrorism and Fears

I watched and read this article today in CBN News, by reported Dale Hurd (January 5, 2011). The article was titled “Muslim Halal Food Sales Supporting Terrorism?” The article went to point out a major discrepancy in French politics, while unveiling that buying Halal meat might very well be supporting Terrorism. I believe them.

And yet, the article irked me.  First of all, why are we being told about what is happening in French politics, on this one issue? The only thing I ever hear about France these days has something to do with Islam. Surely there are other things going on in France! The only reason we must be being told about it, again, from a new angle, is because we care. So then I ask myself, why do we care? Or more specifically, this branded Christian American news source (CBN) is reporting on possible terrorist links dealing with  food in France. And maybe, if that outrages us, we should look around us to notice we just might be eating the same food here. Tyranny!

I wasn’t too sure why this irked me, so I wrote out ten points, as follows, for no good reason, in which I analyzed this article from the what I believe is a Biblical perspective (note, not traditional American Christian- you can read all their comments in the comment page just to get a feel of their outrage at Halal):

1.) Halal meat is healthier than our typical drugged-up, corn and hormone fed, stuffed in cages meat. So, the way of health, you can easily say its preferable. If our bodies are supposed to be a temple of God, then yes, maybe we should all eat halal meat. I’ve considered it.

2.) If we should get rid of everything associated with Sharia, as the man at the end of the article was saying, then shouldn’t we also get rid of rice, flour, etc…? Those are acceptable under Sharia law, too, right? In fact, we should also get rid of many concepts of justice Islam and Western Democracy agrees on. That Christians agree with. Just because its Sharia. Really now, we can’t be against everything Sharia.

3.) Paul said its okay to eat meat offered to idols- hence the whole Mecca-Allah-professional Muslim cow-killer shouldn’t be a moral issue for Christians eating halal (unless you are causing others to sin because they believe it is wrong, which just might be the case, now thanks to this article).

4.) Was any of the money back in the meat-offered-to-idols day funneled towards religions/politics/ideologies that were not Christian? I assume so. Which means, I can argue that it is okay once again (from solely a moral standpoint) to buy/eat meat of another religion/ideology.

5.) When I buy from KFC or McDonalds, one could say I fund the spread of Westernism, Colonialism, Self-indulgence….maybe even humanism. In fact, we are terribly guilty of major damage on the world, possibly turning many away from the true God by our Western influence on the world. So, from that logic, would that mean I shouldn’t buy KFC or McDonalds? But, both the U.S. and in France are already seriously saturated in these humanistic ideologies which aren’t really for God. Does it matter which not-Jesus religion/spirituality we are living in culturally? Yes, we have our preference for freedoms, in democracy, but, is that anything more than a preference?

6.)  Please note that in France the concept of freedom of religion and separation of church & state is different in the U.S. In France, this goes beyond just keeping things separate.  It means that anything not French, whatever might be a threat to nationalism/state as first, is not allowed. The goal is to keep everyone the same, so nothing stands out except being French. My description might not be perfect of French politics, but be aware that there is a definite difference, and do some research on it. So, with that said, please note that the French politician + groups mentioned in this article are speaking from this worldview. Which means that it is probably even more horrible for them, than it would be for us, to see the French government having connections to Islam, which is overtaking the country. Their fight is slightly different from just a fight for democracy as we as Americans might understand it.

7.) I personally am not pro-Islam or Muslim by any means.  I think Islamization its something everyone needs to be aware of, because it’s already upon us (if you study population growth, migration, and birth rates, you will see that within this century our Western civilizations as we know them will look drastically different). I believe the question that this “threat” to our current culture is really a matter of learning how to live, as Christians, in a new world which will likely look more Islamic. The question isn’t “How should we put our energies into stopping it?” After all, in some places, especially in Europe, it’s too late for that.

