Forum: Arts / Religion

Should we serve food that is brought to church that is against our religion?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Mon Jun 29, 2009 09:56 AM

I no longer go to church anymore, but here is a topic of question that I have always had.
Our religion does not eat pork or seafood.
We have a potluck after church where each family usually brings a dish to share. We had another family from another denom who brought in pork. The thing is, it is our church rules NOT to eat pork.
Here is the question. Should we bend our rules of food not to offend someone who didn't know the rules? We didn't serve the pork dish and the family was really embarrased and they didn't return to our church.

1 Replies to Should we serve food that is brought to church that is against our religion?

re: Should we serve food that is brought to church that is against our religion?
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 29, 2009 09:21 PM
In a word? No.

If someone, or an organization is hosting a potluck, it is their responsibility to let people participating what is or isn't acceptable to bring. That goes for religious organizations as well, especially when said religion has dietary laws that a newcomer (or active member who is less observant) may not be aware of, or able to conform to.

For instance, I'm Jewish. I don't keep a kosher kitchen. If I were to attend a potluck at the local Chabad house, I would not be able to bring a dish, because if I cooked it at home, with my pots and pans and used any of my utensils, they would render the entire dish treif (non-kosher). Even if a dish would otherwise be kosher (i.e., all dairy, or used kosher meat, or even was vegetarian), because the pots and pans I've cooked it on have cooked both meat and dairy, it's the same thing. I would ask, instead, if there were some other way I could participate - maybe by supplying the paper plates or bringing some drinks, or centerpieces or favors of some variety. Or maybe I could stand behind the table and help serve. But only because I would know that going in. Even if I didn't, I would expect the invitation or bulletin announcing the event to include some sort of comment saying exactly what sort of dishes were expected. I'd expect it to specify meat or dairy, at least, and if I were in doubt as to what that meant, I'd ask. Even better, a simple, generic reminder that if anyone has any questions about what sort of dishes are appropriate, please feel free to stop by the office.

That way, no one brings anything that's inappropriate in the first place.

Given that someone did, I think it's perfectly okay not to serve it, but in a way that doesn't single them out or embarrass them. A simple, "Sorry, that's our fault. We should have let you know, but we really appreciate your contribution. Next time, maybe we could do a recipe swap," goes a long way.

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