Killing Cecil The Lion: Does God Care How We Treat Animals?

Killing Cecil The Lion: Does God Care How We Treat Animals? July 29, 2015

cecil

Over the last 24 hours, the internet has been in uproar over the death of a creature named Cecil The Lion. I hadn’t heard of Cecil until now, but as the story goes, he’s one of Africa’s most famous lions. Cecil was a collared animal tending his pride that includes up to 24 cubs in a national park in Zimbabwe. He was hunted and killed by Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minneapolis who already had a felony record for poaching an animal in Wisconsin. Palmer apparently paid over $50,000 to kill the animal who was lured out of the national park and onto private property, before he was wounded by Palmer’s bow and finished off with a gun a day or so later.

Everyone involved in the hunt is now reportedly wanted by Zimbabwean authorities, and some lawmakers in the US are calling for an investigation to see if Palmer can be prosecuted in the United States for the kill.

For us as Christians, this news story invites us to ask a very important question: Does God care how we treat animals?

The answer, of course, is very much YES.

In fact, we see this revealed at the very beginning of God’s story. Genesis chapter 2 tells us of the vocation God intended for humanity: caring for the environment and animals.

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15

 As I’ve explained previously, this vocational assignment in Genesis is what we call the “original mandate” meaning it is the first thing God required of humanity: caring for the environment and the animals. This means that environmentalism and animal care is absolutely central to an identity that flows from God– if one were to abandon the central calling as environmental caretakers, one would be abandoning the central vocation God assigned to humanity.

Later in Scripture we see God identify a concern for the welfare of animals as requirement as to whether or not one is living righteously, and reiterates that for the God-follower, caring for animals is not an optional calling we can just set aside. (Proverbs 12:10, Proverbs 27:23)

The reason why God is concerned for the welfare of animals is that God repeatedly lays claim to the animals of the earth as God’s own personal property. (Psalm 50:10, 50:11, Psalm 104:24-25)

Additionally, we see that God’s plan of redemption even extends to creation/animals themselves, as Christ ushered in the process of reversing the impact of sin on everything– not just humans. Further, in John’s Revelation he saw a vision of heaven where even the animals will worship God. (Romans 8:19-21, Eph 1:10, Col 1:19-20, Revelation 5:11-14).

Finally, Scripture includes a stark warning: those who rejected the calling to care for the environment/animals– instead behaving in a way that is destructive towards God’s property– will pay the ultimate price. Such people will not enter the new Kingdom, but will instead be destroyed by God at the final judgement. (Revelation 11:18)

Does God care how we care for animals? Um, yeah– God does. That’s his personal property and God’s holding us accountable for what we do with it.

What can that mean in a practical sense? Well, I think it’s easy to sit in judgement of the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion– it certainly was a heinous and callous act to kill for the fun of killing. However, those of us who eat meat often participate in horrific abuse of animals by not properly researching where our meat comes from, or by failing to only purchase meat that was raised and harvested ethically. Between locking pigs in crates where they spend their entire lives without being able to stand up, or a variety of other very common types of animal abuse, you and I are often as guilty as Walter Palmer without even realizing it. We need to repent of that.

Yes, God cares about how we treat his animals. Yes, killing Cecil the Lion was a disgusting and unnecessary action. But yes, you and I are often participants in the abuse and mistreatment of God’s personal property. Let us use this news story as an opportunity to begin researching where our meat comes from, and adjusting our consumption/purchasing habits in a way that shows God we honor his personal property.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • liberalinlove

    Thank you! Stewardship is a mandate not an option! A message often lost on the “my rights” party!

  • Lindsey Pfanstiel

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m a HUGE animal lover and believe that they enrich our lives in so many ways! While I do eat meat and plenty of it, I try to buy as much free-range, organic, grass-fed meat as I can. That way its processed in the most humane way possible while not causing undo suffering to animals AND the workers! Luckily I live in a farming community so it’s easy to find meat like that. It’s a little more expensive but I consider it well worth it. Plus, it tastes better and is healthier!

  • Rebecca Spellmeyer

    I am not so sure I agree entirely. I agree that consumers are supporting the abuse of animals in these unethical farms but they are not responsible for it. In this day an age every single one of us in one way or another is supporting something unethical. You may have a parent company that owns an organic food brand but they also own a clothing brand that uses cheap overseas labor in factories that are dangerous/deadly. So by purchasing your organic peas your supporting the use of child workers in unsafe conditions. There is not enough information out there to know 100% about everything there is to know about your food and for the few companies that you can they don’t have even close to the amount of food needed to feed a small city.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Ben! Creation Stewardship sure is politically unpopular. As are responsibility and accountability.

  • Paul Schlitz

    People forget that William Wilberforce helped found the SPCA.

  • Jeanne Fox

    Someone needs to tell Ann Coulter about stewardship of earth.

    Ann Coulter said on Hannity & Colmes on June 20, 2001: “God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.'”

  • a r tompkins

    you don’t need any gods, or any other kind of fantasy, to appreciate, respect, love and protect animals. further, as usual, there are plenty of mixed messages in your holy books as to the appropriate treatment and relationship between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. as usual, the sanctimonious cherry pick those things from the holy books that support their side of an issue. it’s hard for me to see how or why you have the nerve to drag the gods into this discussion. any normal person with a normal sense of empathy and a normal concept of the feelings of our companions on this earth would conclude that gratuitous killing of innocent creatures is an abomination.

  • Common Sense

    Man, I can’t believe all this breast beating over the death of the lion. Yes it is awful and unnecessary. If it is not for food it should not be shot. However the callous total disregard for the human animal in abortion is reprehensible and creates a disregard for life in general and human in particular. As long as we continue to vote in pro-choice politicians, those voters have no right whatsoever to discuss the treatment of animals. We were made in the image and likeness of God yet we kill babies as if it were a tooth removal. God please forgive us.

  • David Hill

    This gave me ebola

  • NanaLynne

    Dominion means to steward, serve, & protect…it does NOT mean to dominate…

  • a r tompkins

    first of all, and this goes for “JohnnyCuredents” below, this article is about a Cecil the lion, not about abortion. you’re posting to the wrong place.

    second, I bet most of the people posting here that show a sense of outrage regarding wanton egregious behavior toward a lion agree with you that abortion is also a awful thing. it is people that do NOT feel a connection, an empathy, with living creatures that are most likely to exhibit psychopathic behavior toward all creatures, great, small, human and not.

    third, with something like 1/3 of all pregnancies ending in unintended miscarriage, doesn’t that make the “God” in “God please forgive us” the most prolific abortionist of all, by a very wide margin?

    fourth, what happens to the souls of those little aborted fetuses, anyway? well, of course, your all-loving all-forgiving god certainly whisks them up to heaven! so wouldn’t the abortionist actually be doing all of these unborn souls a big favor, purchasing their entrance into heaven, even as they condemn themselves to eternal torment in hell? Aren’t abortion providers among the most selfless of our kind?

    see what kind of trouble you get yourselves into, arguing from a position of superstition, ignorance, and faulty logic?

