In the United States, animal cruelty is now in the spotlight after a man in Zanesville, Ohio, allegedly committed suicide after releasing 51 exotic animals from his private farm, according to CNN.com. Most of the animals were shot dead on-sight or later put down for safety concerns. ??

Church inaction over animal welfare compounds animal cruelty, said Professor Andrew Linzey, a theologian at Oxford University and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.


Linzey spoke at a special Sunday service for animals at Westminster Abbey in early October, sponsored by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an animal welfare charity in the United Kingdom. Complaints of cruelty investigated by the RSPCA have risen from 137,245 in 2007 to 159,686 in 2010.


In the United States, animal cruelty is now in the spotlight after a man in Zanesville, Ohio, allegedly committed suicide after releasing 51 exotic animals from his private farm, according to CNN.com. Most of the animals were shot dead on-sight or later put down for safety concerns. ??


The churches "are nowhere in this debate,” said Linzey. “With a few honorable exceptions –– and I mean a very few –– English archbishops and bishops haven't even addressed the issue in the past decade or more. Almost all church leaders, who are normally loquacious in lamenting regressive social policies, can't even register cruelty as an issue. They talk airily of environmental responsibility, but when it comes to confronting our specific duties to other sentient creatures, (they) fall silent."??


The root problem, Linzey says, is a failure of theology, especially the "idolatry" of thinking that God is only interested in the human species.  ?


"Christians haven't got much further than thinking that the whole world was made for us, with the result that animals are only seen in an instrumental way as objects, machines, tools and commodities rather than fellow creatures. To think that animals can be defined by what they do for us, or how they meet our needs, is profoundly un-theological."


-- ReligionNews.com/ GHNS


Week in Religion


- Oct. 19, 1921, birth of Bill Bright, American youth evangelist. Bill and his wife, Vonette, founded Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951.


- Oct. 20, 1908, birth of Stuart Hamblen, country songwriter who flourished during the 1950s. His best-remembered Christian songs include "Known Only to Him," "Beyond the Sunset" and "It Is No Secret."


- Oct. 21, 686, Conon begins his reign as Catholic Pope.


-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church


Survey Says


According to the Pew Center on Religion and Public Life, majorities in France (62 percent), Germany (61 percent) and Spain (58 percent) say relations between Western and Muslim publics are bad, as well as 48 percent in the United States. Similarly, majorities in Palestinian territories (72 percent), Egypt (60 percent) and Jordan (58 percent), as well as 45 percent in Pakistan, believe relations between the two publics are bad.


Good Book?


“The Color of Rain: How Two Families Found Faith, Hope and Love in the Midst of Tragedy” by Michael and Gina Spehn


When two childhood friends die of cancer six weeks apart, the shared experience of loss brings their grieving spouses together. After months of late-night phone calls, family dinners, and countless dreams and tears, this unlikely pair builds a trust, a love, and a shared life. Told from alternating points of view, The Color of Rain illuminates the stepping-stones of healing that lead to a joyful new beginning for Michael and Gina Spehn and their five children. Like many who grieve, Michael and Gina had to choose to hope again. Along the way, they discovered that God can restore the darkest circumstances---and even from death, He can bring new life.


-- Zondervan


Quote of the week


"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." – Mother Teresa


The Word


Dead Sea Scrolls: Refers to tens of thousands of fragments of biblical and early Jewish writings that were found in caves in Qumran near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956. Scholars dispute their importance but agree they shed light on the culture and beliefs of Judaism between the 3rd century B.C. and the dawn of Christianity in the 1st century.


-- religionstylebook.com


Religion Around the World


Religious makeup of Kenya


Protestant: 45 percent


Roman Catholic: 33 percent


Muslim: 10 percent 


Indigenous beliefs: 10 percent 


Other: 2 percent


- CIA Factbook


GateHouse News Service