PETA demands personal pronouns for animals

 

And in Bible translations, no less:

PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is calling for a more animal-friendly update to the Bible.

The group is asking translators of the New International Version (NIV) to remove what it calls “speciesist” language and refer to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it.”

The NIV is a popular translation of the Christian Bible. An updated translation was released this month. The translators said 95% of the 1984 translation remains the same. But the committee of scholars made a move to be more gender-inclusive in their translation into English from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. . . .

PETA is hoping the move toward greater gender inclusiveness will continue toward animals as well.

“When the Bible moves toward inclusively in one area … it wasn’t much of a stretch to suggest they move toward inclusively in this area,” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice president for policy, told CNN.

via PETA: Don’t call animals ‘it’ in the Bible – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    In honor of PETA’s strong stance, I will order prime rib tonight…

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    In honor of PETA’s strong stance, I will order prime rib tonight…

  • Kirk

    Good to know that an animal rights organization now thinks that it can dictate to established religion. To be fair, many churches have become so flavor of the moment that it’s not unreasonable to try to push a extra-Biblical political or social agenda on them (that goes for conservative and liberal churches, btw). Even if we were to assign animals personal pronouns, there’d still be the issue of ritual sacrifice, the slaying of the beasts for Adam’s and Eve’s clothing, the copious consumption of animals throughout scripture, the animals being lowered in the sheet, God’s willingness to destroy animals in the flood, and, of course, the image of Christ crushing the Serpent’s head. I mean, the only thing animal rights activists have going for them scripturally would be the story of the Jews in Babylon that ate only vegetables (which, of course, would miss the entire point of that story).

  • Kirk

    Good to know that an animal rights organization now thinks that it can dictate to established religion. To be fair, many churches have become so flavor of the moment that it’s not unreasonable to try to push a extra-Biblical political or social agenda on them (that goes for conservative and liberal churches, btw). Even if we were to assign animals personal pronouns, there’d still be the issue of ritual sacrifice, the slaying of the beasts for Adam’s and Eve’s clothing, the copious consumption of animals throughout scripture, the animals being lowered in the sheet, God’s willingness to destroy animals in the flood, and, of course, the image of Christ crushing the Serpent’s head. I mean, the only thing animal rights activists have going for them scripturally would be the story of the Jews in Babylon that ate only vegetables (which, of course, would miss the entire point of that story).

  • Jonathan

    J. Dean, I’m sure he or she will be very tasty. Enjoy him or her!

  • Jonathan

    J. Dean, I’m sure he or she will be very tasty. Enjoy him or her!

  • Tom Hering

    Shocking news! PETA’s vice president for policy is advocating for the members of his organization by trying to influence everything. Fortunately, the CNN blog also reports a very reasonable position:

    [Baylor University professor David Lyle Jeffrey] said he sympathizes and agrees with PETA’s position that God calls for humans to care for animals, but he said, “When you get to the point when you say, ‘Don’t say it, say he or she’ when the text doesn’t, you’re both screwing up the text and missing the main point you addressed.”

    Kirk @ 2, every example you reference is post-Fall. And what do you do with God granting permission to eat animals after the Flood (Genesis 9:2-3)? And that this introduces fear and terror into the rest of Creation?

  • Tom Hering

    Shocking news! PETA’s vice president for policy is advocating for the members of his organization by trying to influence everything. Fortunately, the CNN blog also reports a very reasonable position:

    [Baylor University professor David Lyle Jeffrey] said he sympathizes and agrees with PETA’s position that God calls for humans to care for animals, but he said, “When you get to the point when you say, ‘Don’t say it, say he or she’ when the text doesn’t, you’re both screwing up the text and missing the main point you addressed.”

    Kirk @ 2, every example you reference is post-Fall. And what do you do with God granting permission to eat animals after the Flood (Genesis 9:2-3)? And that this introduces fear and terror into the rest of Creation?

  • Dennis Peskey

    What should I give up for Lent – Leviticus or PETA. I believe I’ll join Mr. Dean in celebrating with the burnt carcass of a year-old bull this very evening.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    What should I give up for Lent – Leviticus or PETA. I believe I’ll join Mr. Dean in celebrating with the burnt carcass of a year-old bull this very evening.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I hear Peter Luger’s in New York has a tasty steak sauce.