  • NanaLynne

    Yes, love and take care of animals…but I have an acquaintance who just spent $7,000-9,000 on surgery for a dog (which died)…is this really responsible when there are starving people???

    I don’t see the balance…

  • Marc

    The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10 NIV

  • Jeanne Fox

    Exactly!

  • Rathje

    I think God might be wondering why this news story is getting more mainstream press coverage right now than Planned Parenthood.

  • Cat lover

    I am so sick of threads concerning animal cruelty being hijacked by anti-abortionists. Seriously. Do you bring up abortion in a thread about living with a disability? Or one about access to clean drinking water? What is it about animal welfare that brings out the worst in certain people?

  • otrotierra

    Is that what God told you? I doubt that. You’re conflating God with your opinion.

  • heidi jo bean

    There are less than 20,000 lions left (minus Cecil’s 10+ cubs that will probably be killed when a new male takes over the pride) and there are over 8 BILLION people on the planet.
    Fetuses have no rights, beyond what the woman mediates, so stop with your false outrage. Medical waste from terminated pregnancies are just that… waste.
    If you have a illness that can be treated with stem cell therapy, will you object to having it?

  • heidi jo bean

    So, do you plan on forcing women to gestate if they want to end a pregnancy?

  • kippy1957

    How can anyone in today’s world really believe in a god?

  • kippy1957

    You are so right, never stop the fight!!!

  • kippy1957

    ALL LIVES MATTER…..PERIOD!!!

  • Dana Logsdon

    I’m an atheist and a vegan. Your god is probably imaginary, your bible is nonsense, and you twist it to suit your purpose. But if that keeps “Christians” from killing animals I guess I’m on board. It’s a shame it takes a book of silliness to keep people from killing animals, people included.

  • Dana Logsdon

    Common sense my ass. Stop with your self-righteous indignation in the name of a god you can’t prove exists. I think I speak for many on this thread when I say, kindly f*ck off.

  • heidi jo bean

    How about we start teaching men and boys to be 100% responsible with their sperm?
    Do you plan on forcing women to gestate?
    Answer the question please.

  • Dana Logsdon

    F@ck off, clown. Your opinion is irrelevant.

  • AnnieOly

    I agree, thank you for this Ben. I would use the word evil to describe the actions of this disgraceful cowardly and pathetic excuse for a human being. I hope he is prosecuted and ends up in prison.
    The difference between what he did and the cruel treatment of animals that are victims of factory farming is that his actions were aggressive cruelty, our actions as consumers are passive. We just don’t stop and think about the stories behind that neatly packaged food in the grocery store and the fast food place. If we did, if people only realized what they were really condoning, I’d like to think they would demand changes, and make dietary changes as well.
    As a life long vegetarian, I can attest to the fact that I don’t need for animals to die so I can keep going, thankfully in the times we live in there are plenty of other types of proteins to choose from.

  • johnnieandroidseed

    If he has broken no US laws, then extradite him back to Zimbabwe to face trial along with the person who collected the $50K allowing it to happen. Killing, eating or wearing endangered species doesn’t make you special, it shows you to be a self-centered, self-righteous prick and international animal rights laws need enacted that also make you a criminal of the most heinous type. Flying back to the US suburbs or ordering it from a menu in Bejing should not be protection from prosecution.

  • billwald

    When one considers that this planet has already gone three mass extinctions and when one considers the sad state of the human race, another mass extinction may result in an Eve who doesn’t eat the apple.

  • AgesOfReason

    If we were made in the image and likeness of God we would all be invisible.

  • Asmondius

    Good points – you may also want to consider the millions of cats and dogs euthanized annually in the United States.

  • Asmondius

    Name an illness currently being successfully treated with fetal stem cells.

  • Asmondius

    ‘I think’ = English idiom meaning ‘I wonder if’

  • Asmondius

    Better $7000 to save a dog rather than 50K to kill a lion.

  • Asmondius

    The reason there are starving people is the same reason the lion was killed – human selfishness.
    .
    How many starving children in Africa were saved by the 50 million lives aborted in America over the past several decades? Zip.
    .
    I have several rescues myself.

  • Asmondius

    The phrase does not refer to physical attributes. However, many things in existence are invisible to the human eye.

  • Asmondius

    Hmmm – so a child delivered prematurely by Caesarian section who has to be out on a respirator is not a baby?

  • Asmondius

    Vocab is usually a good indicator of intellectual acumen,

  • Asmondius

    Both concern conscious killing, whereas drinking water and disability do not.

  • Asmondius

    100% of all humans die – does that make God a prolific murderer?

  • Asmondius

    In your case – possibly.

  • Asmondius

    Are you the spokesperson for the useless crowd?

  • heidi jo bean

    Diseases for Which Standard Treatments Are Currently Being Used*

    LeukemiasAcute leukemiaAcute lymphoblastic leukemia – ALLAcute myelogenous leukemia – AMLAcute biphenotypic leukemiaAcute undifferentiated leukemiaChronic leukemiaChronic myelogenous leukemia – CMLChronic lymphocytic leukemia – CLLJuvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia – JCMLJuvenile myelomonocytic leukemia – JMMLMyelodysplastic syndromesRefractory anemia – RARefractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts – RARSRefractory anemia with excess blasts – RAEBRefractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation – RAEB-TChronic myelomonocytic leukemia – CMML

    LymphomasNon-Hodgkin’s lymphomaHodgkin’s lymphoma

    Other disorders of blood cell proliferationAnemiasAplastic anemiaCongenital dyserythropoietic anemiaFanconi anemia*Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria – PNHPure red cell aplasia

    * The first cord blood transplantation in 1988 was for this disease.

    Inherited red cell (erythrocyte) abnormalitiesBeta thalassemia major – Cooley’s anemia
    Blackfan-Diamond anemia
    Pure red cell aplasia
    Sickle cell disease

    Inherited platelet abnormalities
    Amegakaryocytosis / Congenital thrombocytopenia
    Glanzmann thrombasthenia

    Myeloproliferative disordersAcute myelofibrosisAgnogenic myeloid metaplasia – myelofibrosisPolycythemia veraEssential thrombocythemia

    Inherited immune system disordersSevere combined immunodeficiency – SCIDSCID with absence of T cells, normal B cellsSCID with adenosine deaminase deficiency – ADA-SCIDSCID with absence of T & B cellsOmenn syndromeSCID which is X-linked

    Inherited immune system disorders – neutropeniasKostmann syndromeMyelokathexis

    Other inherited immune system disordersAtaxia-TelangiectasiaLeukocyte adhesion deficiencyDiGeorge syndromeBare lymphocyte syndromeCommon variable immunodeficiencyWiskott-Aldrich syndromeLymphoproliferative disorders LPDLymphoproliferative disorder, X-linked – aka Epstein-Barr virus susceptibilityHemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosisWiskott-Aldrich syndrome

