Monday, June 27, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Some of you may be aware that, for some time now, the Corn Refiners Association has been issuing little commercial spots trying to defend high fructose corn syrup against its detractors. There are several of these out now (and many more rather hilarious spoofs on youtube, check them out!) and one gets the sense that any thinking person will see they miss the point entirely and are deliberately misleading one from the real issues.

For example, this one. It concentrates on the fact that the sugar in corn syrup is biochemically indistinguishable from any fructose, basically. One can only think: and? The point isn't that corn sugar is categorically different or worse than any sugar, it's that it's injected into frickin' everything!!!! Into foods that normally wouldn't have so much sugar content. Look at the ingredient lists on your foods.

I, for one, am convinced that processed foods (and, especially, the addition of HFCS to everything) are a huge part of the obesity crisis. A crisis with no end in sight. Yet various economic interests (it always goes back to corn, no? They're the ones behind ethanol subsidies too) are trying to assuage people into accepting their fattening of America.

I remember last year Mark Shea had a series of articles (the original has been re-posted here) wherein he made a long tedious analogy between being overweight and being homosexual (he pushed a tongue-in-cheek "Jolly" identity to match that of "Gay") which basically was to make fun of the narrative of gay-victimization by showing how absurd certain claims would be if the obese claimed the same thing (about condemnations of gluttony, about no fat characters on TV, etc).

However, while I got his intended point, I could really only be struck by the fact that, in reality, the obese don't face the same obsession from the Church that homosexuals do. So his whole analogy falls flat. Conservative Christians spend a lot of time focusing their concern on lust, yet very little on gluttony. And certainly no one is bothering to call an overactive appetite for food, if restrained by self-control and temperance, "disordered."

Even though over two-thirds of people are overweight now and one-third morbidly obese. One would think that the latter, at least, would be indicative (and visibly so!) of grave sins of gluttony. Yet Christians aren't engaged in a witch-hunt against the fat the same way they are against gays. There is no Seminary Instruction excluding the "Jolly," and no one is protesting outside McDonald's for promoting the obese lifestyle (and if all sorts of cable exploitation shows are any indication, obesity is a lifestyle).


My point isn't that I approve of either sexual immorality or gluttony. I don't. My point is that obesity is a crisis that can be traced back to sin like any other, that is having visible effects on our health, which is accountable for billions of dollars of healthcare costs, even when people in the Third World are starving...and yet I've never heard a Catholic source seriously address this issue except maybe one-word mentions in lists of all the different ways our society is decadent (albeit it is).

Yet they'll cry "the sky is falling" all day and tell you that sexual immorality is a threat to society, of which there is little evidence (it has always been around). That's a sociological judgment they really aren't competent to make, after all, not a moral or spiritual judgment. Nor do medical arguments (usually very specious, if just a little safety is practiced) have any place in a moral argument. Something doesn't need to affect the temporal order or physical health to be immoral (though overeating clearly is doing both). Catholics aren't required to believe histrionic predictions about gay marriage causing the imminent collapse of society (I think it's much more likely just a symptom) in order to nevertheless hold to the moral teaching.

People seem to understand that, though the problem is economically structural, the obesity crisis can only probably be solved at this point by individuals making, individually, the right choices, even as the corn syrup people try to make a political campaign of the question. And yet the conservatives are so willing to turn around and politicize their pet issues (even though these also likewise probably won't be solved politically) and to invoke alleged medical and sociological consequences that are far from scientific, as simply scare-tactic ammo in their scattershot arguments. It really does make it seem like the primary identification of the conservatives is political rather than religious. That their real goal is political victory, to "win" the debate, rather than actually converting anyone.


Gluttony and sloth are both sins too. Obesity is a spiritual crisis, not just a medical one. Catholics: eat healthy, fast rigorously, and get out there and exercise. And, for God's sake, avoid high fructose corn syrup as much as possible.

15 comments:

Mark of the Vineyard said...

I often wonder why we don«t hear about gluttony, especially since in the West we cater to it so much. Gourmet foods; all kinds of foods to appeal to our palate;...
Makes you wonder why it's not brought up.

Joshua G. said...

I suspect the reason we don't hear about it is precisely because we cater to it so much. Everyone is infected, and those who are comparatively well-off, in particular. I'm sure we can all name a few roundish priests.

Who Am I said...

