Taco trucks at every church picnic

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Arlington Heights United Methodist Church's Five and Two Food Truck served breakfast tacos to Komen Race for the Cure participants in April, 2015, co-sponsored by Kroger. Photo courtesy of Arlington Heights UMC

Arlington Heights United Methodist Church's Five and Two Food Truck served breakfast tacos to Komen Race for the Cure participants in April, 2015, co-sponsored by Kroger. Photo courtesy of Arlington Heights UMC

(RNS)  This is the third in the “Ask the Literalist” series of advice columns.

Dear the Literalist,

I had my TV on in the background while I was helping my kids with their Spanish homework tonight when I heard something “loco.” The host introduced a man with “Latinos for Trump,” which caught my attention because I thought it was a new installment of SNL on MSNBC. It wasn’t. Turns out that’s a real thing. The group’s spokesperson Marco Gutierrez said “my culture is a very dominant culture” and “it is imposing and it’s causing problems.” He warned that “if you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.” I must confess I went to Costco earlier today to pick up ingredients for my church’s annual summer picnic. You guessed it, I’m making tacos. Should I ditch my tortillas?

Sincerely, 

Confused with Five Cans of Frijoles in Columbus 

Dear Confused,

The only thing you have to fear about tacos is rotten cheese. So don’t forget to check the expiration date. And you can go ahead and open your eight-pound tub of Costco sour cream after worship. The folks in your congregation whose ancestors originally brought tacos northward will appreciate your effort. If your church is like so many others in America today, the main source of new members are not “Latinos for Trump” but “Latinos for Jesus.”

Here’s the heart of the matter: everyone enjoys tacos. There are some rotten ingredients in the 21st-century taco salad that is America who don’t want you to add that Goya seasoning pack to your ground beef. They want to make ground beef great again by fixating on a taste that never really existed in our history. There’s no such thing as a “Western European” way to prepare ground beef. New tastes and newcomers to our churches, communities, and country make the potluck table that is America richer, stronger, and yummier.

(Have a question for the Literalist? Send it to theliteralist.rns@gmail.com)