8.) I believe we are called to be Christians above being Americans. We constantly need to check the basis of our concerns. Are we afraid of Islam because it will negatively affect our lives, our comfort, or worldview as we know it? That is a very understandable fear.  But why are we striving for the sake of democracy? I am far from saying this is bad. I am pro-democracy, I believe much less oppression happens in a Republic than any other type of government. And yet, I think we need to question the roots of any judgments we make or act on- do these judgments embody God’s character and would our actions be following Jesus? Or is the root our love for our homeland, America and the democracy we enjoy? These are sometimes in conflict. So we must ask ourselves, what is most important?

9.) I think we should consider other ways of fighting this process than just boycotting halal, freaking out, or trying to ban all things Islamic through the political process. Maybe these aren’t bad, but I think they aren’t going to bring about sustainable change. It might be too late for passionate campaigns, which encourage WASPs (and other good ol’ American Christians) have more babies in order to race with that insane growth rate of Muslim populations.

10.) I guess what it comes down to, is that I really believe loving Muslims, showing Jesus to them, is more sustainable than getting worked about halal. Even if they don’t all become Christians, which I think would be just awesome, at least being exposed to another worldview is a major force for change. It is undoubtedly more effective to promoting opportunities which provide meaning to life (like having an occupation rather than killing the infidels), while educating (giving alternate worldviews to radical extremist Islam).

The reason this article irks me is that it doesn’t consider the people who follow the religion of Islam, many who do so just culturally rather than fanatically. It feeds the fear American have against Muslims, urging us to run the opposite way, rather than encouraging us to show love. The article might seemingly be about justice, a character trait of God.  We can choose to let an ideology which we are uncomfortable with turn us away from following Jesus, who says to love our enemies, and teach others to follow Him.  I don’t remember Jesus saying we should not buy Halal meat. What if we were able to help lead the guy who sales Halal kabobs to Christianity because we spoke with him, laughed with him while we ate what he made us- rather than boycotting him. Maybe preventing innocent deaths through terrorism would be what would happen if we ignored the halal-guy, or picketed his meat. At minimum, though, we should seriously consider what furthers God’s kingdom more.

Recently a guy from my town  was captured for assisting a plot (a fake plot, sneakily created by the FBI) of terrorism made for the D.C. metro system. I am glad they caught him. But, I can almost guarantee you, no American had ever invited him into their home or really befriended him. Can you blame him for not changing his worldview, when we, the rich self-focused Americans in my town, never relationally presented him with another worldview? When instead we probably only reinforced his hate for us? In his culture he would have been accepted in a new place. In ours, he was shunned. For all I know, I might have walked right by him five times in the course of five days, while never even smiling at him. The people who carry a culture and religion is what perpetuates that ideology. We, the people, by changing our attitudes towards Muslims just might have influence on the very ideology we fight in courts against.  Simply, by just showing some love.

Muslim Halal Food Sales Supporting Terrorism?

Surprise Baby Shower

I must say, I was extremely impressed with the baby shower that was thrown for me this Saturday. I don’t think I ever have had a surprise party, so it was a new experience along with just being totally fun. I kept thinking that morning that life was just too good, and that I should appreciate all the goodness I had been blessed with while things still are “good.” And that was before the shower!

Josh and I had a great morning together, I got to sleep in, take a shower while Avi was awake, and I just chilled out upstairs with a glass of juice and bowl of strawberries Josh brought me. He purposefully kept me upstairs, and I completely just thought he was being all nice giving me a break from Avilynne. He brought me my journal and Bible just to chill out next to the sunny window to spend time with God. He told me we were going to eat brunch together and he had arranged for Jill to watch Avi. When I eventually came downstairs, I realized we weren’t eating brunch at home and kinda wished I did my hair or put on makeup. But, hey, at least I had taken a shower!

I thought it was odd that we were going to drop Avi off a few doors down together, when one of us could wait in the car. And why weren’t we locking to house door? He didn’t want me leave my purse on the car, even though I figured I could still see it from Jill’s doorway. But, hey, I am a risk taker (often needlessly) so I brought my purse with me after all. Jill had me come in, and then I saw a cake and all this delicious food. I was like “Oh my goodness….its a surprise party for me- I think! But I’m here early as there is no one else here.” I was then ushered towards the living room and I saw everybody hiding in the corner. They were all happy and I was all embarrassed for some reason while totally thrilled and happy. My initial thoughts were that they invited Abbie, a teenager who I mentor as well as girlfriends who weren’t just from church, which I thought was cool. I just was impressed that whoever invited people invited people I’d want to come, not just people from one area of my life.

