Liberty University Has Michael Vick Preach on Animal Rights…Not Satire.
Michael Vick has been redeemed. At least, that’s what radical animal rights activist, Karen Swallow Prior, wants you to think. Prior is a professor at Liberty University, a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who has frequented gay film festivals, was chosen by animal rights activists to infiltrate evangelicalism since at least 2007, who has joined with feminists to bash complementarianism, who has written the praises of Rob Bell, Pat Robertson and Rachel Held Evans, who has said that abortion is NOT murder and that calling it such is “unchristlike,” who said that she wants an end to modern farming methods “even if the economy of the country be damned,” thinks pets go to Heaven because when you name them it gives them personhood, and who even was successful in getting the SBC to partner with the radical agenda of the insanely liberal Humane Society.
Swallow Prior wrote a piece for the Washington Post, lauding Liberty University for inviting Michael Vick to preach at Liberty University during its convocation service because he had repented of his violence toward animals and turned over a new animal-loving leaf. Keep in mind that Karen Swallow Prior once said – in speaking about Michael Vick – that violence toward animals made her “more emotional” than violence toward the unborn. At the time, she said…
While abortion is an issue I can approach from a detached, intellectual and biblical perspective, I respond to cruelty to animals on a much more visceral, emotional level. I can imagine but not fully face what they experience at the hands of an impatient electrocuter or a soulless Michael Vick. Yet, still I find myself buying and eating that meat sacrificed to the modern day idols of convenience, efficiency, and greed.
Prior, though, apparently has considered Vick’s repentance regarding animal violence to have been sincere, and thinks it was a great idea to have Vick speak at the Christian university. Apparently, she no longer thinks that Vick is “soulless.”
The feminist writes…
It was the image of a shepherd that brought notorious dog fighter Michael Vick back to God.
Psalm 23, attributed to King David — a repentant adulterer and murderer — invokes pastoral imagery to depict the Lord as a gentle, loving shepherd and the speaker as a helpless, fearful sheep in need of guidance.
It’s ironic — or perhaps fitting — that this is the scripture that would speak so meaningfully to a man accused of abusing, neglecting, torturing and killing dozens of dogs. But, as fallen NFL star Vick told students assembled Monday for Liberty University’s convocation, this is the passage he returned to again and again while serving a 23-month sentence on federal charges related to his dog-fighting operation. In his convocation address, Vick spoke passionately about his faith and animal welfare.
For Prior – and apparently Liberty University – loving animals is the same authentic conversion. This makes sense for a ‘Christian’ University whose president thinks that conservative political philosophy is the same thing as genuine salvation.
Swallow Prior used the opportunity to turn the Messianic song of Psalm 23 into a message about animal rights, writing…
Psalm 23 is not the only part of the Bible with something to say about God’s expectations for humans in caring for animals, expectations that are just as much a reflection of our relationship with God as of our relationship with other creatures. Exodus 23:5 commands believers to help the hurt donkey of an enemy. Deuteronomy 25:4 prohibits the muzzling of an ox that is threshing. Proverbs 12:10 declares that a righteous person cares for the life of the beast. Matthew 10:29 says that God cares even for the sparrow. And Jesus is described in John 10:11 as the Good Shepherd “who lays down his life for the sheep.”
If Vick ignored these passages — even when he knew it was wrong to do so — he is not alone. While church history features many leading figures who voiced biblical attitudes toward animal welfare, the modern American church has not been the leading voice it could and should be in an age of widespread industrial farming and animal exploitation. These practices often require unnatural confining, shortened life spans, and unnecessary disease and pain for animals.
The convocation event featuring Michael Vick coincided with the convocation theme of animal rights. Again, Swallow Prior writes…
It is encouraging, then, to see animal welfare become a greater concern within some pockets of the church. While Liberty University frequently features celebrities and famous athletes in its convocation services, Monday’s convocation focused on the issue of animal welfare. Along with Vick’s talk, the university’s ongoing work with the local humane society was highlighted. In fact, as a result of 43,000 hours by more than 1,800 Liberty volunteers and a quarter-million-dollar donation toward new facilities, Liberty was recently named the Humane Society’s volunteer of the year.
There is little doubt that it is Swallow Prior’s influence upon America’s largest evangelical university that has led it to partner with the anti-Christian and unbiblical worldview of the Humane Society.
The Humane Society does not – in fact – operate pet shelters, but rather lobbies to “rescue” farm animals from butcher, end industrialized farming, promote vegetarianism, boycott the wearing of animal products and end scientific animal testing; the Humane Society is almost indistinguishable in their goals from PETA and other radical organizations that put “animal suffering” on the same moral level as human suffering.
Prior, we have reported before, serves on the Humane Society Faith Advisory Council with Muslim clerics, Jewish rabbis and others, the goal of which is to “provide strategic guidance” for the organization (source link). Prior, according to an interview, helped to write the animal welfare manifesto for Every Living Thing in conjunction with the Humane Society (source link). The Every Living Thing website promotes a video from the Humane Society, which has widely been taken as an all-out assault on the farming and ranching industry (source link). Prior has also personally advocated for a substantial elimination of meat from our diet in the name of animal welfare (source link). This same website, partnered with by the Southern Baptist Convention’s ERLC and headed up by Karen Swallow Prior, includes an article calling animals “our brothers,” and one article suggesting that elephants have souls.
If it seems absurd that Michael Vick is preaching at Liberty University to promote animal rights, just consider the facts provided by Swallow Prior to the Washington Post. They donated 1,800 volunteers and a quarter-million dollars for the Humane Society. In the crazy, misguided world of wrong priorities that we live in, anything is possible.
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