A variation of this appeared today in a column on Vos Iz Neias. Rabbi Yair Hoffman, a regular correspondent on the site, wrote a long article advocating stricter observance of the halachos of Bishul Akum in restaurants. Bishul Akum is the rule that a Jew may not eat cooked foods (with certain exceptions) that were not prepared by a Jew. This rule was enacted centuries ago as a preventative measure against intermarriage.
All in all, Rabbi Hoffman's article was cogent and well-written. However, at the end of the article, he says the following (emphasis his):
A counter-argument. One might counter that in a restaurant setting, it is not highly likely that bishul akum would result in intermarriage. While this may be true, we must consider that the sages who enacted the protective fences of Judaism were much wiser than we are. Aside from the respect that we must have for halachah itself, there are also farther-reaching repercussions to consider. The issue of laxity involving the bishul akum of household help is serious and has, unfortunately, led to some serious lapses.
Here, Rabbi Hoffman raises a very powerful counter-argument for loosening the rules of Bishul Akum in restaurant settings. Yes, Bishul Akum may work as a preventative measure against intermarriage in residential and social settings, but if I'm dining in a restaurant, I'm not likely to go looking to socialize with the chef who made my steak.
However, rather than address the very objection he raises, he simply goes ahead and pulls the "they're much greater than us so we can't question/change anything" card. Personally, I find that very unsatisfying. Perhaps the halachos of Bishul Akum *can* be relaxed in a restaurant, as modern restaurants didn't exist when these halachos were codified. Perhaps there are valid reasons to continue to apply these halachos to restaurants. Personally, I'm not enough of an expert to have a valid opinion one way or the other. But if you're going to bring up the objection, at least answer it with a well-reasoned rational answer. Rabbi Hoffman, on the other hand, chose to answer it with "they're so much wiser than we are..." I find that to be a very poor answer.
Again, I'm not saying that the halachos of Bishul Akum should be loosened in restaurant settings. I don't know enough about the halachos to make that sort of statement. But I do know enough to know that if you're going to try to head off an objection that your opponents may make, you should actually try to answer that objection with valid arguments.
(PS: Just for the record, I don't know if Rabbi Hoffman's suggestions vis-a-vis Bishul Akum are correct or not -- I'm not an expert in these halachos. My main point is not the article itself, but his failure to address his own objection/)