Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dirty Swine! Flu Name Offensive

I wondered why they had started calling it "North American Flu" in the press this morning. Now I have my answer.
Israeli official: Swine flu name offensive

"JERUSALEM (AP) -- The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.

Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu," he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.

Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.

Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu virus originally emerged, though it was identifed first in the United States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it "Mexican" and worry such a label would be stigmatizing..."
So now we're going to start naming medical based stuff based on religious superstition? Please. I happen to like pigs by the way. They're smart, and I don't understand how merely saying that the flu is 'swine' somehow compromises their religious beliefs. Maybe it's just me.

I fail to see how a exhortation from the Biblical writers to not eat pork, translates into not using the name "pig" or "swine". Are they not allowed to look at pictures of pigs either? I mean, I'm really not schooled on this avoiding all things to do with pigs. I just thought they weren't supposed to eat it. So, if this is the case, does reading The Three Little Pigs to a Jewish kid in a class constitute an infringement on his religious beliefs? Am I correct in thinking that this is about as ridiculous? Or am I missing something?


  1. The very fact that anybody's giving this any attention is more evidence of the ludicrously excessive respect given to religion. When the religions of the world stop condemning non-believers to hell, calling them infidels, etc., I'll worry about not offending them by mentioning pigs....

  2. I can't see anyone even lending any credence to their explaination of why they want the name change.

    I'm afraid that these folks have WAY too much time on their hands!

  3. Please don't think these asshat Ultra-Orthodox in Israel represent Judaism. They don't.

  4. Oh, I know Jacob. Some Jewish people are pretty liberal, I have known a few in my life. Apparently Israel has their fair share of fundies as well.

    And YfC, I agree completely.

    And I think that I also agree with HermitJim, these people have too much time on their hands.

  5. I know plenty of Jewish as well as Muslim people who I'm sure would find this utterly ridiculous.

    I agree with YogaforCynics -- I'm offended that religious people think I'm going to hell cos I don't have an imaginary friend in the sky so I insist that they cease all references to religion, god(s) and heaven/hell.

    Let's see how that works out...

    Jesus, these people need to get a life.