Saturday, June 9, 2018

Animal Abuse is Not a Problem for Evangelical Christians

In a recent conversation, I was discussing reasons not to believe in the Christian god.  I was up against an old friend who has always been intelligent, but apparently he has selective intelligence, because he is an evangelical!  My first clue that G.D. (his initials) is not as critical a thinker as I thought is that he calls himself a “centrist,” instead of being what he should be:  a “radical, progressive, action-oriented, far-leftist!”  

G.D. subscribes to the dogma of a new group called “Alpha,” with their slant on being evangelical, which is to believe only in the good parts of Christianity and to interpret the Hell out of the Bible - literally!  He recommended that I join “Alpha Courses” – lessons from Alpha - the newest “positive” apologetic organization that is making money off of Christians who don’t want to be hateful. 

The suffering of people and animals was a big issue in our online conversation, and I expected G.D. would put some effort in explaining to me why a loving god would allow animals to suffer for millions of years, having to eat each other in the most painful ways in order to survive, and nowadays being prisoners to the atrocities committed on our farms.  G.D. disappointed me, because he passed off the answer like any other Christian.  “Ask Alpha!  I am sure one of their experts can give you an answer so you will understand.” 

I should have pounced right at that moment, but our conversation went in another direction.  Why should anyone accept an answer for animal cruelty?  What was it I needed to understand about hearing animals screaming and seeing them writhe in pain?  Why would he think there would be an answer that would ever be convincing or sufficient? 

G.D.’s thoughts were NOT that man was wrong or that god was wrong, but that I did not have the right understanding of why we torture animals and that I NEEDED to have the understanding because I NEEDED the happiness and peace of God!  To G.D. and other Christians, it is I who is lacking and has the problem - animal abuse is not a problem.  It is “sad,” but acceptable because it is part of God’s plan.  They don’t have to think about any part of "God's Plan," and will not think about it.

I saw how shallow G.D.'s thinking was to actually posit I should listen to some apologist come up with some “good” reason to torture animals, and then I would see the light: “Oh, I understand now!  It all makes sense!  Thank you and Praise God!  I’m a convert!” 
What shocks me is that people are actually that daft!  They must be, since “Room for Doubt” and other similar crazes are popular and spreading in the Christian communities; groups that tell people it is fine to doubt and they are welcome to come ask questions of experts, and then the experts give pat answers like, “Have faith, have God, don’t worry, just love.”  People fall for this because they can’t see the psychology behind what the ‘experts” are doing to them – keeping them in the church! 

Odd that my fervent proclamations like, “You should NEVER accept animal abuse – not for all the stars in the sky [or the rewards in Heaven]” are only seen as “me rebelling against God due to some childhood fear,” or “me persecuting Christians.”  They can’t see the issue of animal abuse for what it is, and they have no problem with accepting a god that allows animal abuse, because they assume, “God has a reason for all things; just have faith!” 

If I had time on my hands, I would join Alpha just to kick their butts in debates (I am that confident I can reveal their foolishness) and hopefully insert doubt into their minds, but I am too busy these days with animal rights activities, working, etc. to add “arguing with Alpha” onto the duty list.  Perhaps after I retire in a few years this will be my mission!