Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ethics of Food: Hungry for Justice

Did you hear about the man who was forced to leave an All-You-Can-Eat Buffett because he ate too much food?  You know you are too big for any britches when you are removed from a buffet.  While I skimmed the story I must admit I could not stomach to read the whole article.

I do know the man paid for a service, and that service was not delivered.  And I am sure the man gluttonously took advantage of their offer, but the restaurant should have at least given him a full refund, if he couldn't leave with a full belly.

 We American's sure like to eat, and apparently this man takes the cake on buffets.  We Americans also like to sue, which I was relieved to not yet hear of a pending lawsuit (but won't be surprised if one is filed).  Besides eating, and suing, we like to rectify wrongs, insure justice, calling out the power hungry institutions that take advantage of the little guys (and obese ones).  So this man decided to picket the restaurant.  This man decided to stand outside the restaurant with sign in his hand until he got his just desserts (he was finishing up appetizers when they escorted him out). 

If you allow me, I would like to digest this all for a moment.  Around the world 11,000 children die of hunger every day.  Millions go without food on a daily basis.  Parents watch their children waste away slowly and helplessly.  We live in a country where our complaints and picketing are reduced to not getting to eat all we want, when many don't get to eat what they need.  Why do we give such a story any credence?  Why do we seek out the little injustices when there are so many great one's happening throughout our world?  Why are we so focused on our full platters and never notice the empty plates of the poor?

Jesus says "blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). 

11,000 children dying around the world, and 1/3 of children in our own country who suffer from insufficient food, are certainly hungering and thirsting for righteousness.  Yet, we have been blinded by the petty things of this world.
If those who hunger for righteousness now will be filled later, what about those who are full now?  What about us who turn the blind eye and eat our fill?  Will we who have the means but not the passion end up empty? 

 I believe the greatest injustice, and the first issue that needs to be addressed is the ethic and justice of food.  If we end terror, if we take down drug cartels, if we rectify the false promises of our business, if we construct amazing hospitals, cathedrals, and global markets, but we still watch children starve, will all our accomplishments please our maker?

Let us stop the charade.  Let us stop pretending that we don't get what we deserve in life, and let us turn our attention to those who have had nothing.  Let us be the ones who assure justice and bellies are filled.  Let us be caretakers of the children of God.

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