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Food Fight: Loma Linda's Seventh-Day Adventists Outraged Over McDon...

"The health conscious residents of Loma Linda, a small California city with a large Seventh-day Adventist population, have banned together to fight against the opening of the town's first McDonald's.

Nestled in a beautiful stretch of land east of Los Angeles, the 23,000 people who live in Loma Linda enjoy one of the longest life spans in the world -- on average, residents live well into their 80s. Its people are borderline obsessed with fitness and clean living, and they have a healthy population of centenarians to prove it.

So when McDonald's decided to move in, the people of Loma Linda went into red alert. When the issue to approve its opening came up before the city council, the meeting room was packed with outraged residents and health professionals, as if a nuclear waste dump, and not a fast food chain, was coming to town.

Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET

But the city isn't just full of fit families, it is also heavily Seventh-day Adventist, a religion that strongly encourages congregants to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as an alcohol, tobacco and caffeine-free lifestyle.

Pastor Randy Roberts of the Loma Linda University Church says healthy living is dictated straight from the scripture.

"In Corinthians, Paul speaking of the human body says specifically, 'you are the temple of the Holy spirit,'" explains Roberts. "Therefore, he says, whatever you do in your body, you do it to the honor, the glory and the praise of God."

He says the church has not taken an official position on the McDonald's controversy, but stands for living "a balanced, healthy, and whole lifestyle."

Dr. Wayne Dysinger, a physician of preventative medicine and a Loma Linda resident, is a leading member of the community coalition that opposes McDonald's. He says it is not just about the burgers and fries on McDonald's' menu, but also about what the fast food chain represents to Loma Linda's residents who cherish the community's health-conscious history.

"Loma Linda is sort of a symbolic city for healthiness, and McDonald's is sort of a symbolism of unhealthiness," said Dysinger, a Seventh-Day Adventist and father of two. "That's a significant issue. My kids know about McDonald's. McDonald's is the one that sells the toys."

In response to the community opposition, McDonald's said in a statement to ABC News:

"We have been working hard over the past several years to ensure we have options on our menu to meet a variety of dietary needs. For example, our line of Premium Salads can be ordered without meat. We also have other offerings including Apple Slices, Oatmeal and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits as well as a variety of portion sizes... McDonald's and our franchisee look forward to working with the Loma Linda City Council and residents to hopefully address any questions or concerns. We believe the new restaurant will support the Loma Linda community with a contemporary dining experience and help fuel economic growth."


McDonald's won't exactly be the first fast food chain in town. Though several health food stores are popular with residents, in recent years a handful of chains have arrived, including a KFC, Del Taco, Weinerschnitzel, Baker's Burger, and most notably a Carl's Jr., which also came under intense fire when it first moved in.

Caught in the middle between the health food advocates and the burger eating population, as well as the land developers and those who welcome business growth, is Loma Linda Mayor Rhodes Rigsby.

A Seventh-Day Adventist and a physician himself, Rigsby says he has the desire to promote health, but doesn't feel limiting food choices is an appropriate mandate.

"I don't think it's the government's responsibility, personally, to legislate vegetarianism; I think if everyone became a vegetarian they would probably have a healthier life, but it has to be their choice," he said.

"I would hate to go to a town where vegetables are outlawed because the majority are meat and potato carnivores," he continued, "to me that doesn't make sense either way; I think people should have options."

Dysinger admitted, "I agree that we don't want to legislate health, but on the other hand, we can create healthy environments or we can be oblivious to healthy environments. I believe we have to do everything we can to create a healthy environment."

Mayor Rigsby said that if the citizens of Loma Linda want to ban further fast food development, a ballot initiative enabling residents to vote on the issue might be an acceptable approach going forward.

The small city is a particularly unusual battleground, considering the first McDonald's opened in 1940, just five miles away in the town of San Bernardino. Now the country's most iconic fast food chain has over 33,000 locations worldwide in 199 countries around the globe.

Even though Loma Linda's city council approved the McDonald's development, the residents who are fighting it say it's not a done deal yet. Dysinger said there is enough community opposition that he believes the council will want to reconsider their decision.

"We're continuing to work on this with the developer directly," he said. "We have other restaurants that we feel would be much healthier than McDonald's that we'd like to bring in…we'll do what we can to not have McDonald's in Loma Linda."

MCDONALD'S FULL STATEMENT


"McDonald's wants to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve. We have been working hard over the past several years to ensure we have options on our menu to meet a variety of dietary needs. For example, our line of Premium Salads can be ordered without meat. We also have other offerings including Apple Slices, Oatmeal and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits as well as a variety of portion sizes.

"The City of Loma Linda approved this development for several uses, including the McDonald's restaurant. McDonald's and our franchisee look forward to working with the Loma Linda City Council and residents to hopefully address any questions or concerns. We believe the new restaurant will support the Loma Linda community with a contemporary dining experience and help fuel economic growth."

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Sarah, grace and peace.

Again, its your choice to accept or reject Spirit of Prophecy.