    Bone marrow cancersMultiple myelomaPlasma cell leukemiaWaldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia

    Other cancers – Not originating in the blood systemNeuroblastomaRetinoblastoma

    Other inherited immune system disordersCartilage-hair hypoplasiaGunther’s disease erythropoietic porphyriaHermansky-Pudlak syndromePearson’s syndromeShwachman-Diamond syndromeSystemic mastocytosis

    Transplants for Inherited Metabolic DisordersMucopolysaccharidoses – MPSHurler’s syndrome – MPS-IHScheie syndrome – MPS-ISHunter’s syndrome – MPS-IISanfilippo syndrome – MPS-IIIMorquio syndrome – MPS-IVMaroteaux-Lamy syndrome MPS-VISly syndrome, beta-glucuronidase deficiency MPS-VIIMucolipidosis II – I-cell diseaseLeukodystrophy disordersAdrenoleukodystrophy – ALDAdrenomyeloneuropathy – AMNKrabbe disease – globoid cell leukodystrophyMetachromatic leukodystrophyPelizaeus-Merzbacher diseaseLysosomal storage diseasesNiemann-Pick diseaseSandhoff diseaseWolman diseaseOther inherited metabolic disordersLesch-Nyhan syndrome (case report)Osteopetrosis

  • AgesOfReason

    But most things that are invisible do not exist, other that in the minds of very simple men.

  • Asmondius

    Haven’t you heard – babies are the result of sex.

  • Asmondius

    Then why not kill them all?

  • Asmondius

    Such as your train of thought?

  • Asmondius

    Thus you have advised everyone here that you don’t have the capacity to answer the question. Thanks for the notice.

  • Asmondius

    You were too quick trying to be clever. My request was:
    ‘Name an illness currently being successfully treated with fetal stem cells.’
    .
    For example, you replied with Sickle Cell Disease. Here’s a factoid from the Mayo Clinic:
    .
    ‘Bone marrow transplant offers the only potential cure for sickle cell anemia. But finding a donor is difficult and the procedure has serious risks associated with it, including death.’
    .
    I doubt anyone has received a bone marrow transplant from a fetus. Incidentally, cord blood or cord cells are also not fetal. You are debunked.
    .
    However I do thank you for pointing out that the great majority of stem cell treatments being used today involve adult – not fetal – stem cells.

  • Asmondius

    Does love exist? How about talent or imagination?

  • Asmondius

    Ask yourself –
    .
    ‘They are not babies until they take their first breath….’

  • Asmondius

    I’m relieved.

  • Asmondius

    Is it not attached to a brain?

  • Asmondius

    Jurassic Ark.

  • Asmondius

    I’m just an observer in coach.

  • Asmondius

    See above.

  • Asmondius

    Sure – ask Cain and Abel.

  • mythmorph

    Thanks, AnnieOly. I have become a vegetarian too, and that happened AS SOON AS I saw one picture, read one article, and learned the facts about how livestock is born, raised, and slaughtered. I cannot ever again eat meat, even though I certainly could buy “humanely-raised, grass-fed” meat from local sources. If it has/had big brown eyes or little pink ones, it’s not going to be on my dinner plate. And trust me — I love[d] bacon.
    Re: the biblical take on animals? — I always thought animal sacrifice was something God liked. Ooops. Somehow my Sunday School teachers didn’t go into that. Maybe that’s one reason I absolutely hated Sunday School.

  • Asmondius

    When I was born.

  • Asmondius

    Many comments here do seem to be circling the bowl…..

  • Asmondius

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

  • mythmorph

    If you mean God might be p*ssed at the disgraceful ploy of some right-to-lifers who edited and twisted the excellent message on the PP video, you have a point. That went against all ethics of any respectable deity. Otherwise, read the message from Heidi Jo Bean, who says it very well.
    I don’t think any god worth his/her weight in angelic feathers and golden clouds approves of billions of unwanted, neglected, starving children and their exhausted brutalized mothers, or humanity’s spreading ourselves all over this gorgeous planet like a dread bacterial growth, and forcing all other life forms into extinction. PP stands against such perfidy.

  • mythmorph

    Whooooa. Snarky, aren’t we?

  • mythmorph

    Some of us actually consider dogs to be people; a beloved dog is a member of one’s family. Starving people I try to address through the Population Connection group and Planned Parenthood. People have brains, I suppose, and ideally can make responsible decisions re: breeding too many children to feed. Dogs? They rely on us humans to spay and neuter them.

  • Mike

    Yes. Of course, large chunks of the Old Testament was dedicated to the proper way to slaughter and cook animals and – lest we forget – the majority of the people in the Bible were shepherds. The sheep and goats of these people did not spend their lives being happily sheared, dying of old age, and then being buried.

    I believe that animals should live pleasant, comfortable lives without fear until their death. But let’s not cherry pick passages until we can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • mythmorph

    Well-said, Asmondius. I have rescued dogs & cats for decades, too. Human selfishness abounds, yet I keep in mind the fact that there are also kind and sensible people like you and some other posters here. Thank you.

  • mythmorph

    Goodness me, Common Sense. If we were made in the “likeness” of G-d, what kind of G-d would that be? Yikes! Quite a dreadful G-d — in fact, if you care to do a bit of research, Google YALDABAOTH, and also study some of the words of Christ in the much-maligned Gnostic Gospels. Unfortunately, I cannot recall just which one the following is from, and I’m not going to do your research for you, but:
    Just a teaser: at one point the disciples are preparing to conduct their Shabbat ritual, when Jesus walks in on them and starts to laugh at them. “Huh?” (or words to that effect) say the startled disciples. “Listen up,” Jesus chuckles, “The ‘god’ you’re worshiping is NOT my father! Forget all this stuff; you’re talking to the wrong deity here.” (again, I paraphrase blasphemously)

  • Asmondius

    eh, look at the comment I am replying to.

  • mythmorph

    How about all those Holy Wars and the burning of innocent women (& several men) and the countless centuries of vicious pogroms and the Inquisition and the vile treatment of South American indigenous people et.cetera ad complete nauseum, all and more DONE ALL IN THE NAME OF THIS G-D you’re talking about?
    A post script follows.

  • mythmorph

    AgesofArrogance, I think.

  • Asmondius

    Thank you for your kind words.

  • mythmorph

    But wars do, the death sentence does, and selfishly depriving certain vulnerable populations of drinking water is conscious killing, in my book.

  • Asmondius

    Agreed.

