Backwards Thinking

A couple days ago, I wrote about the PETA lawsuit, quickly dismissed, brought against Sea World on behalf of five Orca whales because of their “enslavement.” This extreme desire to treat animals with the same care and respect as humans has the effect of degrading humans. We are, the thinking goes, not more special than the whale or gorilla or titmouse.

The Bible makes it clear that humans are special because we, of all creation, have uniquely been made in the image of God. Our Creator Himself breathed into Man the breath of life and he became a living being — a soul, a self, a person.

But the PETA folks would have us be less.

What’s ironic, at the same time, our culture has weighed Man morally and found us to be good. Ask anyone. Man, according to the majority of people in Western society, anyway, believes Man to be innately good. I suppose some might say dogs are good, and cats, horses, dolphins. But at some point, I think most people would hold back on calling mosquitoes good, or fleas or cockroaches or termites.

The truth is, animals aren’t acting out of a moral nature. We call some animals good because we find them to be beautiful or useful or companionable or admirable. Others we find to be a nuisance, destructive, harmful, disease-carrying, and suddenly the brotherhood of all living beings seems a little less desirable.

If fact, Man alone is a moral being, and sadly, we are not good. Yes, we bear the image of God, but we act out of the flaw in our character — the very flaw that fiction writers know they must include in those that people their stories if they are to seem realistic. All we have to do is look around us, and we see the flaws of Mankind. Corporate greed? That’s Man acting from his flawed nature. Welfare fraud? That’s Man acting from his flawed nature. Illegal immigration? Same problem, as is pornography, sex trafficking, adultery, extortion, murder, burglary … Need I go on?

Man is not good. Those who ignore all of the above and insist Mankind is too, good, prove by their stubbornness and willingness to lie to themselves, that all of us are flawed.

So we have this upside down thinking going when it comes to the most basic question — who are we? Man is just another animal, some say. But Man is good, some of the same people say.

But there’s more. While those lawyers were suing Sea World on behalf of the whales, another group were doing all they could to keep “a woman’s right to choose” in place. In simple terms, they work overtime against any effort to chip away at the Supreme Court ruling that declared abortion legal.

Back in 1973, of course, the argument centered on the issue of when life begins. Pregnancy, the women’s rights movement taught, was at the sole prerogative of the woman, because at stake was her body, and hers alone. Inside her was tissue, a fetus, certainly not a separate life. To be alive, that embryo would have to be viable. Until abortion doctors wanted to finish a botched job outside the womb. Then it didn’t matter if the squirmy tissue was living and breathing. Abortion was legal, so there. Partial birth abortions — keep those legal. States that didn’t want abortion within their borders — out of luck. No bending on this issue even though now virtually everyone understands that the fetus is alive, that this is a separate person growing in the womb. An unprotected person, stripped of all rights, without a voice or any chance to do his or her own choosing.

But the irony doesn’t stop. Medical science has determined that certain things a women does when she is pregnant can have harmful effects on the baby she is carrying — things like smoking, drinking caffeine and alcohol. Other things are helpful like exercise and playing certain music or talking to the unborn baby. Pregnant women, then, are expected to do all the right things to as part of prenatal care and have been held for child abuse for doing the things that jeopardize the health and well-being of the unborn. That’s right. A woman can kill the child but not injure it by smoking.

Our thinking is backwards. We make these laws asking the wrong questions — most often, what do I want or what will benefit me? Some people might even go so far as to think, what will benefit society? Few, it seems, are asking, what is morally right?

Is it morally right to cheat on your income taxes? Is it morally right to steal from your employer? Is it morally right for CEOs of failed businesses to take millions of dollars in bonuses? Is it morally right for a congressman to receive thousands of dollars from a lobbyist he will be working with to fashion upcoming legislation?

But no. We won’t create law that way because we have backwards thinking. Man is good … though an animal … with no right to be born should his mother choose to terminate his life while he’s completely helpless and dependent on her.

