Dog-Fighting and Choice

I like to listen to talk radio while I'm driving, and of late the sports conversation is all about Michael Vick and his alleged dog-fighting. I'm no fan of dog-fighting. I find it vicious and immature. Proverbs 12.10 says it best: "Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel." Dog-fighting doesn't seem to me to be righteous.

However, I can't remember a time of hearing more moralist monologues from talk-show hosts whose specialty is sports. Dog-fighting is as the unforgivable sin to them, and the idea of innocent canines being torn to pieces or brutally done away with when they no longer have value is anathema.

I have to wonder, what would it be like if a caller asked, "But don't those dogs belong to Michael Vick? Didn't he buy them? Aren't they on his property? Doesn't he have the right to do with them as he pleases? Shouldn't he be able to get rid of them in the way he sees fit when they no longer have any value to him?"

I would guess that the host's response would be an impassioned proclamation of the rights and value of the dogs, and the responsibility of an owner to be humane and compassionate...and yet it would not be presumptuous to believe that some of these same radio hosts are pro-choice (they often allude to their political and moral views).

There's a new pro-choice billboard advertising a storage company in NYC (complete with ominous hangar). It reads, "Her right to choose is shrinking as fast as your closet space." Therein is the pro-abortion argument. Babies have their value and usefulness determined by the desires of their mother, and that value is often determined to be less than closet space.

You can't help but be confused by a culture that mourns the injustice of dog-fighting while systematically killing babies in no less a brutal manner - and with factory-like efficiency. Strong sectors of our culture believe dog-fighting to be wrong because it infringes upon the rights and value of a dog (I'm sympathetic) while at the same time insisting upon legal (even state-funded!) abortion because evidently human children have no rights (an outrage). They apparently believe that a person cannot by her choice determine the value and end of a dog, but can by her choice determine the value and end of a human child, a person.

Presumably they would argue that a dog owner should take responsibility to care for the dog in a humane way or not have dogs at all. And yet they would argue in essence for sex without responsibility, having little concern for treating human babies in a humane way, like giving them up for adoption instead of murdering them.

I'd like to say I don't get it, but I think I do. This is the essence of our wicked, sinful hearts. Just as with slavery, gossip, and myriads of other sins, we evil humans like to subvert the authority of God and claim it for ourselves; we like to determine the value of other people according to our preferences and convenience. Even if it comes to advocating for the murder of babies while fighting for the rights of dogs.

No comments: