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February 21, 2007
What's In Your Temple?

I'm forsaking sugar. Not the kind that comes to me on the lips of three little boys happy to see Dad, mind you. I'm talking about the refined kind, and the high-fructose corn syrup kind. Yesterday I splurged on sugar, putting the gras in Mardi Gras. But today I am a new man.

High-fructose corn syrup, by the way, is in everything. Good luck buying a loaf of bread that doesn't have it. Or a can of soup. Ketchup, salad dressing, anything marketed to children — it's all teeming with this goop. One of the many unintended consequences of immoral trade tariffs that enrich companies like Archer Daniels Midland while impoverishing people in third-world nations is that this treacle contaminates more and more of our foodstuffs every year, contributing to a growing number of children diagnosed with diabetes. At least the smokers congregate in bars and casinos. Kraft slips their poison directly into what your kids are eating.

But it sure does taste good.

This is my first time giving up something for Lent. To be honest, it is the first year I have been cognizant of when Lent actually takes place. A colleague who learned about my sugar fast was surprised that Protestants observe Lent. I really shook her up when I explained that we also have catechisms. In fact, Caleb and Eli can both tell you the chief end of man. There's quite a few men of the cloth who can't do that, and not a single philosophy student, at least that I've ever met.

Caleb can also tell you, according to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, that God is a spirit whose being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. The funny thing is, he always adds faithfulness to the mix. At first I tried to break him of it, because by golly, we have to get these answers right. Four out of five irascible British clergymen can't be wrong, after all.

But I've come to like Caleb's faithful rendition of a modified catechism. I'm sure there's a host of cold-blooded theologians out there who can explain how faithfulness is bound up in the words already in the catechism. It's always helpful to keep in mind, I think, that Satan was the first theologian. So we'll stick with faithfulness. I don't think God minds.

Posted by Woodlief on February 21, 2007 at 08:39 AM