Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thomas the Kitten and My Righteous Anger - A Sermon

I have agonized over the issue of personal culpability for a long time and catalyst this time was Thomas the kitten. How does one live in this tainted world and still live responsibly and a little bit righteously without being overwhelmed? I believe we must each answer this for ourselves in the very way we live. I posted this earlier today on Facebook though I have edited it slightly here. Even though it really isn't a transgender issue it is one all about how we live in the world - hopefully responsibly. I was truly horrified when I read the original post and have stewed over this for a week now so this post is a bit of a rant, mixed with what I believe to be righteous anger  and outrage turned into a sermon mixed with a little practical advice. I think it worthwhile to read on...

Hi all,

You know I post a lot of petition links - at least if you follow me on Facebook you do . I do this not to annoy my friends but to inform you and hopefully get you engaged enough to take two minutes from your day to make a difference in your world. I know you get junk mail already and don't want to add a bit more, but ignoring these issues does increase ones culpability and staying spam-free just doesn't seem to me like a viable excuse, (You can set up a separate e-mail account to use just for signing petitions and then you won't get all the junk mixed with your regular mail). Sometimes I get angry enough to stand up on my soap-box and preach. It took seeing a kitten buried alive in concrete to do so and this is one of those times...

I have been thinking a lot since I saw the original and re-posted the link on Facebook that though we would never do something this heinous to a kitten ourselves we do participate in behavior that allows such tortures to go unchecked by others. We have a moral responsibility to pay attention and be engaged in our world. And that means doing something to make a difference sometime. If each person on Facebook signs one petition every day can you imagine the difference that would make?

For Example, do you like bacon? Well then you have culpability in the cruel treatment of pigs unless you take some time to be involved in the fight against inhumane conditions and treatment. The same goes for those who eat chicken or beef or any other animal. It is time to quit remaining safely blind and ignorant and comfortable behind the walls we build for ourselves. I'm not going as far as the Vegans do in this battle because I believe that we are designed to eat some meat but I also am not going to hide or shield myself from the responsibility I personally have to be sure I seek humane sources of food, and barring that at least getting involved in a campaign to change cruel conditions and actions.

Humans tend towards cruelty - we see this time and again in the news - especially when it comes to getting and maintaining personal wealth and power over others. It is a rare person indeed who manages to accomplish this without allowing cruelty in the process and to those few that do I say thanks - keep it up! To the rest of us I must point out that God (or our Creator or the Universe in general for those who don't claim any brand of religion) gave us the intellect and free will to be able to rise above our base desires and instincts and we CAN make a difference. It is this intelligent difference-making that makes us fully human. And being fully human means taking responsibility for the things we use and what we do – every little thing. We will be blessed if and when we try to live this way. We may not succeed in bringing positive changes with every effort, nor can one person be involved in every issue, but we CAN try to make a difference somewhere and that is the crux of the matter. We must try! These petitions are a very simple and quick way to make a difference.  (I try not to post junk or foolhardy things that would waste your time).

Involvement means making changes in your life like having to look and think, and at times imagine what it would feel like to be in the place of one of these animals or people or to be forced to live in slavery or extreme poverty. Take a long hard look at the pollution and destruction of our world we keep allowing by our non-involvement. We can't keep "kicking the can down the road" - we are responsible to pick up the can and deal with it responsibly. I understand there are differences of opinion on the form and methods of involvement and I am not choosing political sides here - each person must decide for themselves how to be involved and what is important, however I am urging involvement of some sort.

We must change our society so it isn't built on a foundation of wasteful destruction and pollution, or cruelty, abuse, bullying, prejudice, slavery, sex trafficking and etc: all of this needs to be stopped and it won't be by staying silent and un-involved.  We must keep our corporations and our elected and appointed civic leaders in check. Sometimes it means we must do some real hands on sweaty work, sometimes maybe a bit of electioneering or some other tedious bit of effort, but we at least must do something to hold those responsible accountable and this is why I constantly encourage people to sign these things. I want you to see them and get involved - I even beg you as fellow citizens of this world to do so. We must, as Gandhi said, “be the change we want to see in the world”

For many years I have been inspired by this quote from Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing." (Originally it said "men" but the feminist in me said change it so readers know it includes everyone). I made a vow many years ago when I heard this that even though I may not be able to do much I would not "do nothing".

Here is what I am asking of each one of you who are my friends, please make a similar vow. Please don't do nothing. Please don't allow yourself to skip over important issues. There are plenty of issues to go around too. We need clean air and water - at least our children do, we need to have a humane society where all people are equal and accepted as members, we need to treat our world and all the creatures in it with kindness and compassion. We must love all our neighbors! It is our responsibility!

Look at the picture and hear this little kitten telling you the same thing. God used Balaam's ass to rebuke him (see Numbers 22:22-35; 2 Peter 2:16) so why not hear a kitten calling to you. Maybe if you hear him crying for help you will begin to hear what God hears--the cries of all the oppressed, the rejected, the downtrodden, the victims, and the hurting residents of our world--and then you can start to love your neighbors as yourself. I know God heard the cries of little Thomas and was grieved. When I saw this I was shocked, horrified and driven to my knees in anger first and then prayer and now moved to preach. Open your ears, eyes and your heart and allow what you hear and see to move provoke you to action. Here is a good starting place: maybe you could jump over to the petition site linked below and sign it too. The kitten was eventually rescued though it was too late to save his life, but still it is time to act and let the world know we won't tolerate this kind of behavior. Not to people, not to pets, not to our food, not to our world. Allow yourself some righteous anger when you see what uncaring. irresponsible and wicked people do and then stand up and get involved!! Don't do nothing. Here's the link to the petition site:

For those of faith here is a verse that comes to mind - isn't it about time...

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Hugs and Blessings,

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