Anyways, I was starving by this point, and there was an amazing spread of breakfast casseroles, the most awesome sweet french toast (of which everyone was begging Tori for a recipe), strawberries and homemade whipped-cream, and all sorts of other beautiful and delicious foods. It was soooo very “ummy” (as Avi would say)! And then there were all these nice people around me who wanted to talk and be baby-showerishy-girl-like (though not awkward too dressed up baby-showerishy-girl-like). Deborah, Jill and Becky did an awesome job putting it together. There were all these games, from measuring my belly to guessing the time when an ugly plastic doll was “born” (meaning the ice defrosted around it into water), and a questionnaire about me and another one about nursery rhymes. I personally was entertained and I didn’t even get to play half of the games : )

Then, of course, there was a massive plethora of presents which I was totally not expecting. Long ago I had come to the conclusion I wasn’t going to have a shower, and so have just been assuming I had to get whatever we needed for a boy. It was very happy, though, to receive all these gifts, mostly the type of stuff which I won’t buy myself as its not “necessary” such as extremely cute clothing or baby blankets or “rocket” stuff which I was totally impressed people found. I was really surprised by all the gifts I received, and, thankfully, I really liked them too. They were beyond tractors and footballs, to my glee!

Apparently, I had made it pretty difficult on the people putting it together. Deborah moved her car on Saturday morning because she told me she was going to be gone and wouldn’t be able to hangout. That was smart on her part because I actually looked for her car to see if she was home and could hangout after all. I went with Becky to Costco on Friday, where she had to pick up the cake. She hid it in her cart, but didn’t know how to get it in her car without me seeing it. So, she arranged a whole complicated pick-up with our other friend Amber which seems like it was just too much work to be worth it. That night I was really bored so I hungout at jill and stacy’s. Yet, that kept Jill from being able to get anything done like she had wanted to because I was around (really, someone did say I should join them playing rockband, so it wasn’t entirely a self-invite). I thought it was weird Deborah came in dropping stuff off, acting odd and freaked out that I was there. She told me she was bring stuff for the Needs Network, which later I noticed was only three pairs of socks. Um….I am pretty sure it doesn’t take two trips between our houses for her three pairs of socks.

I was somewhat suspicious because of that. Almost two weeks ago Becky also made a comment to me, trying to keep me from buying diapers. I didn’t get why because she was saying maybe people would give them to me. And I said, yes, maybe they would after the baby was born, but I would need diapers ASAP. I was trying to figure out why I should bother counting on someone else to give me diapers who knows when, when I really didn’t want to have to stop at a store on the way home from the hospital. She thought I should wait a week before I bought some. I was kinda suspicious then that maybe she was having the other girls in our lunch group do presents or something for me, yet nothing big. But as nothing happened after her comment I had totally given up on the idea. But then on Friday night the possibility that maybe someone was trying to surprise me came up again; this was more so in a way in which I’d just keep my eyes open for other clues. It wasn’t something I suspected or expected at all, especially not late Saturday morning.

I really like being surprised. I really enjoy being with people. I love eating good food. I don’t mind getting presents in the slightest. I was very impressed by how put together and how nice the shower was, especially with me having no clue and it being put together so close to the end of my pregnancy. In generally I guess you can say I really felt loved by the whole ordeal. And who doesn’t like to feel loved? Ahhh….my heart is bursting with affection! Thank you so much, guys!

NYC



Avilynne did amazingly well with Deborah, her weekend babysitter. It was such a good thing that we didn’t try to bring her with us. I also did amazingly well without Avi (I’ll blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I did shed a tear or two on my way out the door).