I disagree with part of the premise of the article. You're failing to take into account things like cuisine type, genetic factors etc.

Likewise maize in and of itself ISN'T problematic, it is the mode in which it is consumed that is (Look at the aboriginal Americans, they all consumed Maize and yet were the pinnacle of health.). People process different foods in different ways. I could live off of tubers and rhizomes and not really have recourse to bread, rice etc. all without gaining any weight (Well I would, but at a healthy rate.). I'm genetically adapted to consume food like that without a problem. HOWEVER, that doesn't indicate that people are able to AFFORD food items like that or have easy access to those items. People may adapt to their environment, but food ways don't always transfer over so well.

If you're fasting to lose weight, you're bound to fail. I'll tell you that from now. The purpose of fasting in the liturgical cycle is to withdraw and feel spiritual hunger yearning for the Edenic past. Losing weight during fast is just a perk.

Likewise, look at Catholic societies historically. There have been overweight and underweight individuals all coexisting in the same society. Its simplistic to think of gluttony translating to obesity. Very thin people can be as equally gluttonous, its just a matter of how they put that into practice.

You're also equivocating in your comparison between homosexuality and obesity. You can't legitimate a pseudo culture built around homosexuality. Homosexuality is but an inclination it ISN'T what PRIDE attempts to equate it with The LGBT lifestyle.

Again, obesity is a health problem, but it is absurd to compare the two. That stems from a puritanical code of ethics and as it were a worship of the body.

A Sinner said...

"I'm sure we can all name a few roundish priests."

Haha, true. Then again, I'm sure we can all name quite a few priests we highly suspect are gay too...

"You're failing to take into account things like cuisine type, genetic factors etc."

It just strikes me that there aren't that many fat people in poor countries. If your body is storing calories as fat...it means it has enough calories for its base-line needs already, and you should eat less because your metabolic needs are clearly already being met.

"Likewise maize in and of itself ISN'T problematic"

No one said it is. It's the fact that we inject HFCS as an extra ingredient into practically everything.

"HOWEVER, that doesn't indicate that people are able to AFFORD food items like that or have easy access to those items."

I recognize near the end of the post that this problem is economically structural: poor people in a land of abundance like the US will buy unhealthier foods (because they're cheaper) and also not have as much access to gyms and personal trainers and nutritionists and healthcare and all that.

Still. Ultimately, fat is usually a personal choice. Eating healthy is one thing, and there may be a barrier to the poor there. But simply eating LESS is something ANYONE can do.

"Its simplistic to think of gluttony translating to obesity."

For an individual...maybe. Maybe parents got them fat as a child before they were culpable, and now they're eating a perfectly normal amount and just maintaining their original weight.

Or, they were gluttonous at one point in their lives, got fat, but now stopped and are just at the "maintenance" level which isn't, but the weight stays until there is an actual calorie DEFICIT.

But, for a society as a whole to be fat to the point of "crisis"...yeah, there's is structural gluttony there even if we can't judge the individual.

"Very thin people can be as equally gluttonous, its just a matter of how they put that into practice."

Oh, very true. Aquinas listed 5 ways to be gluttonous:

"Prae-propere, laute, nimis, ardenter, studiose" or, according to the apt rendering of Father Joseph Rickably: too soon, too expensively, too much, too eagerly, too daintily.

"You're also equivocating in your comparison between homosexuality and obesity."

Yes, I am equivocating, that's the point.

On the one hand, I think Mark Shea's simplistic analogy between the two situations falls flat on its face, because the situation faced by the obese isn't comparable to the homophobia faced by homosexuals in the Church at all. As Joshua said, there are many "openly fat" priests.

On the other hand, I think that the focus on homosexuality, and silence on the obesity crisis (which is a spiritual crisis too, and just as much, if not more, a sign of social decadence) bespeaks something very strange about their priorities.

"You can't legitimate a pseudo culture built around homosexuality."

You can't legitimate a culture of obesity.

Though I'm not sure what you mean here even. You can't legitimate homosexual sex acts, obviously, but I'd think "homosexuality" is broader than that, and that there is plenty of room for the moral aspects of a community or subculture if people find that helpful.

Who Am I said...

""You're failing to take into account things like cuisine type, genetic factors etc."

