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,


Anonymous said...

Wow, here are people who support abortion (for the most part) and yet they complane about us killing a goose or even a crow.

Jonathan V

Benjamin said...

Exactly. They hate it when man elevates himself above the environment (that is to say they reject the fact that man is the crowning glory of God's Creation) and espouse the opposite "extreme" by elevating animal rights above those of unborn children.

Of course, I'm speaking in general terms--not everybody who thinks this way favors abortion--but for the most part this movement has twisted the original hierarchy of the Creation order. Whether or not an unborn child is allowed to live is the discretionary decision of the parents--they place the parent's interests above the life of their baby. Furthermore they go on to place the interests of the environment above those of human society. They enslave themselves to the very Creation God commanded us to have dominion over. (Romans 1:18-32)

In other words, these kinds of people worship the earth, and consequently would rather have millions of babies killed for the "betterment of society" than let a single bird suffer at the hands of man to the "detriment of the environment."

It's sickening.

Thanks for the comment Jon.

Stephen B said...

My goodness, those bird people's posts make about as much sense as someone who tries to boycott flower shops, because they are too beautiful to pick and slowly, mercilessly kill.