The group posted a photo on its page of a tomato – which appears to reveal the shape of a cross after being cut in half – along with the message: “Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).
[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you.”
Silly fundamentalists. Eating tomatoes will lead you to worship Coatlicue.
M. and I chose the latter this year, buying elderberry jam and garlicky goat cheese and drinking Abbey wines under the blazing sun. Two guys in charro outfits up from Pueblo played a ranchera–rockbilly–soft rock mix, which is exactly what you expect from a Pueblo band.
Now the Myth-Making Begins
That stuff on the winery home page about “simple Benedictine Fathers had a dream”—sounds good, right? Don’t the grape vines just look right next to the Gothic Revival abbey?
But the Holy Cross Benedictines were not “simple.” They were school teachers for the most part, running a well-respected secondary school for boys (boarding and day students) from the 1920s until it closed in 1985. Like so much Catholic education, it was a victim of demographics: not enough new monks and priests coming up, not enough church financial support to afford to pay lay (non-monastic) teachers, so no way to keep the doors open and the lights on.
The winery, meanwhile, did not open until 2002. It employs no monks in its day-to-day operations. The monks could not have made wine for sale in the 1920s anyway because of Prohibition. Their mission was educational.
But the idea of “monks making wine” is so appealing that in a generation people will be strolling the grounds of the abbey talking about how the Benedictines came to Cañon City “a hundred years ago” to plant vineyards and bottle some good cabernet franc. I would bet money on it.
It is not unlike saying that the local morris dancers or village harvest festival represent an unbroken survival from ancient Paganism instead of—in either case—something (re)invented by an antiquarian-minded vicar.
Of course, that Chile & Frijoles Festival—great street festival that it is—is a relatively new creation too. This was its seventeenth year.
This kind of nutritional news is much-discussed in my house. I have been taking fish-oil capsules for several years, as well as lutein for my eyes. Now I crave some sardines: “health food in a can,” as someone said.
For those slightly weary of the familiar fa-la-la, or for those who are opposed to even the slightest whisper of organized religion, a solstice party provides a refreshing diversion. While actual hard-core pagans [sic] are probably drinking something murky and ancient, a more streamlined beverage might be better for dabblers. The Bohemian Spritz (another creation of Vandaag’s Katie Stipe) is a light, fizzy wine drink with compellingly arboreal undercurrents, provided by pine and elderflower cordials. It is ideal for welcoming the long nights, for putting the Krampus back in Christmas.
“Ethical consumers less likely to be kind and more likely to steal, study finds,” is the subhead on an article in the lefty British newspaper The Guardian.
OK, several caveats. This is one study by two social scientists in Canada. Science reporting in the daily press is sometimes sensationalized, and, further, I think you can design a psychological survey to prove anything. (Actual social scientists may want to differ, but that is my impression.)
But it’s ironic to see The Guardian sticking it to Al Gore:
When Al Gore was caught running up huge energy bills at home at the same time as lecturing on the need to save electricity, it turns out that he was only reverting to “green” type.
If I am at all inclined to believe Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong, it is because in my youth I met too many people who preached “peace and love, man,” but who would steal anything not nailed down. Their professions of morality in some areas seemed to excuse (to them) their behavior in other areas.