Oh, Come On — It’s Not ALL About Safety!

If your church in Pennsylvania has home-baked pies at their meals, watch out!

According to the Wall Street Journal, parishioners at one Pennsylvania church broke out home-baked pies for their Lenten fish fries, a local tradition. A Pennsylvania inspector spotted them and presto! no pies.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture declined to make the inspector available for comment. Bill Chirdon, the department’s food-safety director, says it has cited only one church in the past three years for unsanitary conditions. In that case, he says the church held outside picnics every week and let food sit in the sun and didn’t respond to changes recommended by food-safety inspectors.

Mr. Chirdon says the pie episode has shed light on an often-overlooked aspect of food safety. “I’ve gotten a lot of letters from churches that are tattletaling on churches down the street that aren’t licensed and don’t meet standards for food service.”

How Christian. Really says something about how helpful “the church” will be in an end-times scenario. Don’t expect much from the local boulevard church if you’re running for your life, eh?

According to website FourWinds10, the man quoted above, Bill Chirdon, “is the same Bill Chirdon responsible for raids against Mark Nolt, a horse and buggy Mennonite dairy farmer, in Pennsylvania. Chirdon, before he became part of Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture’s new policing power over traditional community food, worked for industry – Dean Foods and Hershey’s.

So, in both this attack on a church and on a Mennonite farmer (3 raids against him so far and tens of thousands of dollars in loss of equipment and food), the government, in concert with people from the corporate food industry, is crushing harmless non-corporate competition.”

It would be bad enough if this sort of action was limited to the instances above. But when you add the raid on the Stowers in Lorain County, Ohio (which not only took the co-op food, but the Stowers’ own personal food), and many other farms and dairies around the country, it becomes obvious that this is once again about controlling our food supply, rather than food safety.

For the record, once again, I am highly suspicious of the ongoing allegations of food problems. There was another story I saw in passing this morning, about another alleged “scare” with another food.

My political journey has gone from Kennedy liberal in my youth/young adulthood to moderate Republican in my 30s to contrarian/libertarian today. I am skeptical of anything political, no matter how it’s disguised.

While I didn’t always agree with the late Michael Crichton, I do agree with one of his later books, “State of Fear”. Not the writing — from that standpoint, it’s definitely not one of his best books — but the premise, which is that the Powers That Be aren’t happy unless all us ‘little people’ are living afraid. Of what? — it doesn’t matter. Alar on our apples, hijackers, nuclear war, terrorism or unsafe foods; any of these will do as long as we are all paralyzed and asking “Mama Government” to take care of us. Freestanding individuals who are self-reliant and self-supporting are anathema to the nanny state we are rapidly moving into. People like that can’t be controlled. It’s no accident that the time 1980-2007 were marked by people living on credit, whether it was buying consumer goods we didn’t need, larger cars than we really had to drive or houses that were beyond our means. What lender with any sense gives a sub-prime borrower a loan for 150% of the value of their planned purchase? One who wanted the borrower controlled; a controlled populace is a safe one.

I want to live free. But these days, it’s getting harder and harder to do. How long before it stops being businesses (even churches) and starts being individuals? How long before it’s YOU?

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