And Which Planet Did You Say You Were From?

Chronicling the many cases of PC madness is a never-ending affair, and one could easily hire a team of hundreds just to keep up with every idiotic and brain-numbing idea, scheme and agenda being promoted by various whacko groups around.

Simply opening the daily newspapers provides a steady stream of such moonbattery. All this craziness simply confirms Chesterton’s dictum: “A society is in decay, final or transitional, when common sense really becomes uncommon.”

One group which is a constant winner in the Fruitloop of the Year category is PETA. Although this is supposed to stand for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a more accurate title might be something like People Ever Thinking Askew, or some such thing.

I have written about them numerous times in the past, such as here:
And here:

Well it seems that these folks are at it again, this time wading into the Good Book. Given that this is basically a secular activist group without a shred of biblical morality, it is a bit rich of them to now claim to be experts on all things scriptural and theological.

But that they are doing just that. Believe it or not, they have just written a letter to the Committee on Bible Translation demanding that they remove all “speciesist” language in the Bible. I kid you not! Here is how PETA puts it on their website:

“After hearing about the latest translation of the New International Version of the Bible – which uses gender-inclusive language such as ‘he or she’ instead of ‘he’ – PETA has written to the Committee on Bible Translation to suggest that its next translation also remove speciesist language by referring to animals as ‘he or she’ instead of ‘it.’ In the letter, PETA points out that many modern writers are using ‘he,’ ‘she,’ and ‘who’ in place of the inaccurate ‘it’ and ‘which’ to refer to an animal.

“‘Updating the Bible’s language regarding animals would not only reflect modern writing trends but also reinforce the idea that animals are living beings valued by God, not inanimate objects,’ says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. ‘Jesus taught us the importance of mercy and compassion, and this update would encourage mercy and compassion for all God’s creatures – including those who have feathers, fins, and fur’.”

There you go. The next time you see the Bible talking about pigs or worms, make sure you scribble out the offensive language and refer to them as he or a she. Of course this is at least consistent for these guys. Recall that PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has proudly proclaimed that “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

That’s right, there is no difference in PETA’s eyes between a human being and a rat. We are all one in their understanding. This sloppy thinking is par for the course for secular humanists. Recall another animal rights’ activist, Peter Singer, who has actually claimed that while it is in bad taste to eat animals, there is no morally compelling reason why we cannot have sex with them.

But here we have PETA seeking to push all this nonsense on theological and biblical grounds. They have all of a sudden morphed into theologians and Bible scholars. Sorry, but they need to read Scripture a bit more carefully. While animals, like the rest of God’s creation, need to be treated with respect, they are not on a par with human beings.

Only humans are made in the image of God, only humans are the object of Christ’s sacrificial death, and only humans will have an eternal destiny. Sure, humans share with animals the fact that we are all creatures, while God is the creator, distinct from us.

But on the level of personhood, only humans share common ground with God. Animals, rocks, trees and other created things do not share in this area. To conflate humans with non-humans is always just one way traffic for these folks. While they may talk about raising animals up to the level of humans, what really happens is humans are dragged down to the level of animals.

And we have seen plenty of ugly examples in history when humans are dehumanised and depersonalised. The Communists and the Nazis both took a cavalier view of human life, seeing humans just as another part of the evolutionary continuum.

Because humans were seen as not at all special or unique, they were treated as being totally dispensable and worthless. Thus hundreds of millions were slaughtered last century in the name of these evolutionary humanist worldviews. Bad ideas always lead to bad consequences.

As mentioned, treating animals humanely is of course appropriate and the mark of a civilised society. But we do neither animals nor humans any favours by confusing the two, and seeking to merge them together. Humans are unique and different from non-humans, and when we lose that distinction, we are asking for, and get, trouble.

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37 Replies to “And Which Planet Did You Say You Were From?”

