Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Response to God’s Image – The Difference Maker in Answers In Genesis by David Casas and Dr. Russell Fuller

“We’re such good stewards,” claims a fundamentalist, proudly displaying how she turned a milk carton into a pot for plants. 

I read a Christian article this morning, “God’s Image – The Difference Maker,” about how humans are special, have dominion over animals, how animals can’t reason, how humans are commanded to reproduce, how animals are not spiritual, how humans are told to be “good stewards of the earth,” and how humans are the only spiritual beings because humans talk to each other about God.  It is another “feel good about humans, feed the human ego” article.

I think the fundamentalists really have a point on this one – animals probably do not chat about the Christian god – or Jesus.  Of course, this was another one of those epic length Christian articles, but my paragraph above encompasses all of it, except for the huge emphasis on how we humans are all spiritual. 

The funny thing is, the word spiritual is never defined.  Sometimes, when I see an animal standing still, breathing in the air, or when I see an animal playing, I think it is spiritual.  It is experiencing life or joy.  If spirituality is being thankful, revering life, enjoying life, being present, feeling life and trying to do good, then animals pass the test as often as humans do.  

I consider myself a very spiritual person.  I am truly thankful to be alive, even though there is no one to thank.  I am so grateful for all the beauty in life, and try to notice the good as much as possible.  I pay attention to the feeling of the breeze on my arms, and always look up and enjoy the stars when I walk my dog outside at night.  If I am not considered spiritual by Christians, it is because they have too narrow a view of what is spiritual.  Spiritual is not exclusively their word. 

Do Christians actually think we were put here to have dominion over animals?  Why, then, did so many animals die before humans even came on the scene?  We have the fossils, you know.  I realize the fundamentalists will not accept the fossils, but even thinking about the present, there are so many animals alive right now that humans have never seen.  How do we have dominion over them?  It is absurd that such a command would be given, instead of a command to respect other animals.  The only reason we have to take care of some of them is because we have destroyed their habitats! 

How in this day of information can Christians still believe that animals cannot reason?  We have YouTube!  Have you not seen all the videos and read all the articles that show animals reasoning?  They figure out how to get themselves and friends out of locks; they put themselves in danger in order to save other animals; they figure out mazes; they communicate in groups; they use tools to get what they want; many have a sense of self; they share, they talk, and they love.  I am not sure what “reasoning” higher animals lack!   We know of a dog who understands over 300 words.  Not all dogs can do this - animals have varied personalities and I.Q.s, just as do people.  Some animals grieve when they lose a member of their group or a loved one.  A few wild animals look sad after they have had to kill an animal for food.  They have feelings too!  There is a bonobo who recognizes 3,000 words and can put short sentences together on a computer.  He can gather sticks, light a fire with a match and then roast marshmallows!  How more human-like is that!

It used to be that the difference between an animal and a human was that humans made tools.  But we now have proof that many animals make and use tools.  So they have to move the goal posts and find something else to stall the fact that we are much like our cousin primates!

Animals learn by watching.  Dolphins imitate humans’ poses!  Animals have so many skills that are superior to humans, such as bats coordinating hearing with navigation while flying, dolphins using echolocation, birds and fish using group synchronization, sharks using electric signals from their noses to locate food under the sea floor, and dogs with their superior sense of smell – even a talking bird saying, “Talk clearly” when it was frustrated!  How can anyone try to claim they are reasonless?  Their world is different from ours so why are we judging them by their ability to talk to God?  The reason humans are “chosen” is because they have the ability talk to an imaginary friend?  Pretty funny something unintelligent and unreasonable is what divides us from the animal world, according to Creationists! 

Also included in the article is the statement that humans are commanded to reproduce.  Where does it say that?  In the Abrahamic holy books, written by men.  If this were a command, you would think all women would be able to have children and all men’s sperm would be a’swimmin.  In case these fundamentalists didn’t notice, animals reproduce and don’t need a book to command them to do so!  If a human does not want to reproduce or cannot reproduce, no one should force them to go through something so unnecessary when we certainly are not dying out as a species.  Why can’t fundamentalists look at the big picture – our dying planet – and see that reproducing exponentially is not “intelligent design?”  Thousands of people dying from starvation each year, and they think they must reproduce, and think it is a woman’s duty.  These examples show why holy books can be so dangerous.  They cannot get past the intelligence of 2,000 years ago.

Fundamentalists always make excuses for their “dominion over the animals” command.  They say it means to be a “good stewards of the earth.”  This is how Christians take all the guilt away from themselves--by making proclamations, “I am a good steward of the earth!”  Really?  And you eat meat and dairy which produce methane, excess CO2, destroy rain forests, all our land and you populate which takes away animal habitat?  “I am a good steward” is such an egotistical statement for someone to make.  Even though I recycle, am vegan and don’t travel much, and buy from thrift shops if I purchase at all, I would never call myself a good steward of the earth.  There is much more I could do, like ride my bike or take the bus to work which I do not do.  If you eat meat and dairy, you are not a good steward, you are part of the problem.  That is not a mean statement – it is a fact.  I’m tired of apologizing for something all should recognize at this point.  The arrogance, selfishness and narrow mindedness of fundamentalists continues to amaze me. 

How will Christians respond?  “She’s angry.”  We need to show her how loving Christianity is.  Do you think other humans cannot love?  We have all the emotions a Christian has – we just use reason instead of being fooled by our emotions.  We are all human animals, and realizing our connection is very spiritual!