Tags: Religion | conservative | christian | denominations | animal rights

3 Christian Denominations With Most Conservative Stance on Animal Rights

By    |   Friday, 30 Oct 2015 08:32 PM

The issue of animal rights is often debated when talking about the state of the environment or food supply or a culture's relationship with animals.

Conservative Christian denominations have weighed in many times on animal rights and protections versus the liberties granted from the "God-given" rulership of humanity over the animal kingdom in Genesis 1:26.

Over the years, people have pushed for specific chimpanzees and dolphins to be granted protective personhood status.

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This issue gained lots of attention in December 2013, when “lawyer Steven Wiese showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections,” according to The New York Times.

Here are three Christian denominations with the most conservative viewpoints on animal personhood versus human dominion:

1. Catholicism

The Catholic stance regarding animal personhood points to the fact that we do not morally condemn animals that eat their young.

Catholic Advocate points out, “The answer is simple: They are not persons. To call someone a person is to point out their kinship with God and the angels only the Triune God, the choirs of angels, and us (in the image of God he created them, male and female ...) possess personhood, what St. Thomas Aquinas calls that which is noblest in the whole of nature.”

This definition helps differentiate humans and animals and places higher expectations on human behavior and is typically brought up as an example of why abortion should be illegal.

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2. Eastern Orthodoxy

Insights into how Eastern Orthodoxy view personhood can be derived from the works of Eastern Orthodox believer Wesley J. Smith.

For First Things journal, deemed the most influential journal of religion and public life, Smith lays out some of his Christian denomination’s thoughts on the animal personhood debate.

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“If either view prevails, our equal rights would become ephemeral, based on subjective personhood rather than intrinsic humanity. Our value would depend on the moment of measuring, leaving us ever vulnerable to depersonalization and perhaps even the concomitant loss of what today are called universal human rights,” said Smith.

3. Baptists

In 2015, the Southern Baptist Convention released a statement on animal welfare. The SBC stated that while humanity was given rule over animals, it has a responsibility to act with care and disavow cruelty.

“We resolve to examine all our practices relating to how we treat the domesticated animals that live among us and provide us with companionship, food and service as well how we treat animals that live in the wild apart from us; and hold them all up to biblical principles for compassionate care and responsible rule, in light of God’s view of them and His actions toward them,” the statement said.

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The issue of animal rights is often debated when talking about the state of the environment or food supply or a culture's relationship with animals. Conservative Christian denominations have weighed on animal rights versus the liberties granted from rulership of the animal kingdom in Genesis 1:26.
conservative, christian, denominations, animal rights
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2015-32-30
Friday, 30 Oct 2015 08:32 PM
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