Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Can Evangelical Religion be Useful in Animal Activism?

The LA Times has an interesting article about Karen Swallow Prior, a professor at Liberty University who has taken up the cause of animal welfare there.

It's a thought-provoking article, and I hope that there are Evangelical Christians that take up the cause. But, I have my doubts. Evangelical spirituality seems just too tied to genitalia issues (gays, birth control, abortion, pornography, and s-s-s-sex in general). Not that I doubt the sincerity of Professor Prior and others. Even the Humane Society is reaching out to religious conservatives.

I guess I'm skeptical because I don't see the religious right advocating that people get treated decently. So I doubt they'll take up the cause of the other animals on this planet in any serious way. When is the last time you heard Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson or others of their ilk talk about the poor or the downtrodden? What chance is there that they will come out against factory farming or animal abuse? How many of the "value voters" at this conference were thinking about values like compassion when vetting the Republican primary candidates.

I know, I'm generalizing. But, frankly, I don't find evangelical Christianity much of a force for compassion in the world. I think these are people who would rather have people die in Africa then distribute condoms there. I think they'd rather have their own daughters get cervical cancer because the vaccine might suggest that they have sex as a teenager.

I'm not saying that there aren't religious people that care about animals. There certainly are. There are probably a few cattle ranchers that like kitty cats too. I just don't find it a particularly fertile ground for compassion towards anything.

Photo by 13bobby

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just came across your post, and wondered if I might still respond to it ... I agree with you that the evangelical community, my own heritage, has been grossly negligent with respect to any number of humanitarian concerns, and virtually non-existent with respect to animal concerns. I did, however, want to mention that having gone through evangelical seminary where I did my capstone project on an evangelical foundation for animal welfare, I'm hoping to help address that deficiency through an evangelically-based effort which I just launched called Not One Sparrow. I have no delusions about the immediate efficacy of doing so, but I just wanted to mention that a few of us evangelicals out there are concerend about animals, and hoping very much to engage our community with the issue. I am friends with Karen Prior, whom I've interacted with on a couple of occasions on Not One Sparrow's blog, and you might also look up Stephen Webb, Greg Boyd, and Tony Campolo. Thanks for your post,
Ben DeVries

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