  • mythmorph

    I agree with you, hicusdicus — and would like to say to JohnnyCuredents (hmmm….another maverick dentist maybe?) re: his thinking our jaded society is desperately out of kilter — consider the previous remark by a r tompkins (taken slightly out of context; sorry, a r tompkins) — “…. so wouldn’t the abortionist actually be doing all of these unborn souls a big favor…” Are you aware, JohhnyC, of the myriad babies and children who are NOT WANTED, and who suffer the horrors of neglect, murder, and abuse? Do you consider the lives of countless women who did NOT WANT to get pregnant with a, say, 10th child (or a first child; whatever), and who themselves have been abandoned and abused? Prisons are overflowing with unwanted people — that’s where your skewed, out-of-kilter human
    society lies.
    And about the “death of a cat” who was a member of a precious, iconic, species whose very existence on this overburdened planet is seriously threatened because of all these billions and billions of humans — that’s where the entire human paradigm is “out of kilter,” and the abortionist is indeed doing an unwanted child, a poverty-stricken mother, and yes, Cecil the Lion and Babar the Elephant and all those other irreplaceable creatures, a huge favor. If I were 100% convinced of reincarnation, how I wish some of these “unborn souls” might return as animals belonging to the rapidly disappearing animal species we’re exterminating.

  • mythmorph

    How are women supposed to “keep their panties on” when Uncle Joe, Grandpa, the nice man in the next street, or a complete stranger tears them off? How about you get a vasectomy? Or recommend one to all the guys in your fraternity?
    I personally do not find ending a pregnancy indefensible. You might have gleaned that info from my previous long-winded posts.

  • mythmorph

    HA HA ROFL, hicusdicus!!!!! And they’re all around us, all the time — eeeeeeeeee!

  • mythmorph

    Rarely, I’ve found.

  • babby660

    I am a vegetarian because I’m outraged by the wholesale slaughter of animals perpetrated by humans. Read any account of the suffering of zillions slaughtered by us for food.

    Of course this health care provider’s disdain for animal life is especially evil because he murdered a four-legged creature to satisfy his ego, not to defend his own life or fill his belly. He should be sentenced to a lifetime of weekends working at an SPCA facility tending to our own poor, unwanted cats & dogs who have been abandoned by their human families for often capricious reasons.

    I really feel this dentist deserves the death penalty as much as the murderer of a human being would, but I guess that’s too much to hope for! BTW I’m opposed to the heath penalty too, but I guess that’s about as unlikely to go away as Thanksgiving dinner is.

    Rest in peace, Cecil. I have a feeling your murderer will at least pay a financial price for his misdeeds.

  • mythmorph

    But that plethora of unwanted, abused, babies who have grown up to act out destructively, and who end up stuffed in prison cells or moldering away in solitary confinement — is that not death? It is a living death. And consider this: as the prisons are privatized, humans are profiting very nicely from making sure of recitivism, and raking in more profits from construction of new prisons as well. So we have humans profiting from the living death of other humans. I am not quibbling here, nor fencing with euphemisms. The death of one’s spirit and one’s will to live are as tragic (to me) as the prevention of an unwanted child is to you.
    And the death of Cecil (to get back on point) is also more of a tragedy to me. Wanna kill me now?

  • mythmorph

    Aha — now we have a plan.

  • mythmorph

    Hmmm. She shows herself to be a bitch….but wait….who, even a creepy (I was going to say “republican” but I really don’t want to bring politics into this) uh…person…wouldn’t want to take her…

  • babby660

    Unfortunately it does not keep people from killing animals. The wild & wooly god of the old testament orders murders of people (daughters especially) & animals with appalling frequency.

  • mythmorph

    As a facilitator for the Pachamana Organization I saw a very moving video in which a wise person said, “we should not think of ourselves as ‘caretakers’ of this Earth; it is the Earth (e.g., “Pachamama”) who has taken care of us. Now, she needs our help, so that she may care for us again, as she has since we became human.”

  • mythmorph

    So, what’s on your dinnerplate? Lion BBQ?

  • babby660

    All 3 of the abrahamic religions are pretty murderous. This god is not only a jealous god, its hands are soaked in blood! I don’t know about any other religions, but I suppose they are pretty much the same the world over.

  • babby660

    Ha ha, Yeah!

  • babby660

    Most people do, don’t they? Religious beliefs vary with those of the believer

  • babby660

    but once they are delivered by C-section they DO take their first breath.

  • babby660

    that’s another strike I have against this so-called god. He set up that little scenario in the garden of eden if the OT is to be believed.

  • phusumana

    well thought out Benjamin , however there are thousands of children who die of malnutrition in southern Africa it is never a news item . it boggles the mind how the death of cecil the lion has elicitated so much interest . while i dont condone the death of cecil . the circumstances surrounding his death are yet to be ascertained in a court of law . people should avoid siitting in the chair of moses and be judges

  • Susu

    No scripture is quoted to affirm the value of human life however. The lives of animals appears far more valuable than African American lives.

    The radical message of Jesus Christ was love!

  • Angus

    Susu, you are soooo wrong. Please go read the bible and if necessary have someone help you learn from it.

  • Angus

    And yet, you believe in nothing. From nothing comes nothing. So why are you a vegan…it just makes you feel good? That’s what the dentist probably said. I wish for you hope for a future beyond and a reason for being here.

  • Angus

    You don’t know much about the abrahamic religions.

  • Angus

    Freedom of choice. You don’t have to believe. Everyone can believe or not. You don’t have to make fun of others who are different from you.

  • Angus

    Man has faults. in the name of God is sometimes not really as you have pointed out. Hitler, Stalin, MAO, Pol Pot, etc… did the same and not in the name of God. It doesn’t make Christians worse as all man has the fredom to choose and many do so for the wrong reasons.

  • Angus

    If you know him, you believe in him.

  • Ana Morris

    I love this thank you. I agree with it all. God loves His animals, and all that He created. He HATES those with the blood of the innocent on their hands. They will be wiped off the earth, and I can’t wait!!!

  • babby660

    well I DO know that the Hebrew god is supposed to have sent a flood to wipe out its entire creation because an innocent Eve snagged a fruit from the tree of knowledge after being talked into it by “a serpent”.

    God was so mad he sent a flood to wipe out every living thing on earth, except for a dove and, apparently, some lone olive tree. Now Eve was completely innocent of knowledge before she & her hubby ate the fruit of the tree, so her poor judgement comes as no surprise to a thinking person.

    When the waters had sufficiently receded, he sent a dove to advise Noah it was safe to get off the ark.

    When things had calmed down, he allowed Noah’s daughters to get their dad drunk so they could “lay with him” & begin to repopulate the earth.

    If god truly knows all why did he not see this coming? Were Adam & Eve just scapegoats?

  • otrotierra

    And now you both can stop “wondering if” the two are the same. They’re not.

  • LordKorrok

    Not if everyone just ate less meat. Meat takes 18x the amount of land to raise.

  • LordKorrok

    So edgy

  • LordKorrok

    2edgy4me

  • otrotierra

    I don’t know. There is that “Man Creates God” dialogue in the Jurassic Park movie in the early 1990s.

    But it’s time for Rathje to mature beyond the “Hey I don’t like this article on Cecil the lion, so God doesn’t like it either” stage of theology.

  • Angus

    He did see it coming. He does not exist to “run” the world. We “run” the world through choices that turn out to be good and bad. He wants us to choose him. We are here to learn and to choose. He helps, but often we don’t “see” the help he gives us. That is also choice.