It just strikes me that there aren't that many fat people in poor countries. If your body is storing calories as fat...it means it has enough calories for its base-line needs already, and you should eat less because your metabolic needs are clearly already being met."

Where exactly are you getting your information from ? There are heavy people in poorer nations (Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, American Indians on reservations (Not exactly a country, but well, yeah)etc. (No these people aren't well off either.) ). Diet/Cuisine contributes to that, as do genetics. You should read up on the subject before making a claim like that.

Likewise, starvation vs. being thin are two VERY different things. Byt starvation, I'm not referring to the images from "Save The Children" infomercials, but rather undernourished people. You're equating the two via inference. Don't do that.

Because a person stores fat more readily, doesn't mean that eating less will remedy the problem. Again, something like that needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. Everyone has a distinct set of caloric needs that need to be met.

A person may be fat, that however doesn't indicate that they're well nourished. There are plenty of fat and thin people who are undernourished/malnourished. By your logic , a heavy person attempting to lose weight would just starve themselves for a few weeks and would be thin. You do realize that there are two different types of fat, right ? I understand that you're not advocating starvation, but you do realize that in weight loss, one needs to consume a certain amount of calories in order to lose that fat, right ? Consuming less for SOME people would induce the OPPOSITE reaction.

""Likewise maize in and of itself ISN'T problematic"

No one said it is. It's the fact that we inject HFCS as an extra ingredient into practically everything."

That doesn't mean it is the sole cause of people gaining weight... High Fructose Corn Syrup aside from acting as a sweetener acts as a preservative. It is much cheaper to produce it, than it is say cane sugar or stevia. I'm not making apologia for it as an ingredient, but its simplistic to assume that high fructose corn syrup is the sole cause.

""HOWEVER, that doesn't indicate that people are able to AFFORD food items like that or have easy access to those items."

I recognize near the end of the post that this problem is economically structural: poor people in a land of abundance like the US will buy unhealthier foods (because they're cheaper) and also not have as much access to gyms and personal trainers and nutritionists and healthcare and all that.

Still. Ultimately, fat is usually a personal choice. Eating healthy is one thing, and there may be a barrier to the poor there. But simply eating LESS is something ANYONE can do."

You cited that certain food items are cheaper for some people. However you failed to address the quality of those items. That would logically follow in such an analysis as well. I'm not speaking of food freshness, but rather the preservation of a cuisine type in The Diaspora. Its not solely a matter of eating less, its a matter of those related narratives in relation to food ways. Breakfast and dinner aren't UNIVERSALLY the most important meal of the day. For many people, Lunch is the main meal of the day, however schedules and time constraints don't allow that to be so. People aren't able to observe a normal mode of consumption.

A Sinner said...

Yes, there are:

http://www.fao.org/FOCUS/E/obesity/obes1.htm

Still, in China it's only something like 10-15 percent. Not nearing 70! And as the study concludes:

"In all regions, obesity seems to grow as income increases."

It's because people are eating more.

"Because a person stores fat more readily, doesn't mean that eating less will remedy the problem. Again, something like that needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. Everyone has a distinct set of caloric needs that need to be met."

Only in rare cases is the body storing fat without a calorie surplus. And if there is a surplus, that surplus could be done away with through eating less or exercising more.

"Consuming less for SOME people would induce the OPPOSITE reaction."

Certainly, starvation can greatly slow metabolism. However, the approach I've seen taken with extremely obese people IS calorie-restriction BUT with many small meals spread out throughout the day to keep the metabolism burning constantly.

"A person may be fat, that however doesn't indicate that they're well nourished."

True. That has to do with food quality. They may be getting enough CALORIES but not enough of various nutrients. To get these affordably, they may "have" to eat more calories than they should. I understand that, which is why I say its economically structural.

This sort of gluttony is a "structural sin" as much as any, and I blame the capitalist/consumerist forces as much as anyone.

Nevertheless, there are options, as not ALL poor people gain weight. You have to make eating well a priority. Few people in America aren't getting enough carbs, for example. If it's protein they lack, they could, say, throw out the bun on their hamburger rather than claiming they need to eat the whole hamburger (with all its surplus calories) just to get the protein.

"That doesn't mean it is the sole cause of people gaining weight"

I never said it was. I just don't think we need extra sugar of ANY sort as (very often) the second most prominent ingredient in everything we eat.

Who Am I said...

