Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beware of Islamic Turkeys

As an Atheist, why should I care that a friend on Facebook just posted this as her status?

Butterball Turkeys are 'Halal Certified". This means that during the killing of the turkey a Muslim religious official (or a recording of a Muslim religious official) offers the turkey 'in the name of Allah'. I have personally called Butterball and USDA to confirm and this is true. If you would like to do the same, call Butterball Corporate at 1-919-255-7900. I spoke to Linda Compton, Director of Consumer Relations. They will try to pass the buck to USDA (1-888-674-6854), but USDA only requires a religious official as part of their halal certification. They do not dictate what they say.

Why should I care? The Christian is scared her Butterball Turkey is Islamic. And observant Muslims can't eat the Butterball Turkey unless it's Halal. BOTH are nonsense to me, what do I care?

And yet I do care.

Which bothers me more - the Christian friend and her ilk who think Jesus would never want them to eat a Halal Turkey (despite Matthew 15:11: It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.) or the Muslim (or Jew, for that matter), who thinks his food has to be extra-specially-blessed in order to eat it?

I'm going to have to go with the Christian in this case. I'm sure this same Christian friend would eat food prepared and prayed over by a neighbor who was Catholic. Or Mormon. Or Jewish. It's only certain religions that are unacceptable.

The arguments I've heard from Christians against the evils of Halal are that it requires a cruel way of killing animals - never mind that the same method is required of kosher meat - and that Halal requires a spoken prayer to God (and the Arabic word for God is Allah - for some reason, people have HUGE problems that Arabs use an Arabic word for the God of Abraham - but no problem that the French call him Dieu - how come that isn't a problem?), while kosher killing doesn't require any spoken word (just a series of very specific rituals that are each and altogether meant to praise their God - but apparently, specific, deliberate movements done as a praise to a God is okay with the Christians; its just spoken words that are ENTIRELY unacceptable).

What does preventing observant Muslims from getting to eat a Butterball Turkey on Thanksgiving accomplish, I wonder? If we eat a Butterball Turkey, do the terrorists win?

Another day to celebrate being an Atheist! And more Butterball Turkey for me!

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