Just An Observation

Wyoming recently has passed legislation that “bans” smoking in public places (except for a list of particular establishments where smoking is still permitted, and except for any county or municipality that doesn’t want to participate in the ban).  There once was hope of increasing the “sin tax” on chewing tobacco.  Elsewhere in the nation, we have had strong campaigns to reduce smoking for sake of health and public expenditure.  Now the campaigns are shifting gears and targeting refined sugars, transfats, and calorie-laden meals.

I understand, to an extent, why people are so concerned about how many times we vist McDonald’s, or much fat is in that bag of potato chips, or whether or not we buy “Biggie”-sized soft drinks.  As we continue to pay for insurance, either private or governmental, the effects are clear.  Bad health practices lead to increase in expenses.  Yet what I find odd is how the whole matter is couched almost as a moral dilemma, a moral crusade.  Isn’t just unhealthy to partake of deep-fat-fried potatoes–it is an abomination that should be punished.

Now, I seem to remember a certain gentlemen who came around saying something like: “Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?”

Is it just me, or is our society unwittingly attempting a reversion back to the Old Covenant (though we’ll pick different foods to declare “unclean”)?

11 Responses to Just An Observation

  • Donna V. says:

    We live in an odd era. Having extra-martial sex? No big deal (don’t forget that condom). Eating a Big Mac – for shame, do you know how many fat grams are in that thing? Abort your child – no problem. Light up a cigarette within 50 feet of non-smokers and you’re a pariah. (I am an ex-smoker and don’t like when people light up around me either, mainly because it makes me want to have one.)

    When health becomes a religion, well, it follows that government officials decree “clean” and “unclean” foods. Maybe we’ll see a return to the “Scarlet Letter.” Instead of punishing people for adultery, the New Puritans will make them stand on the street corner with contraband twinkies or chocolate bars sticking out of their mouths.

  • G-Veg says:

    A soon-to-retire gent that I take the evening train with just returned from a two-week trip to Alaska. He and his wife went there and put an offer in on a house because, in his words, We just want to be left alone and the states in the Northeast don’t seem to understand that”

    I understand.

  • Dminor says:

    Donna V.

    Perhaps not a scarlet letter, but some golden arches will be the badge of dishonor. Then they will be “boiled in their own pudding,” and buried with a steak on their heart.

  • Ryan Harkins says:

    S.B,

    I saw that Mark Shea had linked to that on his blog, and that started me thinking. The observation comment comes out of that article, but I felt was enough of its own thought that it stood alone without the trace back. Perhaps I was wrong.

  • Elaine says:

    This may sound a bit shocking coming from an otherwise conservative Catholic who’s never intentionally inhaled anything for amusement (other than helium balloons), but if we’re going to crack down on alcohol, tobacco and fattening food to the point where they are almost illegal, why not treat marijuana the same way — legalize it, but tax and regulate it to death, don’t allow it to be smoked in public places, and save the “war on drugs” for the really dangerous stuff like crack, heroin, and meth.

    Yes, pot is mind-altering but so is alcohol and that’s legal. From what I understand it’s not any more addictive or harmful to one’s physical health than tobacco, and that’s legal too. From a moral point of view I don’t see where a pothead is that different from an alcoholic or chain smoker. No material thing or substance is evil in and of itself; it only becomes so when misused.

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