""Its simplistic to think of gluttony translating to obesity."

For an individual...maybe. Maybe parents got them fat as a child before they were culpable, and now they're eating a perfectly normal amount and just maintaining their original weight.

Or, they were gluttonous at one point in their lives, got fat, but now stopped and are just at the "maintenance" level which isn't, but the weight stays until there is an actual calorie DEFICIT.

But, for a society as a whole to be fat to the point of "crisis"...yeah, there's is structural gluttony there even if we can't judge the individual."

But you don't see how you contradicted yourself here ?:

""Very thin people can be as equally gluttonous, its just a matter of how they put that into practice."

Oh, very true. Aquinas listed 5 ways to be gluttonous:

"Prae-propere, laute, nimis, ardenter, studiose" or, according to the apt rendering of Father Joseph Rickably: too soon, too expensively, too much, too eagerly, too daintily."

You have to at least be consistent when addressing the point.

Mark of The Vineyard made the point which for one reason or another wasn't addressed. Namely the notion of being a food aficianado (AKA "foodie"). You only slightly alluded to the point via recourse to St. Thomas Aquinas's definition of gluttony. Yet you (as well as Joshua) solely addressed gluttony in terms of those who are overweight. Do you understand WHY that would be the more difficult to address ? People would scapegoat it onto those who are overweight, because we all know as long as you give off the appearance of being thin, you can't possibly be a glutton. Yet, obsessing over how many calories are in this dish, the quality etc. are all aspects of being a foodie. But that is acceptable, because at least they're not fat and its not so easy to point a finger at them. I guess a person who obsesses over their body image could be termed vain ? How do we address vanity ? See, those aren't things which can necessarily be addressed for those we can't point a finger at. But Joshua and you were so eager to do so...

""You can't legitimate a pseudo culture built around homosexuality."

You can't legitimate a culture of obesity.

Though I'm not sure what you mean here even. You can't legitimate homosexual sex acts, obviously, but I'd think "homosexuality" is broader than that, and that there is plenty of room for the moral aspects of a community or subculture if people find that helpful."

Again, you're equivocating.

Define a homosexual culture OUTSIDE of the context of "PRIDE" ? We've established that being a "foodie" as it were is a form of gluttonous culture that is DISTINCT from being fat (I'm not sure you made that distinction..., perhaps you'll nuance it.). What constitutes a culture is a language, customs, rituals/traditions etc. . One can find all of those in culinary literature, but one would be hard pressed to identify those elements in a pseudo homosexual culture. There are plenty of heterosexual males who like Judy Garland (to use a stereotype), so what pray tell makes for a "homosexual culture" ?

Who Am I said...

Historically speaking, the culture of gluttony in The West stems from the importation of cash crops from the colonies of The New World and Asia. The increased demand for say peppers, tea, chocolate etc. all contributed to having a gluttonous palette.

People from places like that (colonies), produced a surplus of such items and given that most of them worked in fields etc. the food they consumed had to meet the demands of the work they put in. As time progressed and the world came to be more industrialized, people weren't as obligated to consume that many calories. However, food ways stuck and people have yet to adapt them to their current labour demands. Its part of cultural memory, "Why do we eat like this ?" "We eat like this, because our ancestors who worked in fields etc. ate this way." Cuisine ties us back to those who came before us.

Likewise, those on the receiving/demanding end, developed new and innovative ways for food prep with the newer items. Chocolate is an IDEAL example of that. Chocolate is blamed for a lot of weight gain, yet the truth is, chocolate was never a sweet food item to begin with. Sure sweet chocolate tastes good, but it was originally meant for savoury dishes (sauce) as well as a beverage (QUITE bitter and spicey I might add.). But it came to be transformed into what we recognize it today. True there are bitter chocolates sold, but these are usually regarded as higher quality etc. Truth is, chocolate is just chocolate as regards to the processing of Cacao pods.

However, that being said as regards to the economy and the demands of modern capitalist society, people DON'T have the time to go out and exercise etc. Sure, when a person has a day off they could go out there and do some exercise, but when you work as hard as most people do, you have to prioritize. Most of these working people have children, families etc. to tend to and can't afford to focus on something like say exercise through a personal trainer, nutritionist etc.

Economy isn't solely a matter of money, but rather of time. Some people are just dead at the end of the day.

A Sinner said...

