Obama, the fly, and P.E.T.A.

Fly

JP: Perhaps you’ve seen the video of President Obama swatting the fly? And P.E.T.A.’s objection. Chuck Colson comments:

Obama, PETA, and the Value of Human Life: ‘I Got the Sucker’

Excerpt:

There was a lot going in the news last week-riots over the election in Iran, North Korea’s nuclear saber-rattling. But the biggest story of the week, it turns out, was-drum roll, please-the story of President Obama swatting a fly.

“I got the sucker!” Obama told CNBC correspondent John Harwood after killing a fly that had been buzzing around his head.

Harwood laughed and the camera crew applauded. But the sight of the fly’s corpse lying on the White House rug was too much for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals-and insects, apparently. They sent a letter to the Fly Swatter in Chief, expressing their disapproval.

In the future, PETA said, they hoped Obama would treat flies in a more “humane” manner. To underscore their point, PETA sent the President a Humane Bug Catcher, which allows flies to be trapped and then released outside.

The story of the squashed fly afforded us a moment of comic relief. But there’s a serious point at stake here. We are seeing more and more examples of people treating animals-and even insects-as if they had as much value as humans.

The other day, I saw what I first thought was a school bus. It wasn’t. It was a doggie daycare bus, taking the neighborhood pooches to a dog-sitting facility. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up.

Go online, and you’ll see many ads for expensive clothes for dogs and cats. And a few years ago, during the making of the film Men in Black, the American Humane Society was on hand to make sure none of the hundreds of cockroaches used in the film were injured. Cockroaches!

Groups like PETA illustrate a philosophy of reductionism, which treats all life as morally equivalent. Of course, if reductionists really want to be consistent, they would not even boil water, because every time they do, they kill millions of innocent microbes. If all life has equal value, then the logical conclusion is to treat all life the same, no matter how lowly-or how deadly, like mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

Obviously, nobody can live in the real world on the basis of this philosophy.

A realistic and livable philosophy of life comes from Scripture, which teaches that God created us in His image and set us up as stewards over the rest of creation, from amoebas to apes to houseflies.

That doesn’t give us license to treat animals cruelly. But it’s one thing to treat animals kindly, and quite another to accord them equal status with humans.

Image from: www.rescue.com

Advertisements

A week at camp … “an atheist for life”

JP: As if children don’t get enough of it in public school, museums, and state and national parks.

Richard Dawkins Jumps The Shark

Excerpt:

News out of Great Britain indicates that Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s most famous living atheist, is setting up a summer camp intended to help children and teenagers adopt atheism. As The Times [London] reports: “Give Richard Dawkins a child for a week’s summer camp and he will try to give you an atheist for life.”

The camp, based upon an American precursor, is to be financially subsidized by Dawkins. According to media reports, all 24 places at the camp have been taken.

Youth workers drown saving child

JP: Sad news from Northern Minnesota. Please pray for this church and the families of the men who died.

Witnesses: 2 Sacrificed Lives To Save Drowning Boy

Excerpt:

The bodies of two men who disappeared in wind-swept Pokegama Lake in Itasca County have been recovered. They are credited with rescuing a boy who was struggling in the lake before the two drowned.

The Itasca County Sheriff’s Office identified the two men as 30-year-old Nathan Randall Junker and 63-year-old Albert John Hermiston both of Grand Rapids.

According to the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department, they received a 911 call at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Paul Shorma and Kayla Domagall were amongst the crowd of 30 on the beach outside Zorbaz restaurant on the shore of Pokegama Lake when the call for help arrived.

According to witnesses, a group of young people were on a house boat on the lake, en route to a sandbar to swim.

That’s when witnesses say the weather turned and the waves on the lake grew to about 3-foot swells.

One youth was struggle with the waves when Junker and Hermiston went out to help him with a lifejacket.

The youth was able to make it to safety but both men didn’t make it back. Hermiston was found soon afterwards and was rushed back to the beach at Zorbaz.

“We all went and helped hold the boat along side the docks because the waves were so big that the boat was floating away. So we all pushed it up right against the dock so they could get the guy out as fast as they could,” said Shorma.

Rescue crews attempted to resuscitate Hermiston. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Junker’s body was recovered just before 8 p.m. Monday by the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team

Shorma and Domagall called both the men heroes who gave their lives to save a child. They say their sacrifice will always be remembered.

“They have so much bravery in their hearts and they were great role models for all of those kids. And it’s a great lesson to be learned from all of us. They were great men in the community,” said Domagall.

Both men were members of Faith Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. Junker was the youth minister

I watched WCCO reporting on this tonight. The young Pastor Junker (pronounced “Yunker”) leaves behind a young wife, three daughters and a baby boy! Please pray for this family!

A fund has been established for the Junger family. See the following for details:

Drowning victims’ friends and family call their actions “heroic”

“We at faith baptist church mourn with the families of Al Hermiston and Associate Pastor Nathan Junker, who died Sunday evening while doing what was their greatest passion, working with youth,” said Faith Baptist Church Pastor Paul Losik.

