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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
by Fr. Carver
Why Can’t the Government Leave My Menu Alone?
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About this blog
By Fr Carver
I am an Episcopal priest, ordained in 1972, and have spent most of my ministry working part-time in small churches while working in a secular job. Most recently I worked in Higher Education while serving as the vicar of Christ Episcopal Church in ...
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Vicar's View
I am an Episcopal priest, ordained in 1972, and have spent most of my ministry working part-time in small churches while working in a secular job. Most recently I worked in Higher Education while serving as the vicar of Christ Episcopal Church in Kingman, Kansas. Several years ago I wrote a column, called the Vicar’s View, which was published in 3 small town newspapers in Kansas. I stopped writing this when my secular job began to take more of my time. Now that I have retired (sort of), and because I have had several people ask me when I was going to start writing again, I decided to Blog my thoughts. This Blog is not intended to be “religious” in fact some may think it’s irreligious. Regardless, it’s just the simple thoughts of a small town vicar.
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By lcarver44
Nov. 16, 2012 12:01 a.m.



How did I manage to live as long as I have without the benefit of government “mothering” me the first 20 years of my life? It seems that government just can’t stop itself in trying to tell us how to live, what to eat, and what to avoid. It started with cigarettes in 1966 when they put warnings on the pack that read, “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health.” I agree that this probably true. But in 1985 they changed the warning to read, “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.” I’m not convinced that smoking causes cancer. If it did wouldn’t everyone who smoked would have cancer. I do, however, think that it contributes to some health issues. I choose not to smoke, even though I smoked when I was younger. But my choice to quit  was not because of a warning message on the pack of cigarettes.

Even though the government warns people about the health risk of smoking, I really doubt they want people to quit. They get way to much revenue from taxes on tobacco. And if they really wanted people to stop using tobacco why does Congress continue to provide subsidies and price supports for tobacco growers? So, on one hand the government wants people to quit, and on the other they want them to continue. Big surprise–the government wants it both ways.

Smoking was not the end of government intrusion into our lives. It has continued with constant health alerts from the FDA and other agencies about things like alcohol. they have warning on beer, wine and liqueur. Not to be left out of the “let me tell you how to live” governmental action, Mayor Bloomberg in NYC has made Big Gulps illegal. No warning on the package (or cup), just governmental action to ban sugary beverages larger than 16-ounces. Why has he done this you might ask? Because we are fat, or at least a lot of us are too fat for the mayor who is 5’8” and weighs 142 pounds. At that size everyone looks fat.

Not to be out done by the City of New York, the Los Angeles City Council, by unanimous vote, has passed “meatless Mondays.” That’s right, the City of Angels has asked their residents to give up meat for Mondays, which begs the question “Why not Fridays?” The reason behind this “meatless Mondays” is for health and environments reasons. I don’t get it, doesn’t everyone know that beef, it’s what’s for dinner, even on Monday. I guess if you’re on the Atkins diet you better move to Orange County.

I can understand that living a healthy life style is an important objective for people to adopt. I can understand my mother telling me to eat my vegetables. But I can’t understand the government trying to legislate what I eat or drink. If we tolerate free speech, which comes out of our mouths, why is the government concerned about what we put in our mouths.

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