Thursday, May 12, 2005

Now I've Heard Everything

Just when I thought our world couldn't get any crazier, I read the following headline at the Guardian Unlimited, "Americans Seek Bodily Salvation through Jesus Diet". At first, I just knew it was one of those grabber headlines, the kind that don't actually relate to the article but DO get your attention.

But, no! The headline matched the article. Here are some tidbits:
Man does not live on bread alone, but Americans have become increasingly reliant on doughy carbohydrates in their diet. Now many in a rapidly expanding country are asking: "What Would Jesus Eat?"

That is the title of one of a growing number of Christian diet plans crowding the lifestyle shelves of mainstream bookshops. Other bestsellers include The Maker's Diet, The Hallelujah Diet and Body by God. For the persistently overweight, they hold the promise of spiritual and bodily redemption.

The selling strategies vary. Stephen Arterburn, the host of a Christian radio show and author of Lose it For Life, says: "If you want the world to notice Jesus, it helps to look and live like Jesus. We don't do this so we can look in the mirror and be more attractive. We do it so people can look at us and see Jesus."

In a country where 65% of adults are overweight or obese, few dieticians would argue with the Mediterranean-style diet these books advocate. But Marie Griffith, a professor of religion at Princeton University, said: "The negative part is that people feel they have failed God if they don't lose weight."

Doesn't the Religious Right have its hands full already? Isn't it enough to be rabidly Republican, anti-abortion, anti-working women, and anti-gay? I thought the next new key issue for these folks was the Right to Life/Death debate. Why do they now feel they must "save" people who are overweight while saddling them with enough self-righteous guilt to choke an elephant?

Think about it. Do you really want Aunt Millie or cousin Mike envisioning the crucifixion any time they reach for an extra piece of pie? Sounds to me like a recipe to increase bulimia nervosa!

I can envision the next great Christian saying -- Eat your fill, then puke for Christ.


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