Is It OK for Christians to Eat Food that is “Islam-Friendly?”

April 24, 2012

By Tom Stark 

Parkersburg, WV- Centuries of tradition and religious observation have provided ample evidence of how seriously people of the Jewish faith feel about the issues of eating meat that is not kosher or that comes from cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs (i.e. pork).  Until recently there has not been the same level of concern on the part of Christians because New Testament Scripture makes it clear that Christ’s followers are not prohibited from eating any specific kind of meat except where it might cause someone else to “stumble.” [I Corinthians 8:8] (more later) 

 Over the past year, there have been several articles (here and here) that have exposed a new angle on the question of religion and diet.  But this time it is the Islamists that have begun to demand that meats sold in supermarkets (notably Sam’s Club, Whole Foods and Kroger to name a few) be prepared under strict rules known as “halal.”   Halal requires that the meats be sacrificed in the name of Allah and that the animal is killed while facing east towardMecca (among possibly other requirements).  As the one article relates, many times the food prepared “halal” is then mixed with the regular meat and thus the labelling of the products as “halal” is fraudulent in some cases and serves only the political correct insanity that we have been buried in lately.

However, these requirements, alone, would not be a particular reason to devote an article to were it not for the fact that in the process these food merchants have fallen all over themselves to meet the needs of Islam while failing miserably to consider which other groups within their retail market might be alienated just as much as those demanding that these merchants offer products that meet the needs of Islam.  You see, based on observations in the stores, there are now places where meats that are not tagged with the “halal-approved” label are missing or of limited in selection.

It has now gone a step further.  An inmate within the Ohio Prison System has filed a suit against the authorities claiming that the removal of pork from the menu and ensuring “halal” approved preparation for all meats provided to inmates the prison has discriminated against non-Islamic prisoners.  The District Court dismissed the suit stating that

“While the removal of pork from prison meals may benefit Muslims as well as Jewish inmates, it also creates a meal that can be eaten by all inmates regardless of faith.”

  Giacomo, writing for Godfather Politics, reported former Navy chaplain Dr. Gordon James Klingenschmitt, director of The Pray in Jesus Name Project summing up District Judge Guin’s dismissal ruling,

“In other words, because the prison enforces Muslim Sharia law equally upon all prisoners, none of them face discrimination–they are all treated as Muslims equally, and forced to eat Muslim food equally, so Christians have no dietary rights.“

So what is it that makes this ruling and the entire issue highly misleading for Christians who, until recently, probably didn’t even know what the “halal approved” tag at the grocery store means?  In very simple terms, it violates Biblical directives that Christians not partake of meat that has been blessed/sacrificed to idols. [I Corinthians 8:7]  In every very real sense in the Christians’ mind, anything blessed or sacrificed in the name of Allah would be prohibited from the Christian diet.  The judge or the plaintiff failed to even mention the issue of the meat having to be “Muslim-friendly.”

I would welcome differing opinions on this along with the basis for those differences, but until I am told by a knowledgeable Biblical scholar or pastor, I will avoid partaking of such products even if it means making an extra trip to a different meat market and paying more.  Keep in mind, also, that providing such labeling benefits both Christians and Muslims, but making all their meat fit the requirements of one group also makes them unacceptable for another group as well.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not a rant against Islam.  It is a rant against judicial activism and judicial bias toward bowing and scraping to do what appears politically correct and fearing the results of offending some minority group while casting aside the Christian majority’s viewpoint as irrelevant.   It is an argument against giving preferential treatment to minorities rather than equal treatment for all. 

What may be at work here is what we have seen so many times over the past few years.  That is that those who “demand” accommodation do not like choice.  They like “their way or the highway” and they will not be satisfied until all other voices are silenced.   

It is this “my way or the highway” mentality we are frequently accused of demanding and it is something that we must guard against in our dealings with minorities regardless of which minority is involved.  We should be respectful without acquiescing where doing so undermines our own beliefs or our efforts to encourage others to accept the free gift of God’s grace.  This does not mean that we must roll over and play dead when our beliefs are openly attacked or undermined by secular advocates.


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Tags: Christians, control, Faith, Food, Government, halal, Islam, Kosher, power, Scripture

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