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Animal Rights Groups See Karen Swallow Prior as Important Ally, Back in 2007

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…there is much for me, as an anti-abortion activist, to respect in the animal rights movement. Karen Swallow Prior (The Liberal Case Against Abortion, pg 63 source link)

Karen Swallow Prior, who serves on the “faith advisory board” of the radical Humane Society with Islamic imams, Jewish rabbis, and others (source link) in order to “provide strategic guidance for the organization and its leadership,” was on the radar of several animal rights organizations as far back as eight years ago as a possible ally to bring their agenda into mainstream evangelicalism.

While Pulpit & Pen has been warning Southern Baptists of the liberal agenda of Karen Swallow Prior and Russell Moore at the ERLC and their attacks on the farming and ranching industry through the Every Living Thing Campaign and Prior’s subsequent media interviews, the secular watchdog group, Humane Watch, was also warning the public.

In a post entitled HSUS [Humane Society of the United States] Tries to Infiltrate Evangelical Churches, Humane Watch explains how the animal rights organization is trying to propagandize evangelicalism through the Every Living Thing Campaign – the very campaign partnered with by Russell Moore, the ERLC and Karen Swallow Prior (in fact, according to an interview, KSP helped write the document that serves as the blueprint for this infiltration of animal rights activism into evangelical churches). Humane Watch writes…

About a decade ago, PETA had a campaign using religious language to call on Christians to go vegetarian. The tactics were typical PETA: Billboards calling Jesus the “Prince of Peas,” a crucified person wearing a pig mask, and calling vegetarianism “An Immaculate Conception.” The campaign was tin-eared and offensive to those who are religious, and religious leaders rightly condemned it…Hopefully they see through the newest HSUS campaign, too. Last week HSUS launched a campaign called “Every Living Things” in conjunction with a statement put out by Evangelical leaders. And just like PETA, HSUS is using Christian language and ideas to try to influence church-goers.

Earth to Southern Baptists. Earth to Southern Baptists.

Even secularists are pointing out that a radical animal rights organization is using Karen Swallow Prior and the Every Living Thing Campaign to influence church goers – and Southern Baptists are paying to help them through Russell Moore and the ERLC. Keep in mind, the Every Living Thing Campaign is partnered with both the ERLC and the Human Society – an organization with no religious affiliation (or Christian sensibilities). Why would a secularist organization be all about religious folks all in a sudden? Humane Watch continues…

More than that, religious groups should strive to set a good example with their actions. But consider the black marks on HSUS’s record. Wayne Pacelle, the head of HSUS, is a guy who swindles women and the elderly into donating to HSUS under the false impression that their money will be used primarily to help cats and dogs, when in fact it goes to fund political agendas attacking restaurants and farmers for serving and producing meat, dairy, and eggs….We’re guessing the leaders at HSUS do not care about any religion, whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism, or Shintoism. They care about a political agenda that forces animal “liberation” on the rest of us. Let’s hope Evangelicals are not fooled by Greeks bearing gifts.

Well, evangelicals certainly have been fooled. Considering the ERLC has yet to be closed down, I’d say about 16 million Southern Baptists have been fooled. Russell Moore certainly has been. But what about Karen Swallow Prior? Is she just an innocent patsy in the nefarious game plan of the animal rights revolution? Is she just an innocent, well-meaning woman who needs a tad more discernment? It’s doubtful.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance pointed out an Los Angeles Times story in 2007, regarding animal rights activists seeking friends in the religious community to help push their agenda (source link). The AAA was concerned that animal rights activists were “using biblical language to promote political initiatives,” beginning to infiltrate Quaker meeting houses and Episcopal churches under the guise of religiously-themed creature care. The AAA discussed the The Best Friends Animal Society, an animal rights organization, and their “Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion,” the forerunner of the ERLC-Humane Society sponsored Every Living Thing proclamation.

The AAA also gave warning concerning the Humane Society’s religious initiative, Animals and Religion program. The program, funded to the tune of 400k a year, is designed to “persuade faith communities to take a series of small steps towards ‘animal welfare,’ like offering a vegetarian entree at a fellowship meal or insisting that the coffee cake set out on Sunday morning be made from free-range eggs” (seriously, can’t make that up – source link). AAA writes…

HSUS is also seeking religious leaders in its political campaigns…The goal of vegan-driven animals rights activists, if realized, could devastate farmers, ranchers, and rural communities that rely on them. 

So…who did HSUS seek out, according to the Animal Agricultural Alliance? One example of such a religious leader viewed as an ally by HSUS and others, was Karen Swallow Prior. They write…

Karen Swallow Prior, an associate professor English at Liberty University – a fundamental Baptist institution funded by the late Jerry Falwell – recently wrote an editorial for the university’s journal declaring animal welfare an evangelical concern…The Los Angeles Times commented that buzz on animal rights activist websites indicated to leaders in the animal rights movement that the religious right was a potential ally and resource contributor. 

Well, the buzz heard by the LA Times was true. Amazingly, the hairy-pitted hippies in the animal rights movement did find a friend in the religious right who would be an ally and resource contributor. Her name is Karen Swallow Prior, who is only a member of the “religious right” by virtue of her relationship with Russell Moore and employment at Liberty University. The resources are being funded by the Southern Baptists Convention. This could possibly be the greatest hippy coup of all time.

The LA Times article referenced by the AAA writes….

She spent years as an outspoken antiabortion activist, and that cause remains dear to her. But these days, Karen Swallow Prior has a new passion: animal welfare….She wasn’t sure, at first, that advocating for God’s four-legged creatures would go over well on the campus of Liberty University, a fundamentalist Baptist institution founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell….Among the Liberty faculty — and conservative evangelicals in general — the animal-rights movement is often disdained as a secular, liberal cause….But activists have been working with increasing intensity to shed that image.

To be completely honest, we’ve spent time researching the “outspokenness” of Karen Swallow Prior’s anti-abortion activism and haven’t been able to find much. We’ve found much, much more on the topic of animal welfare (which is how people masquerading as conservatives say “animal rights”). It truly is the image – only – that is being shed; the message and mission of the animal rights movement remains.

To Prior’s surprise, she’s gotten plenty of praise on and around Liberty’s campus in Lynchburg, Va. Her pastor has even asked her to lecture on the topic at Bible study.

“A lot of these ideas get dismissed out of a view that they fit into a conservative-versus-liberal [split]. But there are some issues that transcend that,” said Prior, an English professor…

The evangelical community “is expanding its definition of values to include work on poverty and the environment. We hope to insert concern for animal welfare as well,” said Christine Gutleben, who directs the new “animals and religion” program at the Humane Society of the United States.

Prior has certainly been an encouragement to the animal rights movement, and has gone so far as to convince the Southern Baptist Convention, through their entity (the ERLC) to partner with the most extreme and radical of the movement. It’s been stunning to watch the downgrade of conservative evangelicalism.

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.

This woman – who was perceived by the animal rights movement 8 years ago as an ally in their mission – is now promoted inexplicably by Russell Moore,  Joe Carter, the ERLC and the Gospel Coalition, and once-solid social media wise-crackers like Frank Turk and a host of others. The evidence is out. It seems pretty clear. Discernment is a dying art, I suppose. But given the facts, one wonders why anyone positioning themselves as conservatives would be supporting this woman’s mission.

[Contributed by JD Hall]