Selwyn Duke
Why the health Nazis are on the march
By Selwyn Duke
May 11, 2012

They say "Jolly is the fat man," but perhaps not when he's being chased (and, I'm sure, caught) like a Frankenstein monster by the Body Cult crazies. And that is the case today, as it has become fashionable to affront the friendly-fronted.

It seems most anything goes now: bloated houses, bloated egos, bloated libidos, bloated bureaucracies, bloated government — except bloated bellies. And a perusal of the news makes this clear, with a never-ending stream of stories about obesity this and obesity that. For example, headlining Drudge the other day was a piece about how fathead officials in Massachusetts propose to ban school bake sales — even before and after school hours — to combat obesity. This, of course, is just the next step in a progression that has seen localities purge schools of cookies and sodas along with the faith and patriotism that was deemed unhealthful long before.

We also had the San Francisco Stupidvisors, who run the city (into the ground), who banned toys in McDonald's Happy Meals. Deliciously, the restaurant chain circumvented the law by charging an extra ten cents for those who want the toy. I would've really rubbed the health Nazis' noses in it and made it a penny.

Then there was the 2008 proposal by three legislators in Mississippi — said to be the fattest state in the nation — to prohibit portly people from dining in restaurants. The politicians said they were just trying to make a point with their measure. I wonder, though, given that the vast majority of gun crime (98% in New York City) is committed by blacks and Hispanics, would these bold statesmen seek to "make a point" by proposing to ban those groups from gun stores? Oh, that would be discriminatory? I see.

Although Mississippi Fat Burning never saw its opening day, other Orwellian measures have. For instance, a Missouri judge was accused of delaying an adoption until the prospective father lost weight, and last year Ohio DCFS seized a boy from his parents because he was obese. This, despite the fact that if the president ate like his wife does, the boy would look like Obama's son.

The irony here is that the health Nazis would have had the overindulgent Ohio mother's back if she'd ended her boy's life in the womb. But merely increase the chances of shortening his life by feeding him too many Twinkies? You're a derelict mother!

You see, when it's the matter of a body within a body, it's the bigger body's "choice." But when it's a matter of just a bigger body, you have no choice. My, how the scales of justice tip when you tip the scales.

As for the busybodies — the politicians, gubmint bureaucrats and "public-interest" groups — how do we explain their interest in our health? They really must care, right? About you, about me, about all and sundry. Well, I'd say so but qualify it with a paraphrased Rodney Dangerfield line: "They really care....

About what, I have no idea."

Of course, there is the "Obesity hurts society" pretext. The argument is that you fatties are burying our healthcare system with a knife and fork, as you cost it more money with your increased health problems.

Except that this is nonsense.

A 2011 study found that the obese and smokers actually cost the healthcare system less because they don't live as long. And while study leader Pieter Van Baal called the finding a "small surprise," it's thoroughly logical. It's the nonagenarian requiring frequent hospitalization and nursing-home care who rings up the bills, not the epicurean who collapses on his plate of chicken fried steak and cheese-filled French fries at age 61. So you want to save ObamaCare? Get all the different fat groups, copious amounts of sugar and salt and smoke one Al Gore tobacco farm a week.

So are we now left with the notion that the health Nazis really do care? Well, they do, and about what I do have some idea. And I'm going to delve into one little understood phenomenon that drives today's obsession with health.

You'll note that the people behind control-freak health measures are never Opus Dei or Southern Baptist Conference types; heck, unless it's a prohibition against pork, they're not even Muslims. They are, I'd wager, secularists virtually one and all.

This is no coincidence, but a result of subordinating spiritual health to physical health. A person of faith may believe that he's enjoined to treat the temple of the soul well, but he will never elevate that imperative over that of caring for the soul itself. He realizes that this life, relative to eternity, is as a drop of water in an ocean — and it is that ocean voyage for which he is mainly preparing. Thus, recognizing the reality of God's law (morality), he understands that of primary importance is avoiding what has traditionally been labeled sin.

But what about when you don't believe in an afterlife? This temporal life is then all you see.

And then staying in it for as long as possible can become the most important thing to you.

In fact, it can become obsession.

For where the believer may be mindful of Jesus' words (I'm paraphrasing) "Do not fear that which just destroys the body; fear that which destroys the soul," the secularist may believe the body is all there is. This is, I believe, what has bred the Cult of the Body, with all its newly-minted "sins," such as overeating, failure to exercise, smoking and drinking. Why, we even call taxes on the last two "sin taxes."

So my answer to those who warn of increasing obesity is, "So?" "But, Duke, don't you understand? These people will die younger!" Other than mentioning that they won't die nearly as young as aborted babies, again I say, "So?" We're all going to die; it's just a matter of when and how. And when you realize that relative to the ocean, small, medium and large water drops are indistinguishable, you'll understand my response.

Returning to a lighter note, I'll have to now limit my keyboard intake lest this article get too fat. Before concluding, however, I'll say that I do have an idea for putting the health Nazis' designs on a diet. Since obesity is most prevalent among black women — with 48 percent having, uh, let's say, generous proportions — cast any and all attacks upon the condition as "racist." If this tactic works when the matter is police tests, voter ID, immigration and school suspension, perhaps it'll work with abdominal distension.

© Selwyn Duke


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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