  • a r tompkins

    100% of all of nature’s creatures die – that makes us a part of nature; the gods have nothing to do with it.

    as is typical when having these discussions with people who have no coherent line of reasoning, folks like you keep shifting the topic. this story is not about abortion, or all humans dying, etc. it is about mistreatment, abuse of animals, abuse of nature and how this fits into a Christian philosophy. (answer: like all things religious, it depends on how one interprets the holy books, which are self-contradictory and ambiguous on just about every moral issue, which makes them utterly useless.)

  • babby660

    My point is that Adam & Eve were too ignorant to resist the siren call of satan. If god wanted their cooperation, he should have explained WHY to them. It was his choice not to.

  • babby660

    yes, there’s another thing “god” gave us: a brain! Presumably if he didn’t want us to use it, he would have left it off the blueprint.

  • Rathje

    And yet all the Abrahamic religions were completely outdone on body count by only one century of putting the atheists in charge.

  • kippy1957

    Yes really!!

  • Paul Edwards

    He ‘hates’ the sin, not the sinner?

  • Paul Edwards

    Angry eh? ….Chill…..!

  • Paul Edwards

    Hey Angus,
    You speak a lot of sense. Thank you!

  • babby660

    uh, what atheists do you mean & when were they in charge?

  • Former Liberal

    It first I thought this is who he shot…

    http://s2.postimg.org/7a2fzscu1/cecile_the_liar.png

  • Common Sense

    Life and death, Man and animals. Is that so hard to understand the connection cat lover. It is so basic it hardly needs explaining, but obviously it does for some people. Both are murder and one is of a human being. That is NOT a good thing.

  • AnneG

    I saw this post and looked back. I’m sorry somebody killed this lion, but I did not see one word about Planned Parenthood’s butchering of human babies.
    So, Cecil vs Cecile, you come down on the side of Cecil the lion.
    What does that say?

  • Susu

    You are assuming that I am an illiterate. Sorry to disappoint you, I am not.

    Explain why I am wrong, would you.

    Am I wrong because I said the value of African American lives have been ignored? Or am I wrong because I said that that the radical message of Jesus Christ was love?

    The first sentence I made led to the next in my initial comment.

    This interesting. So why am I soooo wrong?

  • Asmondius

    I would agree with someone who wants to confine the issue to the treatment of animals. However, if you read back though the thread carefully, you will see that I simply responded to a post where abortion had already been brought up. Thus your ‘folks like you’ comment to me is unwarranted and unfair .
    .
    For someone who is complaining that the conversation went off-topic, you certainly didn’t mind using the subject as a soapbox for your own pet ox (‘…the holy books, which are self-contradictory and ambiguous on just about every moral issue, which makes them utterly useless’).
    .
    When you decide whether you wish to support fair treatment of animals or grandstand with negative statements about religion, please let me know and I’ll be happy to oblige.

  • Asmondius

    That’s my point .

  • Asmondius

    Ever hear the term ‘Blue Baby’? Many delivered by emergency C-section do not breathe when removed from the womb. Does that mean it is OK to kill them at any time before they are placed on artificial respiration?

  • Asmondius

    I admire you for your refusal to support our current inhumane system of rendering animals for food, I know it is not easy to do within our culture. I may get there one day; currently I eat as little meat as possible and completely abstain from pork because of the particularly horrible way pigs are treated (who may be at least as intelligent as dogs). I also have never owned any product using animal fur nor will I purchase anything with supposedly ‘synthetic fur’ from China.
    .
    Since you have experience, if you know a reliable and inexpensive source for beginning as a vegetarian (how to replace protein, stay healthy, etc.), I would appreciate it.
    .
    I think we may see an end to the death penalty in the USA within our lifetime.

  • Asmondius

    Don’t give them an excuse!

  • Asmondius

    Now, now.

  • baaron31

    “From nothing comes nothing”.. so from where did your god come ?

  • Angus

    I admit I may have gotten something confused. What do you mean by “No scripture is quoted to affirm the value of human life however”? Are you saying there is no scripture that affirms the value of human life?

  • babby660

    Thanks for your good wishes & for wanting to adopt a veggie way of life.

    It’s not too hard to do: legumes have lots of protein & combine nicely with pasta or rice & whatever sauce tickles your fancy. Boston baked beans are available in many places minus the pork. Just make sure you read the labels.

    Baked potatoes can be filled with fresh vegetables in a nice sauce. I particularly like the potato skin boats filled with nice broccoli & cheese mixed with the potato interior.

    I do eat eggs, cheese, yogurt & honey. Technically, of course, these foods are produced by animals, but not by KILLING animals.

    Whole wheat or rye bread is more nutritious than white bread — tastier too. Cornbread is also delicious & if you like to bake, the King Arthur Flour cookbook is loaded with wonderful recipes.

    You should always read labels if you buy canned or frozen food, because in addition to meat, you want to avoid high fructose corn syrup, which is added to many, many foods. White sugar should also be avoided, but brown sugar is delish!

    I hope I’ve helped. If you’d like actual recipes let me know & we can exchange e-mail addresses.

  • baaron31

    Angus, “Man has faults” Totally agree and man does stupid things in the name of many things including race, gender, politics ,religion etc. Hitler, Stalin,and Mao never did what they did in the name of atheism! They didn’t do it because of their non belief in some supernatural being, so please stop mentioning these people as if they are the champions of atheism! That doesn’t excuse the atrocities the church committed and still does. It doesn’t excuse the atrocities isis and other deluded retards do! Religion has become the biggest trait of differentiation between people. There are 4200 religions and about 40,000 imaginary gods in this world! Each and every one of them serves humanity no real purpose except to create further differences between different factions and beliefs. Each and every one of them has core aspects invented by humans to capitalize for their needs.
    Does Benjamin Corey really know if god cares for animals? Of course he doesn’t. How can he when he can’t even prove the existence of the god he believes in?! What he does know is that his books will sell as long as there are people believing in this nonsense! Feels wrong on many levels to talk about animal welfare and superstition n the same conversation.
    Do you want to live an ethical life with respect for other humans and animals? Why don’t you embrace humanism instead of your made up stories? At the end of the day we all feel pain more or less the same way and want to enjoy life in the best possible way. The world would be a much better place if more people embrace empathy and critical thinking rather than wishful thinking and superstition.

  • James Quinn

    This would be like reading an article on antique cars and complaining that they didn’t say anything about 57′ Chevy trucks. A lame complaint.

  • Susu

    Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear enough.

    I was drawing a comparison between the reaction to the life of Cecil and that of African Americans who have been killed at the hands of law enforcement officers in the United States. What I actually meant was that, while Cecil is being mourned globally with scriptures being quoted to support its right to live, human lives appears not to have generated a similar connection or response.