    And thank you, Jonathan! :D

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I hear Peter Luger’s in New York has a tasty steak sauce.

    And thank you, Jonathan! :D

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Year old bull? Usually you want to eat a steer, though dry aging does wonders for bull-flesh.

    I’ve wanted to buy my wife a fur coat in honor of PETA, but I guess we’ll just have to be satisfied with leather shoes, dairy, wool, and meat for dinner until we can afford it.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Year old bull? Usually you want to eat a steer, though dry aging does wonders for bull-flesh.

    I’ve wanted to buy my wife a fur coat in honor of PETA, but I guess we’ll just have to be satisfied with leather shoes, dairy, wool, and meat for dinner until we can afford it.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    As my colleague jokes, not only does he like meat, but it tastes best went roasted on old-growth.. :)

    (Just a joke, in case someone gets their knickers in a knot)

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    As my colleague jokes, not only does he like meat, but it tastes best went roasted on old-growth.. :)

    (Just a joke, in case someone gets their knickers in a knot)

  • Kirk

    @4 Absolutely, but it seems still seems to me that impersonal pronouns should be the least of PETA’s problems with the Bible.

  • Kirk

    @4 Absolutely, but it seems still seems to me that impersonal pronouns should be the least of PETA’s problems with the Bible.

  • http://matthaeusglyptes.blogspot.com Matthew Carver

    Perhaps we could reintroduce the Old English genders to animals, plants, and all non-sentient creatures as well. Of course it’s only grammatical gender, and some animals would still get stuck with the neuter (OE thaet swîn ‘the pig’; which means that ‘dolphin,’ OE mereswîn, would be neuter too!). Yet it would be amusingly confusing to students of Romance languages, since the English sun is a she and the English moon a he.

  • http://matthaeusglyptes.blogspot.com Matthew Carver

    Perhaps we could reintroduce the Old English genders to animals, plants, and all non-sentient creatures as well. Of course it’s only grammatical gender, and some animals would still get stuck with the neuter (OE thaet swîn ‘the pig’; which means that ‘dolphin,’ OE mereswîn, would be neuter too!). Yet it would be amusingly confusing to students of Romance languages, since the English sun is a she and the English moon a he.

  • DonS

    How about we make ‘em a deal? We’ll produce a version without “specieist” language if they promise to read it.

  • DonS

    How about we make ‘em a deal? We’ll produce a version without “specieist” language if they promise to read it.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Matthew Carver @10 – Hwæt! Because of course we know the Anglo-Saxons never ate meat :P

    Even if we disagree with going gender-neutral in the New(est) International Version, at least proponents of the change believe that its in keeping with the original intention (if not the literal letter) of the text. But giving animals personhood? Not in the text, no matter how you look. Except maybe for Balaam’s donkey.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Matthew Carver @10 – Hwæt! Because of course we know the Anglo-Saxons never ate meat :P

    Even if we disagree with going gender-neutral in the New(est) International Version, at least proponents of the change believe that its in keeping with the original intention (if not the literal letter) of the text. But giving animals personhood? Not in the text, no matter how you look. Except maybe for Balaam’s donkey.

  • Tom Hering

    Animals don’t have gender? And anyone who believes animals don’t think, feel pain and emotions, grieve over deaths, invent and use tools, etc., is way behind the science on animals. There’s even growing research on the moral sense in animals. So what else do we want? Evidence of a soul? “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:22). “The ‘breath (Hebrew neshamah) of life’ is clearly stated here to be a component of animal life as well as human life. Thus animals possess ‘spirit,’ but not the ‘image of God.’” (NDSB).

  • Tom Hering

    Animals don’t have gender? And anyone who believes animals don’t think, feel pain and emotions, grieve over deaths, invent and use tools, etc., is way behind the science on animals. There’s even growing research on the moral sense in animals. So what else do we want? Evidence of a soul? “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:22). “The ‘breath (Hebrew neshamah) of life’ is clearly stated here to be a component of animal life as well as human life. Thus animals possess ‘spirit,’ but not the ‘image of God.’” (NDSB).