  1. Interpretation:

    “We are godless people who wish to impose our ideas on everybody else because we are just so morally superior. (Please don’t think about that too long.) After all, we have the word ‘ethical’ in our title, so we must be really, really good. And what we’re proposing has the word ‘friendly’ in it so it must be doubly dog good.”

    It just shows that when you abandon God, all kinds of stupidity rushes into the void. Bizarre.

    Mark Rabich

  2. Oh my, Bill, where are we heading with all this?
    If current trends continue complete madness will overtake us and we will have a world in far more trouble than under the communists or the Nazi’s and only the second coming will save us.
    I am still shaking my head!
    Rob Withall

  3. Thanks Rob

    Yes I am with you. But we must not lose heart. Just now I am writing a piece on the Book of Jeremiah and the lessons we can earn from it. He faced similar situations, yet he persevered – and so should we.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. Hi Bill,

    Ever thought about going in to stand up comedy?
    You’ve got an abundance of good material to draw from. All you’d have to do is stand up and read out your articles documenting this sort of nonsense.

    Kind regards,
    Isaac Overton, ACT

  5. Approximately 46 million children are killed each year worldwide because they’re not treated as special or unique – while they’re still in the womb, no less.
    Marcus Anderson

  6. Thanks Marcus

    But baby-killing should be acceptable if “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” But PETA then should say we should treat them all with respect. But it does not. Nowhere does it decry abortion. Thus some animals are evidently more equal than others.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. People Eating Tasty Animals

    That’s a group I could join.

    Michael Hutton

  8. Is PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich appearing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival?
    John Angelico

  9. Now everyone wants a bible the way they want it, as of course PETA know better than experienced bible scholars and translators. I thought it was God’s word not PETA’s word.
    Tim Darcy

  10. Hi Bill and Marcus,

    In some high value animal industries, such as the breeding of racehorses, abortions are sometimes performed on the animals for eugenic reasons. It would be interesting to know whether PETA is against this practice, and if so why.

    Mansel Rogerson

  11. Mansel, I think you’ll find PETA are against the use of animals by humans for any reason whatsoever. That’d make them anti horse breeding, anti dog breeding, anti cow farming and ant zoos.
    They’re probably pretty happy with the idea of cows being treated as gods though. ie How the Hindus treat their cows.
    Marcus Anderson

  12. Hi Bill – Another good article. It might be good to mention as well that improving the treatment of animals because they are God’s creatures was started by Christians – William Wilberforce, known for his fight against slavery, started the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But he was clear on the difference between animals, creatures with value, and people, created in the image of God.
    Ed Sherman, Holland

  13. Hi Bill- One more comment though. It might be worth noting that while Christians have generally held to your view that “only humans will have an eternal destiny,” there have been some dissenting voices. C.S. Lewis believed that some animals, particularly those close to us like our pets, may share our eternal destiny. But he was still clear about the fundamental difference between humans and animals. I have some sympathy with Lewis’s view, though I don’t take a formal position on it.
    Your friend,
    Ed Sherman

  14. Hi Bill – one last clarification, that is animals close to us may share the believer’s destiny in finding a place in the world to come – not that those of the lost would join them in hell.
    Ed Sherman

  15. Thanks Ed

    This gets a bit complex and iffy, but we can speak of some animals having ‘personality’ and the like, and some Christians are willing to speak of animals having souls. But no biblical Christian would speak of animals having eternal spirits, which Christ died for, and so on. We do read about the lion lying together with the lamb in the new earth, but that is a different matter from whether animals will live forever, dwelling with us in eternity.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  16. Hi Bill – This is probably not the place to get into the debate about it, so feel free to not post this. I recognize it could distract from the weight of your article and don’t want to do that. But actually there is a question among Bible believing Christians about whether animals will live forever, and dwell with us for eternity. That is exactly what Lewis meant. I think it was in The Problem of Pain that he wrote on it, though my copy is in my office at work and I’m at home recovering from a long trip so I can’t check it right now.
    Many biblical theologians interpret John 3:16’s “For God so loved the world” as God’s redeeming love extending to redeem the whole creation – hence the new heavens and new (renewed) earth. The broader creation will in some sense share in our salvation. Include passages like Romans 8 and Isaiah 55 and the question is at least open for debate on biblical grounds. The earth was cursed for our sake. That curse was broken in principle on the cross. One day its affect will be done away with completely.
    As I say, I don’t have a firm position on whether some animals will have an eternal destiny, but I do retain a level of “openness” with regards to it – not in regards to theology in general though. 🙂
    Ed Sherman

