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Chick-fil-A (Redux): Faith and Factory Farming

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posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 10:07 PM
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***Disclaimer***


Please don’t mistake this for a Christian bashing thread. I think Christians are great people, and they’re not the only ones who participate in this system, as we all do to some degree. However, two wrongs do not make a right. And, who better to lead a new revolution of humane farming than those with the moral foundation of Christianity and resources to do it, like Chick-fil-A?





Ladies and Gentleman,


We as humans have something that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom: our intellect. With this attribute comes understanding, and the ability to empathize with other living creatures. We understand how negative stimulus feels to us both physically and emotionally and do not wish the same on others.

It reminds me of a good book some of you may have heard of. It’s called The Bible. Within this sacred text allegedly lies the word of God.





In Genesis god states that man is the dominant species on earth. And with great power, comes great responsibility.



“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” -Genesis 1:26



The following psalm describes how God is our Shepherd:



The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death; I will fear no evil: for thou
art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence of mine enemies: thou anointest
my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life; and I will dwell in the
house of the Lord for ever.
psalm 23 - bible - psalm of david




Indeed, god is our shepherd, just as we are shepherds to the animals we have dominion over.

God makes it clear that we are not to abuse his creations.


“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” -Proverbs 12:10


Instead, we should treat these animals with respect.


“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” -1 Timothy 4:4-5





The following excerpts are taking from a Christian columnist wrote an article for Christianpost.com.


The practice of factory farming should bother us on many levels. We know that God loves all creation, even the animals. He works to preserve it and wants all life to flourish. He has asked us to benevolently steward creation in a way that honors and glorifies Him. Treating living things as inanimate objects oversteps the bounds of stewardship. We have the right to use animals for food, but we don't have the right to act in cruel, cavalier ways toward God's creation or inflict unnecessary suffering on any living creature.
These practices run deeper than just animal rights. They deeply damage the environment and harm people. The 10 billion animals processed in America every year affect the quality of our air, rivers and streams. According to the EPA, the agriculture and meat industries contribute to nearly three-quarters of all our water-quality problems. People are also affected. The fatty meat produced from these practices promote obesity and affect global hunger issues. Over 800 million people in the world are hungry or malnourished. The majority of corn and soy our world produces now goes to feed cattle, pigs and chickens.
I conclusion I think it’s not only important that we enjoy our food, but also that we respect it. We need to take the necessary measures to treat other living creatures with dignity as should a race that was created in the image of god.




A pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won't bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He's fed on American corn. He's fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he'll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That's the state of your bacon - circa 2009.

www.christianpost.com...



So it seems that God wants to encourage us to use his creatures for our needs but with the explicit instructions that we care for them and treat them with respect. The author of the previous article echos these sentiments.





But how does a factory farm play into all of this exactly, and why Chick-fil-A?


Chick-fil-A uses factory farms by sourcing its products from the same facilities as many other fast food chains.

What is a factory farm exactly?


The following video explains the concept:





Here is an example of a Smithfield factory farm (warning graphic footage):






I don’t believe it was God’s will to have his creatures living and dying like this.


Okay, but what does Chick-fil-A have to do with Christianity?



Chick-fil-A's corporate mission, as stated on a plaque at company headquarters (and by Cathy), is to "glorify God." It is the only national fast-food chain that closes on Sunday so operators can go to church and spend time with their families; franchisees who don't go along with the rule risk having their contracts terminated. Company meetings and retreats include prayers, and the company encourages franchisees to market their restaurants through church groups. Howe Rice, a franchisee in Glen Allen, Va., hosts a Bible study group in one of his two Chick-fil-A restaurants every Tuesday. He offers a free breakfast to all who attend. "You don't have to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A, but we ask you to base your business on biblical principles because they work," says Cathy.


www.forbes.com...



