Believe in progress

Beliefs can get you in a lot of trouble.


By nature, we are judgemental beings and are quick to criticise those on the opposing end of what we believe in. Centuries have seen people die and people go to war for their beliefs, but for what?

What have the religious wars proven?
What did oppressiveness and violence of apartheid do to us in our own country except breed hatred, injustice and inequality?

I had a huge argument/debate with one of my best friends who happens to be so staunchly Christian that I’m sure if the bible said that she must kill every ant on earth, she would become the army general and master ant killer without asking any questions because that would be defying “the word of God”.

I have mentioned before that mine is the agnostic belief, so I won’t start a religious debate here, BUT this “talibun” woolworths debacle infuriated me.

My disclaimer: I am posting a conversation not as a personal attack on my friend or anyone for that matter, but as an intellectual activity to educate people with similar beliefs about the facts of Islam and how eating halal food does not infringe on their religion.

This is a debate that I had on Facebook with my friend whom I love dearly:

( the unfortunate other person in the conversation who displayed extreme ignorance is a young person born in ’87 & that saddened me that a young person can display such prejudice and right it off to me as “I’m entitled to my opinions”. Is this the post apartheid price we pay for freedom? The right to be prejudiced? I didn’t see that one in the Bill of rights…)

Post by DT:
Dear Dawn (Customer Service Woolies) I am glad we’re taking a stand against this abomination! Along wit boycotting Woolworths Hot Cross Buns, I suggest we also stop supporting this CRAZY idea of Easter eggs – I mean what on earth do choc rabbits & marshmallows hv 2do wit Jesus Christ dying on the cross?? I am absolutly disgusted by the fact that ppl think Easter is about rabbits & choc eggs? This is bordering idolatry & we knw hw much God hates idolatry. I mean rabbits don’t even lay eggs… Reptiles do!!! #letter to Woolies frm (her sister who shall remain unnamed)

Post from DT:
Don’t buy Woolies Hot Cross Buns this Easter because their a symbol of the cross of Christ yet woolies has decided to make them Halaal? How does a crecent moon and star the sign of Islam link with the cross of Jesus Christ the Son of God?
13 hours ago · Like · 1

Post from DT:
Yep exactly as Christians we have to take a stand Halaal food is dedicated and prayed for by Muslims who don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God. So why then do we who know the truth subject ourselves? I know I’m ruffling feathers but you know what these are the last days and I will stand for Christ!

Post from Born in 1987:
yes! there’s a line that doesn’t need to be crossed. for that matter, you can already see persecution creeping in, where a church is told that they must keep their noise levels down, but at a mosque every morning they ring that alarm that can be heard for miles around for their prayer times and no one says anything!

Karissa Samuel I’d like hear what WOOLWORTHS SA have to say.
My opinion on the matter is that they did not create the trend, it has been this way since we were children & like Christmas, it has become popular culture.
I don’t think that you can hold Woolies, as a business whose existence is purely to make profit, responsible for popular culture. They are simply making money just like PicknPay, Shoprite and every other food market stocking these goods and marketing them as part of their Easter promotions.
I also dont understand what halaal and kosher food have to do with the sale of these items or Easter for that matter. In fact, this debate has nothing to do with ANY other religion and should not be brought up because then it encourages bigots to be prejudice.
I think that Born in 1987’s attack on muslims is uncalled for and discriminatory.
One cannot and SHOULD NOT discriminate on other people’s religions & how they serve their religion. Just because YOU experience being told to keep quiet in church and YOU experience hearing noise from mosques, does NOT mean that this generalization is a standard.
Let people be and don’t judge what other people do and don’t do. Isn’t religion about your relationship with God, not mine, or others?
So having Easter eggs is not going to change the world or convert people to Christianity. Address the problem, not the outcome of the problem.
If Easter eggs is an issue, address why it has become popular and what to do to EDUCATE people about Easter and WHY Easter is celebrated in the first place.
By the way, the halaal sign is an indication that the food was prepared in a certain way that meets their dietry requirements, not a religious symbol, which going your sister’s comment, Christians dont have idols/symbols, so it shouldn’t matter.
11 hours ago · Like

Born in 1987:
firstly, no one is attacking muslims, i’m just saying, frankly. i’m pretty sure i’m entitled to my own opinion. i don’t feel the need to attack muslims or be discriminatory… maybe you just haven’t experienced that, i’m talking from my own experience. also, someone is expressing what they believe woolies should do in regards to the bunnies etc, and you don’t have to agree, but other people do.
for the record, the whole reason this hot cross bun issue started is because the cross IS a Christian symbol. and as thendo said, what does the significance of the cross have anything to do with being halaal?

Should Muslims not be allowed to eat hot cross buns because they are a symbol of Christianity?