  17. Thanks again Ed

    I take it you mean Isaiah 65, especially v. 25. Isaiah 11:6-9 also speaks to this theme of animals in the new world order, if we can put it that way. Of course how exactly we are to understand both passages is still up for grabs. How much of it is metaphorical and how much of it is literal, etc. But somehow we are to understand this as a reversal of the curse and a return to the original existence as found in the pre-fall garden. Of course if death is no more in the final state, and literal animals dwell there, then we can speak of animals living forever. But we don’t have a lot of biblical data to go on here to make hard and fast conclusions about this.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  18. Hi Bill – One last comment, which again feel free not to post. Christ didn’t just die for “our eternal spirits.” He died for us, body, soul and spirit (or for those Reformed, soul and body – they generally hold to a two-fold division in human nature rather than a three-fold). All of us is eternal, as the resurrection demonstrates. Even the bodies of the lost will be raised, and they will be cast bodily into the lake of fire. N.T. Wright makes this overall point very well in his Surprised by Hope. I know he has his controversial side, but I didn’t find anything controversial in this book.
    So, a resurrection of animals – not impossible.
    Ed Sherman

  19. Yes you are quite right about our eternal bodily resurrection and existence. As to animals, as I say, the biblical data is fairly scant on this and we cannot go too far with it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  20. Hi Bill – Actually I did mean Isaiah 55:12 & 13, although 65 can be added as well. It seems that creation is not the dead thing modernism taught us. In some senses it was made to respond to us. Though in what sense it does that is not clear. Obviously not the sense of animism, with personal spirits everywhere in every created thing. But I agree with you, it is not something we can make hard and fast conclusions about. Thus I am open, but have no firm convictions about. Nice for a pleasant exchange like this. Not a hill to die on. Or even make a big point about.
    Ed Sherman

  21. Yes although ch 55 is even more metaphorical and abounding in figurative language and imagery. But yes Romans 8 comes to bear here, and there is a sense in which all of nature will somehow rejoice in humanity’s restoration and redemption. See also 44:23 eg.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  22. Hi Bill – Of course Isaiah 55 is metaphorical, but the metaphors do mean something. In some way, especially in light of others more clear, like Romans 8, I would say it indicates that creation was made to respond to us. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the exchange. I appreciate you and your work as always!
    Ed Sherman

  23. I rather suspect we give them oxygen by giving them publicity.
    Rowland Ward

  24. In the Herald Sun today, Ed Gannon (Editor of Weekly Times) asks why is it OK for an animal rights organisation (PETA) to treat women like pieces of meat. On PETA’s website it states that anyone who donated $5 will receive a thank you email with a full picture of Vida’s spicy new ad which of course is a picture of a naked woman. This he states is another nail in the coffin of credibility of this organisation which actually treats women as mere pets and playmates.
    Madge Fahy

  25. If, according to PETA, there is no difference between humans and animals, how long will it be before they declare that animals should not be eaten by humans? Or, alternatively using the same misguided logic, that cannibalism must be tolerated?
    Dunstan Hartley

  26. I do like Michael Hutton’s “People Eating Tasty Animals”!

    So Ingrid Newkirk said: “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

    Why didn’t she also say: “A rat is a sow is a bitch is a girl”?!

    Heh! Heh!

    Dominic Baron, NZ

  27. I just worry that the editors of the No Idea Version will actually bow to the demands.
    Mario Del Giudice

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