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Tom,

    They’re still tasty.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Tom,

    They’re still tasty.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    What’s that? PETA did something outrageous? And they’ve got people talking about PETA? And in response, some people are talking about doing things just to annoy PETA people, even though they don’t personally know any, but the main point is we’re all talking about PETA?

    I swear, PETA plays the world for suckers every few months. And the world can’t help itself. They just … have … to feed … the … troll!

    It’s my suspicion that PETA long ago ceased to be an actual animal-rights organization, its leadership and funds all having been consumed by its metastasizing marketing arm, which is now more or less all that’s left of PETA.

    In homage to their vestigial animal-rights mission, once a year, they buy a dove from a pet shop and release him in downtown Norfolk. Naturally, they do this while naked. Except the one guy who’s dressed as a Pope. Who is bowing down before a (naked) Satan statue. All the while dancing to Electric Six’s “Gay Bar”. All of this is streamed live on the Web.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    What’s that? PETA did something outrageous? And they’ve got people talking about PETA? And in response, some people are talking about doing things just to annoy PETA people, even though they don’t personally know any, but the main point is we’re all talking about PETA?

    I swear, PETA plays the world for suckers every few months. And the world can’t help itself. They just … have … to feed … the … troll!

    It’s my suspicion that PETA long ago ceased to be an actual animal-rights organization, its leadership and funds all having been consumed by its metastasizing marketing arm, which is now more or less all that’s left of PETA.

    In homage to their vestigial animal-rights mission, once a year, they buy a dove from a pet shop and release him in downtown Norfolk. Naturally, they do this while naked. Except the one guy who’s dressed as a Pope. Who is bowing down before a (naked) Satan statue. All the while dancing to Electric Six’s “Gay Bar”. All of this is streamed live on the Web.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    Zondervan should do it. Bound in hemp of course and sold with an accompanying Bible study “Famous Animals of the Bible” and a talking Balaam’s donkey made with bamboo and natural seaweed fibers. I see a potential cash cow.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    Zondervan should do it. Bound in hemp of course and sold with an accompanying Bible study “Famous Animals of the Bible” and a talking Balaam’s donkey made with bamboo and natural seaweed fibers. I see a potential cash cow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And then, acting as if I didn’t write that (@15) and blithely joining in the PETA-inspired conversation …

    Tom (@13), I’ve missed your point here. Is it that we humans shouldn’t eat animals because of the reasons you’ve listed? Or are you arguing merely about the translation issues?

    As to the latter (and no, I can’t believe I’m really talking about this), I would think that common English usage would guide translation. It’s not uncommon for people to refer to animals as “him” or “her” — provided, of course, that the gender is obvious. Which it usually is in larger mammals that we tend to surround ourselves with. But the overwhelming number of animals in the world are difficult to “sex” for non-scientists — and sometimes even hard for them, too. Still, the point remains that we tend to label as “it” anything we can’t relate to.

    Of course, by decrying “speciesist” language, PETA has opened up a can of worms (oh hell, they’re going to get upset about that, aren’t they?) that they likely didn’t intend. Namely, their whole “kingdomist” approach. Why do they only care about kingdom Animalia? Why are other life forms free to be trampled and destroyed? What about the bacteria? Won’t anyone think of the bacteria! To say nothing of Protista!

    But if we accept their proposition that only animals “count”, I’d like to see PETA lecture the birds first. Do you know how many insects they kill and eat every day? In terms of numbers alone, those things are murdering fiends! It’s a veritable classicide in the air!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And then, acting as if I didn’t write that (@15) and blithely joining in the PETA-inspired conversation …

    Tom (@13), I’ve missed your point here. Is it that we humans shouldn’t eat animals because of the reasons you’ve listed? Or are you arguing merely about the translation issues?

    As to the latter (and no, I can’t believe I’m really talking about this), I would think that common English usage would guide translation. It’s not uncommon for people to refer to animals as “him” or “her” — provided, of course, that the gender is obvious. Which it usually is in larger mammals that we tend to surround ourselves with. But the overwhelming number of animals in the world are difficult to “sex” for non-scientists — and sometimes even hard for them, too. Still, the point remains that we tend to label as “it” anything we can’t relate to.

