Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dogs, Dafur, Death.

This Monday’s entry by Russell Moore in his commentary “Moore to the Point” caused me to think about a recent reflection I made when flipping through a slightly older copy of the magazine Moore derides in “Judas and the Decline of National Geographic.” I wasn't planning on posting what follows, so I don't have any documentation as to page numbers and other nonsense except to say that the quote below comes from National Geographic.

They “fill the streets and parks, the outdoor cafes and shops. They keep appointments with their masseurs and acupuncturists; they sit for portraits and for readings with their astrologers.” Neil Postman had us nailed; we are amusing ourselves to death. What’s worse, we’re taking our best friends down with us to the grave. Fifty years ago Lassie wouldn’t hesitate in yanking Timmy’s foot from the railroad track before the oncoming train could flatten the lad like a penny. Today, Lassie wouldn’t make it to the scene for two reasons: first, she finds it difficult to operate her blackberry without opposable thumbs and second, because it would interfere with her hair-styling appointment that she had to make over a month ago. The April edition of National Geographic provides no commentary when it describes in word and picture the zip code of San Francisco that has renovated animal shelters into animal condominiums, it doesn’t need commentary anymore than a photo of skeletal remains laying before a charred home in Dafur. To those who are only on-lookers both images are shocking. While it is in many respects unconscionable to continue to draw parallels between people who lavish gifts upon their pets as if they were Queen Sheba going before Solomon, and people, who acting far worse than animals, mount guns on helicopters to kill others unjustly and as carelessly as an early adolescent boy above an ant hill with a magnifying glass and a smirk. It is, in fact, regrettable that our English language allows a word like “shocking” to aptly describe the reaction to both scenarios. On the other hand, both images, both realities find their ancestral root in the same tragic event when in the garden Adam bestowed upon us all an inheritance that would in one generation give way to brother killing brother and would cause us to go about worshipping the created rather than the Creator. This in mind, it should not come as a surprise to see dogs heading into massage parlors, yet we know intuitively with Paul Harvey that this is not the rest of the story; we live for far greater reasons than to pamper our canine companions. It is no small wonder why those who take their pets in to get acupunctures would only look at the account of a dying king with thorns on his head to be a fool’s drama, but this in now way undermines their need of him. Will we, who know beyond the evidences of general revelation, only look at idolaters with disdain and scorn or will we direct them to the savior who created the dogs they venerate?

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