Biscuit maker cops racist abuse for halal-certified Anzac biscuits

HERE’S a sign of ignorance at best and racism at worst.

A GOURMET biscuit manufacturer in New South Wales has received significant social media backlash after seeking halal certification for its products.

Byron Bay Cookies, which turns over around $13 million a year, recently received a barrage of angry comments on its Facebook page for producing halal-certified Anzac biscuits.

So on one hand we have racists complaining that Muslims don’t “integrate” into Australian society and yet complain when they try.

One Facebook commentator lashed out at the biscuit business, saying: “What a disgrace. Halal certified Anzac biscuits?!! Seriously how disrespectful!!!” Another person wrote: “Shame on you. Don’t insult our boys by sending Halal certified Anzac biscuits overseas.”

However, other customers defended Byron Bay Cookies, with one person saying they were going to purchase more products in order to show their support for the business.

“I’m going to buy some extra cookies from you today in support of your decision to get Halal certification on your cookies,” one person wrote. “Mostly, I am disgusted by the racists crawling all over your page and trying to intimidate you. Keep up the good work!”

Another person wrote: “I can’t think of anything more ‘Australian’ than Halal Anzac Cookies. What an amazing way to show how respectful, multicultural and tolerant Australia really is.”

It is understood a range of other businesses and products have also come under fire from the anti-halal group, including Cadbury chocolate and Coopers beer.

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47 thoughts on “Biscuit maker cops racist abuse for halal-certified Anzac biscuits

  1. The strange thing is the biscuits were halal before, they are probably getting certification for it because they looking to export to Muslim countries.

    Before anyone makes the observation…yes we know Muslim is not a race, it is a religion, so the people are bigoted not racists.

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    • As long as they are cheaper than non-halal biscuits, why not? But don’t make us pay extra because of the cost involved in getting halal certification.

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      • Companies don’t do anything for charity. Profit is king so if they charge more it would give an opening to their halal but not certified opposition.

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      • But isn’t this what it boils down to, that Halaal certification is a modern day tax imposed on a majority of people who do not submit to the Islamic religion and Sharia law?

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      • That was an interesting article Monica. I think most people would be unaware how widespread it is. I never check labels to see if it is Halal certified. I don’t know whether as a Christian it is something I should be worried about. It sounds like it is covering quite a few items so that people may not have a choice to ‘not buy halal’ to opt out.

        There needs to be room for choice. I don’t think people should be forced to eat pork, or pork related products and people should not be forced to eat halal because there ends up being no alternative.

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      • Kathleen

        A similar case to Halal certification or not happened in the apostolic church 2000 years ago. Except the issue was not Halal food but foods offered to idols.

        Instead of foods offered to idols, substitute Halal food. Instead of idols substitute Allah, Islam, etc. And you have the same situation that apostle Paul faced.

        If one can eat Halal food without in any manner offering homage to Allah and Islam, then I am for it. But if it is used by Islam to accuse me of following Islam in spite of myself, then they can take their Halal food and stick it!

        At the moment I am not aware that this is happening. Do we have proof that Halal food is used by Islam to prove secret homage to Islam? Because if we do, then the critics of these organisations have a just cause for criticising Halal certified Anzac biscuits.

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      • It’s a difficult one davinci, because if a Muslim person were to pray for me with all sincerity, I would actually believe that prayer to go to God. If a person were to pray to a golden calf, I wouldn’t.

        If a person, Muslim or any other religion believed that you can ‘encompass’ people unwittingly under the umbrella of your religion, I think they’re fooling themselves.

        What did the apostle Paul do? I don’t remember.

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      • “Halal food is no different. There is one God who provides for us. Claiming the name of a false god does nothing to the food physically or spiritually. But, like the Corinthians, we should always act out of love. If we are with others who believe halal food is wrong to eat, we should refrain out of concern for their conviction. If we are served food by someone who makes a point that it is halal, we should refrain as a quiet sign that we do not accept the authority of the false god to which it was dedicated. If we are in a restaurant or market or school or home that, we suspect, is serving halal food, we should eat and give thanks to the true God who provides.

        Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/halal-food.html#ixzz3H1J1YZ4t

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      • Kathleen, in regards to your statement about moslems praying for you.

        Do Moslems actually pray for their enemies? Or do they practice the statement “do unto others before they do unto you”?

        In all the years that I have dealt with Moslems, not once have I heard one advocate praying for their enemies. I have heard quite a few nasty comments about Christians though.

        Perhaps Dom can enlighten us.

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      • I have quite a few Muslim friends davinci some of whom I’m so close to we call eachother in a manner as though we were blood relatives. I love them deeply and I know they love me and my family so I genuinely believe that their prayers would go straight to God because of the people they are. I eat the food they bring over at the end of Ramadam. We accept it in the manner that it was given, with love.

        I have never really thought before about Halal or not and maybe it is something that should be thought about as afterall we do have different faiths – I don’t know.

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      • At mass tonight, this was the topic in a news sheet and I thought it appropriate so I’m copying and pasting.

        “Love your enemies”,
        these words were addressed to a people whose traditions urged them to care for their own; but saw no place for good will and generosity to foreigners in general – whom they looked upon as rivals and enemies.

        Old Israel had been taken into covenant with the living God, shown in the Exodus to be the champion of the poor and oppressed. Through the covenant they were called to identify with the ways of God. In fact, their traditions – as today’s reading from the book of Exodus makes clear – were remarkable compared with the outlook of other peoples of their time.

        As they began to learn what identification with God’s ways involved; they recognised that they must care for the powerless – the poor, widows and orphans, the strangers who had settled among them.

        But they still had much to learn – their good will was not extended to all of God’s children without exception. In advocating this as the ideal as his New Law of Love, Jesus was not abolishing the old Law, but bringing it to ‘fulfilment’. The ideal held up by Jesus as the fulfilment of the Law was clear: ‘i say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you will be children of your Father in heaven’ (Mt 5:44) – From a sermon by Fr. John Thornhill SM

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  2. How exactly do they attempt to integrate into Australian society when everything we give them to eat has to be halal certified? I have seen these Muslims throw away food packages because the food was not halal certified. Ironically the food came from the Seventh Day Adventists, who are advocating a vegetarian diet, and refuse to give out meat products, or products cooked in animal fat to begin with!

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    • Seriously davinci/Hassan,

      If you knew anything about halal food you’d know it is often healthier. Non-halal food products often contain harmful ingredients — pesticides, toxins, pollutants, filth, etc. No one is forcing you to eat halal or kosher.

      Halal food is everywhere. According to recent news reports, it might have been “secretly” snuck into your sandwich at a football match. Be careful you don’t catch something davinci – like common sense.

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      • Bryan the following comment below is offensive:

        “Be careful you don’t catch something davinci – like common sense.”

        Here is an article from the Sydney Morning Herald (March 28 2013) entitled:

        “Halal Easter Eggs and Cat Food: where big money meets religion.”

        It ends with the words “Purina Fancy Feast Cat food is now on the list of halal-certified foods. Are cats becoming Muslim?….”

        Common Sense? If that is common sense, I don’t want to have a bar of it.

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    • Would you prefer to eat ice cream with animal fat and cholesterol or vegetable fat. Nature Way vita gummies use pig fat. It is on their web site.

      What do they say about hotdogs. Lips and ????. Who knows, Get a halal hotdog the contents has been scrutinised. 😉

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      • Actually Dom, I follow the Levitical Law in regards to what you call unclean foods, as well as Kosher foods, even though I am not a jew

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      • What do you mean Jewish foods? Instructions to eat kosher foods started with God’s instruction to Noah (read your Bible). Whilst the distinction between clean and unclean animals was also in force with Noah. Perhaps you are going to tell me that Noah was a Jew?
        Whereas, when the Christian Church met to discuss the extent of which Jewish practices were binding on gentile believers, James made the remarks that the gentile believers:
        – Had Moses being preached to them already (which indicated that part of the Mosaic Law was still in force)
        – To abstain from eating blood (there is the kosher rule again)

        As for being hypocritical, perhaps we should review what I said in my first posting… you know the one where I wrote that it doesn’t matter whether the ANZAC biscuits were Halal or not… being cheaper than the non-halal variety was my criteria for eating them or not.

