World Net Daily sounds the alarum:

IMAM, BASEBALL AND APPLE PIE

Has your Thanksgiving turkey been sacrificed to

idols?

Surprise! America’s favorite meal may be secretly dedicated to Allah

Goodness. Here I was thinking halal simply meant that the meat had been slaughtered according to Islamic ritual purity rules, as with kosher meat re: Orthodox Judaism. It turns out that part of the ritual includes pronouncing the words “in the name of Allah, the Greatest” as the animal bleeds out. That’s where the problem comes in, according to a contemporary Desert Father, speaking from his Pacific Northwest hermitage:

Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministriesi n Bonney Lake, Wash., has been sounding the the alarm for Christians to be aware of what he calls the “backdoor Shariah” now nibbling its way across the fruited plain.

Muslims join many Jews and some Christians in avoiding the consumption of certain animals such as pigs and birds of prey, but those of the Islamic faith also have their meat blessed in the name of their god, Allah.

“From the Christian standpoint, Allah would be an idol,” Biltz told WND.

In a sermon that he posted online, Biltz explained, “You could be eating beef, chicken, etc., offered up to Allah and not even know it. I can just imagine at a Passover Seder the caterer unbeknownst to anyone is serving halal meat! It could be on your pizza without you knowing it, or at your favorite restaurant. People don’t realize they could be eating meat sacrificed to idols!”

Goodness. I had no idea that the Islamic version of God is considered an “idol,” in the sense that gods from pagan or polytheistic religions would be. And I had been under the impression from 1 Corinthians 8 that eating food sacrificed to idols is something to be avoided only if it scandalizes fellow Christians weak in the faith. But what do I know? I’m wondering if the free-range turkey I bought from Whole Foods yesterday was sacrificed to Alice Waters. I was looking forward to eating the halal organic free-range chickens from a local Louisiana Muslim couple who live not far from my new home, but I guess I’m going to have to reconsider.

Not really I’m kidding. But there’s a serious point here. It was not a minor issue for the early Christians, the question of which dietary restrictions they had to observe. There had to be some kind of authority to solve questions like this for them. In fact, I could be mistaken, but I think that the early church had different standards for different communities. The New Testament is not entirely clear. The Council Jerusalem, in Acts 15, decreed that food “polluted” by idols shouldn’t be consumed by Christians. St. Paul’s view seems to be more liberal and relativistic, based not on any inherent impurity in food blessed in the name of an idol, but rather on the social effect consuming such food could have on the Christian community.

Anyway, I think you should be afraid that your Butterball is going to turn you and your family into Mohammedans if you eat it. But maybe if you baptize it with gravy first, it will be okay. We await a ruling from the Curia in Bonney Lake.

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