    Of course, by decrying “speciesist” language, PETA has opened up a can of worms (oh hell, they’re going to get upset about that, aren’t they?) that they likely didn’t intend. Namely, their whole “kingdomist” approach. Why do they only care about kingdom Animalia? Why are other life forms free to be trampled and destroyed? What about the bacteria? Won’t anyone think of the bacteria! To say nothing of Protista!

    But if we accept their proposition that only animals “count”, I’d like to see PETA lecture the birds first. Do you know how many insects they kill and eat every day? In terms of numbers alone, those things are murdering fiends! It’s a veritable classicide in the air!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    After thinking about it some more (as part of the world, I, too, cannot avoid feeding the troll; not that regular readers of this blog didn’t already know that) …

    Thinking about Kirk’s list (@2) has me wondering if a PETAite could ever be a Christian.

    I mean, sure, a Christian could have many reasons — many good reasons, even — for being a vegan and wanting to minimize harm to animals in their daily choices. I have no issue with that.

    But it’s hard to ignore the fact that animal life is not considered equal to human life in Scripture. God not only allows men to eat animal flesh, he commands humans to kill animals. Of course, he also commands humans to kill humans. And it’s worth pointing out that both of those commands were tied to specific groups of people in specific circumstances, such that we today are not bound by those commands.

    Still, I would think that a PETAite reading a Bible — even a “corrected” one — would have a very hard time accepting God as their God, so important have they made their ideology of animal rights.

    What’s sad about this is that PETA’s position seems driven by the very real abuses that (some) sinful humans visit upon the animals under their control.

    But I guess that’s how it so often is. Man’s sin begets a works-righteous reaction that is, itself, sinful.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    After thinking about it some more (as part of the world, I, too, cannot avoid feeding the troll; not that regular readers of this blog didn’t already know that) …

    Thinking about Kirk’s list (@2) has me wondering if a PETAite could ever be a Christian.

    I mean, sure, a Christian could have many reasons — many good reasons, even — for being a vegan and wanting to minimize harm to animals in their daily choices. I have no issue with that.

    But it’s hard to ignore the fact that animal life is not considered equal to human life in Scripture. God not only allows men to eat animal flesh, he commands humans to kill animals. Of course, he also commands humans to kill humans. And it’s worth pointing out that both of those commands were tied to specific groups of people in specific circumstances, such that we today are not bound by those commands.

    Still, I would think that a PETAite reading a Bible — even a “corrected” one — would have a very hard time accepting God as their God, so important have they made their ideology of animal rights.

    What’s sad about this is that PETA’s position seems driven by the very real abuses that (some) sinful humans visit upon the animals under their control.

    But I guess that’s how it so often is. Man’s sin begets a works-righteous reaction that is, itself, sinful.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    tODD @18. Yeah, it would be difficult for an orthodox Christian to make the jump vegitarian (or Vegan) to becoming a PETA-ite (PETA-ist? I’d hate to use the suffix -phile in this case…). Qoheleth might question (at first) the distinction between man and animal: “Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?” (Ecc. 3:21), but eventually he reaffirms the traditional distinction: that when it comes to man, “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7). As for animals, not so much.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    tODD @18. Yeah, it would be difficult for an orthodox Christian to make the jump vegitarian (or Vegan) to becoming a PETA-ite (PETA-ist? I’d hate to use the suffix -phile in this case…). Qoheleth might question (at first) the distinction between man and animal: “Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?” (Ecc. 3:21), but eventually he reaffirms the traditional distinction: that when it comes to man, “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7). As for animals, not so much.

  • Tom Hering

    Todd, I don’t think it’s wrong to eat animals, given that God has permitted it – and even, in one case, commanded it. I also don’t think God’s permission to eat animals makes a refusal to eat animals an ungodly thing (except for Saint Peter, once), or a self-righteousness that threatens one’s righteousness in Christ, or anything else but a matter of personal conscience and/or health concerns. (If God doesn’t condemn meat eaters, neither do I condemn them.) My points would be that man was given only green plants to eat until after the Flood. (I believe this limitation will be restored when the Creation is renewed. No more death, eh?) And that the issue raised by PETAS’a absurd proposal is whether or not animals are more – much more – than mere “its.” I’m convinced that both Scripture and science affirm they are.

