I just received the following e-mail on the subject of the availability of halal foods in American groceries:
I did some shopping at Costco on Saturday. Nothing too special, just
looking to pick up some meat to BBQ. My eldest son was down with his
fiancée from Iowa, so we wanted to have some family time. My wife and I
worked our way past the various displays and only picked up an ice chest
to keep the meat from spoiling on the return trip to Magdalena, (we were
strong willed for a change). We arrived at the refrigerated section and
began the difficult task of choosing our cuts of meat for the family get
together. Right away, I spotted the chicken breasts, they were already
boneless and vacuum sealed. The price was good as it was organic chicken
from Oregon, but then I saw on the sign a note that stopped me cold.
The whole chickens that looked wonderful for the family bar-b-que, just
a moment before, were now an offense to me. Right on the sign were the
words “Certified Halal”.
Halal is the Islamic term that basically means the meat is lawful to eat
for a devout Muslim. What makes it lawful or acceptable is that the meat
has been processed in a very specific way. Now, you may think that this
is no different than meat that is acceptable to the Jewish people or
kosher. Unlike kosher food, where the physical processing of the meat is
the focus, for Islam it is the spiritual component that makes the meat
For lawful (halal) meat in Islam, the animal must be killed while the
butcher faces Mecca, and either the butcher cries “Allah Akbar” or a
tape plays the words over a loud speaker. Understand, that when they
face Mecca, they face the black stone, the very definition of idol
I am glad that Costco is finally telling us plainly that the meat is
halal or sacrificed to an idol, but I have a feeling that this not to
benefit the Christian, but rather the muslim. I will state again that I
have not fear of a lifeless false god, but the book of Acts plainly
tells us that we are not to eat meat sacrificed to idols. The false
religion of Islam continues to make inroads into America as they attempt
to force some of our communities to submit to Sharia law and demand that
halal food be sold in mainstream stores.
I would point out that normally this type of food has been called “
ethnic” food or given a special section like the Chinese food or
whatever. That is not what we see here. This food is being sold with the
standard fair, and one must read the small labels on the back of the
food to find out if it is halal or not.
I believe in freedom of religion. What I am starting to observe,
however, is that one religion (currently the minority) is being given a
wide berth and allowed special status. Those that know their Bible are
not surprised by this.But it still amazes me that it can (as the Bible
predicted) happen so suddenly and without anyone really taking notice.
Are you scared yet? I am. But not of Muslims. I’m scared of people who perpetuate this sort of message.
Three things. First, halal is no more contagious than kosher is. You will not become an accidental Muslim by not paying enough attention to produce labels at the grocery store. And OF COURSE these labels are for the benefit of Muslims, not Christians. They’re not warning labels, for cryin’ out loud! They’re meant to provide people of the Islamic faith with a way to eat AND devoutly observe their religious beliefs. God forbid! Or should I say Allah? And as for eating meat “sacrificed to idols,” remember when Paul said a Christian could do this in good conscience, as one free from such earthly considerations? Good times…
Second: Note the disclaimer at the beginning of the final paragraph. “I believe in freedom of religion.” No, you don’t–at least, not for anyone but yourself and others like you. Granted, the United States was founded on (nominal) Christian principles, but it was also founded on a belief that all people should be free to worship in whatever way they see fit. If you would like to see this put on paper by the Holy Founders themselves, check out James Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstrance,” or Thomas Jefferson’s famous assertion that “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg” (Notes on the State of Virginia).
Third: A little self-awareness, please! If you have EVER bemoaned the fact that officially Muslim nations oppress their Christian citizens, how can you begrudge our nation showing any kind of consideration to our Muslim ones? It is contingent upon a country based upon rhetoric like that we use every day (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, etc., etc., ad nauseam) to extend those articles of civil faith to everyone who calls the United States home. So get over yourselves, buy your meat (go to a different store if you must), and start honoring the Constitution you claim to uphold. Stop running after people driving around in the Declaration of Independence, and try reading it for yourself. And while you’re at it, toss in the Gettysburg Address. This is a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” and not all the people will necessarily look just like you. Thank God. And Allah.