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Humane Religion Magazine

March - April 1997 Issue

FROM THE PULPIT

W.R. (Dean) Inge, Anglican Priest—1920

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.

Saint Thomas A Kempis (1379-1471) from The Imitation of Christ.

If thy heart be straight with God, then every creature shall be to thee a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine, for there is no creature so little or so vile, but that showeth and representeth the goodness of God.

John Woolman, 18th Century Quaker

To say we love God whom we have not seen and at the same time exercise cruelty toward the least creature moving by life derived from Him, is a contradiction...Our gracious Creator cares and provides for all His creatures. His tender mercies are over all his works. And so far as His love influences our minds, so far do we feel a desire to take hold of every opportunity to lessen the distress of the afflicted and increase the happiness of all creatures.

Henry Ward Beecher, Clergyman (1863)

For fidelity, devotion, and love, many a two-legged human animal is below the dog and the horse. Happy would it be for thousands of people if they could stand at last before the Judgment Seat and say “I have loved as truly and have lived as decently as my dog.” And yet we call them ”only animals.” #

The Revd Lord (Donald) Soper (1959)

I could say in a very few words what I have believed, and come to believe with greater fervor as the years have gone by. Dr. Schweitzer called it “reverence for life.” Jesus called it the Love of God. Put into modern terms it is the obligation and joy of caring. I have lived in one of the most violent ages that the world has known and have seen so much contempt for the value of human and animal life. If my experience has anything of value to pass on to others, it is the increasing conviction that only a non-violent love will be sufficient to make the world a happier place for all God’s creatures to live in without fear and without privation. #

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