The devious lack of intellectual honesty that so characterises the heterodox is not lacking, either.
Their latest wheeze is to quote Cardinal John Henry Newman from his Parochial and Plain Sermons as if to demonstrate that Newman was some form of early animal libber.
Like many another Catholic animal libber, my latest correspondent quotes from Newman's Parochial and Plain Sermons deviously failing to mention:
(a) that they were written when Newman was an Anglican and not a Catholic;
(b) that they were not intended to be a Christian animal libber manifesto but rather an exercise in drawing comparisons understandable to his 19th century readers so that they could move on to understand higher things;
(c) that he does not, by any stretch of the imagination, pretend that animals are saved by Christ precisely because he knows that animals do not have rational souls;
(d) there were animal libbers of a sort in the 19th century and some of them were more interested in stray cats than they were in hungry, exploited and abandoned children (so much for the claim that animal libbing leads to compassion!). Newman sought to turn the thoughts of these people back to love of humanity from the perverted substitute god that they had created for themselves.
For the record, Newman dedicated his P & P Sermons (and that in 1834) to:
"THE REV. E. B. PUSEY, B.D., CANON OF CHRIST CHURCH, AND REGIUS PROFESSOR OF HEBREW IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD"
Pusey was a famous Anglo-Catholic and expressly repudiated Roman Catholicism.
The animal libbers also claim to read into Scripture their own perverse and perverted animal lib creed.
The pride of the heterodox is frequently only equalled by their obstinacy which can exceed even that of a mountain goat...
It is a characteristic of the heterodox that they claim to interpret Scripture according to their own fancy and not according to the teachings of the Church.
It is no part of orthodox Catholic theology that Christ came to save the souls of animals.
St Irenaeus of Lyons taught in the 2nd century gloria Dei homo vivens - "the glory of God is living man".
That is because we are made in His image - not because we deserve it but because that is what God Himself wanted.
If animal libbers don't like that, then they'd better take it up with God since it is His idea. They can explain to Him why they think He's wrong.
In fact, the evil of animal libbery is that it aims not so much to raise animals to the level of man (which is impossible) but rather to drag man down to the level of animals so that practices like infanticide and euthanasia - common in the animal kingdom - become acceptable practices among humans.
The animal lib blasphemy that Christ became incarnate as an animal and that His sacred humanity was not to be distinguished, in its humanity, from animals, is an extreme example of the foolishness of those animal libbers who try to marry their views with Christianity. One might as well worship Christ the sacred crocodile.
That humans and animals are intrinsically different is obvious to any 3-year-old child - but not, alas, to the animal libbers.
Here's what animals are really like - irrational, instinctual and frequently savage and brutal:
Here's a particularly amusing piece of self-rebuttal by a Quaker animal libber trying desperately to explain why it was that mankind has always hunted and eaten animals but why it should suddenly stop today in our time. It tries to marry up all the fashionable -isms of our day into one big, politically-correct, Quaker melange. For sheer fatuity it takes a lot to beat this stuff!
"Big-game hunting with neolithic weapons is a male activity, usually requiring teamwork, physical strength, physical courage, endurance, and aggressiveness, with suppression of sensitivity and compassion: in short, the qualities of machismo...[Got that people? No more strength and courage, endurance or teamwork, OK? We shall simply expect buildings to build themselves, roads to re-surface themselves, engineering work to self-construct and tough, unpleasant and difficult jobs will not be permitted to be done, lest anyone become macho, right? In short, we will demand the benefits of civilisation without the work required to build it! Hey! Go to the top of the class, wondergirl!]
Jim Mason [who he?] in An Unnatural Order suggests that males may have initiated the Great Hunt not only because of plant food shortages brought about by climatic and other changes [yep - climate change was on the front page of every Stone Age newspaper, too, folks!], but also to enhance their uncertain status in a group in which women had hitherto held the prestige of bringing forth life and sustaining it [Remember all those pre-historic digs that showed that early cultures were all dominated by child-bearing women? Err, no? Hmmm....me, neither. Pity the way the facts keep getting in the way of a good story, isn't it?].
Whatever the reasons, one of the effects of the Great Hunt was that in developing the qualities necessary to take the spiritual power of large and strong animals, men also gained psychological and physical power over the group [amazing how a bit of hunting gives you so much superiority, eh?]. Women, like the physically and psychologically weaker men who could not compete, lost their status, and came to be dominated and held in contempt [yep, fact! Men always held their own mothers in deep contempt. More recent pre-historical digs have proven this, er, haven't they?]...
Clearly [Oh, yes, "clearly", indeed! Er, just a bit of a pity about all that evidence that she, er, forgot to produce] the situation of primal hunters, with its violence, its deep alienations between the sexes and between peoples [funny how that didn't seem to manifest itself much in those early primal cultures. Dratted facts keep getting in the way of a good story again!], is far from being the paradise that contemporary romanticization of primal peoples usually portrays. Yet it evidently co-existed, to varying degrees, for a very long time with an embeddedness in and deep respect and awe regarding nature [Err, shome mishtake shurely? I thought the hunters were the bad guys but now she's saying they co-existed with deep respect and awe regarding nature!?!]. It took the further steps of herding and the discovery of agriculture, to begin to establish an outlook of dominance over nature which diminished the awe and oneness of gathering-hunting peoples [Wha...? So maybe hunting wasn't so bad after all? And agriculture and herding were the real baddies? Is that it?].
Many important factors which cannot be explored here [oh what a pity! We were just beginning to laugh- er, I mean, sorry, get interested!] went into the process of bringing about our present state of dangerous alienation from nature, alienation that threatens global catastrophe [The hunters of the world are threatening the extinction of the planet? I think she may have lost the thread a bit, here...].
...But we who are inspired [oh, but of course she must be inspired! No, folks, let's not allow humility to get in the way of her self-obsession, now, shall we?] by a vision of true Peace among sentient beings, who see the divine in the eyes of an animal [only the eyes? And just how close has she got to a shark's eyes, anyway?], know that hunting, however reverential, always contains the seeds of Might-Makes-Right [Oh, so hunting is "reverential" now, is it? Interesting!].
It is not the answer. We cannot go back to the past [We must go forward to a bright future where there is no hunting, no herding, no agriculture, limited gathering (of what?), no strength, no courage, no endurance nor any teamwork.... just a lot of starving Quakers wondering where their next nut cutlet is going to come from and who will save them from being eaten by the wild beasts again. Golly. Stunningly lovely view of the future, isn't it?].
— Gracia Fay Ellwood"
I shall not be surprised if we one day discover that Ms Ellwood was savaged and eaten by an animal - probably an animal that she tried to ban the hunting of!