Meat-eating Christians are like white supremacists
Meat-eating Christians are like white supremacists! Let me show you
what I mean:
In a 1989 interview with the now-defunct Animals' Agenda, Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest and the foremost theologian in the field of animal-human relations, drew a parallel between animal and human slavery, saying that history is repeating itself with regard to animals:
"Now, just think of the difficulties that those early Christian abolitionists had to face. Scripture defended slavery. For instance, in Leviticus 25, you're commanded to take the child of a stranger as a slave...St. Paul simply said that those who were Christian slaves should be better Christians.
"Almost unanimously, apart from St. Gregory, the church fathers defended slavery, and for almost 1800 years, Christians defended and supported slavery."
On the other hand, in a 1991 essay, "The Bible and Killing for Food," Reverend Linzey writes:
"...it often comes as a surprise for Christians to realize that the modern vegetarian movement was strongly biblical in origin. Inspired by the original command in Genesis 1, an Anglican priest, William Cowherd, founded the Bible Christian Church in 1809 and made vegetarianism compulsory among its members.
"The founding of this Church in the United Kingdom and its sister Church in the United States by William Metcalfe, effectively heralded the beginning of the modern vegetarian movement.")
The church of the past never considered human slavery to be a moral evil. The Protestant churches of Virginia, South Carolina, and other southern states, actually passed resolutions in favor of the human slave traffic.
Human slavery was called "by Divine Appointment," "a Divine institution," "a moral relation," "God’s institution," "not immoral," but "founded in right." The slave trade was called "legal," "licit," "in accordance with humane principles" and "the laws of revealed religion."
New Testament verses calling for obedience and subservience on the part of slaves (Titus 2:9-10, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-25, I Peter 2:18-25) and respect for the master (I Timothy 6:1-2, Ephesians 6:5-9) were often cited in order to justify human slavery. Some of Jesus’ parables refer to human slaves. Paul’s epistle to Philemon concerns a runaway slave returned to his master.
Quoting Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18, Colossians 3:11 or Galatians 3:28 as verses in favor of abolition in the 18th or 19th century would have been met with the kind of reaction animal activists receive today when citing biblical verses in favor of vegetarianism and the compassionate and humane treatment of animals.
The Quakers were one of the earliest Christian denominations to condemn (human) slavery.
"Paul's outright endorsement of slavery should be an undying embarrassment to Christianity as long as they hold the entire New Testament to be the word of God," wrote Quaker physician Dr. Charles P. Vaclavik in his 1986 book, The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ: the Pacifism, Communalism, and Vegetarianism of Primitive Christianity.
"Without a doubt, the American slaveholders quoted Paul again and again to substantiate their right to hold slaves.
"The moralist movement to abolish slavery had to go to non-biblical sources to demonstrate the immoral nature of slavery. The abolitionists could not turn to Christian sources to condemn slavery, for Christianity had become the bastion of the evil practice through its endorsement by the Apostle Paul.
"Only the Old Testament gave the abolitionist any Biblical support in his effort to free the slaves. ‘You shall not surrender to his master a slave who has taken refuge with you.’ (Deuteronomy 23-15) What a pittance of material opposing slavery from a book supposedly representing the word of God."
In 1852 Josiah Priest wrote Bible Defense of Slavery. Others claimed blacks were subhuman. Buckner H. Payne, calling himself "Ariel," wrote in 1867, "the tempter in the Garden of Eden...was a beast, a talking beast ... the negro."
Ariel argued that since the negro was not part of Noah’s family, he must have been a beast. Eight souls were saved on the ark, therefore, the negro must be a beast, and "consequently he has no soul to be saved."
I commented in a letter to my local newspaper, The Tri-Valley Herald, in early 1992 that it remains to be seen if organized religion will support animal rights or simply remain an obstacle to social and moral progress.
"Simply!" say conservative Christians.
I point out, that was George Wallace's philosophy, too, proclaiming, "Segregation Now. Segregation Forever," in 1963.
"Forever!" they respond.
But when I put two and two together, and say offhandedly, "Meat-eating Christians are like white supremacists," suddenly their "tough" veneer and thin veneer of religiosity disappear, and their feelings are hurt!