A dairy farm and creamery in Fredon Township, New Jersey named Windy Brow Farms announced in April their newest flavor of ice cream: Taylor Ham, which tastes like a favorite New Jersey delicacy—pork rolls. Being born and raised in Texas, I had never heard of a pork roll, but apparently a pork roll is a pork-based processed meat, originating and commonly available in New Jersey and other Northeastern states. Having said that, this new-flavored, frozen confection is currently turning heads and furrowing brows because this ice cream contains actual pieces of Taylor Ham and flecks of French toast! Yep, you heard right…ice cream mixed with pieces of pig and toast. The Taylor Ham flavor joins other ice cream flavors with farm-fresh ingredients by Windy Brow Farms like Baked Apple & Goat Cheese, Maple Bacon, and Roasted Pumpkin.
Now I don’t know about you, but there is nothing that says “yum-yum” to me about any of the before-mentioned Windy Brow farms, ice cream flavors. I realize I have never tasted Taylor Ham flavored ice cream, and as a rule we are often on shaky ground in denouncing something before trying it, but in my world, there are some things that just don’t go together, and pork, French toast, and Goat Cheese mixed into ice cream are some of them! This odd flavored ice cream, however, reminds me of two other things that don’t go together and shouldn’t be mixed.
The two things are the words “unpatriotic” and “American.” These two words just don’t go together, or at least shouldn’t. During this month, we Americans celebrate the Fourth of July, or Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared the United States independent from the rule of Great Britain. Since that time, the United States has become the greatest nation on planet Earth, the wonder of the world, and we as Americans enjoy more freedom and privilege than any others as a result. As Americans we are most blessed and should be most appreciative.
In a time when sports figures, celebrities, and politicians are unpatriotically disrespecting time-honored traditions (e.g. American flag, rule of law) and authorities (e.g. U.S. President, Law Enforcement) in our country, this should not be the case with loyal Americans, especially not so for American Christians. We may not all agree on political and social issues, and while we all have the right of freedom of speech, we as Christians are called to be unified in our actions and words in submitting to our national, state, and local authorities as an act of biblical obedience.
Romans 13:1-7 says that we are to be subject to the governing authorities and to honor them, even when they are not honorable, because it is ultimately God who has placed them in authority over us. As Christians, we are under obligation to God to be model citizens, subject to the governing authorities over us by obeying laws, paying taxes, praying for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4), etc. In so doing, we not only demonstrate excellence as Christian citizens, but we do so as patriotic Americans as well.
One other thing. Just remember that while you are enjoying fireworks, parades, picnics, concerts, baseball games, and family reunions this Fourth of July, many brave people have fought, suffered, and died for those privileges and the other freedoms you and we all enjoy. Thank God for those people! Thank God you live in America! Thank God Christ has set you free, so you can live free indeed (John 8:36)!
And thank God you live in Texas, so you don’t have to eat pig flavored ice cream, for crying out loud!
Your friend and pastor,