At the church where both men had served for years, their impact on others was summed up in a few words.

“If you had a need he would do his best to meet that and he would be there for you,” said Losik of Al Hermiston.

“No doubt in my mind, he puts others before himself,” said Timothy Junker, Nathan Junker’s brother.

Members of Faith Baptist Church say Nathan and Albert played many roles within their small church community, but their deaths are particularly devastating on their youth program.

“They’re pretty shaken up,” said Pastor Losik of the children who witnessed the accident. “They’re hurting.”

Relatives and friends are finding peace in Nathan and Alberts’ strong Christian faiths.

“There’s no doubt in my mind, I know where he is,” said Timothy Junker of his brother, Nathan. “And that’s comforting.”

“You always have to be prepared to meet our maker,” said Schultz “And these two gentlemen were very prepared.”

Pastor Paul Losik says youth who were at the scene of the drowning have already received some grief counseling.

He plans to set up more opportunities for the children to speak with counselors in the near future.

There is a memorial fund set up for the family of Nathan Junker, who leaves behind a wife and four children.

To donate, visit any Wells Fargo location or mail a check to:

Wells Fargo
220 NW 1st Ave
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Many Ethnicities, One Race

JP: Another excellent article on “race”:

Many Ethnicities, One Race

Excerpts:

Man, male and female, is made in the image of God. Historically, great Christian minds have wrestled with precisely what this image consists of. Generally speaking, theologians understand the image to include certain rational, spiritual, moral, governmental, or ruling capacities and functions. Some have also distinguished between “broader” and “narrower” senses in which man bears the image of God. The “broader” sense refers to those ways in which man continues to image God after the Fall, as with man’s intellectual capacity, spirituality, moral agency, and natural affections. The “narrower” sense refers to those ways in which man does not continue to image God after the fall, as with God’s perfect righteousness, holiness, and knowledge.

We may safely conclude that insofar as genealogy is concerned, the Bible plainly records that there is only one race. With regard to bodily properties like skin color, we may also conclude that, though differences exist, all people are made in the image of God—male and female; black, brown, and white; red-haired and black-haired. There is nothing about bodily distinctions that either disrupt the organic or genetic unity of humanity (Acts 17:26) or obscures the image of God in some groups with certain biological properties.

Strictly speaking, the Scripture knows nothing of our contemporary notion of “races.” People may have different skin color (or hair color), but they do not therefore belong to different “races.” The idea of “races” is, therefore, a fiction. There is but one human race descended from one parentage, all of whom are created in the image of God spiritually, rationally, morally, and bodily. (Hereafter, I will use “race” or “races” in quotations to refer to the common notion of multiple races rooted in biological differences, and the term race without quotations to refer to the biblical teaching of one humanity descended from Adam.)

Image from www.studentsoftheworld.info

On racism and interracial marriage

JP: Very good read by Chris Anderson! I strongly encourage readers to view the entire article. It is followed by another exceptional article!

Sound Words: Only In the Lord (on Interracial Marriage)

Introduction:

There was a time when many fundamentalist Christians argued against interracial marriage on presumably biblical grounds. It was believed that interracial marriage was an attempt to rebel against God’s division of the races at Babel and a foretaste of the sinful uniting of humanity against God that will characterize the rule of the antichrist.

Such arguments against interracial marriage are flawed on a number of levels, particularly because they arise from a mishandling of the Scriptures. They wrongly assume that there is more than one human race (an idea which Mark Perry effectively disproves in this month’s feature article (Reconciling Scripture and the Problem of Racism [Editor: See link below]). Further, they wrongly assert that the distinctions made by God in Genesis 11:9 were physical and final, when in fact they were linguistic, geographical, and reversible. No one would argue, for example, that a European whose native language is German is forbidden on the basis of Genesis 11 from marrying one whose native language is English, or whose native land is Australia. The distinctions made at Babel were neither physical nor absolute. Finally, the union of mankind under the antichrist and against God will be sinful, political, economic, and religious, not ethnic (Revelation 13 and 17).

Link to article referenced above:

Reconciling Scripture and the Problem of Racism

Excerpt:

f we are speaking technically, there is really only one race: the human race. However, generally people refer to “race” as ethnicity or visible distinctions among various people groups. Among the endless possibilities of variation in physical appearance, a few traits have been arbitrarily selected that supposedly mark out different “races.”

Biblically speaking, every person is united as part of the human race. This fact can be proved along four lines.

The human race is united because all have been created in the image of God.

During the first week of history, God created the entire universe and every plant and animal that inhabited it. The plants were created to reproduce “each according to its kind” (Gen 1:11). The birds and sea creatures were created “according to their kind” (Gen 1:21). The animals were all made “according to their kinds” (Gen 1:25). Man was also created by God to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28). God created only one “kind” of human being, not many. What set apart the creation of human beings from the plants or animals was that God created man in His image (Gen 1:27). Man is not an advanced animal; rather, he is the special creation of God (Ps 8:4–8).

New location – Room 271 – July 8th 2009