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Editing the Ten Commandments

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Sep 25, 2003

If there's anything the French people love more than their food, it's their language. So it's amusing to see the continuing campaign by leading French culinary authorities to drop "gluttony" from the list of the seven deadly sins.

Maybe it's just a publicity stunt. The people circulating a petition to the Pope, asking him to authorize gluttony, and mostly chefs and restaurant owners. Still...

Doesn't anybody in France have a sufficient grasp on the Catholic faith to be able to take these folks aside, and gently tell them that they're making fools of themselves?

There are really only 2 ways to interpret this petition drive:

  1. Maybe the organizers think that this list of deadly sins is a completely arbitrary invention, dreamed up by the Vatican. They don't realize that the Pope can't change the list, any more than he can change the multiplication tables. Their argument isn't with the Pope; it's with the Author of the Ten Commandments.
  2. Or maybe the think that the sin of gluttony should be rendered in French as gloutonnerie rather than gourmandaise. That sounds OK to me. But are you going to tell me that the French want a Pole to help them with their language?

I say take it up with the Académie Française. Over a small plate of Coquilles Saint-Jacques à la julienne de truffes. With a glass of ...

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  • Posted by: Sterling - Sep. 26, 2003 7:51 AM ET USA

    This contrarian wonders if the French may not have a point Aren't there some rather - er, chubby - blesseds and saints? (And if you think I'm naming names, you're crazy.) In fact, some of the holiest Popes were quite rotund. Check out the photos and paintings of them. Maybe that's why you don't hear so much about gluttony! Just a (not so serious) thought!

  • Posted by: Sterling - Sep. 25, 2003 11:30 PM ET USA

    This contrarian wonders if the French may not have a point Aren't there some rather - er, chubby - blesseds and saints? (And if you think I'm naming names, you're crazy.) In fact, some of the holiest Popes were quite rotund. Check out the photos and paintings of them. Maybe that's why you don't hear so much about gluttony! Just a (not so serious) thought!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2003 9:19 PM ET USA

    Watch out, Phil ! Next time you go to a French restaurant. They may just mix earth worms and fat insects in with your snails and frogs' legs. Personally, I loathe French cuisine. But "chaqu'un a son gout" !

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 25, 2003 11:30 AM ET USA

    Leave Christianity out of the EU charter, and now this? No wonder the French intelligentsia always reminds me of "Geezer in Gaul"

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Sep. 25, 2003 10:50 AM ET USA

    But Mr Bocuse and his group of connoisseurs argue that these days, gourmandise is a pleasure not a sin. But the point is the some pleasures are sin. I think this is merely a trial balloon for greed and lust. The love of good food is good, the sin comes from a disordered love of food. I'm cynical enough to detect a subtext here of trivializing the role of the Church and the Pope to influence public dialog on morality.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2003 10:40 AM ET USA

    Mon Dieu! It takes the French to have a firm grasp of the important thing in life: Kyoto over life-saving air conditioning; vacation over burying grandma; Saddam over Iraqi democracy and now, semantics over sin. Well, at least one Frenchman seems to get it. The PR guy at the Academie said the whole business was "a waste of time". Tout a fait.

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