Can a Dog Receive Communion or Would You Complain? WWJD?

23 07 2010

“[I]n my opinion, Christ would have thought it was neat. It was just being human. And it made everyone smile.”

We’ve talked before about potential human life, about animals and even robots, how in the end the way we treat any of those is all about OUR humanity, not theirs. Not to mention how we treat each other, as enemy rivals or extended family and friends . . .

Can a dog receive communion?

It was the first time Needham had seen the man and his dog in church. He had been invited to the service after an incident where police heckled him as he sat peacefully on the steps of the church early one morning during the G20 weekend.

Angry over the experience, he called the church to vent. They invited
him to come to church, and he did, bringing his dog with him. . .

“I think it was this natural reaction: here’s this dog, and he’s just looking up, and she’s giving the wafers to people and she just gave one to him,” said Needham. “Anybody might have done that. It’s not like she’s trying to create a revolution.”

Days later, the church and diocese received a complaint from one
parishioner, who felt the church offended the sacred ritual. . .
Needham said the church has always been open to animals and once a year conducts a service to bless pets. Which is why the incident hardly caused a stir among the congregants – except for one.

(Frisky cock of the snook and wag of the tail to Meg for the story link.)

This power of story reminded me of so many school battles over meaning and purpose and procedure, but also of Canada’s PM apparently caught pocketing a communion wafer rather than tonguing it, and of poor Terri Schiavo being treated as less human than a dog in both life and death, and of the School and State battle over communion wafers at a Florida public university, remember the Jeezits? 😉

Student Star Chamber Convenes on Public University Campus to Punish Catholic Student

Like School, College Can’t Be Trusted As Academic Environment Anymore

Respect the Jeez-its Is Sorry Sign of Educational Times

UCF Student Impeached for On-Campus Church Incident, Speaks Out

Schools and churches both may soon face the implications of a shifting majority view valuing animals as highly as humans, and see more dogs expecting human treatment alongside the kids:

A recent Zogby poll found that 51 percent of Americans believe that primates are entitled to the same rights as human children.

What is going on here? A certain amount of cultural confusion, for one thing.

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10 responses

23 07 2010
Meg

The treatment of animals (and dogs in particular) has been a long running discussion between my sister and I.

23 07 2010
JJ

It would be hard to find a better match between comment and avatar. 😉

23 07 2010
JJ

And on a cynical and serious note, what will you bet Fox News types won’t be calling for these disgusting government officials to be fired as quickly as they did the innocent and honorable Shirley Sherrod, if ever?

Pentagon Child Porn Scandal Breaks Friday:

The federal investigation of military workers was part of a broader effort initiated in 2007 under the code name “Operation Flicker.” That project had identified more than 5,000 individuals who subscribed to child pornography websites.

23 07 2010
Audrey

You know what I think is interesting about the Harper incident? No one up here cared much. It was a mere blip on the news, and THAT was mostly re-hash of the response of Americans. Harper is actually a C&ME, but you wouldn’t know that unless you looked it up in his bio because unlike down South, our politicians don’t make a habit of discussing their private religious sentiments in public.

I. Freakin. Love. That.

Because…. it shouldn’t matter WHAT the PM’s religious affiliation is. That affiliation shouldn’t have anything to do with politics. The occassional exception to that unwritten rule of Canadian politics almost always comes out in the wash — or the election, where the line-crossers are often routed. Our politicians don’t end every. single. speech with “God Bless Canada.” Canadians wouldn’t like that. We like to keep our public sphere pretty secular (I would argue it isn’t secular enough, but still….). That’s not to say that people here are secular. There are many conservative religious people here, but for the large part, religion is viewed as a personal, private choice, not a political tool.

23 07 2010
Audrey

C&ME should be C&MA. Sorry for the typo.

23 07 2010
Meg

@JJ – Actually Pat is a professional dog trainer – http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Miller/e/B001ILHHYW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1279934253&sr=1-1

To give you an example (she has no human kids) when my kids were toddlers she would compare whatever milestone they were dealing with to a ‘typical’ dog.

Jeff and I think she’s a little over the top.

24 07 2010
JJ

Audrey’s secular Canada culture sounds oddly like my childhood in the South (even the SC summers but especially the FL schoolyears) which comparatively came closer to the feel of what she describes than what we’re experiencing now. My Air Force family were Bill Buckley Republicans when Church had nothing to do with State or School, the economy, taxes, zoning, science and medicine. The rural little SC town near Daryl’s Seneca did still have blue laws creating a sort of semi-prohibition but people stocked their own bars and winked at the need to work around the little-old-lady restrictions for show.
There was a LOT of drinking going on (sex too, and clinical sex education and not legal but no-nonsense abortions.)

It was the Mad Men era, which btw opens its new season tomorrow, and I just read an apt description of how that time was more innocent, more socially stable and yet oddly more politically progressive — less set against progress, at least — than our corrupt, propagandizing, holier-than-thou Now:

why does the world of “Mad Men” so beguilingly shimmer nearly half a century later?

My own theory is that it is because — adultery, alcoholism and avarice aside — Madison Avenue in the 1960s was so innocent compared to today. . . .

The supposed hard-drinking cynicism of “Mad Men” seems almost quaint against the backdrop of our trashy obsession with minor celebrities and the cultural belief that nothing succeeds like excess.

So if going back to that as the future is the best we who can’t move to Canada can hope for, here in the American South, I think I don’t like our options.

24 07 2010
JJ

Meg, it’s cool that your sister is right there published and available at Amazon. And cited in other dog books.

I have one dear friend and a few acquaintances who think of and treat their own dogs as surrogate children, but I’ve never heard any hint that they demand government and society should recognize them as such. When aforementioned dear friend was traveling and an electrical fire trapped and killed her dogs left at home, she mourned the loss of life as a family tragedy and I mourned with her, but imo it wasn’t over the top in the sense of actually confusing canine life with human life, and she was mourning the loss of her home, family photos and keepsakes too, packed with the meaning of life but not themselves living things, if you know what I mean.

Do you think your sister speaks and writes to people like that, maybe? Or is there something more going on with her? How do you think she sees the dog communion story?

24 07 2010
Meg

When I posted it I was hoping she’d comment, but she’s buried in summer training seminars (she makes most of her income from training people to become dog trainers and they come to her from all over the world.)

Knowing my sister, I do think she’s got a firm grasp of reality in the sense that dogs aren’t human. It’s just that I think she places them closer than most people.

24 07 2010
JJ

We all wind up teaching others one way or another, don’t we? 😉

Heavy responsibility to be worthy of . . .

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