        I don’t exactly know what gave the idea that I would eat Jewish foods but not Muslim foods. In case you haven’t noticed, if one keeps within the parameters of the Bible, the issue of whether something is Halal or not is not an issue.

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      • I don’t exactly know what gave the idea that I would eat Jewish foods but not Muslim foods

        Really> You said

        I follow the Levitical Law in regards to what you call unclean foods, as well as Kosher foods, even though I am not a jew

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  3. I never actually really knew what Halal or even Kosher meant.

    Halal: ” The criteria for non-pork items include their source, the cause of the animal’s death, and how it was processed.

    The food must come from a supplier that uses halal practices. Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invoking the name of Allah, most commonly by saying “Bismillah” (“In the name of God”) and then three times “Allahu akbar” (God is the greatest). Then, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck, causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord. Lastly, the blood from the veins must be drained.”

    So I suppose if you are not Muslim and you might have an objection to the preparation being performed in this manner you can always choose another item just as a Muslim/Jew would not eat/buy pork.

    Each company must make that decision and then the consumer will also decide.

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    • If the slaughter must take place by a Muslim, and if more and more companies are certifying halal – that’s a lot of jobs for Muslim people to the exclusion of others.

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  4. Well this is the situation according to this source:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.181434571887036.38724.160347640662396

    “To be certified halal, the ingredients in their sweets and chocolate must be sourced from halal bi-products and the raw materials which deem to make products Halaal are handled very carefully and are provided by a Halaal slaughter house. For example… As the beef sourced gelatine is derived from Beef Livestock from a Halaal slaughterhouse, it is specified as a requirement, that firstly the beef livestock is not stunned before slaughter, and the process is followed to strict Sha’aria Islamic teachings, where the name of Allah is spoken before slaughter, and the process allows all the blood to drain naturally from the animal’s carcass before it is taken for further preparation.”

    I do not support the inhumane butchering of livestock and if this practice is as widespread as the above states, then why are we, a supposedly ‘civilized’ nation, going along with this barbaric ritual Halaal standard?

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    • Oh look, Barry Urquhart, Australia’s leading Marketing expert reasurres us that Halaal Certification is nothing to worry about. And all it seems to be doing according to Head of ‘Halal Certification Authority’, Mohammed El-Mouelhy is making him and his wife very rich, LOL! 🙂

      Now, does that make me feel better? Er…..no.

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    • I was reading about the different stunning methods, electrical, gas and percussive. Apparently electrical can halt bleeding and cause damage to the meat which I presume is why Muslims and Jews don’t use stunning. Those two methods sound quite awful actually.

      Percussive stunning seems to be the most humane “Percussive stunning produces immediate unconsciousness through brain trauma”

      I think that the blade needs to be very sharp with the Halal Kosher version, so that when cutting I’m presuming the animal instantly dies (you would hope).

      I sometimes understand why people become vegetarians.

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  5. The scientific facts

    A team at the university of Hannover in Germany examined these claims through the use of EEG and ECG records during slaughter. Several electrodes were surgically implanted at various points of the skull of all the animals used in the experiment and they were then allowed to recover for several weeks. Some of the animals were subsequently slaughtered the halal way by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides together with the trachea and esophagus but leaving the spinal cord intact. The remainder were stunned before slaughter using a captive bolt pistol method as is customary in Western slaughterhouses. The EEG and ECG recordings allowed to monitor the condition of the brain and heart throughout.