Karissa I think your missing the point here – hotcross buns are a symbol of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. When food is made Halaal it is prayed over and certain muslim rituals are performed. At this time of the year called easter we are celebrating the death on the cross of Calvary of Jesus Christ, His death and His resurrection on the 3rd day. Just like the Hebrews would celebrate passover with unlevelled bread if a Christian symbol would be placed on that they would take great offence because the belief is not the same. It is not any sort of attack against any other religion and Christianity is not the same with any other belief because what seperates us is our belief that Jesus was not just a prophet but the Son of the only living God. Who lived died and rose again for our justification and redemption and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. It would be very sad and unfortunate if people move away from the love for our neighbours and use such things for hatred ect. But as for me a blood washed born again Child of God I don’t see how Jesus Christ and Halaal mix.

The terms halaal is applied to many facets of life; and one of the most common uses of these terms is in reference to meat products, food contact materials, and pharmaceuticals. ‘Halaal’ means permissible. Halaal does NOT mean that the food was prayed over.
Islam has laws regarding which foods can and cannot be eaten and also on the proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption, known as dhabihah. However if there is no other food available then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.
As I said above, halaal is about food PREPARATION, not prayer, as the jews cannot mix dairy and meat – that does not mean they pray over it.
People need to educate themselves about the things they want to argue about.
So again, I ask, this is about the way that the hot cross buns are prepared that will allow muslims to eat the food. So should hot cross buns not be prepared in a way that will allow muslims to eat them because it is a symbol in Christianity?

According to my knowledge on Halaal given from very devout Muslims and also my reading on Halaal food the understanding is about food preperation and also prayer to Allah which in our Christian Bible in the New Testament God speaks off. Muslims can gemerously partake of as many Hotcross Buns as they wish to do knowing that that is a sign of the cross of Calvary that our Savior Jesus Christ was brutally hung on for our sins dead and rose again on the third day and accended into heaven and is now seated at the place of honor at God the Fathers Right hand. As Woolies stated that because of the Christian outcry they will make seperate Buns those with the Halaal sign and those without. So I say to you when you partake of the hotcross bun eat with understanding of the sacrifice Christ did for you.

Just go research guys – this is conversation is factually inaccurate.
11 hours ago · Like

The fact that God clearly states that we should not eat food sacrificed to idols, and other Gods be it thru whatever form of preparation as long as its not done in His name stay away
10 hours ago · Like

{Then my knight in shining armour stepped! I love the way this man’s mind works! }

My 2 cents: The level of ignorance and intollerance displayed by some in this thread is shameful and saddens me especially because it comes from people who I thought were informed and educated. Can any one of you please tell me where the Hot Cross Bun comes from?I doubt it… The cross symbol appears all over in the natural and man made world and before you jump to defend a piece of cake, do some research and find out how the hot cross bun became a “symbol of christianity”.The Halaal sticker on the bun merely indicates that the ingredients used in its manufacture is safe for Muslims to eat, the same is done for Vegetarians, Gluten Intolerants and people with nut allergies. No wonder Woolworths can easily produce 2 “ranges”, all they will do is not put on teh sticker. If your problem is with the Star/Cresent appearing next to the Cross, then you must not have heard of a place called Jerusalem or the Mosque of The Dome on the Rock or The Church of the Holy Sepulchure. The symbols (and even the People!) of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have lived side by side and eaten the same foods for far longer than you could even imagine, and this includes buns and easter chocolates. We have more in common than you probably realise. I know religion is a touchy subject, but that is why we should take care to speak from an informed position. A hot cross bun is not a religious thing, it is never mentioned in teh bible, the pope does not “bless them” or hand them out at Easter, they are baked by a machine in a factory (I have actually been to one factory in Germiston which supplies Pick n Pay and Spar), they are easily available for sale and consumption all year round. Why do you only get upset about this at Easter? Sounds like boredom to me….

Fact Check: In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” was not until 1733;[1] it is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon);[4] “Eostre” is probably the origin of the name “Easter”.[1] Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier.[5]

thank you for that history lesson its very interesting. When we speak of Christianity we speak of commitment that we have made to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior who died on a Cross. Whatever be the reasons of making hotcross buns in whichever pre-historic year I eat spend easter remembering what Christ my Savior did for me just as when I take Holy Communion and fellowship with my sisters and brothers in Christ. You are coming from a factual point of view I come from what the WORD of God which lives and abides forever is telling me. Its more than a bun or a chocolate its about CHRIST His life His sacrifice His death on the Cross and His Rising again. Through the times pagans have come to water down Gods word- commercialing the most NB things in our beliefs ie: santa clause going away from the essence of the issue which is CHRIST. Its easter time and we has Christians will be celebrating in rememberance of CHRIST you can gladly join us but we are saying that we do not want to twist things and include Halaal and whatever Halaal stands for which is not centred in Christ. I hope that brings more clarity and in anycase we are speaking from two different perspectives which will never agree on- I’m not arguing with you guys at all. Christ died for all of us and loves all of us and He is the Son of God. That is the bottom line 🙂