In conclusion it seems we have some conflicting ideas at work. Chick-fil-A is a company founded on hard work and Christian values, but at the same time it neglects critical principles that God has laid out. I see this as an opportunity for Chick-fil-A to step up to the plate and source it’s products from more humane farms where profit margin doesn’t reign supreme above the word of God.

edit on 10-2-2011 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 10:19 PM
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It seems man already annoyed god in the past with this kind of thing


Ezekiel 34:2-4. Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not the shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you did not take care of the flock! You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.


Very apt for this situation indeed as it describes exactly the way we treat animals.

Here is a very good little pdf document with lots of quotes pertaining to god and animals it's an interesting read
pdf link
edit on 10-2-2011 by davespanners because: spelling



posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 10:32 PM
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Animals are grown, raised and killed and then we eat them. Happens everyday. Just another slam for chik Fil A's donating food to a group the homosexuals don't like. Funny, they are the ones being singled out, again. Oh well, enjoy the star and flag fest as the other thread bleeds over here.

edit on 10-2-2011 by adifferentbreed because: Spelling



posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 10:48 PM
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How is factory farming any different than a large city anywhere in the world? How can anyone support free range farming ect but then happily pack into a city. Are we not animals too?



posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by LordBaskettIV
 


A person can make a decision to move out of a city, a chicken can not decide to pack up his corn and head for the countryside for a better life.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:45 AM
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Originally posted by adifferentbreed
Animals are grown, raised and killed and then we eat them. Happens everyday. Just another slam for chik Fil A's donating food to a group the homosexuals don't like. Funny, they are the ones being singled out, again. Oh well, enjoy the star and flag fest as the other thread bleeds over here.

edit on 10-2-2011 by adifferentbreed because: Spelling


Exactly, but I think you are unclear of the circumstances. Please rewatch the videos I posted on factory farming. This is not a "nessasary" practice.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by LordBaskettIV
How is factory farming any different than a large city anywhere in the world? How can anyone support free range farming ect but then happily pack into a city. Are we not animals too?



According to the bible, we are not animals. Animals are to be used for our needs, but in a responsible way.

If you think the videos above are responsible, then god have mercy on your soul.


By the way, I'm drawing attention to the problem, I'm not saying I alone can fix it with magical powers. People have to be made aware of these conditions before change comes about.


This is part 2 of my Chick-fil-A series (not that there will be a part three......or, will there?)
edit on 11-2-2011 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 11:43 AM
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My attitude is that this is America.


And I personally don't care if a company is owned by a bunch of Buddhist hippies or ultra right-wing Nazis. As long as they offer me a quality product at a competitive price, they get my business. I'm no fan of Christianity, but Chik-fil-A makes a damned good chicken sandwich. On the other hand, Jerry's Famous Deli makes an excellent tounge/pastrami sandwich.

What makes America great is the recognition that no matter what a person's particular beliefs are, we can rise above them, and can all still get together peacefully and try to make a dollar.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by v1rtu0s0
According to the bible, we are not animals.


Maye you need to read the Bible once in a while, instead of having somebody read it for you.


Ecclesiastes 3
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 12:24 PM
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OK, redneck will weigh in on this one.

Really, the only disagreement I have with the OP is the specific reference to Chik-Fil-A. As someone who has lived their whole life around family farms, I think I have a pretty good understanding of the situation overall. And, as usual, it all boils down to money.

It is not just Chik-Fil-A that is involved; nor is it MacDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Burger King, etc. It is everyone, unfortunately even including myself. Ask yourself, when you go into a store to buy meat, do you look at the price? Of course you do; we all do. Most of us have to, in order to be able to afford enough to prevent hunger. That meat price is a reflection of several factors that determine how much it costs to raise an animal from infancy to adulthood and keep the meat healthy.

First is the cost of land. There are several cattle ranches not far from me. Cattle there are raised pretty much as they have always been: free-range on good grassland. Those farms are generational family farms, so the land cost has been spread out over untold decades of ownership. In contrast, what I have might be deemed a 'mini-farm'... I have a little over 40 acres. A large part of that is virgin forest, more is homestead, leaving me maybe 10 acres of actual grassland. That's not much for raising cattle.

