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By Maynard S. Clark - 10 Jul 2011

In Reference to: 9 July 2011 - Why We Mourn the Death of Animals

Great Sermon: thanks for delivering it several times.

On the printed text:

Hinduism (curiously) often thinks of knowing God through loving others.

One thinks of that as a Christian theme, but the receivership of that love and loving awareness is not found uniquely in any one species.

What's curious is the demand for reciprocation, which is not found uniformly across all species. It's because of our human capacities for reciprocation - again, not unique, but then again, also not uniformly distributed outside our species - that an appreciation for uniqueness grows, and it's often (widely!) found that we might be willing to believe that humans alone command our allegiance because so MANY of our loves (small 'l') are with human beings, conditioned of course by our proximity and the relatively easier founding of such 'loves' with them.

But some know how to 'touch' and advantage nonhumans. I think of the autistic, Temple Grandin, who betrayed the very animals she had learned how to love. That profound capacity for betrayal is widely found in our own species, but I know from experience that love as a topic of reflection includes the sense that sometimes our love stretches or even breaks. That's a constant literary theme, folksong theme, and religious sermon theme.

'That wo/man done done me wrong...' And we seldom hear about the dog who bit the child because 'That dog done done my child wrong..."

Returning to the topic of your powerful sermon, I cried through much of it (do you recall?).