I APPRECIATE, RESPECTand ADMIRE your beliefs and I’m only asking a simple question? What does the Hot-Cross Bun have to do with Christ? Is it just the shape of the + being on top of the bun? Because I know that the Buns in Woolies (and in your kitchen) have NOT been blessed like communion bread or wine, no priest has ever come near them, in fact they could have been baked by a Muslim! You say that Santa clause is moving away from Christ, you say Easter Eggs are moving away from Christ, so what makes the “hot-cross bun” closer to chirst”?, is it just a choice you have personally made? (Does it go, no to Santa, no to Easter Bunny, yes to Buns?). Also keep this in mind when you are eating your bun this Easter (& I say this with no sarcasm), the milk and sugar in your tea and the butter on the hot-cross bun are most likley going to be hallaal already? If you ate chicken today, it was probaby halaal, is all that food tainted to you? All I am saying my friend is that halall (notice how I dont have to use a capital “H” when I spell hallaal, because its just a word to describe something) shouldn’t really bother you, you probably already eat it daily and it wont change your hot cross bun one crumb (thats why Woolies can so easily do the sticker swap). If you are admitting that your argument is not based on reason and logic (and is based on an emotional attachment) then I happily rest my case here… I dont understand how you can say that your views on Hot-Cross Buns are from the WORD of God, because I have studied the Abrahamic religions and I know that there is nowhere in Christianity where, any Prohpets, or God or the Pope even recommends Hot-cross buns as a religious food. What would happen if Bar One started making chocolates with a “+” on them next year? Wouldn’t that be the same thing? You getting upset about the hot cross buns is like me getting upset that someone serves samoosas and rotis in a church, its just food and although it has a cultural significance, there is no official religiuos symbolism attached to the food – eating it is not an act of worship or sacriledge. I would understand you having a problem if it was a bible or communion bread where you actually DO have the WORD to back you. The Hallaal symbol is everywhere already and Hot cross buns are just that..delicious buns, thats why the recipe doesnt specially change for Christians, why people apart from Christians enjoy eating them and why they are available all year long. – 😉 I understand Faith, but please SHOW me how the Bun is linked to Christianity and I will drop this… In fact I’m dropping it right now.

If you find me on Facebook, my religious status says “to each their own”.
I really mean it!
We should be more concerned about the state of our nation, the lack of education, our people starving as a result of unemployment because their education system let them matriculate with only 30% of our 70% pass rate being able to study further.
Why aren’t we having these debates?

Let the baked goods be!

Earlier I said on Facebook:
People died for my freedom, why would I waste it arguing about baked goods?
Let’s focus our efforts and change the world!

TED Talk



One thought on “Believe in progress

  1. In Bun we Trust

    Bigotry and intolerance are traits of extremism which unfortunately rears its ugly head now and again. Some individuals are up in arms over the Halaal symbol on “their” buns, claiming this to be a sacrilege and blasphemy against Christianity.

    In a few social media posts they allege that the buns have been prayed on and accuse the retailer concerned of being insensitive especially during the Easter period.

    Thus we feel constrained to respond on the principle of the matter.

    This “Hot + Bun” furore is unwarranted, having no basis or foundation, which only serves to oxygenate the dying embers of extremism and religious intolerance from the era of the past which our leaders liberated us from with great sacrifices.

    The claim that the hot-cross buns are “an association to the death of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour” is factually incorrect.

    Even mainstream Christian leaders from the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference have confirmed that “hot-cross buns” is not a tenet of Christianity.

    A Halaal mark signifies that the product was produced in a Halaal compliant facility which is free from Pork,alcohol and non-Halaal materials using only permitted ingredients.

    It is misleading and ludicrous to allege that prayers are read over every hot cross bun.
    We concur with Father Chris Townsend’s (spokesman for the S.A. Catholic Bishops’ Conference) sentiments when he says, “we live in a multicultural society and need more understanding and religious tolerance. There are a lot more weighty issues to deal with in SA than a few hot-cross Christians.”

    The late Pope John Paul II in one of his Vatican documents stated:
    Upon the Muslims, too, the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God, Living and Enduring, Merciful and All Powerful. Maker of heaven and earth and Speaker to men. They strive to submit wholeheartedly even to His inscrutable decrees just as did Abraham, with whom the Islamic faith is pleased to associate itself.

    Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a Prophet. They also honour Mary, his virgin mother.

    In addition they await the day of judgement when God will give each man his due after raising him up. Consequently, they prize the moral life, and give worship to God, especially through prayer, alms-giving, and fasting.

    Although in the course of centuries many quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Muslims, this most sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to strive sincerely for mutual understanding. On behalf of all mankind, let them make common cause of safeguarding and fostering social justice, moral values, peace and freedom.

    We urge right minded people everywhere, irrespective of their faiths to focus on the positive teachings and good works of our religious leaders, to create an environment of mutual respect, understanding and tolerance of each other’s religious values.

    For sure it is not a cross deal but a “BUN” deal

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