So if I were to decide to raise cattle, I would have a couple of choices:
  • Buy a large amount of land, going deeply into debt... perhaps so deeply that traditional methods of raising cattle would be insufficient to pay the mortgage, or
  • Raise only as many cattle as would fit on my place, meaning it would produce insufficient income to support me (turning the whole thing into a hobby rather than a job), or
  • Increase the amount of animals I can raise on the limited land I have... factory farming.

There is one more option, which I choose: don't raise cattle. But by doing that, I actually help raise the cost of meat, because I am still consuming and not adding to the supply. Everyone that does not raise their own meat does this; it is simply one aspect of living in an organized society.

But someone has to raise the meat, else there would be none. So, as the price of meat rises, more and more people try to raise animals for slaughter. Each will choose from the options I listed above. Each has the right to do so. Most will see some attractiveness in the factory farm option, since it will produce more meat for less investment. The ones who reject factory farming are forced economically to charge more for the meat they produce, which means they either can't sell it or are forced to sell only to the few companies who do try and market traditionally-produced meat. These companies are few and far between as it is, because they simply cannot compete price-wise with the ones who sell factory farmed meat.

So, the question becomes, do we outlaw factory farming and make meat so expensive that only the wealthy can afford it? Or do we allow factory farming and allow the bulk of the population to have meat at the cost of turning our heads to the cruelty?

It's as much an economic question as it is a moral one.

Another aspect has been the continued movement of people into the country who have no idea what it is they are doing. I know of instances where traditional pig farms have been forced to be transformed into factory farms, not because the owners wanted to, but because people who moved in close to the farm began to complain because of the smell. A ranch operation is not always covered in fresh clean air; pigs, chickens, and cattle are inherently nasty animals. Most urban and suburban areas are manicured and it is common-place for those in such a community to somehow have this belief that they can tell their neighbors what to do with their land. Such is unheard of out here. And ironically, is typically the case that those who forced the owners of a traditional ranch into factory farming quickly move back to the cities anyway... but by then the factory farm is established.

Myself, I reject the choices above. I have chosen a different path. I do not raise cattle, and only supplement my diet with beef at all. I instead use venison, which is plentiful across my place, whenever possible. I also choose not to raise hogs, primarily because I do not enjoy wrangling pigs. I am starting some chickens, which will be in a small but not overloaded pen, and have some goats around them to keep snakes away from the chickens. Goats can graze the mountain as well as the grassy areas. This way I have chicken and venison, supplemented with store-bought ham and beef. It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than nothing.

But I understand having even this little tract of land is actually very uncommon today... so what about those who live in suburban areas? They cannot even raise chickens. They are forced to get whatever food they get from a store. Urban areas have it even worse. And as I have mentioned, when those used to liviing in these areas come to the country, they institute factory farms by their very presence and attitude.

As you can see, this is a huge problem with no real solutions I have seen to date. So huge that I find it laughable to think that a single company such as Chik-Fil-A has any chance to solve it alone; Chik-Fil-A is not even involved in factory farming, as they simply buy meat the same way we all do, just in bulk. It will take all of society waking up to the realities of life outside their manicured lawns and sidewalks, and accepting that you get what you pay for.

And right now, we are paying for factory farming.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
OK, redneck will weigh in on this one.


So if I were to decide to raise cattle, I would have a couple of choices:
  • Buy a large amount of land, going deeply into debt... perhaps so deeply that traditional methods of raising cattle would be insufficient to pay the mortgage, or
  • Raise only as many cattle as would fit on my place, meaning it would produce insufficient income to support me (turning the whole thing into a hobby rather than a job), or
  • Increase the amount of animals I can raise on the limited land I have... factory farming.

There is one more option, which I choose: don't raise cattle.



You missed one. You do the right thing, advertise it, and ask other people who feel the way you do to pay more for your beef.

