One of the highlights of our seventh- and eighth-grade confirmation program is the final session of the school year – “Ask the Pastor.” Youth in the room wing every imaginable question the way of the pastor seated upfront on the stool. As one might expect, topics surrounding heaven, hell, drugs, sex, church, the Bible, and the pastor’s personal life all surfaced naturally.
Then there are those left field questions. “Do you think God likes pineapple on pizza or not?” I can’t say I put a lot of thought into that deep, theological inquiry. But I should have been ready for it. It’s been a couple months since the president of Iceland announced that pizza topped with pineapple ought to be banned. President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson – I’d love that name for myself if it wasn’t so long – ignited a social media firestorm. Lines were quickly drawn.
Some believed Johannesson should face trial at the Hague as a war criminal. Others thought all pineapple pizzas should be relegated to Trump’s border wall and used as mortar joints. One wedding couple scrapped their reception menu to serve pineapple and ham pizza.
Since pineapples are not a cash crop in Iceland, we don’t know if President Johannesson has a deep acquaintance with their taste. But let’s hear him out. This was his follow-up statement:
“I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws that forbid people from putting pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don’t like. I would not want to live in such a country.”
At least Johannesson has a good sense about presidential powers. Imagine a world where rulers only passed laws or signed orders about things they don’t like. That would not be so good.
As for the pineapple-on-pizza question asked by our confirmation student? I could only smile. Then, with all the tongue-in-cheek confidence in the world, I said, “Absolutely! God loves pineapple on pizza.” What a wonderful projection onto God of my own tastes and preferences – something at which we’re all pretty adept. It’s a good thing that was the last question of the night. I needed to get off the stool, go home, and be quiet.
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