    Now, would anyone like to engage me with something more than a bumper sticker response, i.e., “People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.” :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Todd, I don’t think it’s wrong to eat animals, given that God has permitted it – and even, in one case, commanded it. I also don’t think God’s permission to eat animals makes a refusal to eat animals an ungodly thing (except for Saint Peter, once), or a self-righteousness that threatens one’s righteousness in Christ, or anything else but a matter of personal conscience and/or health concerns. (If God doesn’t condemn meat eaters, neither do I condemn them.) My points would be that man was given only green plants to eat until after the Flood. (I believe this limitation will be restored when the Creation is renewed. No more death, eh?) And that the issue raised by PETAS’a absurd proposal is whether or not animals are more – much more – than mere “its.” I’m convinced that both Scripture and science affirm they are.

    Now, would anyone like to engage me with something more than a bumper sticker response, i.e., “People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.” :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Captain Thin @ 19, we might want to consider your quote from Ecclesiastes in context:

    “I said to myself concerning the sons of men, ‘God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.’ For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?”

    Yes, who knows? Besides you? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Captain Thin @ 19, we might want to consider your quote from Ecclesiastes in context:

    “I said to myself concerning the sons of men, ‘God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.’ For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?”

    Yes, who knows? Besides you? :-D

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Tom @21. Fair enough. I’m all in favour of adding context :) And I’d point out that Scripture is not actually teaching that men are merely beasts; Qoheleth is instead reporting here that he questioned it himself (remember the statements begin “I said to myself…”). Basically he’s wondering whether humans have any right to distinguish themselves from the animals.

    That’s what I was attempting to express in my previous comment: that, in Ecclesiastes 3, Qoheleth is wondering, “Are we different at all from the animals? Maybe we just die and cease to exist like they do.” Here he takes it as a given that animals dissipate into the earth (ie, “descend downard”); his question is instead whether humans are somehow different; do their souls rise upwards unlike the rest of the living beasts? Or do their spirits just dissipate (“descends downward) into the ground like theirs.”

    When he gets to Ecclesiastes 12, he answers the questions he raised in chapter 3. “Do the spirits of humans (unlike all other “beasts”) ascend upwards?” Yes, he concludes: “The spirit returns to God who gave it.”

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Tom @21. Fair enough. I’m all in favour of adding context :) And I’d point out that Scripture is not actually teaching that men are merely beasts; Qoheleth is instead reporting here that he questioned it himself (remember the statements begin “I said to myself…”). Basically he’s wondering whether humans have any right to distinguish themselves from the animals.

    That’s what I was attempting to express in my previous comment: that, in Ecclesiastes 3, Qoheleth is wondering, “Are we different at all from the animals? Maybe we just die and cease to exist like they do.” Here he takes it as a given that animals dissipate into the earth (ie, “descend downard”); his question is instead whether humans are somehow different; do their souls rise upwards unlike the rest of the living beasts? Or do their spirits just dissipate (“descends downward) into the ground like theirs.”

    When he gets to Ecclesiastes 12, he answers the questions he raised in chapter 3. “Do the spirits of humans (unlike all other “beasts”) ascend upwards?” Yes, he concludes: “The spirit returns to God who gave it.”

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    I wonder if I’ll ever be able to regard the leather that I am splitting, cutting and sewing in the same way. He, she…it?

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    I wonder if I’ll ever be able to regard the leather that I am splitting, cutting and sewing in the same way. He, she…it?

  • Tom Hering

    Ecclesiastes 12:7, “… then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”

    Captain Thin @ 22, I can accept your point that in chapter 3, Qoheleth believes the animals cease to exist. But this doesn’t mean he’s right. And I accept your point that Qoheleth concludes, in chapter 12, that the spirit returns to God. But I see nothing in 12:7, or its context, that concludes only man’s spirit returns to God. The spirits of the animals aren’t even in view anymore.

