Friday, November 19, 2010

Bible lesson at Christian School

The very first thing I'm going to say is that I do NOT approve of anyone striking anyone else.

Now, to the case of the Christian school teacher who was struck in the face by a parent in Mobile, Alabama.

Arlicia Yvonne Winbush (pictured) was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct after police say she struck a teacher at Faith Academy in the left cheek.

Police told The Press-Register that Winbush entered the classroom “using loud, boisterous and profane language,” later, in the hallway, hitting the left side of the teacher's face.

Such behavior is call for arrest, and that's what happened. But the incident brings to light one of the hard sayings of Jesus:

"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." -- Jesus (Matthew 5:39 NIV)
For a biblical literalist, this shouldn't be a hard one: The teacher was literally struck on the cheek. He/she should have turned the other one.

Not so fast: If you want to be uber-literal, it says if someone strikes you on the RIGHT cheek, you should turn the other one. The teacher allegedly was struck on the LEFT cheek. An out!

But anyone with half a brain knows that even a literal reading of the command would expend to being hit on the left. So should the teacher have stood there and taken it?

Maybe he/she did. The news account doesn't say. But there's also the consideration that children were present, and the teacher had a duty to protect them. Taking a literal beating might have spurred an enraged person to move on to more victims -- and ones more vulnerable no less.

pluck out your eye.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Smoking knocks off restaurant health department rating points

So the health department now is counting 4 points off a restaurant's score if smoking is allowed.

That's the case, at least, in Jefferson County, Alabama. I've just read the most recent health department ratings, and two restaurants had 4 points ticked off their scores because of the presence of second-hand smoke. One is a sports bar that probably serves only appetizers. Still, that qualified it for a health department inspection. The other was a chain restaurant. (A chain smoking restaurant, I suppose.)

I'm no proponent of smoking. In fact, I hate it. But the libertarian in me gets his dander up when a legal activity brings about a 4-point penalty. (The most serious infractions bring 4- and 5-point deductions.)

Further, the public is fully aware of the health risks of smoking. If someone walks into a restaurant, he or she can observe whether smoking is taking place, then leave if he or she so chooses. (If no one is smoking when one enters the establishment one may ask an employee whether there is a risk someone else might light up before one has finished one's meal.)

But food inspection is an entirely different deal altogether. You've got no way of knowing whether the cook washed his hands after his last trip to the loo or whether the raw chicken was left at room temperature for three days. It's a proper function of government to make sure neither of those things happened.

And businesses that allow smoking but don't serve food aren't given a score they're required by law to post in a prominent place, and that seems a little unfair.

I've sent a missive off to the Jeffco health dicks. I'll post their response if I get one.

You should follow me on Twitter here and Facebook here.

Photo by Anna Cervova via