"You have to at least be consistent when addressing the point."

I don't think there's anything inconsistent about seeing mass obesity as a visible sign of gluttony in a society even if there are thin gluttons too. Obesity is a natural signifier and consequence of gluttony generally speaking, even if not all gluttonous people get fat and not all obese people are gluttonous.

"People would scapegoat it onto those who are overweight, because we all know as long as you give off the appearance of being thin, you can't possibly be a glutton."

Perhaps that is my very point, though, in addressing the analogy (like Mark Shea made) of comparing the Church's treatment of gluttony to that of lust.

Namely, conservative Christians DON'T persecute the overweight (under the cloak of moralizing about "gluttony") in the same manner they are homophobic (under the cloak of moralizing about "lust").

Perhaps I am simply attempting to show the absurd hypocrisy of what it would look like if we DID make similar generalizations for the overweight as they do for the gays.

"I guess a person who obsesses over their body image could be termed vain ? How do we address vanity ? See, those aren't things which can necessarily be addressed for those we can't point a finger at."

Like I said, maybe you've missed the point and we were using sarcasm to suggest that we STOP pointing a finger at the gays rather than that we START pointing a finger at the fat.

"Define a homosexual culture OUTSIDE of the context of 'PRIDE'?"

Start by looking to Victorian aristocratic England, perhaps?

"One can find all of those in culinary literature, but one would be hard pressed to identify those elements in a pseudo homosexual culture. There are plenty of heterosexual males who like Judy Garland (to use a stereotype), so what pray tell makes for a 'homosexual culture' ?"

There are Chinese people who like hamburgers and apple pie too. If you don't see the "cultural" connection, for some gay men, between Judy Garland and homosexuality...I would question your sincerity here.

Who Am I said...

"I don't think there's anything inconsistent about seeing mass obesity as a visible sign of gluttony in a society even if there are thin gluttons too. Obesity is a natural signifier and consequence of gluttony generally speaking, even if not all gluttonous people get fat and not all obese people are gluttonous."

So by extension, your argument is flawed.

"Perhaps that is my very point, though, in addressing the analogy (like Mark Shea made) of comparing the Church's treatment of gluttony to that of lust.

Namely, conservative Christians DON'T persecute the overweight (under the cloak of moralizing about "gluttony") in the same manner they are homophobic (under the cloak of moralizing about "lust")."

I wouldn't go that far. Culturally speaking, people DO make fun of the fat and overweight. Its implicit in the culture itself. There is a reason that the general public is bombarded with images of fad diets, tummy tucks etc. But simultaneously, we are also bombarded with images of foodies who venture out to various restaurants, consume hearty meals and don't gain a pound.

In no way shape or form is the overweight individual validated through any of these mediums. The total opposite really. For the most part, overweight individuals are STILL ridiculed in popular media and the few times they aren't, they serve the purpose of being "the muscle" for the scrawnier child (You have seen "Norbert", right ?). Based on/Inspired by a true story films/books are another class entirely. So again, your analogy is still flawed.

Conservative Christians DO go after the overweight. Take a gander at a few blogs out there on the subject of gluttony. You'll find that most of their focus IS on the overweight individual. Your entry itself is indicative of the fact that people can't distinguish in that regard. Like I said, nuancing the argument doesn't make it valid.

But given that you're interested in WHY Conservative Christians demonize homosexuals, I'll try and give you a run down.

They're NOT doing so on the basis of Lust, but rather on the basis of a disordered desire. The desire itself ISN'T one that can be met through means of say platonic chivalrous homosocial relationships, but of a deeper yearning towards intimacy with another individual of the same gender. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a platonic chivalrous homosocial relationship, because the desire is well ordered.

""I guess a person who obsesses over their body image could be termed vain ? How do we address vanity ? See, those aren't things which can necessarily be addressed for those we can't point a finger at."

Like I said, maybe you've missed the point and we were using sarcasm to suggest that we STOP pointing a finger at the gays rather than that we START pointing a finger at the fat."

That's a nice way of nuancing it. But your later arguments would dictate otherwise. Then again, I can't read your intent, so we'll agree to disagree on that point.

""Define a homosexual culture OUTSIDE of the context of 'PRIDE'?"

Start by looking to Victorian aristocratic England, perhaps?"

Cite a particular example as well as ensuring that the ethnographic context can be applied to a later era.