    While I do not mean to undermine Cecil (and disregard the feelings of others?), there is a proverb where I come from that life consists of; humans v humans. Not humans v wood. Would God love us more for elevating the animal over humans, whom we are told were created in God’s image and likeness? Did the bible not instruct us to love our neighbours as ourselves? That we are to be each other’s keepers? Indeed the radical teachings of Jesus Christ was love, no more, no less. So many of us so called Christians fail in applying teachings of Christ, or apply it to suit.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not accusing anyone. not at all. My initial comment was merely an observation.

  • a r tompkins

    the entire original post by the “former fundie” was about how his religion has some kind of position on the treatment of animals. I was pointing out that this same religion has been used as a wedge to separate us humans from the natural world we share with all creatures. It has been used to justify indifference to the other forms of life on earth, since the gods have somehow made us “in their image”, our animal companions have no souls, and how we are therefore superior to the rest of creation. further, the Christ his divine self was very fond of saying how our ultimate destination is not of this world, implying that the marvel of this pale blue dot is temporary and will be cast into some vague sea of fire. Of course, what would one expect from a god that seems to get off on sacrificial lambs and other creatures? What would one expect from a god that at one point drowned every living innocent creature on earth, save a boatload full, for the sins of a few men?

    I was merely pointing out that using religion to back a viewpoint that we should be as kind as possible to our fellow inhabitants of this amazing planet is irrelevant and unnecessary.

  • a r tompkins

    “But yes, you and I are often participants in the abuse and mistreatment of God’s personal property.”

    hmmm – i wonder why your imaginary friend always seems a little too busy to actually DO anything about this…

  • Patty Cabrera

    Because we choose to discuss the disgusting display of butchery of Cecil does not mean thoughtful people, like Benjamin Corey, are not aware and disgusted by all the other unGodly butchery happening all over the planet. And, as he clearly states, at the end of his essay, talking about Cecil’s untimely and horrible death, should move us to think about and do something about ways in which we can better participate in being good stewards of God’s precious creation, animal and human alike. As the famous (and wise) bumper stickers says: “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention!”

    With the news of Cecil’s murder, I couldn’t stay silent. In the same manner that I couldn’t stay silent in the death of Michael Brown. In the way I can’t stay silent in general when God’s good creation is trampled on. Below is my letter to Cecil’s coward murderer.

    Dear Mr. Walter James Palmer:

    Why do you need to kill? If you
    kill out of hubris, why do you kill with a high powered weapon? Why not at
    least try to make the trophy killing seem like you actually had to work for it?
    Like the bullfighter whose opponent has been previously wounded–stuck with
    sharp objects to weaken him just before entering the arena where the
    “battle between man and beast” will ensue–you too “fight”
    unfairly. And, you didn’t even kill him cleanly–you injured him with your first, disgusting, high powered arrow. He suffered for hours as you “tracked him down.” Then, and only then, did you finally put him out of his misery–in your “moment of glory.” You are a coward. You are immature. You are weak. God looked at all
    creation and called it good. We are to be caretakers, protectors of God’s good
    creation–not killers of God’s handiwork. What do your children think of you?
    Do they know what you do in your free time? Do they think killing is cool? The
    irony is, once you kill one of these extraordinary creatures, you pose with
    it–holding it’s head high–as if it were alive. But, of course, if it were
    alive you would never be so brave. I hope you find the error, irony, and
    disgust in what you do for fun. I hope you stop killing. I hope you decide to
    spend your entertainment money–the tens of thousands of dollars you blow on
    killing–on wild animal conservation instead. That would be courageous. That
    would be honorable. That’s a fight worth fighting. And, I suspect, something
    your children would find worthy of bragging about. May higher understanding,
    compassion, and God’s grace find a path into your head and heart. Do the right thing starting now. R.I.P. Cecil the lion. PC

  • angelatolentinomesquita

    Ser sem coração, matar o leão Cecil somente pelo prazer.

  • Robin Warchol

    Ben, have you read Laudato Si yet? Many of the things you stated here are confirmed in the Pope’s teaching. Proverbs does say that “the righteous man cares of the life of his animals”. This is very well put.

  • Asmondius

    So you don’t believe in God.
    .
    Ho hum.

  • Asmondius

    Thank you very much. I’m just looking for some basic information at the moment. The problem I have is that other proponents of healthy living state that we have to abandon all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc..

  • babby660

    Oh, pooh, I hit the wrong reply button so this is above your last comment.

    The best way to change your dietary ways, I believe, is to eat what you like. Whole grains work for me & that’s basically what bread is. I just stay away from white, as it tastes bland to me.

    The skin is the most nutritious part of the tater & also the most flavorful.

    then there is zucchini, which can be sliced lengthwise, breaded & fried. Eggplant can be sliced crosswise, grilled or breaded & fried. Mainly cook to please your taste buds & you can’t go wrong.

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about 40 years & have never looked back at a steak with longing, even though I regularly cooked meat for my late husband & now for my boyfriend.

  • heidi jo bean

    There’s frigging 8 BILLION people on the planet! And you want to force women to have unwanted children? Why don’t you adopt one of the tens of thousands of ALREADY BORN unwanted children, if you’re so pro-life. I suspect, like most anti-choicers, you just have a fetus fetish, and the pregnant woman is a NOTHING in your eyes.

  • jrb16915

    Prior to the “Original Mandate”, in Genesis 1:28 God’s first instruction to mankind was: Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.

    First God laid out the goal: “fill the earth and subdue it”

    Then he laid out instructions on how to do it: “Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth”

    Only after those first two instructions did he issue the instruction:

    “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”

    It is clear in context that Genesis 2:15 describes a means to an end. Cultivating the garden is not intended to be for the benefit of the Garden itself but for the benefit of men. This doesn’t mean people should wanton harm or kill animals or destroy rain forests, but the context needs to remain to do what is best for mankind.

    Calling Genesis 2:15, the original mandate and ignoring Genesis 1:28 just seems bizarre to me.

  • heidi jo bean

    You are not pro-choice, and you are not pro-life. You’re pro-fetus, at the expense of the woman.

    You’re like all the other anti-women fetus fetishers. You think the fetus is more important than the living, breathing woman. You shame her, attack her, preach to her, lie to her, and scare her, all in an attempt to force her to gestate an unwanted pregnancy.
    It’s none of your business what a woman’s private reproductive choice is, so butt out, busybody.

  • Rathje

    Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, North Korea, the secular dictators of central Asia… all atheists, and all of them ruled over regimes with openly stated anti-religion agendas.

    And between them, they managed to systematically slaughter more people than all the religious wars in world history combined.

    Congratulations atheism.

  • QueenMab

    Seriously, dude, you are going to talk about this lion thing and completely ignore the planned parenthood thing? You are going to talk about a lion, and trust me, it was bad and heartbreaking. But where was your blog piece about Planned Parenthood selling dead baby body parts?? Seriously. I mean even if you are pro-choice selling baby body parts and performing abortions so as “not to crush the good stuff” is a real tragedy. You don’t think God may be a little upset about how we care for “the east of these”? I thought that your blog was better than Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr. I thought it was different than some of the Progressive Xian blogs, more even, less agenda-ish. Nope. Clearly, the Progressives Christians and the Conservative Christians are no better than Democrats and Republicans. So freaking predictable. So polarized. Each take their own corners. Do any of you actually think for yourselves? Can you not break party lines and say what PP is doing is disgusting? Nope, the evangelicals and catholics are talking about Planned Parenthood and you guys are talking about the Lion. Typical and frustrating.

