1993 UCC Resolution "Respect for Animals"

4. RESOLUTION "RESPECT FOR ANIMALS"

Ms. Mendez continued with Committee Ten's report. She introduced and moved the resolution "Respect for Animals" originally found on the page 203 of the Program/Worship and Business Book and found in Packet D. Ms. Mendez yielded her time to Allen Benner-Smith to speak in favor of the motion.

Mr. Benner-Smith pointed out that passing the motion does not put a stop to hunting and does not advocate becoming a vegetarian. The motion is an attempt to promote conversations and thought about the subject. It is very important that delegates call on others in the United Church of Christ to think about important issues. He urged support of the resolution because animals deserve respect.

93-GS-50 VOTED: The Nineteenth General Synod adopts the resolution "Respect for Animals."

RESOLUTION "RESPECT FOR ANIMALS"

WHEREAS, the biblical faith sees human beings as creatures of God, tenants in God's earth (Leviticus 25:23) and stewards of creation;

WHEREAS, the biblical charge to "have dominion over every living thing" (Genesis 1:28) has often been understood as placing human beings above creation instead of a part of it, while the scriptures teach that we are creatures and that we are to tend the earth and care for its creatures (Genesis 2:15);

WHEREAS, the rainbow story of the covenant declares four times (Genesis 9:8-17) that God's covenant is "with every living creature;"

WHEREAS, the scriptures teach that our lives are to be filled with compassion, not cruelty, towards animals (Proverbs 12:10);

WHEREAS, it is being urged by an increasing number of concerned and thoughtful Christians as well as others that all living creatures deserve humane and respectful treatment because, as living creatures, it is their right in the eyes of God;

WHEREAS, human compassion and decency require not only that we care for our fellow human beings, but that we treat no creature with cruelty or carelessness; and

WHEREAS, a growing awareness of our environmental responsibilities has led to a concern for the preservation and protection of animals, both in their wild and tame states, and the use of animals in the laboratory and commercially;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Nineteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ commends to its members and congregations the consideration of our place among all living creatures as God's creatures, and invites them to evaluate human use of animals and resulting effects on the animals with questions such as these:

  1. Are these animals treated justly, mercifully and with compassion and care?
  2. Do these animals suffer unnecessary pain either in life or in death?
  3. As a result of modern technology and advances, is there another, more humane way to supply our needs?
  4. Does the benefit gained from the use of these animals outweigh the cost to them?
  5. How does our current treatment of animals affect our spiritual development and welfare?
  6. How does treatment of animals affect the diverse richness of God's creation?

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Nineteenth General Synod invites the Conferences, Associations, and congregations of the United Church of Christ to gather education and theological material on the place of animals and to share this information among these entities with the assistance of the Office for Church in Society so that our Church may study the relationships.

Subject to availability of funds.


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