    The Halal method

    With the halal method of slaughter, there was not change in the EEG graph for the first three seconds after the incision was made, indicating that the animal did not feel any pain from the cut itself. This is not surprising. Often, if we cut ourselves with a sharp implement, we do not notice until some time later. The following three seconds were characterised by a condition of deep sleep-like unconciousness brought about by the draining of large quantities of blood from the body. Thereafter the EEG recorded a zero reading, indicating no pain at all , yet at that time the heart was still beating and the body convulsing vigorously as a reflex reaction of the spinal cord. It is this phase which is most unpleasant to onlookers who are falsely convinced that the animal suffers whilst its brain does actually no longer record any sensual messages.

    The Western method

    Using the Western method, the animals were apparently unconscious after stunning, and this method of dispatch would appear to be much more peaceful for the onlooker. However, the EEG readings indicated severe pain immediately after stunning . Whereas in the first example, the animal ceases to feel pain due to the brain starvation of blood and oxygen – a brain death, to put it in laymen’s terms – the second example first causes a stoppage of the heart whilst the animal still feels pain. However, there are no unsightly convulsions, which not only means that there is more blood retention in the meat, but also that this method lends itself much more conveniently to the efficiency demands of modern mass slaughter procedures. It is so much easier to dispatch an animal on the conveyor belt, if it does not move.

    Appearances can deceive

    The stunning method makes mass butchery easier and looks more palatable for the consumer who can deceive himself that the animal did not feel any pain when he goes to buy his cleanly wrapped parcel of meat from the supermarket. Islamic slaughter, on the other hand, does not try to deny that meat consumption means that animals have to die, but is designed to ensure that their loss of life is achieved with a minimum amount of pain.

    http://www.mustaqim.co.uk/halal.htm

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      • I watched a doco the night before on the Inuit peoples and their traditional way of hunting, and I found it really interesting that the early ‘white’ explorers used to suffer the effects of Scurvy and other vitamin deficiencies because of lack of fresh vegetables and fruit. Yet the Inuit never did. Apparently they get all they need for maintaining good health by eating their meat….and blood, raw. So much for Halal and Kosher.

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      • I don’t know about your family Monica, but dad used to eat the English dish back in Malta called Black Pudding.

        “Commonly eaten in Britain and Ireland. It is generally made from pork blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal. In the past it was occasionally flavoured with pennyroyal, differing from continental European versions in its relatively limited range of ingredients and reliance on oatmeal and barley instead of onions to absorb the blood.[1] It can be eaten cold, as it is cooked in production, but is often grilled, fried, baked or boiled in its skin.” – wikipedia

        Not very Kosher/Halal I’m afraid lol

        I used to wonder about whether we were restricted in certain foods, and when I found out that we weren’t, I was quite happy cos I got a good appetite.

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      • Hi Monica

        Inuit mainly ate Whale, Seal and Walrus not beef.

        In Genesis 9 Noah receives a covenant from the Lord. Part of the covenant removed the prior restrictions against eating meat, allowing Noah and his family to kill animals for food. However, the allowance came with this proviso: “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it” (verse 4).

        Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/eating-meat-with-blood.html#ixzz3GrU6EQmD

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      • Cheers Dom,

        There is a lot to be said for following God’s Dietary Law and I certainly am not against it. In fact, I have several books on this subject, all extolling the virtues of guaranteed good health if you stick to ‘clean’ foods.

        I personally need to actually apply God’s wisdom to my life for a change, instead of craving ‘junk food’ like I do. I have in the past and the results were phenomenal. But alas, the old bad habits eventually creep back in and I find myself right back to where I started from, fat and unfit!

        I think our lazy way of life is going to be the death of us….and our children.

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      • I am glad that you are struggling with eating healthy foods Monica and I give you my best wishes in your struggle. Don’t give up the struggle. If you fall get up again.
        You will one day overcome, if you persist.

        Remember that Jesus said that the conditions before the end of the world were going to be similar to those in the days of Noah (namely eating and drinking), whilst the parable of the evil servant elaborates more by talking about eating and drinking with the gluttonous.