  • Tom Hering

    Ecclesiastes 12:7, “… then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”

    Captain Thin @ 22, I can accept your point that in chapter 3, Qoheleth believes the animals cease to exist. But this doesn’t mean he’s right. And I accept your point that Qoheleth concludes, in chapter 12, that the spirit returns to God. But I see nothing in 12:7, or its context, that concludes only man’s spirit returns to God. The spirits of the animals aren’t even in view anymore.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    Tom Herring,

    I would have to agree with you – there is certainly nothing about being a Vegan which would disqualify/keep someone from being a Christian. A good friend of mine, his wife is a Vegan and a Christian – I don’t know specifically why her diet is restricted other than “meat makes her sick, she does not like it.” I think there is a hint of a moral attitude (my friend once told me to not tell her when a grilled chicken breast flopped on top of her vegetable patty on the grill) for this self-imposed dietary restriction, but she certainly does not aim it outward at anyone else. We once prepared a Quiche for dinner thinking she was vegetarian, only to find that eggs too were not edible. However, I do not question her Christian faith – even if flawed (and I see no flaws in her Christianity), she is certainly no more so than I am.

    I do not know (recently any way) any PETA supporters, and the ones I knew years ago were blantant hypocrites – but I suspect there are other inconsistent PETA folks who are Christians.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    Tom Herring,

    I would have to agree with you – there is certainly nothing about being a Vegan which would disqualify/keep someone from being a Christian. A good friend of mine, his wife is a Vegan and a Christian – I don’t know specifically why her diet is restricted other than “meat makes her sick, she does not like it.” I think there is a hint of a moral attitude (my friend once told me to not tell her when a grilled chicken breast flopped on top of her vegetable patty on the grill) for this self-imposed dietary restriction, but she certainly does not aim it outward at anyone else. We once prepared a Quiche for dinner thinking she was vegetarian, only to find that eggs too were not edible. However, I do not question her Christian faith – even if flawed (and I see no flaws in her Christianity), she is certainly no more so than I am.

    I do not know (recently any way) any PETA supporters, and the ones I knew years ago were blantant hypocrites – but I suspect there are other inconsistent PETA folks who are Christians.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Tom @24. Point taken. Qoheleth’s words in chapter 3, reported as they are as past personal opinion (and especially as an opinion which he modifies in chapter 12) provide no firm biblical evidence for the final destination of animal souls. Admittedly I tend to agree with Qoheleth’s assumption on beasts but am willing to concede that Ecclesiastes provides no conclusive evidence in my favour. Thanks for the interesting discussion Tom!

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Tom @24. Point taken. Qoheleth’s words in chapter 3, reported as they are as past personal opinion (and especially as an opinion which he modifies in chapter 12) provide no firm biblical evidence for the final destination of animal souls. Admittedly I tend to agree with Qoheleth’s assumption on beasts but am willing to concede that Ecclesiastes provides no conclusive evidence in my favour. Thanks for the interesting discussion Tom!

  • Tom Hering

    Just so you know, Vegans stay away from all animal products – including wool and leather. While vegetarians are varied bunch. Some eat no flesh, some eat fish, some eat eggs, and some eat chickens. Some vegans and vegetarians are such for health reasons, others for economic reasons, others for ecological reasons, and others for reasons of conscience. So, yeah, people can also be PETA members for various reasons – and not all agree with everything PETA does or advocates. Especially, I would think, the Christians among them. (Imagine that! Christians participating in things they don’t entirely agree with.)

  • Tom Hering

    Just so you know, Vegans stay away from all animal products – including wool and leather. While vegetarians are varied bunch. Some eat no flesh, some eat fish, some eat eggs, and some eat chickens. Some vegans and vegetarians are such for health reasons, others for economic reasons, others for ecological reasons, and others for reasons of conscience. So, yeah, people can also be PETA members for various reasons – and not all agree with everything PETA does or advocates. Especially, I would think, the Christians among them. (Imagine that! Christians participating in things they don’t entirely agree with.)

  • Tom Hering

    No, thank YOU Captain Thin. I agree we had a nice little discussion, and I further agree that Ecclesiastes doesn’t settle the question either way.

  • Tom Hering

    No, thank YOU Captain Thin. I agree we had a nice little discussion, and I further agree that Ecclesiastes doesn’t settle the question either way.

