The battle between good and evil can be likened to a messy food fight.
God originally created food to foster health, unity, comfort, and goodness. But in the hands of the enemy, it creates the perfect opportunity for Cancel Culture to attack the dinner table and the people around it.
During the riots of 2020, Chick-fil-A was hit with a wave of protests, even though its employees kindly serve everyone with a “my pleasure.” The owner, Dan Cathy, a Christian, didn’t want to provide financial aid to LGBTQ organizations. His company provided millions of dollars to support the homeless, poor, and hungry. But that’s not enough for Cancel Culture.
These social justice warriors, who supposedly respect diverse experiences and defend freedom of expression, did everything possible to destroy Jack Phillips, a cake decorator in Colorado. A gay couple sued Phillips for not decorating a wedding cake to celebrate their marriage because it went contrary to his Christian understanding of marriage. That gay couple went to great lengths to destroy this man’s livelihood. It took the Supreme Court to finally decide in favor of this man’s conscience and the freedom of religious expression. This group wants to force a Christian to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, but would never ask a vegan to serve a burger.
Proponents of Cancel Culture want to be recognized as agents of high morality and principle, but they are hypocrites. They make demands like spoiled children. But they have more than tears and tantrums; they have powerful politicians, popular celebrities, access to 24 hours of op-ed media posing as news stations, and billions of dollars from powerful industries to cut down anyone who disagrees with them.
The deeper reality is that militant vegans want to impose a moral culinary cult on everyone. They believe eating meat is cruel to animals. According to them, veganism will save the planet — even though the planet existed just fine for millions of years without them.
As a chef, I enjoy eating vegetables, but I am always confused as to why vegans try to mimic the taste of meat. Ethical treatment of animals is a good thing. But at the end of the day, ethical treatment only helps to make a more quality product for slaughtering. Natural food is under attack, and so is the physical and mental health of humanity.
Hypocrisy abounds in Cancel Culture. Its agents vow to be inclusive and all-embracing, but they create havoc to shut down restaurants with Christian owners and bully customers at these establishments because they vote differently. And worst of all, they want to save creation but would gladly kill an unborn child. For them, another mouth to feed would be harmful to women. Yet they cannot actually define a “woman.”
I wish that these examples were far and few between, but Cancel Culture has hit close to home.
A few breweries in Baltimore have decided to bar my food truck from serving food to their patrons. The truck is not woke enough for them because they determined that as a chef and priest, I would impose my theological and moral views on their customers. They want to cancel the truck even though we provide jobs for the formerly incarcerated and disadvantaged communities, while also providing food for the poor.
Cancel Culture wants to control who eats what and when. They believe they have the moral authority to determine if someone goes hungry or feasts like a king. Thankfully, opponents of Cancel Culture are prepared. They can take comfort in the words of St. Teresa of Avila, who said, “When it’s time to fast it’s time to fast. But, when it’s time to feast, it’s time to feast!” In time, the just will receive their reward at the heavenly banquet.
Despite this dismal dietary outlook on what we’re force-fed by Cancel Culture, we have a recipe for hope. The devil used food to destroy us, but Jesus becomes food to save us! We just have to hunger for God and the right things to put into our bodies, minds, and souls. That’s why God became food!
We will never have the complete victory in this earthly food fight, simply because we have to hunger for the Eternal Banquet in heaven. But, to help us serve and digest the good, beautiful, and true aspects of life, I recommend a few simple ingredients:
- Eat with your family, regularly. The benefits are scientifically proven. This shared act makes us “companions” — a word that describes sharing bread with others.
- Serve those who go without, and consider eating with them. Charity and missionary work makes us value every morsel as a gift from God and recognize that life is a gift.
- Celebrate the saints and other feast days with gusto! Go ahead, drink a beer on Saint Patty’s Day, but also say a prayer to cast out the serpentine lies from our lives. Eat a bacon-wrapped lamb chop on Easter, but make sure you’ve fasted and confessed during Lent. Feast (and fasting) days are the remedy to the monotony of life, which the devil wants to make tasteless and boring.
- Be sure to discern what you’re putting into your bodies with healthy moderation, but also consider how a healthy mind can make you spiritual sommeliers. Be experts of what you’re consuming — because you are what you eat! Physically and spiritually.
- Finally, pray before you eat. Live a life of gratitude and consider how every bite is a connection to God’s creation and the people who had a part in feeding you. Being grateful makes us conscious of the Divine, Who can turn leftovers into a feast for the soul.
Cancel Culture’s weaponization of food to divide and destroy will eventually backfire, because its members will eventually cancel themselves. Thankfully, real food lovers will be on hand to nurse them back to sanity and health, one meal at a time — just like Jesus did.
Bon appetit and win the war.
Father Leo Patalinghug is an award-winning chef and author, a widely acclaimed speaker, the founder of the international food and faith movement Plating Grace, and the host of Savoring Our Faith on EWTN. A priest of the Voluntas Dei community, he lives in Baltimore. His new book, coauthored with Michael P. Foley, Dining with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Righteous Feast publishes February 28, 2023, from Regnery History.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.