Thursday, September 17, 2009

Warped Values, Convoluted Compassion

The murder of Annie Le, a doctoral student at Yale university, is disturbing, but, unfortunately, predictable. This murder may not have been due to anger over 'animal abuse' but the motive is simmering, and there are those who would gladly slay man to save an animal. Presuming the motive of Annie's murder was an animal issue, I wonder if the murderer felt justified after this loathsome act, but I’m convinced that others would. Can you imagine people murdering someone and believing themselves to be righteous? When I imagine myself to be someone who has perpetrated what normally would be considered an unthinkable act, I some times scare myself with the reality of: “except for the grace of God” I could be that person.

Discerning what the truth is never seems to end. More confounding arguments follow the next, seemingly ad infinitum. Watching people get drawn into belief systems, and accepting certain ideas, as fundamental facts, that I’ve examined and tested from every conceivable angle, premise and presumed revelation, is often heart wrenching.

The more people learn, the more divergent peoples views stray from what the bible presents to us as true. This is so, even with consideration of the issues that are not agreed upon, since in rational minds, the bible usually has a grounding influence.

The wildly different perspectives we encounter are possible when there is no solid foundation, that is, an immovable point of reference on which to build a context in which to understand the cosmos and all contained therein.

It is becoming more and more common for people to drift into the perspective of Hindus. That is, starting from considering ones self to be a good person, an empathetic person and an intelligent person who doesn’t accept ‘nonsense’ like the revealed God of the bible; from a premise to a conclusion that leads to another which eventually arrives at the revelation that 'a field mouse has as much right to live as a human being'.

Rejecting the idea that God has a special purpose for mankind leads many to the conclusion that it is the arrogance of man to place themselves above a lab rat so that saving the life of perhaps thousands of children would not justify the sacrifice of said rat or rats.

I don’t know if the death of Yale student Annie Le, allegedly by Raymond Clark, was indeed prompted by anger towards the ‘injustice of lab rat abuse’, but I know well, that there are people who feel righteous in their disdain for humanity, and would feel less inhibition to killing a human being than killing an animal.

The idea that humanity is the enemy of Gaia (mother earth) is wide spread The Pagan Roots of Environmentalism. Even from a secular evolutionary perspective that is ostensibly science, humanity is often viewed by some as a viral infestation that is destructive therefore it is justified to eliminate at least some portion of the earths “contagion.” We now have people in the power centers of government with such views. Cass Sunstein: Regulating America to Death: Elis Washington

When I think about killing and eating animals, I sometimes experience some nausea, but I believe everything in our reality is a message from God, a mechanism of education. So why did God institute the killing and eating of animals? It’s interesting that everything in the bible eventually leads to Jesus, and I believe this is so in the creation itself.

Being created male and female communicates roles on a higher plane. Without our families, we’d have no concept of such relationships; we’d not have a framework for understanding the roles of a father, so we’d have no paradigm by which to have some understanding of what God is to his children. Without children, we’d have no basis for seeing how God views us.

Children starting out completely helpless are an anomaly in nature, so I’m of the opinion that this too is done purposely to communicate an aspect of God’s parental relationship. How can parents love their children after what these children put them through? How can God love mankind after the things we do? The answer is the same. Parents go through nights of lost sleep tending to crying, hungry, colicky, uncomfortable babies; they must constantly be changing wet diaper (nappies for you British), and that other kind that might tend to prompt a gag reflex; and of course tantrums and endless messes; but it’s a rare parent that ceases to love a child. Isn’t that what God does? He loves his children in spite of the sin, seeing who we will be, not what we may be at the moment.

Eventually babies mature and quit pooping their pants; which brings up a point. When this maturity comes, no law needs to be imposed that “thou shalt not poop thy pants,” because people don’t want to, perish the thought. How disgusting.

So why did God institute eating animals? I’m convinced that God has two bibles, one a written set of letters to humanity, the other is reality; the creation he placed us within. The written bible teaches us about God and leads us to Jesus, and the bible that is the creation can do the same.

Perhaps the American Indians were on the right track. After killing an animal, they would thank the animal’s spirit for its sacrifice so that they could live. Thinking of this in context of the analogy of animal sacrifices, representing ‘he who would sacrifice himself for us’, I’m inclined to believe that the lesson of the need for sacrifice is built into the human quest for survival. This too speaks about Jesus. Hunter gatherer societies could not have secured enough protein to survive without the hunting. Even if some can be entirely vegetarian now, their family line was still maintained by an animal sacrifice at some point. Just one link in the chain being broken would have resulted in our non existence; our physical life did require the sacrifice of life. And eternal life required the sacrifice of Jesus.

Regardless if it was God’s intent for the consumption of animals to be a lesson reflecting the higher sacrifice of Jesus, it’s had that effect on me. I can’t imagine the implication not being considered by God, so I can’t imagine the lesson being unintended.

Those who hate mankind because of something God has instituted reflects a hostility for God as well. Some of the things God does or allows seem harsh from our vantage point. God has a higher purpose in everything he does, and I’m sure the understanding gained will eventually be worth the harshness, though for now there are things that are painful. God doesn’t stop the cause and effect relationship between error and horror, which often is errors fruit (Like killing a human being for ‘rat abuse’). How can God do otherwise since a time will come when the only knowledge of evil will be the present experience of mankind without God? I some times imagine God collecting videos of everything for future education.

For the time being, nature telling us of the seriousness of sin, and the need for sacrifice is consistent with the biblical message. It’s telling us about Jesus. Jesus is ‘the way the life and the truth’. He is our rock, the cornerstone of our understanding. Jesus is the reference point that will keep us from being lost in the house of smoke and mirrors that the wisdom of man, without God, generates.

When a human life is worth less than a few lab rats, the understanding of persons holding such beliefs is an affront to God and his purposes. I’m amazed by the aura of righteousness some such people have that I have encountered. They are truly good in their own eyes. They glare at the roast beef on the table with righteous indignation. They appeal to guilt. They try to fill you with shame, and characterize those without their value system as arrogant. They behave with the trappings of goodness, and words praising ‘love’ and describe themselves as “loving” and “full of compassion,” all the while despising God’s children, and rejecting God’s invitation to be his child too. No, the mice are a higher priority.

We need to be grounded in the word of God, and Jesus must be our personal cornerstone, our foundation. I watch in amazement as people slip and slide in the shifting sand of their own reasoning. We need to grab hold of the Rock and not be submerged into the dunes of the secular world’s confusion.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luc said...

I don't blame anyone for wanting to avoid eating meat, I admit that the idea of eating something that has eyes and can feel pain to be the cause of some very negative emotional reactions within myself. Never the less, I believe the bible to be true, and I see God stating that to eat an animal is proper, but I questioned as to why.

I believe it is all about Jesus, and that revulsion is part of grasping the gravity of sacrifice that is required that we may live.

People who live close to the earth aren't insulated from the struggle for life, and the necessity of death to provide for life, as are the urban peoples. Perhaps the lessons of this reality are lost in the distance.

The sacrifices God commanded Israel to make upon the altar of his temple was a grisly business. Clearly God wanted to make an impression. The death of his son is to be taken as a very serious matter.

The Israelites personal Passover lamb was to be treated like a pet according to Jewish sources. The Jews believed this experience should be painful.

Hopefully,we can see the bigger picture. It isn't useful to feel guilt about eating or drinking.
What is useful is getting God's message about the seriousness of the sacrifice of Jesus, and recognizing that God speaks about this in his creation, and that we are forced to live messages that he is transmitting to us if we step back and look with fresh eyes.