  • James Quinn

    Congratulations, QueenMab. You’re officially the laziest person on the internet. I found his piece on planned parenthood in under 2 seconds. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/you-dont-have-to-be-afraid-to-be-a-pro-life-progressive/

  • QueenMab

    YAY! Thank you, James, I stand corrected. I looked, but didn’t go back far enough. I doubt that makes me the laziest person on the internet, though. Do I get a medal???? That might be cool.
    Anyway, Benjamin, accept my heartfelt apologies and thanks for the PP post which James linked above. In the morass that is the Left and Right of politics, and religion, I have always loved your honest ‘moderate-ness’ and I don’t mean that in any wishy-washy, fence-sitting way. I mean it in a “not afraid to be your own person and break from any pack, when you need to” kind of way. It’s what I have always loved about your blog and when I saw the lion post, and missed the original PP post, I flipped. I’m human, I f*ck up. So forgive me.I will let my original comment stay, however, because then other people can see what happens on the internet when someone is wrong and apologizes. It’s something rare these days in the time of internet trolls. Maybe someone can learn from my mistake. :-)

  • AnneG

    My point is that there is a hierarchy in God’s creation and I’m commenting on the sturm und drang of hunting a lion while babies are being butchered and sold, and have seen none of that on the purportedly Christian blog.

  • No worries, peace.

  • MarquisDeMoo

    Apart from the fact that your statistics are skewed, the biggest problem with your contention is that atheism, unlike religion, does not come with any dogma whatsoever so not one of those were murdered because of atheism. True most communist regimes are atheist because they are in competition with the churches. However the real issue is that communists and fascists like the religious put their creed above the rights of the individual, so your beef is with communism and fascism not atheism. Incidentally that was the real problem with priestly paedophilia, not that the priests are subject to the same sad frailties as the population at large, but the that the church put its reputation as the house of god above the rights of the children and hid the abuse. This allowed the errant priests to continue abusing. It was the same mindset that allowed the Catholic nuns in Ireland to remove children from single mothers and treat them as subhuman, because they had no rights before god. Any creed that puts itself above the rights of the individual is evil.

  • Wonder
  • Jeanette Johnson

    “Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission – to be of service to them whenever they require it…If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
    Francis of Assisi (1182-1226).

  • Rathje

    Ah right… those regimes weren’t “really” atheist, because we all know atheists don’t do bad things, therefore it can’t have been atheists who did all that. It must have been religious people in disguise or something.

    Got it.

  • MarquisDeMoo

    There is no such thing as an atheist regime, there are theocracies like Iran but you cannot have an atheocracy. Atheists are just as likely to do bad things as Christians; the difference is that atheism with no dogma does not encourage good people to do bad things whereas religion can and does.

  • Rathje

    OK Marquis, I pretty much get this argument. I’ve had it with numerous atheists online already, and your attempt to say “atheism is a non-position so it can’t be held accountable for anything” is nothing new to me. I’ve heard these notes before.

    So… let’s just humor you for a second. Let’s say atheism is indeed a non-position, like not-stamp-collecting or something.

    Well, if we grant that, then atheism is basically a non-position and has nothing useful to say to society whatsoever. Atheism basically asserts nothing, stands for nothing, desires nothing, and is consequently good-for-nothing, and can therefore be safely ignored.

    If that’s how you want to define atheism – fine. But you won’t get any respect from me. You think I’m supposed to be impressed with someone who’s only claim to fame is that they don’t have a position? Join the grownup table when you actually have something to say.

    Or…

    We can just admit that atheism is actually a position with positive truth claims, positive assertions for which it carries the burden of proof, and deserves to have a place at the table because it’s saying things that actually matter.

    In which case, atheism needs to be just as accountable for atheist leaders who rounded up Eastern Orthodox priests and nuns to be sent to Siberia as I am supposed to be responsible for the Crusades – even though I’m not even a Catholic.

    Well Marquis – which will it be? Option A or Option B?

  • MarquisDeMoo

    Do you want to go to bed after a hug or do you want to go to bed and then get a hug; nice try. However you are indeed right atheists have no position on anything apart from the fact that it is idiotic to assume a god without reasonable evidence. You on the other hand get your philosophy of life from an unsupported superstition and then proceed to bicker over whether your superstition is a better interpretation than those that supported the crusades or those who support the Islamic caliphate and decapitate apostates. The communist and fascist leaders who may have been atheist to which you refer were all also male, is it your contention that all males should be held responsible for their actions?

    Edit: Let me give you a clue; the issue here is whether the philosophy you follow believes that the end justifies the means in suppressing the rights of the individual. It matters not whether the ideology you would impose is based on religion, communism or fascism. My beef with you is that you give credence to superstitious beliefs, notwithstanding that your theology may be benign, for who is to say that your interpretation of god’s will is any better than others whose interpretations are less benign. It is time this nonsense stopped and becomes universally vilified.

  • Rathje

    “it is idiotic to assume a god without reasonable evidence.”

    That would be one of those positive truth claims you have the burden of proof for. Along with ” It is time this nonsense stopped and becomes universally vilified”

    But I am glad to see you acknowledging that religion per se didn’t cause the Crusades, but rather the wrong SORT of religion.

  • babby660

    They weren’t fighting in the name of atheism. On the other hand, Nazi belt buckles were inscribed with “God is with us” (in German, of course) as Hitler sent Jews to their deaths.

    The there were the persecutions of so-called “witches” by Christians in Salem, Mass., the Inquisition conducted by the Catholic Church & countless other wars launched to pit one religion against another;

    In fact, that is still going on today with Christians, Muslims & Jews continuing to fight for the upper hand.

    Congratulations, religion!

  • babby660

    –rather a wrong-headed interpretation of religion. why don’t religious folk just observe their own faiths quietly without trying to convert others, sometimes forcibly.

    You also are mistaken in thinking that the burden of proof is on atheists; nope, it’s on believers, they’re the ones making the claims. Atheists merely state that believers can not support THEIR claims with unambiguous facts.

  • MarquisDeMoo

    No, he who asserts a god is making the positive statement and has the burden of proof, that it is why it is idiotic to assume it without the proof (Spag monster et al).

    Indeed there are benign theologies, such as those within the Christian faith that do not take the bible literally but merely as guidance. The problem is even these faiths encompass conservative elements who to this day do not accept that it is wrong to discriminate against anyone for their colour, sex or sexuality. From the atheist or agnostic perspective all flavours of believer come together in their support for the god superstition, which means they must take equal blame for the excesses that superstitious over rational belief allows. You may justifiably counter that basing your philosophy on supposedly rational constructs, such as Marxism, has not always worked out so well either and in this I sadly agree; there are better constructs. However are we really to say that the only way to curb man’s excesses is to sell him a faith knowing it is untrue, especially if it also gives credence to those who claim god’s support for their own excesses?

