Sunday, 5 October 2014

Remedial Christian Studies

According to my daughter, her Religious Studies teacher told her there are two approaches to animal rights in Christianity. One group believes we should be kind to animals because God went to the trouble of getting them onto Noah's Ark, thus saving them from his own flood. The other group believes we can do what we like with animals because God created us first!!!!!

Really, when my daughter's time is being consumed by this subject within the context of a public school, I think I'm in my rights to expect the teaching to be accurate. Everyone should know, especially a Religious Studies teacher, that the order of creation in the Bible is 1) light, 2) the heavens, 3) earth, which God commanded to produce plants by itself, 4) the sun and moon, 5) animals who live in water and fly, 6) land animals, followed by man and woman who come last.

The piece of Christian belief the teacher is probably trying to refer to is based on what God said to the humans after he made them, apparently assigning them dominion (authority) over living things.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Some Christians interpret this as an absolute gift which humans can dispose of as they please, up to and including destroying living species, let alone treating animals in whatever way suits them. Other Christians interpret it more as a stewardship, granting humans the management of living things but with the assumption that mis-management, destruction and cruelty are not likely to be what God had in mind.

It actually ties in quite nicely with the spells for stopping bees from swarming which I posted about earlier this week. The second spell/prayer, from the more Christianized Middle Ages, basically reminds the rebellious bees 'God said you should do what I told you!'

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