Bloomberg's Progressive Kosher Kitchen
Michael Bloomberg is determined to turn the metropolis of New York City into the progressive version of a gigantic kosher kitchen. The mayor now seeks to apply his politically-correct orthodoxy to the entire city, forcing his transmogrified politico/religious sensibilities on the masses.
Over the last couple years, Bloomberg has banned the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, restricted the availability of baby formula to new mothers in local hospitals, forbade smoking in parks and open spaces, decreed the amount of salt allowed in restaurant food, forced fast-food restaurants to post calorie content, and declared restaurants could not use trans fats.
Such is his fevered zealousness that he has banned charitable organizations devoted to feeding the hungry homeless from distributing loaves and fishes because the correct calorie count and nutritional labeling is missing or indeterminable. Apparently, the homeless need to know even the fiber content of what they are eating before they wolf down their free vittles.
Some folks, such as Miss New York, who appeared on Fox News on February 26, are positively glowing about the prospect of pizza parties minus two-liter soda bottles. Indeed, she feels the mayor didn't go far enough, as she would like to see everyone drink only the City's "delicious tap water." The tap water, by the way, is definitely not kosher, as it is infested with microscopic shrimp deliberately released into the water to devour mosquito larvae.
For others, the prune-faced progressives are modern day Lemonade Lucys who, intent on restraining sinful behavior, are killjoys who are determined to stop anyone from having fun.
What could possibly be next?
Will the "don't drink, don't smoke" goody-two-shoes food police aim at the amount of pizza consumed? Will pizza parlors soon be able to sell only two slices at a time? Will pizza shop owners have to file a permit in order to sell a whole pie? Maybe customers will have to show they are fit enough to consume pepperoni topping by doing twenty jumping jacks; and those who dare to order a meat lover's pizza will have to do thirty pushups.
Seriously, the new progressive kosher kitchen rules are dangerous intrusions into the citizens' affairs. The mayor's political religiosity is not a mere kerfuffle, but an attempt to force New Yorkers to convert to his progressive religious practices. Forced conversion to a new faith never goes over well. Resentment and disobedience is bound to be as rampant as law breaking during Prohibition, as drink and food are two of life's most delightful pleasures. Scofflaws will proliferate like vermin.
Further, the mayor sees human nature incorrectly. He sees it as so innately inclined toward the sin of gluttony that he must make sure no one errs by guzzling too much soda or eating too many trans fats. He has absolutely no faith in the common sense of the New Yorkers who elected him. The vast majority would party down with one or two glasses of soda and a couple slices of pizza and call it a night. They don't need to be told how much to eat and drink.
But the mayor is gearing his food regulations toward the exceptions, the minority -- not the majority. For Bloomberg, there is a food Hulk character lurking in the stomach of every New Yorker and the city must make sure the gluttonous creature doesn't burst out of its shirt and then mindlessly embark on a food frenzy. He fears every man, woman, and child has the potential to kill themselves by drinking and eating too much, like the ill-fated Natasha Harris, a woman from New Zealand who drank up to ten two liter bottles of Coca-Cola every day and who finally and rather unsurprisingly expired.
The Left delights in ridiculing fundamentalists and Mormons about their tee-totaling ways and chaste life styles. They love to portray evangelicals such as Southern Baptists as egregious examples of religiosity gone amuck. They chortle over monks and nuns who follow strict dietary laws as a means of subduing the body's appetite in order to focus on spiritual matters. Liberals think those sort of religious nut cases just don't know how to live.
But maybe they should take a look at their own religious practices and food laws -- laws which they, unlike the people of faith they routinely ridicule, are forcing on everyone. They should ask themselves questions like, "How would I like it if Muslim food laws were forced on all of New York City's inhabitants?" Or, "Would it be fair if Seventh Day Adventists stopped all New Yorkers from eating bacon?" Or, "Would I like it if Gaia worshipping vegans ruled the City's restaurants?"
In the end, Bloomberg is the modern day version of the Pharisees, who like him, believed laws regulating every aspect of human life were the way to achieve righteousness and purity. Extremism in hopes of attaining personal purity is always the worst kind of religiosity, as Christ noted when he rebuked the religious leaders of his day for their excessive regulations -- regulations like tithing every tenth leaf of herbs like mint and cumin. The good Rabbi was savaged by religious leaders for healing a man on the Sabbath, which was a particular focus of pharisaical minutiae. The Pharisees loaded observation of the day with decrees restricting how far one could walk, what one could carry and what one could wear or eat.
The Pharisees' laws were so burdensome the regular folk of Israel simply couldn't keep all of them. They were too busy trying to scratch out subsistence from the soil, tend their meager flocks, and sell their wares to pay attention to all the regulations intended to make them holy. The lower classes' complete inability to follow all the rules meant they were always guilty of infractions and thus considered worthy of contemptuous dismissal the elite ruling classes.
It is easy to condemn the Pharisees of Christ's day. It all seems so obvious. But as noted, pharisaical overreach is as characteristic of the religious progressive classes as it was and is of religious zealots. Bloomberg is a premiere example of the pharisaical tendencies of today's insufferable ruling classes, who are determined to force their politically correct, cult-like, religious regulations on the masses.
The average New Yorker might want to take a look at the Pharisees presently ruling the city and ask if he or she wants to continue to have someone else's religion forced down his/her throat. Joe Citizen might want to ask himself if he wants to support New York's current dominant religious class with his hard-earned tax dollars. Everyone should wonder if he or she wishes to support the marriage of the Progressive Church and the State.
For it is increasingly apparent the New York City ruling class is a new version of the Pharisees, proving once again
Pharisees never, ever actually disappear.
They just assume new forms.
Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org