Crying aloud and being a watchman has nothing to do with what "I" want, but more to do with Gods will, as revealed in the Bible, to which you profess to be obedient to. Hmmmm, Oxymoron ???

Blessings.

Scott....You did EXACTLY what I expected:  dodge the bullet on the REAL ISSUES for when people need to stand up--LIKE JESUS DID!

Thanks for confirmation!

@Gabe..

I don't know if I missed something here but he was quoting from the book of Isaiah... How is he putting SOP over scripture? He didn't even quote SOP in his last post....

Yes it can be and it is up to the vendor to wash them properly to avoid contamination... Just like it is up to the vendor to make sure they are not using diseased animals in there food, but unfortunately these are health practices Mc Donald's on many levels has taken for granted... If I recall correctly they were the cause of a johndis outbreak in my home town as a kid... When you are dealing with viruses, and pathogens that can be transmitted by food it is not just effecting the person eating the food, but spreads to everyone they come in to contact with...

So despite your argument I see no problem protecting a community from places who are trademarked for there lack of concern where it comes to sanitation, and feeding diseased meet to their customers, because they don't want to loose money on the infected animal..

I eat veggie whoppers from BK--and sometimes order the Veggie Burger with Morning Star Patties from there as well....I also eat either the fries, onion rings, or salad.  LOVE IT!

Gabriel, grace and peace.

It is impossible to put SOP above Scripture, because it supports Scripture in every sense. To even say such a thing, or to even think it possible, only shows your lack of understanding towards the SOP.

The Spirit of prophecy was given by the Holy Spirit who, last time I checked, is still God = Gods Word.

@Sarah, glad to oblige. Not quite sure what your on about though. I do know that its typical of humans to see faults in others that they hate and deny of themselves, this is typical of a person that doesn't know forgiveness. I wonder if that might describe why you would make such a comment ??

Anyway, SOP (Gods council=Gods Word) tells us to eat our own food. Bible tells us to look after our body Temples. SOP + Bible agree. SOP tells us to get out of cities. Bible tells us of destruction of Jerusalem and that these things were written for our time upon whom the ends of the world are come. Once again, SOP + Bible agree.

Stewardship of Gods money shouldn't bring us to throw it away at convenience foods, especially when they are processed and unhealthy, opposing Gods Word and SOP.

Tit 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Tit 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.


You have only shifting sand under your feet on this issue Gab, I'm afraid.

Blessings. 

LOLOL!!!!  

Sweet...!
@Scott. I like the shifting sand. Lol. Lol!
@Sarah. You really like this franchise...? The things they sell there clogg the mind. I recommend you watch "Super size me." but the language is bad for sensitive viewers. It was not done by christians.

Paul, if you had read the previous posts, you would have specific read me state that I don't go to McDonald's  (personally) but we cannot state that McDonald's is "wrong"...This is not an effective witness for Christ at all.  People have the right to choose whether or not they go or whether or not they eat anything from there.  It is about free-will and is really that simple. This whole thing is about a group of people who do not want their "utopia image" to be tarnished and is cult-like.

If this had been a liquor store or an adult bookstore their rally not to have it in their community would be more than justified.  As it stands, it will make this "release of the mini Great Controversy" from the GC go on the back burner (which personally, is not a bad thing--it's not time, nor is it IMHO the most effect way to spend evangelistic resources for maximum results).  We can thank them for that.  

Sarah, grace and peace.

The name aside, tell me please, is there a difference between Burger King and McDonalds......???

Paul wrote: @Sarah. You really like this franchise...? The things they sell there clogg the mind. I recommend you watch "Super size me." but the language is bad for sensitive viewers. It was not done by christians.

To which you replied: Paul, if you had read the previous posts, you would have specific read me state that I don't go to McDonald's  (personally)



But you also said in a previous post: 

I eat veggie whoppers from BK--and sometimes order the Veggie Burger with Morning Star Patties from there as well....I also eat either the fries, onion rings, or salad.  LOVE IT!



Who is it exactly that you are trying to deceive??

Blessings.

Scott, you have done NOTHING but come in the Spirit of Satan....take that elsewhere and leave.  Your self-righteous spirit has done more to create confusion to almost every discussion you become a part of.  You are welcome to play "god jr" elsewhere!  I pray that you give your heart to Jesus for real and let go of your "lack of spiritual discernment", jealous, "want to be seen" mindset.  It is an embarrassment to Christianity and to the Seventh-day Adventist Church! 

@ Sarah 

You made a very strong statement... To tell someone they come here in the spirit of satan is very strong.. I would beg to disagree with this statement. 

We may disagree on certain things but to accuse someone of coming in the spirit of satan is wrong.

with that said.. I believe everyone have an account to give in the judgement on how, they treat the temple of God ie our body. It is a personal choice if one decides to eat at any fast food outlet. Come on guys be realistic fast food outlets dont only sell fries and burgers, there are other things you can get there.

It is our duty to follow the health message, select what is healthy and whats not, thats why we are called rational beings. 

Blessings ppl 

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