Fat theocrats
0 comment Sunday, August 3, 2014 |
''By their cheese grits shall ye know them?'
On 'fair and balanced' Fox News I heard a little of a news story about a Purdue University study, claiming that Christians, as a group, are fatter than people of other faiths, and that, surprise, surprise, Baptists were the most likely to be overweight.
My first reaction was: why was such a study done? To what end? And who funds such studies? I suspect that ultimately they are taxpayer-funded. But why did Fox News find this bit of snarky junk-science newsworthy, especially with so many real news events going unreported?
So I googled the subject, and came up with this
Saving souls is serious business for Annandale, Va., pastor Steve Reynolds. So is losing weight.
Which is why he stepped out from behind the lectern during a service one recent weekend to deliver a blunt message to those crowded into the pews below.
"About 40 percent of you need to lose weight," he told his congregation at Capital Baptist Church. "When you love potluck more than God, it's serious."
And with that, the preacher, who has lost 70 pounds by relying on God and low carbs, launched a mission to lead his followers into the burgeoning world of religious dieting.
[...]Several recent studies have found that Christians are fatter than those of other faiths.
The odd thing, however, was that the Purdue Study, cited in these stories, is from 1996! So why is it back in the news now?
Weighty matter: Is religion making us fat?
Cathleen Falsani - Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago, USA - Back in the decadent early 1980s, New Wave rocker Adam Ant mocked clean living in his maddeningly catchy song, "Goody Two Shoes."
"Don't drink, don't smoke, what do ya do?" Ant taunted.
A new Purdue University study may hold the answer to Ant's question.
If they don't drink and don't smoke, what do they do?
Eat, apparently.
"America is becoming known as a nation of gluttony and obesity, and churches are a feeding ground for this problem," says Ken Ferraro, a Purdue sociology professor who studied more than 2,500 adults over a span of eight years ...'
[...]Exhibit A: The Rev. Jerry Falwell, Baptist king of the Christian right. Falwell has been accused (rightly) of being many things.
Chubby, for instance.
He may not drink or smoke, or think lusty liberal thoughts, but it looks like the good reverend has never met a plate of cheese grits he didn't love. And it may have cost him. Falwell, 73, was hospitalized last year for acute congestive heart failure. His hefty weight, doctors said at the time, wasn't helping matters.
[...]Ferraro's study also found that about 20 percent of "Fundamentalist Protestants," (Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God and Church of God); about 18 percent of "Pietistic Protestants," (Methodist, Christian Church and African Methodist Episcopal), and about 17 percent of Catholics were obese.
By contrast, about 1 percent of the Jewish population and less than 1 percent of other non-Christians, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others), were tipping the scales with commensurate gusto.''
And get the comments about Rev. Falwell. Now I am not a Baptist nor a particular fan of Jerry Falwell, but I notice he is one of the favorite whipping boys of the anti-Christian liberals of both parties. But why single him out for derision, such as the comment about cheese grits? And what's wrong with cheese grits, by the way?
Lately, Christians have been taking a pummeling from the media. I know; what else is new? But the anti-Christians have been in a frenzy lately, with Nancy Pelosi's daughter on a tear against Christians,and I have noticed that Fox News has devoted quite a bit of coverage to that movie of hers. Fair and balanced?
Then there's Kevin Phillips and his 'American Theocracy.' And who knows how many other such books. On the 'right', so-called, we have Andy Sullivan, with his constant ravings about 'Christianists.' which I assume is supposed to make us think of 'Islamists', because, as these people say, Christian fundamentalists are just as bad as Moslem fundamentalists.
So maybe in this atmosphere of everybody piling on the Christians, dredging up some old study about Christians being fatties is relatively trivial, but it seems, shall I say it? Mean-spirited. Maybe the 'theocrat' slur wasn't getting enough traction; not enough Americans know or care about theocrats, but everybody has a disdain of fat. And it seems to confirm the stereotype of the liberal media that 'right-wing Christians' are trailer-trash rednecks, since obesity is also part of the lower-class image they love to ascribe to Christian conservatives.
And what about the writer's snide comparison to non-Christian groups? They, of course, are all svelte and slim and healthy, while only the cheese-grits-eating fundies are singled out for disapproval.
Trivial this story may be, but I still have to wonder why it was important enough to be covered on Fox, while more important things are ignored.

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