In the process the image of God is being so marred it’s hardly recognizable.

Published in: on February 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm  Comments (7)  
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Free The Whales, Diminish Man

Our understanding of creation is a central battleground in Satan’s attack against God. He chose in his confrontation with Eve long ago to call into question God’s character and His Word.

Of late he’s grown bolder, calling into question God’s very existence. Man’s philosophy of rationalism played right into his hands. According to this thinking Man only calls “real” what he can discern with his physical senses. Since no one in this era has seen a burning bush, a flaming mountain, or a pillar of fire, it is easy to declare God to be a myth, made up to keep the masses content and under control.

The problem was, people had that pesky Book — the one that told all about God and His work in the world. For many, this Word proved convincing, despite the fact that it so often seemed to contradict observable science. People relied on something called faith and the infallibility of God’s Word.

So Satan stepped up his game. He went after the image of God on earth — Man himself. If God did not exist, you see, there could be nothing pointing to Him. But first Satan had to change basic perceptions. Creation, then, came from an event much like spontaneous combustion — a result of chance, not of design; from the mind of nothing rather than from the mind of Omniscience.

From that happenstance, all of matter evolved, with Man, nothing more than the most intelligent of all that came into being. Nothing else separates Man from the rest of organic life. We are in the evolutionary chain, and the animals are our brothers.

Such a view, of course, means that Man is NOT a reflection of who God is as those who advocate creation contend. God, according to the Book, made all, then Man, in God’s own image.

But if Man is nothing more than part of the evolutionary chain, there’s nothing special about him. No image of God, no soul or spirit. He is matter like any other animal. When he dies, his dust returns to dust, and nothing more.

A group of people have been pushing this view to it’s logical conclusion. It’s wrong, they say, for Man to treat other animals with disregard and disrespect. We shouldn’t kill animals for their skin or fur; we shouldn’t use them in experiments; we shouldn’t eat their flesh. And the latest? We shouldn’t enslave them.

According to a lawsuit filed in San Diego last October, San Diego’s Sea World is holding their animals as slaves. On behalf of five orcas, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took the zoo to court, and a week and a half ago argued the case before a judge.

Said their attorney, Jeffrey Kerr, “For the first time in our nation’s history, a federal court heard arguments as to whether living, breathing, feeling beings have rights and can be enslaved simply because they happen to not have been born human” (as quoted in “San Diego judge to decide future of whale ‘slavery’ case”
by Julie Watson, Associated Press, emphasis mine).

Thankfully the judge threw the case out two days later, ruling that the 13th Amendment applied only to humans.

For intelligent beings, some humans seem to be … less than sharp. Why would humans, of all the animals, care about the “enslavement” of fellow creatures? Seemingly other whales don’t even care. Other animals aren’t going vegetarian either.

As misguided as it is, the very fact that members of PETA are trying to right what they perceive to be a wrong only proves that humans stand apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. We have a moral compass, a sense of right and wrong, that other animals don’t have. Where did this come from? How could something with no root in the evolutionary chain be a part of the evolutionary process?

Who else in the world is moral besides Man? Well, God is, and the Bible explains that He breathed the breath of life into Man and he became a living soul. (See Gen. 2:7). The fact that Man alone is like God in this respect is consistent with the Biblical account of Man’s creation:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:27)

People are going to great lengths to show that some animals have language and feelings, that they bond much the same as do humans — all proofs, they say, that animals are our brothers. It’s all very logical — except the orcas don’t seem to think the fish they feed on are brothers, so why should we?

Unless we’re different. Unless we have a moral compass that determines some things are right and some things are wrong. Once, that compass was aligned with God and His holiness. More and more we are turning things upside down — calling evil, good and good, evil. Nevertheless, the existence of a moral compass is itself the image of God shining through. He continues to make Himself known through His creation, no matter what Satan does to distort the picture.

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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