In What Kind of God Do You Believe?
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

In What Kind of God Do You Believe?

A recent “On Being” podcast (one of my favorites) featured a rabbi who argued for religious equality for women in Judaism. He emphasized that this was not only a question of justice for women. How men believe women should be treated in a religious context says a lot about what men think about God.
Similarly, how Christians treat nonhumans says a lot about what Christians truly believe. They can speak platitudes about God’s love and compassion all day. But, if they believe that God endorses their direct or indirect violence against God’s helpless creatures, they are saying with actions far louder than words that they believe in a violent, malevolent God.
None of us is perfect, and we all harm other individuals from time to time. However, if we endeavor to be as “innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16), we are pursuing a godly path. In contrast, if we harm others without qualms and without the intention to make kinder decisions in the future, we are rejecting the notion of God as loving and compassionate. What does this say about the notion of God as forgiving? I’ll consider that next essay.

Go on to: Essay: Is There Forgiveness without Repentance?
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents

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