        A lot of foods (including ANZAC biscuits – halal certified or not) can put people’s blood sugars up to the point where they feel like they have overeaten (which is a sign of gluttony). Hence we need to be moderate in our eating habits by watching what we eat and drink lest we end up in gluttony. Whilst watching what we eat is important, so is how much we eat. My neighbours who are good muslims, always seem to be eating till they are bloated, Halal certification notwithstanding.

        Maybe we should concentrate our efforts elsewhere rather than whether something is Halal certified or not.

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      • Thanks Davinci,

        for that wonderful word of encouragement. It’s what I needed to hear. God bless.

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    • So what are you saying Dom, they put pig in our Anzac Biscuits? Or our chocolates? Or toothpaste? Or cosmetics?

      Cosmetics and tooth paste are cases where Islam is taking things to extremes, by saying it is forbidden to even touch forbidden items. Where do we stop? Do we have to have Halal certification for:
      – Surgical Spirit (contains alcohol)
      – Mouth wash (contains alcohol)
      – Brake Fluid (contains alcohol)

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  6. The cost of halal certification should add a fraction of a cent or less to each item. “Non-refundable one-off application fee of $110.00 (GST inclusive) for the first site and $55.00 (GST inclusive) for each additional site,.”

    A Nestle spokeswoman also said costs were not passed on to consumers, and she insisted halal certification was not used as a marketing tool. A Cadbury spokesman said the “small fees” paid to certification bodies didn’t affect pricing and were more than offset by access to broader markets, which created more local jobs.

    “It’s consumer information, similar to gluten-free or kosher labels … nothing in our products or the way we manufacture our products has been changed to attain halal certification,” he said.

    I will eat non-vegetarian foods, and vegetarian (including lacto-vegetarian, vegan, and any other type.) I often find when a group is catered for, the vegetarian option looks and tastes more appealing, although I am omnivorous. I am not forced to a ‘no alternative’ position.

    Same with food certified as organic, and other certifications – sugar free, lactose free, gluten free, and so on. It’s not as if any of these are our only food source – if one item is available only in a particular certification,(such as Vegemite) surely we can accept that.

    I wonder if “hate groups” are trying to exploit fear against Muslims for their own political gain, withholding the fact that this certification is bringing to Australia billions of dollars in export revenue by bringing these products to Muslim consumers. I think that Muslims just want certainty about what they are eating, and products such as chocolate bars often contained meat derivatives.

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    • (to follow Rian post of 10.34am)

      I just have to mention that I burst into a fit of chuckles after posting that last piece about today’s date and the play Inherit the Wind.

      I included a typical bit of facetious Rian humour in my note on shaving off my beard and moustache for the part in the play. It hit me then that it’s just as well our old mate Alexie isnt on deck with us at the moment. I’m sure he’d pounce on my comment and declaim in his very best style, “Oh the irony! Doesnt Rian see it?”

      Cheers, Rian.

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  7. Apologies for not continuing the thread from this column, but have (I hope) an interesting thing to mention.

    Back in the 17th century, the famous Anglican Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher, recognized as a brilliant Bible scholar of the day, calculated that the creation of Adam occurred in the year 4004 BC. And just a little later the Anglican Divine John Lightfoot did similar calculations, based on the ages successively reached by the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, coming up with a roughly similar dating. My old 1890 Protestant Family Bible (huge volume with 2,500 illustrations) shows the dates of all events at the page bottoms, based on this dating of the Creation.

    The actual date (day in the year) of the event has been reported in various forms, but the most commonly held date for that creation attributed to these worthy gentlemen is October 23rd, and the time of day was 9am, and if I recall rightly, on a Sunday.

    All this would mean of course, that today, 23rd October 2014, is exactly 6018 years since Adam was created and placed in Eden. Such calculation of course would not be allowing for the differing times of day and maybe actual dates in different parts of the globe. In the play, that was loosely based on the famous Monkey Trial in Tennessee of 1925, the Evangelical Lawyer who was being cross examined by the Agnostic Barrister, was asked if that was Eastern Standard Time, or Rocky Mountain Time or what, after he quoted in court the findings of Bishop Ussher. That question he was unable to answer. However in the play, he was actually applying the date to the commencement of the whole Creation and not just to the 6th day creation of Adam.

