We’ve written about the subject of “animal rights” a few times before — see, e.g.: Monkey Loses Copyright Case — Oook, Oook!, and also Discovery Institute and Human Exceptionalism, and before that Oook, Oook — Chimps Lose in Appellate Court.
Today we bring you the opinion of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Hambo’s article is posted at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry. It’s titled Are Animals “Persons”? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
An elephant named “Happy,” who lives at the Bronx Zoo in New York, isn’t a person. Now, that should be obvious. After all, Happy is an elephant. But the courts, including now an appellate court, had to affirm what is “common sense” (as those who manage Happy put it) to most people — Happy is not a person. Undeterred, the “Nonhuman Rights Project” will take their case (i.e., that Happy, a supposedly unhappy elephant, deserves “human-like rights”) — to a higher court. Why is this story significant?
Tell us, Hambo, why is it significant? He says:
Well, there’s no denying that human life is increasingly being devalued in our culture (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, gene editing, the genocide of those with disabilities, etc.), while animal life is increasingly being exalted above [Above?] the value of humans.
Hambo seems to be saying that in prior millennia, human rights were uniformly recognized, everywhere, but things are horrible today. After that historical perspective, he tells us:
And activist groups like the Nonhuman Rights Project are pushing for animals to be granted personhood and certain civil rights that only humans have. This, of course, stems from the evolutionary view that all of life is related and that we’re just animals [That is horrible and disgusting!] … Of course, this raises the question of what are “fundamental rights” (they mention rights such as liberty, autonomy, equality, and fairness), and who decides? Who gives “rights”?
Hambo seems to be utterly ignorant of the Age of Enlightenment and the vast literature about human rights it produced. Those rights are — he ought to know this — inherent in the U.S. Constitution. Seemingly oblivious to the culture in which he lives, Hambo explains the creationist concept of “rights”:
Well, in a biblical worldview, God has given us — humans — certain rights. He has not given those rights to animals, although we are called to care for creation and steward it wisely and kindly. And one of those human rights (discussed below) is to rule over (i.e., have dominion over) the animals.
Impressive, huh? Skipping a bit, he continues:
This is where a biblical worldview is so key. [Tell us, Hambo!!] Yes, many animals are smart; some have an amount of self-awareness and can, in a sense, communicate certain things with others (even humans) and have their own unique personality. But only humans are able to use complex language to communicate and think abstractly. While some animals can use certain items as tools, only humans can use tools to make tools. But those characteristics are not what make humans persons. What makes us unique is described in Genesis 1:27:
[Hambo quotes the bible:] So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Brilliant! Much more persuasive than anything written by Thomas Paine or Benjamin Franklin. Hambo finishes with this:
This is not a harsh rule — the testimony of Scripture is that God cares for creation, so we, as his image-bearers and those given the charge to rule over it, should also care for creation. So, yes, we have dominion over great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales — they are not our equals, nor do they have dominion over us.
Okay, dear reader — now get out there and whip those elephants. They have no rights and you have dominion over them. Hooray for Hambo!
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