Friday, December 28, 2007

"Dominionism" Decried as Socially Poisonous and Abusive

I like lollipops. But you're not going to convince me with statistics and studies to take that thing and swallow it whole--wrapper, candy, bubblegum, stick and all! Not even if you're the media.

I guess I just don't like being spoon-fed lies. But there are a good number of people in our country and around the world that are open and receptive to anything and everything that a supposedly "credible" source feeds them, because it gives them canon-fodder for their pet-prejudices. These people keep a pocket full of statistics and studies--the best ones are those commissioned by a government agency--to fling in your face if you threaten their delicate emotional opinion when it comes to a certain issue.

The problem: these are most often not thinking people. They don't think! If they do, they are usually operating off of the socialistic, nihilistic grounding they received in the government schools. Naturally they'll reach the same conclusions as their humanistic brethren in the scientific world.

Our nation is becoming more and more hostile to certain core Christian beliefs, which is perfectly natural for a culture that has rejected God as the Creator and Sovereign Ruler, the only source for our view of truth, knowledge and ethics. I'll tell you one thing the humanists hate--Christian dominion. They even have a special term for it now, "dominionism." (I guess they feel more comfortable attacking it if they add the "ism" or something...) Wikipedia gives a much more comprehensive definition than I'm able to present here, but in a nutshell the concept of Christian dominion is seen as an offensive, thoughtless elevation of human interests above the interests of the animals and the environment.

I'll give you an example of this. Someone posted this on a birding list-serve that I subscribe to, in response to a mounting debate on crow hunting, and hunting in general. Since this is such a sensitive topic among online communities like this it's actually banned, but that didn't seem to matter much :) Statements like these are pretty typical:

"I'm horrified that anyone on a bird list would consider killing crows (such a beautiful, intelligent species) or any other bird--even game birds."

"Thanks...for saying how I think quite a few of us were feeling...I,
too, was pretty discouraged and horrified by the recent crow thread. I have come to expect SO much more from this forum...forward-thinking, logical, wildlife/bird sensitive people who think past a nuisance and try to find suitable solutions."

"I am with you...and the other thoughtful people who responded to your
post. I too am horrified every time there is mention of killing on a bird list. It is beyond me to understand. I had a horrific experience a couple of weeks ago in the Skagit. I was admiring a group of stunningly beautiful snow geese, eating in the fields, minding their own business. I was enjoying them through my bins when I spied two hunters hiding cowardly in the irrigation ditch. Then a huge bang and one goose is shot. It did not die right away but struggle to try and fly only to have the dog catch it before it was shot again. It shakes me to my core that humans can be this way."

But this post certainly takes the cake. You remember what I was saying earlier about people thoughtlessly swallowing whatever the media feeds them?

"In addition to caring about animals, I too share your concerns about crimes against children, homeless, the elderly and other defenseless people.

For your consideration, the following article appeared in the October 2007 issue of Animal People.
Animal People investigated the possibility of a cultural relationship by comparing the rates of hunting participation and crimes against children in all 232 counties of New York, Ohio, and Michigan.

In 21 of 22 New York counties of almost identical population density, the county with the most hunters also had the most prosecuted abuse of children.

Ohio counties with more than the median rate of hunting license sales had 51% more reported child abuse, including 33% for abuse and 82% more neglect.

Michigan children were nearly three times as likely to be neglected and twice as likely to be physically abused or assaulted if they lived in a county with above average hunting participation.

Michigan as of 1994 sold twice as many hunting licenses per capita as upstate New York, but had seven times the rate of convicted child abuse, and twice as high a rate of assault on children.

Animal People concluded that the data supported a hypothesis that both hunting and child abuse reflect the degree to which a social characteristic called dominionism prevails in a particular community.

Yale University professor Stephen Kellert, in a 1980 study commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, defined dominionism as an attitude in which "primary satisfactions [are} derived from mastery or control over animals." a definition which other investigators later extended to include the exercise of "mastery or control" over women and children.

Kellert reported that the degree of dominionism in the American public as a whole rated just 2.0 on a scale of 18. Humane group members rated only 0.9. Recreational hunters, however, rated from 3.8 to 4.1, while trappers scored 8.5.

Can you believe that? A prime example of cum hoc ergo propter hoc, a logical fallacy also known as false cause, which argues that two events that occur together probably have a cause-effect relationship. Notice how the author very cleverly transitions from presenting his argument as a possibility, to in the end claiming it as fact. This article is ludicrous! And yet, this kind of media hogwash is being used here to argue against the Biblical mandate for dominion, the exercise of stewardship through legal hunting, even tying these activities to trends of abuse in society. Plus it twists the concept of dominion into a straw man (ie. men deriving satisfaction from lording it over women), which is patently false. This kind of reasoning is both laughable and lamentable, because it shows the shallowness and insane irrationality of our culture when it comes to issues of the environment. Alfred Tennyson expressed it well when he said:

Any man that walks the mead
In bud, or blade, or bloom, may find
A meaning suited to his mind.

Christians need to stand firm and stay committed to their calling as the stewards of the earth. Forget what Animal People Magazine purports as truth--it's worthless. Turn back to a Biblical understanding of dominion. Yeah, the culture is going to attack you--it hates everything you stand for. But notwithstanding, take Genesis 1:28 to heart.

"God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

And might I even suggest that you buy yourself a shotgun, get out in the swamp and make some memories. ;)

God Bless,

Hero Spot

Our family liked this short film so much I had to post a link--it's produced by the Bittner and Lohr families up in Olympia. Fun stuff, enjoy!

Watch it here

Been to Doug's Blog?

I would encourage you to visit Doug Phillips' blog and read his recommendation for closing out the year 2007--it's really excellent.

Three of the Most Important Things You Can Do at This Time of Year

Christmas Portraits

Several days ago I was experimenting with a variety of different lenses on my camera, and had no trouble finding some cute, cheerful faces to photograph. Christianna (our youngest) can be quite a character when she feels she is in the spotlight of attention, and the same holds true when a camera is pointed her direction. This particular evening she was fond of giving me "the lip" whenever I snuck up on her, but she did eventually deliver some real smiles once I got her to pose.

There's no flash in most these shots, mostly because Christianna has an incredible talent for blinking EVERY SINGLE TIME a flash fires. I did manage to catch her unawares in this one.




Dad, Mom and Grandma B. got us a really nice mahogany hammered dulcimer made by Dusty Strings (a Seattle-based company). It's a little tricky to get the right touch and keep a consistent rhythm, but because our instrument is different from other dulcimers in that it's modeled more after the scale structure of a piano (which most of us play), it is easier to catch on. This was really a neat gift, and is sure to add a whole new flavor to the musical pursuits of our family.

I have more posts and pictures on the way, so check back soon. Merry Christmas to you all, and may God bless you in the coming year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


On behalf of Germane Productions (Daniel Bittner, Brian Lohr and the rest of the team) I'd like to introduce you to an exciting new opportunity--let's make a God-honoring, epistemologically self-conscious short film for the SAICFF* next year!

Visit to find out more about Project: Dialtone, read the story, join the forum, and support this project with your talents, prayers, and financial aid (if possible)!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007


...It's been a while. I see there are several dedicated readers that continue to visit the ol' blog, and for that you have my thanks. Remind me to buy you an ice cream cone next time we meet ok?

As the enticing aroma of orange chicken drifts into my room, I'm sitting here questioning whether I have misplaced priorities...shouldn't I be down there? No, I'll post first. :)

Last Sunday we heard a good message relating to the Advent Season and preparation for Christmas, which addressed the topic of how God's people have responded to His mercy and goodness in history. It boiled down to a fundamental defense of the Christmas holiday as a time of joy and thanksgiving for God's gifts--and especially the ultimate Gift.

First of all we need to understand that God's people have a fundamental responsibility to consider what He has done for us, and commemorate special acts of God on our behalf. In the Old Testament we read of Israel using festivals, holy days and monuments to extol the greatness of God's deeds, and the attitude behind this is probably best expressed in the Psalms of David. Consider Psalm 145:1-13.

"I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

First David asserts that God is worthy of such praise from His people. But most importantly David clearly communicates that this kind of worship is the only appropriate response from those on whom His grace has been bestowed. It's not optional either.

Does meditation on the works of God, especially the gift of His Son that we celebrate during this season, bring us joy? David writes as though he expected everyone to have the same response of joy that he expresses in this Psalm, and indeed we must.

We know how easy it is to look at the crazy commercialization that engulfs this season and denounce it, but at the same time get caught up in the Christmas rush and lose our focus. What really matters? What's it all about? Most people don't know the answer. Many Christians stay away from Christmas altogether because they believe the season has been drained of all meaning, but is that true? Or has the true meaning just been placed on a shelf to gather dust, while quaint traditions and quotes (which have no meaning apart from their origination) govern the holiday?

All I'm saying is it's time to rebuild the foundation, to rediscover Christ our Savior and refocus our Christmas celebration on Him, instead of surrendering this time of joy and commemoration to the world, which strips it of all meaning and reason. Like David, we must feel an intense need to voice our praise to God, and that can be beautifully done during this special time of the year.

With that in mind let me wish you all a very merry Christmas!