Transcript for Banning McDonald's to Keep the Faith?
A clash of two American heavyweights safe and fast food. The battles playing out in -- California town with an unusually. -- -- population -- full. 50% of the residents are seventh day Adventist who... See More
A clash of two American heavyweights safe and fast food. The battles playing out in -- California town with an unusually. -- -- population -- full. 50% of the residents are seventh day Adventist who observe strict spiritual teachings about eating right. But now a new restaurant wants to open in town McDonald's. And -- some citizens say is just not Kosher. Here's ABC's Neal Karlinsky for our series faith matter. Loma Linda California is known for two things above all else the seventh day Adventist church which loomed large over this city. In one of the healthiest populations in the world. And they'd like to keep it that way. Do you feel like people here are healthier. And for the most part the rest of the country statistically there are. Families like the -- -- believe it's no accident their city has an average lifespan well into the eighties. They see it's because they're sitting on a virtual fountain of youth. Their religion which strongly encourages being vegetarian. That is why many here believe in their own unofficial commands thou shall not -- kids happy -- -- a big Mac or for that matter even allow them the temptation of a McDonald's. Anywhere within the city's boundaries. We believe that human beings where and on May we meet Hildegard -- Santos and doctor Wayne -- her or among healthy horde of townspeople up in arms over -- -- first proposed. McDonnell. The first. -- he used is -- Genesis 129. Let's -- is that the best. Diet for human beings would be fruits and seeds. -- do you -- -- -- -- the a healthy environment for my kids and I know that if -- McDonald's that my kids drive by on a regular basis. It will be harder to keep a healthy environment. The town's City Council meeting was packed when the issue came up you have ought to nuclear waste dump was moving -- McDonald's. And fortunately has a reputation for being a industries that. Has not promoted health -- -- killing our children. The church itself is taking no official position on the matter they don't exactly believe that the way into the pearly gates. Passes through the golden arches I hope. And nobody is condemned because of the choice is there -- -- that goes back again to not imposing them on other people. There is at least one other fast food chain in town Carl's junior restaurant that also came under fire when it moved in would you mind -- McDonald's opened up here. I wouldn't. No problem with him at all now because that's their business the town's small but hungry -- reading population isn't surprised about the hassle over McDonald's. It annoys -- when it any of these nanny state people -- tell me. What I can and can't eat -- Iranian -- if you don't want to be healthy and don't be if you aren't being healthy -- I come down on the side of -- -- and giving people choices. Mayor dusty -- B is one of many in -- who doesn't believe in preaching how others should live their lives I don't think it's the government's responsibility personally to. Legislate vegetarianism. I think that if everyone became a vegetarian they would probably have a healthier life but that it has to be their choice. It's a particularly unusual battleground considering that the very first McDonald's the first one anyway it was just about five miles outside of town in San -- -- It opened in 1940. -- More than 33000. Locations later the rest as they say is make history. Except in Loma Linda -- doctor placing her refuses. To -- and we're continuing to work. On this with the developer directly we have other restaurants that we feel. Would be much healthier than McDonald's that we like to bring in. In response McDonald's told ABC news our salads can be ordered with -- meet. They also mention offerings like apples slices and oatmeal and don't want to -- the new restaurant will help fuel economic growth. -- wouldn't say to those. But I believe that we ought to do everything we can't create a healthy environment. With no legal way to keep the restaurant out the -- City Council has approved the McDonald's to break ground here. But that doesn't mean the battle is over until the golden arches go up when dicier and other health minded seventh day Adventist won't -- -- didn't. Fighting -- -- to keep their -- it's pure from the temptation. Of a happy. I'm Neal Karlinsky for Nightline in Loma Linda California.
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