Who Am I said...

"
"One can find all of those in culinary literature, but one would be hard pressed to identify those elements in a pseudo homosexual culture. There are plenty of heterosexual males who like Judy Garland (to use a stereotype), so what pray tell makes for a 'homosexual culture' ?"

There are Chinese people who like hamburgers and apple pie too. If you don't see the "cultural" connection, for some gay men, between Judy Garland and homosexuality...I would question your sincerity here."

You're equivocating on that particular argument. Gay males (again using a stereotype) DON'T flock towards Judy Garland for the sake of Judy Garland. The cultus surrounding her person is built upon her role In "The Wizard of Oz". As it were, her character was seen as a "fag hag" with her companions being the stereotypical personas of homosexual males. The derogatory term of "Friend of Dorothy" is where Judy Garland gets her claim to fame amongst CERTAIN gay males (I do wonder where people got "Mary" from. Gay Catholic males ?).

Somewhere over the rainbow...

The truth is, given her adoption as a "gay icon" (along with Cher, Barbra Streisand etc.), many heterosexual males DON'T publicly voice their being fans of the women in question. They fear being labeled gay (Gay as a term ORIGINALLY referred to both men and women who engaged in licentious behaviour (whether heterosexual or homosexual).).

PRIDE began in NYC's Greenwich Village, as it were, it has become a brand in and of itself spanning cultural items/idols and creating a gay cargo cult from them. PRIDE as it were has become a brand marketed for the sake of consumption by the masses. It attempts to legitimate itself as a culture of both active and non active. Truth be told, I would imagine many people would care less if a person had same sex attraction as long as they didn't go building an identity around it. THAT is the problem that people have with most who adhere to PRIDE, the sense of entitlement to validate a homosexual culture outside of mainstream society.

A Sinner said...

The overweight certainly do face a lot of body-image problems in our culture, but the "persecution," if we should call it that...is not a moralizing one, really. People may think the overweight are ugly or weak or worthless or risible...but people don't generally paint them as "evil" in the way conservatives panic about the gays.

There is no weight-test for entering the priesthood, and there are plenty of Cat Fatholics who are members of their church in good standing, or respected priests and bishops even, who do not face the sort of negativity open homosexuals would face from the "Fr Z crowd," even if of the celibate variety. In fact, Fr. Z himself is quite "Jolly" if pics are any indication...

Your anthropological analysis of the contemporary gay subculture sounds feasible. Certainly I think the whole thing is rather crass. But then...what ISN'T in pop culture nowadays? Either way, I'm not really sure how the anthropological or sociological analysis of "Pride culture" you've put forward translates into any sort of moral argument against it as long as someone was chaste/celibate.

A Sinner said...

Here, for example, Fr Z openly celebrates (or at least makes light of) gluttony in a manner he NEVER would with sexual sin:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/07/the-terrible-satanic-beef-devil/

Who Am I said...

"The overweight certainly do face a lot of body-image problems in our culture, but the "persecution," if we should call it that...is not a moralizing one, really. People may think the overweight are ugly or weak or worthless or risible...but people don't generally paint them as "evil" in the way conservatives panic about the gays. "

I wouldn't go so far with that. Plenty of people DO hold to that position. The difference is that there aren't exactly many fat advocacy groups which are taken seriously. Didn't you see the memes following Osama's death ?

This is but one of them: http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/222354_10150178801434709_515124708_6732819_1468712_n.jpg

The difference is a matter of degree and emphasis. Why exactly are the overweight mocked, villified etc. ?

You may not see it (I mean you still continue to address the matter regarding the overweight, which would indicate your personal stake on the matter. Isn't that a bit telling on your part ? If the problem is gluttony, you should be taking a jab at shows like Man vs. Food, Food Network, fusion cuisine, restaurants, food ads etc., right ? Yet you aren't.), but the truth is, it is out there. Its just part of the web of social interaction, where the activity is seen as normative. Calling someone fat, ugly, stupid etc. doesn't carry the weight of being labeled a hate crime, now does it ? Think about it.

"There is no weight-test for entering the priesthood, and there are plenty of Cat Fatholics who are members of their church in good standing, or respected priests and bishops even, who do not face the sort of negativity open homosexuals would face from the "Fr Z crowd," even if of the celibate variety. In fact, Fr. Z himself is quite "Jolly" if pics are any indication.."

