Are You an Animal?

By Joel A. Hess

After the recent Supreme Court ruling knocking down Texas’ sanitary requirements for abortion clinics that are probably weaker than those used in poultry farms, we witnessed yet again the manifestations of a society that believes humans are really only animals.

That is the question of the age: is man an animal or something more?  Of course, public Schools have been indoctrinating kids for at least 3 generations that man is just an animal. Why are we surprised to see kids actually acting as if it’s true? Columbine killings, drowning newborns in toilets at prom, sexual assaults, etc.

If you are an animal, then your instincts can not be judged. You cannot help your desires. In fact, they are probably useful for survival, which in the end is what the game is all about, right? Well, we also need your progeny in order to continue the species, though we are slowly forgetting why.

If you are an animal, then it is a no brainer when it comes to choosing who to save in a fire: a twelve-year-old child you don’t know or your pet cat fluffy. Fluffy, right? Yes, this sort of ethics is taught in big-ten medical schools. If we are all animals, then selling a weaker animal’s liver to someone who needs it more is equally not difficult. China is way ahead of the game on this. They do it to prisoners; we do it to children.

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Are humans simply animals? This is the question of our age. We have been taught that we are animals quite publicly since Darwin’s Origin of Species. But the logical extension of that claim has not really sunk in to our collective conscience until this century, though Nietzsche went mad trying to get the intelligentsia to realize this 150 years ago. At last, however, we are seeing what the world looks like when the majority of people and leaders believe ultimately that people are just animals.

Ironically, those who tell us we are animals also tell us we have a responsibility to the environment. Animals don’t have responsibilities! If we are just animals, then my instinct to throw trash on the highway (or to make a highway, for that matter) must be good for me and my environment. It’s only natural. What is more unnatural than to impose any curb to my desires? Is it not the path of evolution for weaker species to go extinct? Oh, I’m sorry. I’m using logic and reason. Americans secretly hate science, by the way.

The world is increasingly treating people like animals. Oh, it comes across as accepting and loving to tell others to follow their instincts—to say “I don’t care what you do” or “Do what you want.” Ironically, the “new” science of psychology is finding less patients, because it’s insulting to tell anyone, even the most dangerous psychopaths, they are sick.

Yet, while the West tells you it loves you, it will kill you and sell your body parts if it deems you unnecessary. The world is an animal that can turn on you. Sin makes us into animals.

Demonic of Gadara

At one point in Jesus’ ministry, He had crossed the sea of Galilee and was met by a man who was naked and possessed by a demon in a tombstone. Luke tells us that his community tried to lock him up, but every night, he broke his chains, tore off his clothes, and ran to the graveyard outside of town like a wild dog. That’s what Satan does. He reduces you to an animal. That’s what the blindness of sin does, as well.

Christ cured the man, put him in his right mind, and gently and lovingly put clothes on him. He has come to do that for all, having His clothes stripped, beaten, and hung on a crude wooden pole like an animal. He beat Satan at his own game.

Unlike Satan or the world, Jesus does not treat us like animals, even the very worst of us. He kneels down and scrubs our feet, for goodness’ sake! He takes us from the tombstones—from death and blind superstition. He covers us with His own clothing in the waters of baptism! He forgives us even when our repentance is half out of our lips and half in our heart! He restores our soul.

In Christ, we don’t become something other than truly human as we were meant to be: Children of God.

You, whoever you are, no matter what you have done, are not an animal.

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One comment

  1. “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety…” (Justice Ginsburg)

    “We remain strongly committed to the protection of women’s health, including protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her right to determine her own future…” (President Obama)

    “I think it’s a wake-up call to most Americans who value freedom, who value dignity that we need to get out and make our voices heard against a vocal minority…” (Ilyse Hogue, NARAL)

    This is not the talk of people acting as or believing human beings to be animals. In fact, they are doing as animals cannot, they are exercising their free will to sin. If the thing that stands between you and your rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are other people (or animals) and you are more powerful, able to assert yourself through the law, the courts, by reason, by force – you do. Mankind has asserted his mastery over his life since he “…saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom…”

    As sinners, none of us are above that. Where we don’t kill children, we find other ways to dominate – economic, political, legal, moral, bullying. Animals do no such things, they are sinless. If only we were like sheep, content to be lead, or loyal and loving as dogs. No, we are “above” such things and follow our own lead to our own ends. What we have been taught is to proclaim the freedom of self-determination, that we can be and do what we want, not to take no for an answer, that there are no free lunches, and the best we can do is not interfere with another. That is liberty, that is what is at the heart of this nation. When has the exercise of free will and liberty lead to mankind’s true freedom? When has it chosen righteousness? Who can by his own reason or strength to believe in Jesus Christ, our lord, or come to Him?

    What our political ideologies and institutions do does not call a human being an animal. No, they call a broken human being the measure of all things, the embodiment of all possibilities, limitless potential, endowed by the “Creator” with rights and liberties. What I see in this court case is akin to the gun rights argument, you’ll wrest this court-granted right only from the cold, dead fingers of those who desire the ability to possess deadly power. Can you hear that in the quotes? Not much different from the NRA. Satan gains nothing by reducing anyone to an animal. But he gains by convincing God’s creatures to remain broken looking inward to make the right choices, stand for the right things, to be moral.

    So, as you say, we need to look outward, to the cross, to our baptism, to Christ. And, if we are focused outward, on Christ, if He is where we are looking we see only life and hope, not the despair of death and, when we approach the issue of abortion, we do not speak words of law, but words of life to those already crushed. Only when true power is received from God will people let go of their earthly powers. Those cold dead fingers become warm open hands, full of life, ready to love in self-less service.

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