Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
"Christ’s redemption is for the whole of creation!"

From Autumn 2006 Issue

We Need To Identify Ourselves

I do not wish to be too harsh on my fellow clergy but I feel that the trend to discard one’s clerical collar – except in church where everyone knows you! - is nothing but a retrograde step. I sense it is all a part of implying: ‘I’m no different to you; call me by my first name!’. Yet – the fact is – we are meant to be different! We are meant to represent Jesus to the masses; just as Muslims are so proud to convey by their attire that they follow Mohammed. Indeed, I have always been proud to represent My Lord; and long before becoming a cleric – when going from door to door to read electric meters – I proudly wore on my lapel a badge which said: ‘God is love!’ And let me assure you that it was not without effect. Some fellow employees would despise me while others respected me. And as for one house visited, the dear lady had just lost her husband and was terrified to retire for the night. However, I openly prayed with her and all that was malevolent left her home. Later, she profusely thanked me for what I’d done.

Jesus wants us to confess Him before others. But He wants us to preach His gospel by deeds as well as words. Therefore, Christian leaders should be in the vanguard within our spiritual war against evil. They should be flying the Christian colours. Yes, and rocking the boat aswell! Like our Lord we should be ‘stirrers of the people’. The price for freedom is constant vigilance and, therefore, freedom of speech and responsible demonstrations are a vital part of a democracy. Yet it is sad, indeed, that speakers corners within our various cities are diminishing. What is more, for myself, I’ve lived in industrial parts of Yorkshire long enough to enjoy what is termed ‘banter’. People – even husbands and wives! – exchanging rudish remarks to one another; one seeking to ‘outshine’ the other. Yes, and woe betide an outsider who intervenes to stop them. They’ll both, unitedly, turn on such an uninvited guest!

Well, I’m proud to say that to my mind Mohamet was as false a prophet as Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism) and that immigrants need to respect our customs and heritage, just as I would theirs, on visiting their original country. They have every right to oppose my dietary requirements as I have theirs. And as for ritual slaughter as it is practised by many of them - and indeed by far more Jews! - I consider it to be cruel and barbaric. And one needs to have the right to say it openly and publicly within a country cradled in Christian democracy. Such freedom of expression will naturally carry with it the probability of causing offence, but then we are emotional animals and as such, every day, by the looks as well as the words of others one is to a stronger or lesser degree being either commended or offended. What is more, attire has the same ability. I once offended a lady because I entered a Roman church in Munich wearing shorts. That’s an extreme case! To a far lesser extent, Sunday worshipping females attired in denim jeans or dowdy black apparel made me choose worship at another church where women wore gay and bright dresses, the choir were colourful, and the parson interspersed his sermon with jokes. Yes, trivial things, indeed, to either commend or offend in comparison with the mistreatment of animals and birds, over which God has instructed us to fulfil a caring stewardship!

Christ was not only moved with compassion but He was also moved with righteous indignation (holy wrath), and the qualities that moved Him to action need to move us as well. For, once this ceases then we have ceased to be ‘the salt of the earth’ and we are then fit for nothing but to be cast (said Jesus) on to the dunghill!

Getting back to a preacher’s attire, some clerics appear so strangely pious as to be as off putting to Christianity as I consider strict Orthodox attire to be for Judaism or a fully veiled woman walking behind her spouse, to be for Islam! So – let other clerics do the contrary – but for myself, I’ll hold hands with my wonderful wife while wearing a ‘dog collar’, I’ll radiate a smile (she always does!) express laughter, visit a Wetherspoon’s Inn! Yes, and equally, when confronted by evil towards man or beast: take a militant stand. So consequently, when another Christmas draws near I’ll be demonstrating in the streets of Chester against intensively reared poultry, while those in the faculties of theology waffle on ad-infinitum, and while clergy (as a whole) might come round to question: ‘Does a bird have a soul?’ A question they may even ask before they knife in to it on Christ’s birthday. Ah, but – take heart! - not before they’ve offered grace over such a carnivorous conglomerate of congealed carcass!

Go on to And A Little Child Shall Lead Them
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