The “Blame Game” is as old as Adam, who blamed the woman who blamed the Serpent or in essence, “The devil made me do it.”
By Ernie Heavin
This is the title of a 2012 documentary I watched yesterday. Here is a synopsis of the report:
Is there nothing for which Richard M. Nixon cannot be blamed? President Nixon is just about the first person we see in the aggressively titled three-part documentary “The Men Who Made Us Fat,” which begins on Friday on BBC World News. Yeah, he’s the guy responsible for all those bulging bellies. Well, sort of. Nixon brought Earl Butz into his cabinet as secretary of agriculture, and it is Butz, the program says, who fostered policies that led to agricultural overproduction, especially of corn. What to do with all that corn? Use it to make high-fructose corn syrup, which became the go-to ingredient for processed foods and soft drinks.
I’m not a nutritionist, but it seems a bit too easy to blame someone else for being overweight. The “Blame Game” is as old as Adam, who blamed the woman who blamed the Serpent or in essence, “The devil made me do it.” (Genesis chapter 3). One scientist was insistent that the person overweight was not to be blamed. When a representative for a cola company was being interviewed and asked if her company was responsible for the obesity problem she replied, “No.” When asked what she believed was the reason for an overweight nation she responded, “People eat too much and don’t exercise.” I think I would have to agree. After working on a college campus for over 19 years, I see more overweight students, as a matter of fact, what was once called the “freshman 15 (pounds gained over the first semester) is now referred to the “freshman 25.”
It’s fascinating that in Galatians 5:16-24 there is a contrast between the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, part of that fruit is Self-Control. In my opinion, we are being sold a bill of goods that it’s not our fault, but someone else or a product. I remember a counseling session I had with a single mother of two 15 years ago or so. She was explaining to me that she couldn’t help losing her temper with her two children and that the day or so before became so angry that she smashed her curling iron and broke into pieces. Then she said, “Ernie, I just can’t afford to buy another curling iron every time my kids make me angry.” I then suggested she stop smashing her curling iron to which she responded that she can’t control her temper. So I asked her this question, “Suppose we’re all at church and from the pulpit I do or say something like your kids and get you really upset. And let’s suppose just by chance you have your curling iron with you. Are you going to smash it?” She replied, “Heavens no. Do you think I’d really lose my temper in front of all of those people?” To which I said, “So, you can control your temper, can’t you? And if you can control your temper among many (the church) you can control your temper among a few” (her children).
It’s interesting that whether it has to do with drunkenness, overeating, losing your temper and so on, it is never someone else’s fault, but the personal responsibility of the person. Perhaps we are a product of our very own decisions after all.