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Fear the Saracen gobbler!

World Net Daily sounds the alarum: [1]

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 Ministries [2]i 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 [3] 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 [4], 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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24 Comments (Open | Close)

24 Comments To "Fear the Saracen gobbler!"

#1 Comment By Brandon On November 23, 2011 @ 8:52 am

My wife solves this problem by simply stuffing the turkey with sausage dressing. I defy any church council to condemn a pork-filled turkey, whatever deity it was dedicated to.

#2 Comment By Ector de Maris On November 23, 2011 @ 8:57 am

Can we get away with just sprinkling the turkey or do we have to do triple immersion into the gravey?

#3 Comment By Scott in PA On November 23, 2011 @ 9:17 am

“But there’s a serious point here.”

There certainly is a serious point to be made, but Rod and the minister both miss it.

It’s that sharia will continue to grow in the U.S. as liberalism and its obeisance to multiculturalism provide nothing to stop it.

#4 Comment By MH – secular misanthropist On November 23, 2011 @ 9:35 am

The food processing companies sometimes slap those certification symbols onto anything. Do a Google image search for halal pork to see a can of pork and beans bearing the halal logo.

The rules for halal and kosher are similar, so my Muslim co-worker will eat meat at a kosher Jewish deli because he figures it was slaughtered by the same rules and to the same deity.

#5 Comment By MM On November 23, 2011 @ 9:47 am

Awesome job mocking and deriding people’s concerns and fears.

#6 Comment By Roland de Chanson On November 23, 2011 @ 9:52 am

Great title: the Saracen gobbler!

The Arabic Allah and its Hebrew cognate Elohim are the names of God in those languages. The Sign of the Cross in Arabic is: almajdu lil ab, wal ibn, warruh alkudus, ilah wahed, amin. (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, one God. Amen) Originally, it is said, Allah was a moon god in the Jahiliyyah (pre-Mohammedan era). But Yahweh was a sky god among others until the monotheistic concept supplanted the henotheistic.

So I am not worried about any pollution. Unless an FDA inspector was paid off to look the other way.

And Scott, Americans need not fear the imposition of sharia. Only a guy with a death wish brings a scimitar to a gun fight

#7 Comment By VikingLS On November 23, 2011 @ 9:53 am

Scott less than 1% of the USA is Muslim.
Of those a great many are nominal Muslims who drink, don’t pray 5 times a day, (I know some that have developed a taste for pork.)

Radical Muslims are a problem but Sharia is never going to be imposed on the rest of us.

#8 Comment By Bustrofedon On November 23, 2011 @ 9:59 am

This pastor is profoundly dumb. “Allah” is Arabic for God, it is what is used in Arabic language bibles since they were first translated. Christians, Arab Christians, have been praying to Allh and to Yasua Ibn Allah (Jesus, Son of God) long before Islam even existed.

#9 Comment By Rod Dreher On November 23, 2011 @ 10:14 am

Awesome job mocking and deriding people’s concerns and fears.

MM, spend about 60 seconds googling and you’ll see that I’ve written a very, very great deal about radical Islam in America. There is reason to be concerned. But this thing about sharia turkeys is fairly silly, and ought to be mocked.

#10 Comment By Liam On November 23, 2011 @ 10:17 am

For Catholics, this is a non-issue. The Church teaches that Allah is the same God as Abraham’s God, just that Muslim is teaching heretically about God’s nature. Classically, Islam was long treated as a species of Christian heresy.

#11 Comment By Al-Dhariyat On November 23, 2011 @ 10:21 am

Hilarity ensues.

Before halal grocers became more prominent, many orthodox American Muslims purchased their dead animal flesh from Kosher grocers. (We used to get the kosher meal on airline flights in order to avoid pork entrees). I just assumed they would say their own prayers at some point in the process.

And I would say my own after the fact, which for me takes precedence over any other prayer (be it Jewish, Christian, or Alice Watersian). If a person’s Christian prayers can’t subsume the Muslim benediction then I agree with Rod & 1 Corinthians, your faith is perhaps a little weak and you might have other worries than simple animal sacrifices.

#12 Comment By Naturalmom On November 23, 2011 @ 10:23 am

Seriously? (Are we sure this wasn’t an Onion piece?) Some people apparently just don’t have enough to worry about.

And the idea that sharia law is any kind of threat to the USA is ludicrous. I’d just like to see the *tiny* ultra-conservative Muslim minority try to impose sharia law on Americans! It has less chance than the wacky Christian Theocracy ideas promoted by a small minority of Christian fanatics. (see: [5]) At least the Christian theocrats would have an authority to point to (the Bible) that many Americans agree is authoritative. That puts them a few steps ahead of the Taliban in this country.

But the fact is, neither one is going to get any traction, so I’m not wasting much angst on either one.

#13 Comment By John T On November 23, 2011 @ 11:06 am

The decree in Acts 15:28, 29 forbade a Christian’s being part of a formal, religious ceremony or his committing an act of idolatry. Those who sacrificed an animal to an idol got some of the meat to eat. Their doing so was clearly a religious act; it was considered sharing in a meal with the pagan god.

What Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 8 is dealing with simply eating, as a customary meal, meat from an idol temple that had been sold to the public in general. Such meat was not unclean or defiled simply because of its background.

Yet as Paul goes on to state if eating it were to make his brothers stumble than he would avoid doing so.

#14 Comment By sal magundi On November 23, 2011 @ 11:18 am

“Awesome job mocking and deriding people’s concerns and fears.”

mr dreher has beaten me to this one.

“And the idea that sharia law is any kind of threat to the USA is ludicrous. I’d just like to see the *tiny* ultra-conservative Muslim minority try to impose sharia law on Americans!”

spot-on. but as i learned when i asked warmongers exactly how al-qaeda was “an existential threat to our way of life” and would end up “marching down our main streets”, they don’t have to do anything, they merely have to want to do it. so if a devout muslim hopes that you, too, may come to islam that’s enough for profiling, demonization, “pre-emptive’ war, etc etc. because most americans are softminded people who would in a trice take the hijab and start praying 5 times a day.

#15 Comment By Charles Cosimano On November 23, 2011 @ 11:19 am

Thank you for the best laugh I’ve had this week.

#16 Comment By Mark Shea On November 23, 2011 @ 11:57 am

Friends don’t let friends eat while fundamentalist.

1 Cor 8 directly contradicts this silly fundamentalist superstition. Exactly what concerned some Christians was whether eating meat bought from the market after it was butchered in pagan sacrifices would “pollute” them. Paul says, “No. The earth is the Lord’s, so don’t worry about it.” However, he adds a caveat that Christians who have a clear conscience about this should not eat *if* their neighbor’s conscience forbids them from doing so, lest they tempt their neighbor to commit what *the neighbor* considers a sin. His point: charity is the supreme concern, not mystical magical pollution caused by eating meat with mystical cooties.

That said, this pastors is an ignoramus in that he ignorantly declares the God of Islam a “pagan” god, when in fact, of course, he is the God of Abraham. To be sure, Islam has a radically simplified understanding of that God, but it is the same God. So the pastor is tying up heavy burdens and laying them on the back of others to no purpose. He is ignorant of Islam (which is really a kind of Judeo-Christian heresy, not a pagan cult) and he is doubly ignorant because he doesn’t even understand St. Paul in 1 Cor 8. Paul’s only caveat against eating meat sacrificed to idols is that we ought not to eat in such a way as to give anybody the impression we are partaking *because* it was sacrificed to an idol. Rather, Paul’s emphasis is on eating with thanksgiving to God who is Lord of heaven and earth. This pastor manages to get almost everything wrong out of a paranoid and well-nigh magical fear of Islamic mystical cooties infecting our turkey. And fundamentalists complain that Catholics believe in magic. Sheesh!

#17 Comment By Thomas O. Meehan On November 23, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

“Muslims join many Jews and some Christians in avoiding the consumption of certain animals such as pigs and birds of prey,”

So bald eagle is definitely off the menu then. I never heard the bit about birds of prey.

#18 Comment By Elizabeth Archerd On November 23, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

I thought sharia law required female turkeys to don head coverings.

Anyway, what a load of silliness.

#19 Comment By Erin Manning On November 23, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

Since you mention the Council of Jerusalem, can I share a bit of silliness I wrote this week? (If not, Rod, just leave me in comment limbo.) 🙂

[6]

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 23, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

Everyone has beat me to the punch. Good job all, except the occasional paranoid trying desperately to be heard over the rising wave of laughter.

#21 Comment By Peterk On November 23, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

the problem is that in many areas halal food is being fed to all without telling non-Muslims about it. Imagine if you attended a meal and the food was all kosher, but only a minority of the attendees were Jewish?

or consider this decades ago Catholics didn’t eat meat on Fridays. When attending luncheons or dinners on Fridays accommodations were made for Catholics, BUT not everyone was forced to eat fish

that is the problem people are bending over backwards to accommodate a group that doesn’t want to assimilate but would rather impose their beliefs on others.

want to sell halal food? then clearly label it as such, but don’t make all meat halal, ie don’t force non-Muslims to buy halal meat

#22 Comment By Alex On November 25, 2011 @ 1:27 am

“Imagine if you attended a meal and the food was all kosher, but only a minority of the attendees were Jewish?”

Why would that matter? What harm do I, who am not Jewish, incur from eating kosher food?

#23 Comment By Ralph the Wonder Llama On November 25, 2011 @ 3:03 am

Pastor Blitz doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “idol.” Islam’s severe restrictions on graven images should be enough to nullify the concern that halal meat has anything to do with idolatry.

I bought a few meals from a Pakistani halal butcher shop in Los Angeles that served some pretty tasty curry, as I recollect.

#24 Comment By Thomas O. Meehan On November 25, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

Alex, I think those who express concern are fearful that at some point in the future they will not be able to obtain non-halal food. This may be a concern in some portions of Europe but it doesn’t apply here where for instance, Kosher food is just another of our ethnic food choices.

Others have a real objection to the method of death employed in Halal (and Kosher?) slaughter houses. Personally I hope that all those Hebrew National knockwursts I eat died a swiftly and painlessly.