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Bishop Lori testifies Before Congress


BISHOP LORI

Source:
Nat. Cath. Register
Type:
Bishops, Priests
Date:
2/16/2012

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ABSTRACTThe Parable of the Kosher Deli | Daily News | NCRegister.com Print Edition:  April 8, 2012   Donate Archives Blogs Store Resources Advertise Jobs Radio Subscribe Make This My Homepage Resources Christmas Music Arts & Entertainment Books Commentary Culture of Life Education In Person News Opinion Sunday Guides Travel Vatican Dan Burke Edward Pentin Mark Shea Matthew Warner Jimmy Akin Matt & Pat Archbold Simcha Fisher Tito Edwards Jennifer Fulwiler Steven D. Greydanus Tim Drake Tom Wehner Our Latest Show About the Show About the Register Donate Subscribe Stations Schedule Other EWTN Shows Advertising Overview Editorial Calendar Order Web Ad Order Print Ad Print Article | Email Article | Write To Us Daily News Daily News The Parable of the Kosher Deli (25327) Bishop Lori Testifies Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Share by BISHOP WILLIAM LORI 02/16/2012 Comments (99) – Stephen Pepple/Shutterstock.com For my testimony today, I would like to tell a story. Let’s call it The Parable of the Kosher Deli . Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate. The Orthodox Jewish community — whose members run kosher delis and many other restaurants and grocers besides — expresses its outrage at the new government mandate.        And they are joined by others who have no problem eating pork — not just the many Jews who eat pork, but people of all faiths — because these others recognize the threat to the principle of religious liberty. They recognize as well the practical impact of the damage to that principle. They know that, if the mandate stands, they might be the next ones forced — under threat of severe government sanction — to violate their most deeply held beliefs, especially their unpopular beliefs. Meanwhile, those who support the mandate respond, “But pork is good for you.” It is, after all, the “other white meat.” Other supporters add, “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.”  Still others say, “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.” But in our hypothetical, those arguments fail in the public debate, because people widely recognize the following: First, although people may reasonably debate whether pork is good for you, that’s not the question posed by the nationwide pork mandate.  Instead, the mandate generates the question whether people who believe — even if they believe in error — that pork is not good for you should be forced by government to serve pork within their very own institutions. In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is: No. Second, the fact that some (or even most) Jews eat pork is simply irrelevant. The fact remains that some Jews do not — and they do not out of their most deeply held religious convictions. Does the fact that large majorities in society — even large majorities within the protesting religious community — reject a particular religious belief make it permissible for the government to weigh in on one side of that dispute? Does it allow government to punish that minority belief with its coercive power?      In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is: No. Third, the charge that the Orthodox Jews are imposing their beliefs on others has it exactly backwards.      Again, the question generated by a government mandate is whether the government will impose its belief that eating pork is good on objecting Orthodox Jews.      Meanwhile, there is no imposition at all on the freedom of those who want to eat pork. That is, they are subject to no government interference at all in their choice to eat pork, and pork is ubiquitous and cheap, available at the overwhelming majority of restaurants and grocers. Indeed, some pork producers and retailers, and even the government itself, are so eager to promote the eating of pork that they sometimes give pork away for free. In this context, the question is this: Can a customer come to a kosher deli, demand to be served a ham sandwich, and if refused, bring down severe government sanction on the deli? In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is: No. So, in our hypothetical story, because the hypothetical nation is indeed committed to religious liberty and diversity, these arguments carry the day. In response, those proposing the new law claim to hear and understand the concerns of kosher deli owners and offer them a new “accommodation.”    You are free to.......