Are the Mets Not Playing Kosher?
If some can claim that Barack Obama violates religious freedom by forcing insurance companies to provide birth control, then what can we call the situation developing at Citi Field?
Yesterday, Judge Jack Weinstein tossed out a lawsuit brought by Kosher Sports against the New York Mets for prohibiting them from selling kosher hot dogs, sausages, knishes, pretzels, and peanuts from four different carts on Friday nights and Saturdays -- the Jewish Sabbath. Which means, if this holds up upon appeal, no Kosher dogs on the Mets' first Saturday home game on April 7 against the Braves. Apparently, Mets officials "at the highest levels" -- the phrase used in the Mets' press release -- are worried that the sale of kosher food on the Sabbath "undermines credulity with Sabbath-observing fans."
But this raises so many issues of religious liberty and ballpark-frank freedom that it's bound to keep Mets fans' heads spinning for some time. The first and most obvious question is: If Jews don't want the hot dogs, why can't everyone else have them -- and sausages and knishes, etc.?
As Rabbi Zushe Blech, one of the world's leading experts on kosher-food production, told the New York Daily News, "No observant Jew would attend a Mets game on the Sabbath anyway."
You don't have to be Jewish to like those kosher hotdogs, and if Jews don't mind if people of other religious persuasions eat them -- and so far there's no complaints from any Jewish organization -- then why should the Mets care?
This is America. If Jews can eat Chinese food on the holy days of any Chinese religion, why can't Jeremy Lin have a kosher dog at Citi Field on the Jewish Sabbath?
Note to the Wilpons: This isn't over.
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