You say "sarcasm", I say you have personal issues with the overweight which only further proves my point.

"Your anthropological analysis of the contemporary gay subculture sounds feasible. Certainly I think the whole thing is rather crass. But then...what ISN'T in pop culture nowadays? Either way, I'm not really sure how the anthropological or sociological analysis of "Pride culture" you've put forward translates into any sort of moral argument against it as long as someone was chaste/celibate."

The point is, the celibate/chaste same sex oriented (I'm trying to use a term that isn't as tainted by political agendas.)individual would be no different than their heterosexual chaste/celibate counterpart. LGBT (and every other letter added to that acronym) is a commodity. Anyone identifying as Gay, Lesbian etc. becomes part of the larger narrative of PRIDE (Apply PRIDE in the context of Nationalism vs. something like say Patriotism. The two are VERY different things.). Whether a person wishes to acknowledge it or not, making your vocation in life on the basis of your sexual orientation (Lets continue with those who are same sex oriented.), is in fact continuing to participate in PRIDE. You haven't addressed that particular theme. What IS PRIDE about ? Look into that and you'll understand what I am speaking to.

"Here, for example, Fr Z openly celebrates (or at least makes light of) gluttony in a manner he NEVER would with sexual sin:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/07/the-terrible-satanic-beef-devil/"

Lol, that's Father Z. and for the most part American Catholics. Step out into The Latin American, Iberian, Mediterranean, Arabian and African etc. Catholic world and you'd BLUSH. Sexual language (Sinful acts especially.), DO make it into casual discourse. Euphemistic language in relation to food items etc. INDEED does inform the language/discourse of many of these cultures. It doesn't mean it is acceptable language, but rather it coexists within the culture. The odour of fish INDEED carries QUITE a few jokes.

So don't worry, Fr.Z-ites are but a small portion of the Catholic world.

A Sinner said...

"I wouldn't go so far with that. Plenty of people DO hold to that position. The difference is that there aren't exactly many fat advocacy groups which are taken seriously. Didn't you see the memes following Osama's death ?"

But the meme DOESN'T paint the fat person as evil though or "out to destroy the foundations of our society." She's made fun of, but she is not actually "villified."

It paints her as laughable, certainly, worthy of mockery. But it doesn't demonize her. She wouldn't be kicked out of her Fundamentalist church like someone who admitted to homosexuality or displayed effeminate mannerisms would be.

"If the problem is gluttony, you should be taking a jab at shows like Man vs. Food, Food Network, fusion cuisine, restaurants, food ads etc., right ? Yet you aren't."

I'm not terribly concerned with gluttony though. You're missing my point. I'm saying that the "conservatives" in the church hold a double standard as regards sins of lust vs sins of gluttony.

If the problem was really lust in general, they'd equally persecute the fornicating, divorced-and-remarried, etc etc. Just like someone really against gluttony would be concerned with ALL the things you list.

As it is, they don't really concentrate on all lusters (at least officially). Many of them are fine, for example, with TV shows or movies with seedy hetero-promiscuous plots (because, heck, "It's just fiction, and this stuff really does happen in the world; portraying realistic situations doesn't equal moral approval.")

But add a homosexual character or relationship to a show and, bam, suddenly that's unacceptable and you probably won't find many conservatives watching the show and it's "the liberal media destroying our culture" etc.

It's a double standard. They villify the "visibly" sexually immoral (so they assume) in the form of persecuting the openly gay (not necessarily knowing whether these people are sexually active or not)...yet they don't correspondingly persecute the "visibly" gluttonous in the form of the overweight.

Perhaps because they know, like you've pointed out, the fat aren't necessarily gluttonous and the thin can be too. And yet, when it comes to those "visibly" gay they get their panties in a bunch (even though plenty of people are sexually immoral in "invisible" ways, and not every visibly gay person is, in fact, being sexually immoral).

"The point is, the celibate/chaste same sex oriented (I'm trying to use a term that isn't as tainted by political agendas.) individual would be no different than their heterosexual chaste/celibate counterpart."

And I simply know some who would totally disagree. They dissent from their "subcultures" political/ideological/moral agenda when it comes to sexual immorality, but still think celebration of their sexuality (chastely) and fighting homophobia and encouraging openness and tolerance and self-acceptance is important.