“The Economy of the Country Be Damned” – The Animal Rights Advocacy of Karen Swallow Prior

The Wall Street Journal picked up the story of the ERLC’s partnership with the radical Humane Society in a post today, entitled Prayers, Puppies and a Political Menagerie. The subtitle for the article was “An Odd Alliance of the Humane Society and Christian Groups.” No kidding. Pulpit & Pen has been saying that for months. Why is the nation’s arguably most conservative (so they think) denomination in the country partnering (literally) with the radical Humane Society? These aren’t the folks that run your local pet shelter (they give less than 1% to pet shelters). These are the folks whose stated agenda is every bit as liberal and radical as PETA. Emails from the ERLC to concerned Southern Baptists deny the partnership, although it’s an obvious one that can easily be seen on the Every Living Thing website. Even secular journalists see the connection, and it’s bizarre enough it deserves an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Written by Nicholas G Hahn III, the article starts out with a bang (and from where we sit, smells of a whopping odor of we told you so)…

At first it seems like a heartwarming partnership: Christians join with a prominent nonprofit that purports to save puppies and kittens. But this new movement, ostensibly aimed at reminding Christians of their duty to protect animals, is peddling a theologically questionable and overtly political agenda.

Thank you, secular journalists, for pointing out what we should have figured out a long time ago. Seriously.

This fall appeared the initiative Every Living Thing, spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a national group that doesn’t manage local pet shelters, despite public perceptions. More than 1,000 Christians have signed a statement invoking the Bible to note that animals are an “especially vulnerable subset of all God’s creatures” that “can be most subject to irresponsible and cruel treatment by humans…

After discussing the Pope’s words (misquoted, as the WSJ points out) regarding pets in the afterlife, the article continues…

Compare this with the evangelicals backing Every Living Thing. The document says: “The Lord Jesus Christ will bring about a new heaven and a new earth that will reflect right relationships in all of creation, including between humans and animals”—solace to those who have suffered a falling out with their dogs. The movement alleges that “Christian eschatological hope encompasses all of creation.”

Again, thanks to the WSJ for pointing out what we’ve been saying. This “pets go to Heaven” sophomoric poppycock now has Southern Baptist endorsement. Hahn continues…

All of this would be forgivable if it weren’t covered in the paw prints of HSUS, which fancies itself a more sensible version of PETA, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, known for not-so-ethical treatment of humans.

Right. Again. We’ve been saying this.

Yet consider what the Humane Society means by “cruelty.” In a 2003 speech to United Poultry Concerns, Paul Shapiro, a future-vice president at HSUS, said: “Eating meat causes animal cruelty.” He added: “There is a direct causal connection between the foods that we eat and how much misery we inflict on those around us.” Another vice president, Miyun Park, said at a 2006 Animals and Society Institute event: “We don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed,” later adding that “we don’t have the luxury of waiting until we have the opportunity to get rid of the entire industry.”

Right. And that’s something P&P has been pointing out since day one. The ecumenical document promoted by Russell Moore’s ERLC and Karen Swallow Prior rejects “animal cruelty.” Who could argue against that? Any cock-fighters out there? But because KSP is a radical animal rights activist and the Humane Society is a radical animal rights group, what they mean by “animal cruelty” is meat consumption unless the chicken died of old age on your lap or is capped by surprise in the wilderness somewhere. In other words, KSP’s campaign against “animal cruelty” encompasses your friendly family farm utilizing standard techniques for meat production. Now get this…

A Liberty University professor said at an April HSUS confab for Christian women: “We have to prick the conscience on factory farming, so we have to say the economy of the country be damned, this has to stop.” She didn’t mention that farming and food production provide livelihoods for people, or that those who benefit from low food prices are the poor whom Christians are called to serve.

Well obviously it was Karen Swallow Prior. But considering her defenders, like Greg Smith, have already said that she wouldn’t say anything like that, it was important to P&P that we find the source used by Hahn in the Wall Street Journal. Sure enough, we did. It looks like Hahn was using the reporting of the Columbia Daily Tribune, writing about a small meeting between KSP and twenty other “evangelical” women at the Humane Society last April…

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“…the economy of the country be damned,” Prior says.

We explained in Karen Swallow Prior and the Animal Rights Trojan Horse in the ERLC that when asked if human suffering was worth ending animal suffering via industrialized farming methods she gave an affirmative response…

Perhaps most troubling and as I’ve previously covered on my podcast, while discussing the need to bring an end to “animal cruelty” (aka industrialized farming) in which she also decried the “domination of animals,” when asked if the human suffering (possible starving) that would be brought by ending animal suffering (industrialized farming), Karen Swallow Prior refused to answer the question directly (audio source link).

We explained in Animal Rights Groups Saw Karen Swallow Prior as Important Ally, Back in 2007 that she indeed identifies with the animal rights movement, even if she prefers the term animal welfare, and radical groups have been grooming her for the purpose of spreading their propaganda in evangelical circles…

Since 2007, Karen Swallow Prior has been seen as an ally by those in the animal rights revolution. Exceeding all of their wildest expectations, she has now convinced the ERLC to follow the game plan of the Best Friends Animal Society and the Human Society to enlist religious leadership to promote their agenda, and through the ERLC, has made guilty by complicitness America’s largest, once-conservative Christian denomination. She’s since gone on to do video promotionals for the Humane Society, giving (supposed) Biblical credibility to their agenda. Could it be any more obvious as to who Karen Swallow Prior is ideologically? She’s not on our team, folks.

I explained in the podcast episode, SBC, ERLC and KSP Attack Farming and Ranching Industry that the Every Living Thing Campaign partnered with by the ERLC is a bold attack on American agriculture and animal husbandry. Some thought that was crazy.

In SBC Joins Animal Rights Activism, we explained that the behavior of KSP and by extension the ERLC amounted to an attack on the farming and ranching industry, writing…

The ELTC  website features resources from not only evangelical feminist Karen Swallow Prior in a series of videos at Patheos regarding “animal welfare,” but also the “Eating Mercifully” video from…you guessed it – The Human Society. Eating Mercifully mercilessly attacks the farming industry as a whole, and it is doubtful that few agricultural Southern Baptists would appreciate such material being promoted by their denominational entity.

In all of these posts we’ve related factual citations to Karen Swallow Prior’s socially progressive attitudes toward animal rights, including her odd belief that naming pets gives them personhood by which they can go to Heaven, her desire that people eat less (and all factory-raised) meat, her partnership with the radical humane society and so on. Most recently, we discovered that – after we had made the charge that KSP was actually demonstrating attachment to and giving the talking points for the Animal Liberation Movement (ALM), the Animal Liberation Front even listed Prior as an evangelical defender of animal rights, in their post, Evangelicals Are Embracing Animal Rights.

Does Karen Swallow Prior care about impoverished Americans who rely on cheap chickens and reasonably priced beef and pork products to feed their children? Does she care about the family farms (many of whom are classified as “industrial,” others who contract with large producers) who will suffer on account of her definition of “animal cruelty”?

Here you have it folks. The evidence is in front of you. Farmers and Ranchers in the Southern Baptist Convention shouldn’t give another time of their hard-earned “animal cruelty” money until Karen Swallow Prior and Russell Moore are given the left-boot of fellowship. Your family farm be damned…there are animals to protect.

Maybe the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship or American Baptists are hiring. I’m sure they’d be welcomed with open arms.

[Contributed by JD Hall]

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JD Hall

JD Hall, pastor, dad, husband, writer, etc...

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