  • Joe

    Tom wrote, “much more – than mere “its.”” What is wrong with being an “it.” Babies are routinely called “its” prior to finding out the sex. On the converse, ships are properly called “she.” I think PETA is protesting against language that they don’t fully understand.

    If you actually used the correct verbiage for sexed animals, I don’t think anyone would care too much. I would have no problem reading that Jesus cast the demons into a bunch of sows or a bunch of boars (or barrows if the male pigs were castrated), but the truth is we don’t know the sex of the pigs.

  • Joe

    Tom wrote, “much more – than mere “its.”” What is wrong with being an “it.” Babies are routinely called “its” prior to finding out the sex. On the converse, ships are properly called “she.” I think PETA is protesting against language that they don’t fully understand.

    If you actually used the correct verbiage for sexed animals, I don’t think anyone would care too much. I would have no problem reading that Jesus cast the demons into a bunch of sows or a bunch of boars (or barrows if the male pigs were castrated), but the truth is we don’t know the sex of the pigs.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe, again, I agree that PETA’s proposal to alter the Bible’s language is absurd. But I think the issue underlying their absurd proposal is a very important one, i.e., are animals soulless resources we’re morally free to use any way we like? What about factory farms? How should we understand dominion?

    Proverbs 12:10, A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal (NIV), The godly care for their animals (NLT), Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast (ESV), A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal (NASB). Why? What difference does it make?

  • Tom Hering

    Joe, again, I agree that PETA’s proposal to alter the Bible’s language is absurd. But I think the issue underlying their absurd proposal is a very important one, i.e., are animals soulless resources we’re morally free to use any way we like? What about factory farms? How should we understand dominion?

    Proverbs 12:10, A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal (NIV), The godly care for their animals (NLT), Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast (ESV), A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal (NASB). Why? What difference does it make?

  • Joe

    Tom – I don’t mean to suggest that we are free to whatever we want to animals. I just think that the idea that an “it” is somehow lesser than a “he” is based on poor grammatical training.

  • Joe

    Tom – I don’t mean to suggest that we are free to whatever we want to animals. I just think that the idea that an “it” is somehow lesser than a “he” is based on poor grammatical training.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe, I didn’t mean to suggest that you meant to suggest. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Joe, I didn’t mean to suggest that you meant to suggest. :-)

  • Joe

    well played sir

  • Joe

    well played sir

  • Susan

    Just a thought and probably a hijack, but I’m not sure that beloved pets won’t be part of the new Creation.

    Why shouldn’t a loyal dog or cat be part of Paradise-they were obviously part of the intial Creation, and if what lies ahead will be better than the original I believe it would be wrong to rule out the possibility of our four-footed friends being there.

    It’s understood, however, that if they’re not there, it won’t matter.

  • Susan

    Just a thought and probably a hijack, but I’m not sure that beloved pets won’t be part of the new Creation.

    Why shouldn’t a loyal dog or cat be part of Paradise-they were obviously part of the intial Creation, and if what lies ahead will be better than the original I believe it would be wrong to rule out the possibility of our four-footed friends being there.

    It’s understood, however, that if they’re not there, it won’t matter.

  • Tom Hering

    Calvin, Luther, and Thomas Aquinas would all agree with you, Susan. Not to mention Paul.

    Romans 8:19-22, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”

    Some say “creation” means our physical bodies, but I think that’s a tortured reading. Especially in light of what Paul says next.

    Romans 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit …”

    The Resurrection won’t be about us so much as it will be about God’s love. And God loves everything He has created. Even sparrows. Heck, even the Earth itself – a ball of dead rock – which He promises to renew. So why not the animals?

    Besides, they were here first. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Calvin, Luther, and Thomas Aquinas would all agree with you, Susan. Not to mention Paul.

    Romans 8:19-22, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”

    Some say “creation” means our physical bodies, but I think that’s a tortured reading. Especially in light of what Paul says next.

    Romans 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit …”

    The Resurrection won’t be about us so much as it will be about God’s love. And God loves everything He has created. Even sparrows. Heck, even the Earth itself – a ball of dead rock – which He promises to renew. So why not the animals?

    Besides, they were here first. :-D

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • Pingback: Did PETA write the Book of Jubilees? | Unsettled Christianity

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