Are you worrying about Lent? Thinking about giving up video games or tequila or marathon running? Considering making a sacrifice of your gardening, or those excursions to WalMart, or spinach and ortolan foam? Last year NPR reported that an archbishop once gave a useful and helpful ruling. It reminds me of those rulings that find it’s halal for men to “marry” women for 15 minutes.
Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but seafood is allowed. Three years ago, when Jim Piculas was trying to settle a debate among his friends about whether gator qualified as seafood, he wrote a letter to the archbishop of New Orleans to ask.
His letter must have been pretty zealous, because not long after he wrote it, he got a response from Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond saying: “Yes, the alligator’s considered in the fish family, and I agree with you — God has created a magnificent creature that is important to the state of Louisiana, and it is considered seafood.”
Dogma says no meat on Fridays for Lent. But alligator is apparently so great tasting that the Church simply goes against all the natural law of its religion’s Creator in order to allow Catholics to ignore the edicts arising from its own dogma.
Why have dogma that can simply be so easily circumvented? I mean, if swimming is all that defines a fish, then just about any meat can be eaten.
Here we have cattle not only swimming but grazing in the water.
And swimming pigs:
Obviously ducks swim. But so can chickens:
So why make rules just to arbitrarily ignore them? Becasue that is what makes people so much fun. As Emerson stated: A fool consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
Even an Archbishop is not going to let a little consistency get in the way of his gator meat.
Sometimes humanity makes me smile.