    There is also a patronising argument, subscribed to by my deceased parents, that the peasants are not sufficiently rational to be trusted to make moral judgements without religious guidance. Again these peasants seem to have no difficulty using religion to support their misogyny and bigotry so I believe it is better to shine the light of truth on their beliefs. It is the fear of losing their domination which is why so many religious leaders in peasant societies oppose science and education.

  • Rathje

    Actually, the atheists have their own problems with discrimination. Richard Dawkins recently had a huge blowup in his community about how hostile it is to women and is basically a club for nasty rich white men. And the nasty anti-gay incidents in modern Russia are not due to the Orthodox Church – it’s due to hostility and hatred of gays by the largely atheist Russian population.

    Now, you haven’t backed up that theism is a superstition, you haven’t backed up that it has no valid evidence, and you haven’t backed up that it’s idiotic to believe in it if it has no such evidence. These are all assertions that you’ve just thrown out there and expected to be obvious to everyone.

    Well, they aren’t actually logically obvious.

  • Rathje

    Actually, the Salem Witch trials were just as much secular superstition as religious. The Catholic Church initially opposed the Spanish Inquisition and it was only after the SECULAR Spanish monarchy told the Catholic Church to piss-off, that the Inquisition got started full bore. The official Catholic Inquisitors were involved, but in their case, the accused actually got a fair trial, and the Catholic Inquisitors acquitted most of the people dragged before them. It was the secular monarchists who did most of the killing.

    As for witch-burnings, remarkably few of those happened under the Catholic Church’s reign. Usually the way the story went down is the superstitious townsfolk would arrest a witch, the local Catholic priest would be called upon and he’d scold and reprimand the crowd, tell them there is no such thing as witchcraft, and prevent the execution. That was the usual role of Catholic priests vis a vis witch-burnings in the Medieval period – no matter what old vintage Sean Connery films have led you to believe otherwise.

    During the Medieval period, warfare was usually political, not religious – even the Crusades had a highly political aspect to them. And it was contained and limited. It was only after the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that Europe discovered wars of annihilation and things got really nasty on the continent.

    You ever read The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

    Ever stop to think about why it was the SECULAR authority, Judge Frollo, who was the villain, and the Catholic Church that was offering the sanctuary?

  • Rathje

    babby, weren’t you the one screaming how the Dentist in this story ought to be executed?

  • MarquisDeMoo

    I know it is hard for the religious to understand but you really have to get away from thinking atheism is a religion. It really is nothing more than stating that without evidence a god is unlikely. Since this is the logical default I do not have to justify calling a belief in a god without evidence idiotic any more than I would justify calling a belief in unicorns idiotic. You assert a god, then you must use reasonable evidence to prove it, but to be clear here, you assert the particular interventionist Abrahamic god so that is what you have to provide reasonable evidence for. 2000 years ago it was a reasonable hypothesis that the world and us were made that way by a god and in the absence of any other explanation this was exploited by various leaders to give authority to a way of life for desert tribesmen. Now we know how the world and we evolved and the way of life is neither desirable nor relevant.
    As for Richard Dawkins he is the equivalent of the Monty Python Holy Hand Grenade. He has his own movement for the promotion of reason and science whose aims I support but sorry he does not represent atheism because atheism in itself is not a movement and has no theology. Concerning the recent spat to which you allude it seems RD offended a feminist by moving onto her turf and attacking the treatment of women in Islam and she was supported unsurprisingly by several Muslim women, no doubt blinded by their faith, if not the hijab lest some passing male lust for them. The fact is the Muslim world’s record on treating women as chattels is appalling as witnessed by the shooting of the little girl in Pakistan all because she was getting an education. You too must be proud of the Christian groups in America who are supporting the promotion of anti-gay sentiment via their churches in Africa. Putin, who overtly and probably covertly as well supports the anti-gay movement in Russia, is to the Russian Orthodox Church what Hitler was to Catholicism. Their exploitation of the churches reveals little about their personal beliefs but like the Catholic Church did with Hitler I doubt the Russian Orthodox Church will distance itself from Putin during his lifetime.

  • Rathje

    Actually, I nowhere suggested atheism was a religion. Atheism is far too devoid of content or meaning to be dignified with being called a religion.

    But it does generally wind up being a series of positive truth claims about the universe for which atheists bear the burden of proof of establishing.

  • MarquisDeMoo

    Err, no you assert a god, the burden of proof lies with you.

  • Rathje

    Actually, I haven’t tried to assert there is a God even once in this discussion so far.

  • MarquisDeMoo

    ‘you’ as in third person.

  • babby660

    Nope. As a matter of fact I’m against the death penalty.

  • babby660

    Don’t care, if you want to blame it on the monarchy, go ahead. Princes & priests were on the same side in those days; their purpose: to keep the people fearful & in line.

    However, I did not attribute the persecutions of women as witches to the Catholics. These were carried out mostly by Protestants, I believe.

  • Rathje

    Actually, the Inquisition in Spain only got started after the Spanish monarchy told the Vatican to piss-off in effect.

  • Snooterpoot

    This is a Christian blog. Did you fail to understand that?

  • Snooterpoot

    Because the video recordings are heavily edited to support an anti-choice political agenda. You folks will stop at nothing to interfere in the most private decision a woman can make, and that includes telling (or editing video reporting) lies.

  • Rathje

    The first video released was not edited at all and was over an hour long. The second video featured the highlights.

    Go ahead and watch the unedited video – it doesn’t make PP look any better than the shorter video.

  • Snooterpoot

    Bullscat. That’s a lie. The initial video that was released was heavily edited to suit the political agenda of the group who recorded it.

    The unedited video does indeed refute the claims made by this unethical group that does not hesitate to tell lies to support their cause.

  • Rathje

    5 bucks says Snooter hasn’t even watched the unedited video.

    Oh, FYI – a fifth video was released today.

  • Snooterpoot

    You lose $5. And it’s probably another heavily edited video, just like the other releases.

  • Rathje

    “Probably”?

    Meaning you haven’t watched it.

    Edit – oh, you must mean the video today.

    Honestly, I don’t really care about the edits. The incriminating stuff PP officials say in the videos wouldn’t really be OK in any context, so I don’t see how removing the edits would help your case any – it certainly didn’t help in the case of the unedited first video.

  • Snooterpoot

    The one released today? No, and I don’t intend to. I’ve heard enough of the anti-choice, pro-birth propaganda.

  • F. Elaine Anderson

    Jeanne, the first time I came across that quote, for an instant I was (understandably) outraged – but then in a moment it turned to horror to think that those same kind triumphalist scriptures could so easily be used against her. Her alienation from the earth – of which are all made – is tragic. What an unhappy person deep inside she srems to me. I’ve been praying for ever since.

  • Wonder

    how can anybody stay on topic?