Terry Nichols and the Terrorist Diet

Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols has something serious on his mind: Prison food isn’t to his liking. So he’s suing.

Cue outrage in the comments section: “Why don’t the prison guys just order up a couple bales of hay,” “Feed him bread and water only,” “If I were feeding you we’d have a special each day. Rat [du] jour. Ratashimi. Rat Stew,” etc.

Yes, yes, thank you for the insight, Internet tough guys, but is it possible that he has a point?

Nichols’ contention is that he’s “compelled to consume daily those unhealthy dead and refined foods that are abhorrent to plaintiff’s sincerely held religious beliefs causing him physical, mental and spiritual torment, and to sin against God.”

The piece notes:

“Nichols wants 100 percent whole-grain foods, more fresh raw vegetables and fresh fruit, a wheat bran supplement, and digestive bacteria and enzymes. He wrote that his religious beliefs and requests ‘are not absurd, unorthodox, nor costly.’”

Well, is that legitimate to say that diet is intrinsically related to a spiritual belief? Nichols, in his suit, writes that he sincerely believes that God created mankind to consume unrefined whole foods. If you “sincerely believe” that God created mankind to consume only steaks and apple pie, would that hold an equal amount of water? Should a vegan’s prison requests be honored, even if they’re not religiously derived?