Wednesday, January 28, 2015

are cute puppies & kittens Satan's minions?

Wait, what? "Did you really say that cute puppies and kittens are workers of Satan, Lucifer, God's archenemy? Okay- priest's wife: you have proven yourself to be a hypocrite. Not only do you have a pet cat named Lucky who is pampered with soft food once a week:
You, priest's wife, also have a standard poodle named Duke that either travels with you (sometimes cuddling on daughter #1's lap in the van, naturally) or is put up in a $50 a day kennel (The Happy Dog Inn) when needed. 
Yes, dear readers, and we also have fish- a beta and two goldfish with Lord of the Rings-themed names that I cannot recall at the moment.
And I enjoy our pets. We take care of them as best as we can, remembering that they are animals without souls. They get doctor visits and food and exercise and a hug now and then. But they are not our babies. 
So, why would I wonder if dogs and cats were 'Satan's minions?'
I came across this 'news' item today: 'GoDaddy pulls Superbowl Ad after PETA complaints about Puppy Mill Humor." Here is the advertisement in question:
While I am very much against puppy mills (Duke was a rescue from a family farms with just too many poodles and Lucky was given to us from a family friend), this backlash against a silly ad and the passion for puppies over humans makes me believe that we are turning a corner in human history. For many people, human babies are disgusting, bothersome, inconvenient creatures, but one can call their puppy or kitten their 'baby.' PETA does not believe that it is strange that their formal policy on human abortion is explained away thus: "And just as the pro-life movement has no official position on animal rights, neither does the animal rights movement have an official position on abortion." 
No, we just want to know if human life can be valued over animal life. When puppies and kittens are valued over human life, they are 'satan's minions,' distracting us from the eternal. 
In 2014, people in the US spent $350 million on Halloween costumes for their pets. There was a 6.5% rise on 'pet services' like grooming from 2012 and 2013 for spending in this category at 4.4 billion. This is when the overall US economy had a 'real growth rate' of 1.8%. And at least 1,000,000 human babies are aborted every single year.
Our priorities are changingAt a work-related dinner party recently, pet cat and dog videos were shared and cooed over among the diners. But it was clear that my children's exploits were not a welcome part of this adult conversation. But then, my baby girl is five years old, not as sweet-looking as a new baby puppy:
Our pets, however beloved and cared for, are not eternal. We should put most of our effort into the eternal: our soul and the care of the human people that God has entrusted us: our friends and family. C. S. Lewis wrote: 

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

Let us focus on the eternal.

5 comments:

  1. Good post. Thanks for this perspective. But your youngest is more sweet- looking than a new baby puppy.

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    1. I agree! :) ...this post might seem harsh- we love our pets-, it is just shocking how pet-centric the world is getting (that makes me sound very 'get off my lawn' old...oh well!)

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  2. Great post. Agree completely.

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  3. No, no, no! As we love God above all else we must love the gifts that God gives us. If other people abuse the gifts that God gives them by loving them disproportionately, that does not mean that the gifts themselves are "minions of Satan". Has anyone loved Mary above God, worshipping her with the adoration due only to her creator and savior? Yes, quite a lot of people. Does this in any way mean that we should reject Mary or refer to her in any negative way? No, of course not. Do some people focus too much love and attention on wine, not at all to the glory of God, but rather creating stumbling blocks for the faithful? Yes. Does that mean that wine is "a minion of Satan"? No, wine is still a gift from God, and we welcome His gifts best not by disparaging them but by making sure that we keep our own love and appreciation for our gifts correctly balanced in our own lives.

    So no puppy or kitten is a minion of Satan, nor the cuteness of the young animals, nor even the response built into us to appreciate their cuteness. The service to Satan comes only in the act of will of a human heart. I am sure that you are too charitable to say that your dinner partners are minions of Satan because their love for God's gifts was shown to be disordered. Do not make the same mistake that they are making, in reverse, and place upon the bodies of young animals a burden too heavy for them to carry. They are neither our "babies" nor demonic. They just are themselves. Our response to them is our own responsibility.

    Becky Duncan

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    1. Thanks for your comment Becky!

      I heartily agree with your last sentence- because God have us all these things for our good- and they remain good if we don't 'go overboard'- even the Superbowl- which I turn my nose up at- but it isn't a bad thing necessarily... ;) (and the game starting at 3 gave everyone a chance to get to church first!)

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