The Fellowship of Life
AMONGST the throngs of American supporters who greeted Pope John Paul II at St. Louis earlier this month were a handful of delegates from the US animal rights group PETA. Fresh from the success of persuading the Dalai Lama of Tibet to become vegetarian, campaigners arranged for a veggie bill-board to be positioned along a route which the Pope was twice scheduled to pass. Obviously he would be a prized convert!
The central question that most followers of Christ would ask is why target the Pope? After all, from what we know of Jesus he was no obvious role model for their lifestyle. Yet a 20th century reader of the Gospel in the developed world is blessed with choices unattainable to the inhabitants of first century Palestine. It is said that from those to whom much has been given, much is expected. This ethic remains relevant when pushing a supermarket trolley that could be filled 10 times over without recourse to animal flesh. A vegetarian Christian has to point to the wider spirit of the Gospel to support their beliefs, in the same way that Christians opposed to human slavery had to do so in the past. There will always be a host of pressing moral issues that Christ simply does not legislate upon in the Gospel. As Biblical people we should be moving voluntarily towards the promised age of non-violence envisaged by the Prophets. This is God's original vision and ultimate hope.
Return to J. M. Gilheany: Letters (1994 - 2005)
This site is hosted and maintained by The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for wisiting all-creatures.org