Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Image of God

In the previous post, I said Obama was tired, I didn't say he was going to lose -- big difference.

My, my, but the Democrats panic easily. Sarah Palin sprinkles them with moose dust and they're ready to give up. What a bunch of sissies.

You know, if the Democrats don't start listening to me, they WILL lose.

And you Republicans better watch your mouth. If you call me an elitist one more time, I'm going to thrash your redneck rear end.

But enough of that. It's hunting season. Frog Hospital is a pro-hunting newsletter. I can understand people who don't hunt, and I can understand people who criticize hunting practices, and there is something that happened in the Skagit Valley this summer which requires a discussion.

It was one of the first days of bear-hunting season, August 4, a hot day. The Sauk Mountain Trail was crowded with hikers -- it often is. A fourteen-year-old hunter figured there might be a bear on that part of the mountain. He took aim at a woman, age 56, out hiking on the trail, and shot and killed her at a range of 120 yards. He thought he was aiming at a bear. He made a terrible mistake and the woman died.

Later, the prosecuting attorney filed charges of manslaughter against the boy. It frustrates me. Clearly, the boy had no intention to cause any harm. But to me, a hunter is totally responsible for what he shoots at, and the boy has to face some serious consequences for what he did.

Those are the hunting rules: If you kill it, you eat it. If you wound it, then you risk life and limb to finish it off. And if you shoot a hiker or birdwatcher, then you are 100 percent responsible. I would like to hear from anyone who sees this differently.

Hunting is an ancient and honorable activity. The problem is that there's less room for it. There's too many people on the Sauk Mountain Trail, and people say the bears never come there anyway, so one outcome will be that this area will be closed to hunting, and I agree with that.

I like to fish. I'm a catch-and-eat fisherman. You can fish in many urban areas. Elliot Bay, right off downtown Seattle, can be a good place to catch salmon. So there is little pressure on the fishing fraternity. There aren't many people who want to ban fishing, but plenty who believe hunting is now an archaic activity, no more suitable to modern man that rubbing two sticks together to build a fire.

I don't want to get too far into that argument. I saw an eagle flying over the house this morning, a young one, with no white feathers. Eagles are pure predators. The coyotes are pure predators too, and they eat the rabbits that run around our back yard. The herons wade in the slough and eat the frogs and little fish. Human beings are predators, but not purely. We are omnivores. We can do fairly well on vegetables and grains. And so we can make ethical distinctions and refrain from killing game when we don't need to.

The Bible says we are made in the image of God and that we are given stewardship over all the earth. I believe that. But I wonder about those rabbits. Maybe God told the rabbits the same thing, and the rabbits believe that the entire earth was made for their benefit. God may have told the same thing to all of His creatures. Maybe we're not that special.

I like to think about things like that when I look out the window. I am an expert theologian, among other skills.

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