    I’d be interested to know if any Christian denomination, following Ussher’s pronouncement, ever recognized any memorial day of the date of Adam’s creation, each year.

    The play called Inherit the Wind is one of my favourite dranas, with one of the very best courtroom scenes in theatre; and some 25 years or so ago, I enjoyed the privilege of appearing in a staging in Perth, in the role of the Journalist EK Hornbeck. I might add though that the drama is fiction, and only loosely based on the historical factuality. It was something of a Test Case, when a young schoolteacher was put on trial for teaching Evolution against the State’s new Legislation. A very fine movie was made in 1960, of the play starring Frederick March and Spencer Tracy in the roles of the two lawyers.

    That character of the Journalist was based on the famous American Reporter and researcher HL Mencken who actually attended the trial. For the authenticity of the period, I wore a jaunty little Straw Boater hat, and conscientiously shaved off all of my face fungus for the time being. (I wonder if that made me into a barefaced liar???) A curious feature of the part was that in contrast to the normal prose dialogue spoken by the rest of the cast, Hornbeck speaks throughout in rather difficult blank verse, almost like an ancient Greek Chorus duly offering a running commentary on the story.

    For anyone who is interested, you will find loads of stuff on the original case and the film on the Internet.

    Cheers, Rian.

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  8. This made me think of how we have changed through the ages in regards to how we pray.

    When I was a child at family (especially Christmas) gatherings we would say grace. Say a prayer in thanks for our food.

    No-one I know does this anymore. I have to say that I admire the Muslims in this regard.

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    • Ah Kathleen,
      You take me back to my childhood too. For some reason it always fell to my lot as the youngest present, to say grace at dinnertime.

      Ours was the good old Methodist wording: ‘For what we are about to receive, may the Lord ……;.’

      It took years, would you believe, before I discovered that ‘Forwott’ was not the first word of the prayer that I was saying. Could never quite figure out what the heck it actually meant.

      Rian.

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      • Another thing, Kathleen that just occurred to me.

        A very famous old farcical play called ‘See how they Run’, had a funny scene in it, when the local Anglican Vicar was visited by the Bishop. But the housemaid was a bit confused and was never sure just how to address the worthy gentleman.

        After being addressed as Your Worship, Your Holiness, and Your Reverence etc, the Bishop got a bit testy and told the lady ‘No!, Say Your Grace.’ Quite logically she immediately dropped on one knew and recited “For what we are about to receive, may…….’

        The other week we were recalling on this forum one or other of the famous quatrains recorded by the Catholic convert Angelus Silesius. The current matter of saying Grace reminds me of one of his interesting ones… “Pleasing to God are all a good man’s ways. As pleasing when he drinks as when he prays.’

        And that further brings to mind the saying of Martin Luther, that the devil,. being rather bereft of good humour, can be easily rebuffed by sitting around with your friends while singing and drinking good ale. Dont know just how many would concur with that nowadays???

        Rian

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  9. Well, having read all of the commentary on this subject, I guess I had better check the menu if I ever decided to restrict my thinking by joining a religion….wouldn’t want be an accidental sinner with all of the complexities of the different dietary restrictions that God requires of all of the different religions.
    Question:
    Why has God placed different restrictions on different religions?
    Could it be simple historical culture?
    Couldn’t be that need for order and control within could it?
    All of this reminds me of the time I tried Christianity with a pentacostal church. I was an instant sinner through my choice of music. Seems God didn’t like Led Zeppelin because the beat of “that type” of Rock was similar to the beat of ‘tribal pagan worshippers’. I was, however, informed that the ‘occasional’ Dire Straits was okay. So there you go, John Bonham bad, Mark Knopfler good.
    Excuse me while I check that my Tim Tams are religiously fit for consumption.

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