We almost missed our bus. But, hey, we didn’t. It was freakin‘ cold in NYC! I am SOOOOO ready for spring. I am pretty sure my bum was about to be amputated due to frostbite. We stayed with Josh’s childhood friend, Adam, and his wife Erin in their nice, small Manhattan apartment on the tenth floor (last picture is a view from their place).

We took the metro a lot. We saw Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, and Ground Zero. We went into Macy’s and smelled perfume, bought cheap “I love NYC” T-shirts, took the Staten Island Ferry, and stood at the top of the Empire State Building. We ate amazing halal street food, and had an exciting experience eating at a vegetarian Indian food restaurant (while I braved onions). It was hard moving around so much with my big belly, but I managed thanks to our gracious hosts and Josh constantly checking on me. I don’t think pregnant people live in NYC. I might of seen just one on the whole trip, but that person might not have even been pregnant.

In a nutshell was our trip to New York City. It was a much needed distraction from life at home for myself, and it was fun to be together without Avilynne. I think New York City fell from grace in my mind from being poetically romantic as the greatest city to being just a really big city where I am glad I don’t live. We both enjoyed the NYC and the trip a lot, though.

Chinese-ish

I’ve been violently craving Chinese food of late.

Yes, I crave food typically. Ice cream is always good, as is shrimp (especially with steak). When pregnant I have craved goldfish crackers, cookies, peppermint-coffee drinks, and many other delicacies such as dirt. But I have never craved food with such desire until this week. On Monday, I smelt a whiff of Chinese food, and I pretty much thought I would die if I didn’t have any.

I remedied that by having pepper-beef with fried rice, a clementine and an egg-roll. Yet, the craving still hasn’t left. I’ve made my favorite Jotza‘ (however that’s spelled), the fried wantons in spicy chill-paste and soy-sauce). Now I am tempted to cook up some Hunan Chicken, which I have no clue how to make, let alone barely know what it tastes like.

Everything I smell reminds me of China. I was so excited that Chinese restaurant I went to (which we deemed “Cheap Chinese”) actually smelt like China. It had the Chinese spices; they were there! They had to be! Mixed with the smell of whatever they cleaned their tables with, it totally smelt like China. Deborah (the chick who lives with us) gave me a cardboard box (how nice of her….j/k….its pretty for wrapping) which has a perfumy smell of various spices. They are more middle-eastern, yet I am sure there is a slight bit of China-smell in the box. I cooked sausage today, I walked into a room yesterday, I held Avi and…..they all freakin‘ smell like China! Of course, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. After all, my nose is mostly plugged from my sickness and I have a great imagination.

Last week I read a semi-unhappy book that took place in China. It really had very little too do with China, it was more about a crappy mother/daughter relationship. But the parts that were about China, describing it made me miss that side of the world. When the door was left open the other day, I could hear our Vietnamese neighbor children playing outside. Yes, I realize that although they are Asian they are still not Chinese. But, really, their language is MUCH more Chinese sounding than our own. And hence, it just gave me the feel of being in another country, hearing the sounds outside the windows. It brought up all these happy feelings. I just got a mailer a few minutes ago for Chinese food which had a beautiful classic Chinglish quote on it: “All Special Included Eggroll.” Lastly, a good friend of ours is visiting all over China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan this month. Her updates and pictures are great.

All to say, maybe these things are contributing to my food-cravings. Whatever the reason, though, China (not Georgia) is on my mind.

Random

  • I heard an entertaining view-point the other day. A little boy was talking to his parent in Target: “Dad, did you know that Michael Phelps is the son of Barrack Obama? No, really, I am serious! I heard it…..”
  • Avi loves the Christmas tree. She’s only pulled it on top of her once so far, but hey, we still have the rest of December for such antics! Her favorite ornaments are these red sparkly balls, that luckily aren’t breakable. On the other hand, I broke two ornaments in a matter of seconds. No fair.
  • I want to see this: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2008/scream.bloody.murder/
  • I get to go to the Dr., yet again, today. Fun fun!
  • I do not like Tiramisu Coffee Creamer.