Douglas Wilson’s Letter From Moscow

The Gravy of Grace and Gratitude

Blog and Mablog

If you like to eat what you like to eat, this means that you are a human being. If you are morally indignant about the food choices of others, this means you are well on the way to becoming a food leftist.

Leftism is that impulse that wants to establish coercion and call it community. Apply the coercive impulse to food and farming choices, and you have the food leftist.

And it begins with the indignation. Once the indignation is established, it becomes possible to draw on a hidden premise that too many Americans share — that sins should be crimes — and move from that position to the idea that made up sins should be made into real crimes.

When the food regulators change their minds, and start cracking down on this product instead of that product, this is simply part of the way authoritarian regimes operate.
In a despotism, sometimes this is in favor and sometimes that — it can be an official, or a policy, or a method of manufacturing cheese — but regardless, the right of the despotism to continue being a despotism is always in favor. That doesn’t change.

This obviously does not mean that it is impossible to sin with food. Food leftists are sinning with other people’s food. And you can always go old school and sin with your own food. If your approach is all-four-feet-in-the-trough, then perhaps you are a piggy-piggy glutton. If you have a couple bottles of whiskey in your cubicle at work, then maybe you are not the suave 1950′s advertising executive you think you are. Maybe you are just an aspiring drunk. And if you are a fastidious eater, and cannot be troubled to be a charitable guest at the table of another, then you are an enemy of love.

In the meantime, every Christian who understands the gospel must fight — as part of our sanctification — the impulse to despise the food that God has given to somebody else. This applies even if the apple was not locally grown, if the coffee was not certified fair trade, if the bread came from a monoculture crop, if the asparagus was modified to taste horrible to asparagus predators, or if the food in question has “chemicals” in it.

We live in a sinful and fallen world, so food must indeed be sanctified. But the only thing that sanctifies it is the gravy of grace and gratitude (1 Tim. 4:4-5).
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