Thursday, March 4, 2010

God to Followers: "I want that orca dead! I want his family dead!"

There's a line in the Neko Case song "People Got A Lotta Nerve" that goes like this:

You know they call them "killer" whales?!
But you seem surprised when it pinned you down
To the bottom of the tank
Where you can't turn around
It took half your leg and both your lungs ...
I'm not sure about the "half your leg" part -- Neko might have been mixing her uncanny prediction of events at SeaWorld with her recollections of the classic 1977 film Orca (Cf. one, two), in which a rampaging orca bites off most of Bo Derek's leg. Good times.

Anyhoo, word of the recent Neko-Case-foretold ugliness at SeaWorld reached heaven, and in reply, THE GOD OF ALL CREATION inspired its followers at the American Family Association to drop this theological tutelage upon the fallen race of man:
Chalk another death up to animal rights insanity and to the ongoing failure of the West to take counsel on practical matters from the Scripture. [...] Says the ancient civil code of Israel, “When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable.” (Exodus 21:28) So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn’t know the animal was going to go postal on somebody. But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn’t kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, “the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.” (Exodus 21:29)
No, that's not the lesson. The American Family Association's favorite god doesn't seem to know a thing about orcas or oxen. Their god holds an outlandishly distorted sense of these creatures' ability to think morally about the smaller animals in their vicinity, whether people, seals, fish, ticks, or members of the American Family Association. If you ask me, the people of the American Family Association should cease issuing idiotic press releases and start spending as much time as possible swimming with captive orcas and/or inside the pens of rodeo oxen, and report their findings to Jehovah so he'll correct these mistakes in future printings of the Bible.

Neko Case had it right when she foretold all of this: trifling with enormous wild killing machines is a great way to get maimed or drowned. It's not sure to do much more than that, or not for long, and it is meanwhile not worth the "oooh's" and "aaaah's" coming from the stands. It's sad the woman died, but there are lessons here: don't presume to treat wild predators as show beasts, and step back from the impulse to violate the practical, commonsense, reality-based boundaries around and between animal species, including but not limited to Homo sapiens.

And, last and probably least, keep Bibles around for what they can really do for us: remind us of the interesting and dumbfounding beliefs people are capable of producing, gather dust on bookshelves, and supply kindling or scratch paper when the situation calls for it.

I call on all nations to stop these animal killers. Now watch this drive:

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