If Chik-fil-A uses their Christianity, they could just ask other Christians to be willing to pay a little more for their chicken to stay on Gods good side. Thats what Hebrew National hot dogs does.

I think the OP brings up a good question. Its fair to ask why principled companies who claim religious values get down and dirty with the evil bastards who are going straight to hell and could care less. Its a viable strategy to ask people to pay more for products that are less evil. I pay more for less evil all the time. Lots of people do.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by davespanners
 


Oh people can just leave huh? Why are there ghettos, can't they just leave? But alas, I'm not talking about how people or chickens for that matter get into thier cages. But the fact that they are both living in the same conditions. A skyscraper is just a big glass cage for us mammals.


And to the OP, if god is not intimately aware that beings he created are animals, then chances are that passage was written and concieved by an uneducated man, and not god.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

You make a good point, but I consider that as a marketing aspect relative to the second choice. In the end, as far as land use goes, there are no other choices.

Sadly, while there are some small successes using such marketing, the average consumer is apathetic to anything except the taste and final cost. Until that changes, no one can make a real difference although I do applaud those who at least try.

On the religious aspect, I fail to see how it can be applied to this one company. Are Christians not also people? And are not all people allowed to conduct business equally under the law? Is it incumbent upon someone who believes in Jesus to undergo extensive research before buying a product? Should Christians not then be barred from buying store meat to feed their family?

And is that in itself not judgmental and against the teachings of Jesus?

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by LordBaskettIV


And to the OP, if god is not intimately aware that beings he created are animals, then chances are that passage was written and concieved by an uneducated man, and not god.


Im not sure where you are coming from with that. I didnt get that the OP was saying he didnt think God knew animals were animals. I get that he is saying he doesnt think God intended animals to be factory farmed.

You see God created nature, (if you are a creationist, I should add) and the natural environment. He did not create a single factory. Nor skyscraper. We did that.
edit on 11-2-2011 by Illusionsaregrander because: To clarify.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


It actually isnt about marketing. Marketing is just how you inform your market what they are paying more for.

In business school, in ethics, they actually discuss in detail the problems with falling to the lowest common denominator when you compete only with price. Companies know they can be less evil, cause less suffering, treat their employees better, etc., and still make money. We studied how some companies paid their employees more, did all kinds of things that seem backwards business wise, but who generated enormous "goodwill" within their customer base that kept them profitable and afloat. These companies often just dont become mega corporations, and so people aiming for global dominance dont choose that.

Globalization is harmful in many ways, one of the least discussed is how it reduces the selective pressure a normal smaller market would exert towards pro-social behavior.

The public needs to be very aware that spending your dollars are very much like casting votes. When you buy cheap, damn the way the product was manufactured, damn how the people who made it were treated, you are voting for the world you will be living in.

Religious companies have less excuse than anyone to not practice this kind of moral value add, because they have God on their side insisting you pay more, and a large number of humans already indoctrinated to accept that.


Edit to add, And I am sure you must realize that when Jesus said not to be judgmental, he did not mean you could not use judgment. English is not a very nuanced language, but even given that, most of us realize there is a difference between saying, "I hate you because you are -------" and saying, "Its better for me to do this, as opposed to that." Jesus was pretty clear that there were courses of action that were preferable in the eyes of God. He didnt pull a lot of punches about that. He just said not to hate people or condemn them and pretend they are less human because they follow those less preferable courses of action.
edit on 11-2-2011 by Illusionsaregrander because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

Advertising is how one informs the public about their product. Marketing also includes identifying and catering to demographics, which is what you suggested.

You do make an excellent point, however, and a star for that. I had never considered the effect Globalism has on forcing economic consideration to be the primary goal of businesses. Well considered, and wholeheartedly agreed on that point! I actually have used those same ethics in my old design firm to build customer confidence, and it does indeed work. Such an approach also requires extreme attention to every detail of marketing, however, and I am not sure how feasible it would be for a larger company.

I will be taking ethics myself soon, and will try to bring that subject up.


Morally, I might could agree with you about Chik-Fil-A having some sort of obligation to deny factory farming due to their Christian foundation; but who am I and who are you to define their morals? You must admit that there are no national fast food chains that do not use factory-farmed meat. Could there be a reason for this? Is it possible that there is no traditional source that can meet Chick-Fil-A's bulk requirements? Even realizing that the marketplace will adapt to a larger demand for a type of meat, there is a time delay between the demand arising and the supply meeting it, a delay that has caused more than one company to simply break under the pressure of too much demand too quickly.

I might feel different if this approach you suggest had shown itself to be viable in a similar market already, but it has not. Perhaps someone should demonstrate the proper way to solve this issue by starting a fast-food franchise-based restaurant based on traditional meat acquisition? As in, be the change you want to see?

To summarize, I don't see any advantage in placing some additional moral responsibility on one particular company, when in fact it is ourselves who are causing the problem. We do not know the realities of the inner working of Chik-Fil-A, nor of any such business, and therefore do not fully understand what the implications of our desires are.

TheRedneck



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
reply to post by TheRedneck
 

In business school, in ethics, they actually discuss in detail the problems with falling to the lowest common denominator when you compete only with price. Companies know they can be less evil, cause less suffering, treat their employees better, etc., and still make money. We studied how some companies paid their employees more, did all kinds of things that seem backwards business wise, but who generated enormous "goodwill" within their customer base that kept them profitable and afloat. These companies often just dont become mega corporations, and so people aiming for global dominance dont choose that.


They taught me this in school as well. Luckily for me, my professor also taught us the 'hard truth' about this...this technique only works when dealing with the end user.

If you are a 2nd or 3rd tier supplier, you are essentially screwed as lowest price that meets the minimum required specification will always win.

Chick-Fil-A's chicken is supplied by a 2nd tier supplier (Wayne Farms lists them as a customer, total chicken supplier list is unknown)

So the only way Chick-Fil-A could stop using factory farmed chicken is if they produce ALL of the chicken they use themselves. This is higly unlikely to happen.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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Well my friend.... I was a christian once..... a long time ago, ... in a universe far away.


... so i think I can provide some answers in defense of Chick-a-fil. Though you have to remember this is from the point of view of the former christian in me.


I noticed most of your passages are from the old testament..... but I was taught that when The Christ came a new covenant was formed.... and all of the old rules didnt apply anymore. You have to admit, ... as far as the old testament is concerned..... how to treat your animals isnt the strangest thing in there.

Also.... even if you were to take the passages at face value...... no where does it say it is a "sin".... it could be interpreted as merely offering guidance on the matter.


I'm not saying I agree with Chickafil, ... but this is how i would have responded 15 years ago.

..... it's like anyone else in life..... as soon as they start making a little money.... ideals usualy go out the window.


edit on 11-2-2011 by IntastellaBurst because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 04:57 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
. I think the OP brings up a good question. Its fair to ask why principled companies who claim religious values get down and dirty with the evil bastards who are going straight to hell and could care less. Its a viable strategy to ask people to pay more for products that are less evil. I pay more for less evil all the time. Lots of people do.


Great post! I couldn't agree more.

By the way, thanks for the wonderful comments everyone. I'm going to reply to them as well.



posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by adifferentbreed
Animals are grown, raised and killed and then we eat them. Happens everyday. Just another slam for chik Fil A's donating food to a group the homosexuals don't like. Funny, they are the ones being singled out, again. Oh well, enjoy the star and flag fest as the other thread bleeds over here.

edit on 10-2-2011 by adifferentbreed because: Spelling



Oh please, McDonalds is still the poster boy, don't worry. Don't get me wrong...the company really has no obligations, after all, it IS a company. It is just a shame that blind-as-hell right wing evangelicals will gobble down GMO's, HFCS and MSG in a race to the grave/heaven. Evangelical culture is disgustingly ignorant and SHOULD have no place in American politics, the economy e.c.t. but only abstinence will bring its demise.




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