Cleansing Fire

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Liberals Are Nuts

October 5th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

I think the following Letter to the Editor that appears on the Catholic Courier website more than speaks for itself.

Enjoy a fascinating look into the mind of liberals. I know you’ll probably think this is a fabrication, but the letter is definitely real. Check the link above if you don’t believe me.

(emphasis added for the particularly loony comments)

Decries game at festival

There was a new “game” at the recent St. Mary’s Church summer festival in Canandaigua which appalled me.

For one dollar you got five balls to try to toss into glass containers. Every time a ball landed in a container, participants were given a live goldfish kept in a small plastic bag, without food and with barely enough water to remain alive.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of live goldfish were given away as prizes, as if they were inanimate objects. No consideration was given in regards to what would happen to these animals, that were handed out faster than the delicious fried dough that was sold at a neighboring booth.

Goldfish are gentle, graceful animals that are worthy of moral consideration.

Far too often, the worship of God becomes a matter of ceremony and ritual, rather than a matter of practicing compassionate treatment for all God’s creations.

I am offended when our religious leaders — be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim — disregard the importance of respecting other living beings.

Jesus was born in a manger that sheltered and nurtured animals. He reminded people that animals should be the object of peoples’ concern and care. It was the slaughter of animals, in the name of God, that led Jesus to free animals about to be slaughtered at the Jerusalem Temple and to disrupt the procedure associated with these sacrificial rites. There is also evidence that Jesus was an Essene, a vegetarian sect of Judaism.

I believe Jesus would have regarded the cruelty to goldfish, which occurred on the property of a church established to revere him, as a sacrilege.

Joel Freedman
Canandaigua

Freedman chairs the public education committee of Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York”

I repeat… this is a REAL letter to the editor from the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Courier.

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31 Responses to “Liberals Are Nuts”

  1. avatar Nerina says:

    Well given his feelings about the treatment of goldfish, I hope to see Joel Freedman this weekend at the midpoint rally for the 40 Days for Life campaign. I also look forward to his impassioned letter about finding dismembered babies from abortions in plastic bags in dumpsters.

  2. avatar Dr. K says:

    Yes, were only he to demonstrate the same zeal for the protection of human life.

  3. avatar Persis says:

    Having been on the committee that puts on my former parish’s summer festival, I would be interested in knowing if Mr. Freedman knows that, for the most part, the goldfish given away at these festivals are called “feeder fish”, who’s sole purpose is to be food for larger fish and reptiles. If I were a gold fish, I would gladly take my chances with a kid over an oscar anyday! :)

  4. avatar Gen says:

    Better call the ASPCA and have Fr. Mull arrested.

  5. avatar Dr. K says:

    I won a goldfish at a festival several years ago, and gave it a good home until it died five days later.

  6. avatar Cricket says:

    Mr. Freedman is not knocking Christianity. He is very rationally and logically stating an opinion. He cares for life. God created life, therefore every life He creates is precious.
    Is caring for life somehow anti-Christian? If so, I think I missed the memo.
    How can you be Christian and think that this opinion is “nuts”?

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    I agree that in general, people who are involved with animal rights issues seem to overlook human suffering and place animal suffering above it. This person also has a misinterpretation of biblical facts. But I also don’t agree with people who disregard animal suffering or belittle those that do. Wherever there is suffering, human or animal, there should be compassion and the courage to speak out. I don’t see what the lifespan of a creature or its ultimate purpose, has anything to do with whether it should be allowed to suffer or not.

  8. avatar benanderson says:

    @Cricket and anon 4:24PM

    Mr. Freedman is wishing to limit the Christian freedom of the parish to distribute goldfish. Look at the examples of cruelty he gives. Maybe if he saw some kids (with parental permission) gouging its eyes or something.. but as stated, the lives of these goldfish aren’t really worse off by being distributed.

    nuts comment #1.

    It was the slaughter of animals, in the name of God, that led Jesus to free animals about to be slaughtered at the Jerusalem Temple and to disrupt the procedure associated with these sacrificial rites.

    nuts comment #2.

    There is also evidence that Jesus was an Essene, a vegetarian sect of Judaism.

    show me a reputable exegete willing to give either of those claims any credence.

  9. avatar Gen says:

    The man cites no reputable sources for any of his claims. He declares that there is a possibility that Our Lord was a member of the Essenes . . . that’s completely false. There is little to nothing to support that view in the Scriptures or Tradition. Essenes were Jews who felt that after the Hellenistic profanation of the Temple (pigs slaughtered in the sanctuary), the Temple was impure and that to escape the influence of impurity, one must flee to the outskirts of civilization. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and spent his entire ministry, save his various “retreats” in the wilderness, in other cities and towns, including Jerusalem . . . including the Temple. An Essene would not have entered the Temple. Maybe if he actually showed an ounce of scholarly insight rather than trippy hippy nonsense about the morality of parish fairs . . . maybe, just maybe we’d consider not calling him nuts.

    Until that time the statement stands. Liberals are nuts.

  10. avatar EandKmom says:

    Mr Freedman might care to know that 3 years ago my kids won “feeder fish” at a carnival. They are swimming happily in a tank in my family room as we speak….

  11. avatar Cricket says:

    Textual evidence aside, Mr. Freedman makes a valid point; Little kids receive these fish and, while exceptions do occur, most children are not to be trusted with tiny, live animals. Also perhaps the fish should have been given food, extra water, or ventilation. Mr. Freedman is not blaming the church, merely suggesting that inanimate prizes be handed out instead.
    I do not believe that Mr. Freedman is taking a church carnival as proof that Christians disregard life, so why do you take his statements as proof that liberals are insane? Is it because he dares to criticize a religious institution?
    And, before you get angry with me, I am not badmouthing religion. Just that, every once in a while, believing in God does not make you correct. It also does not give you the right to judge a population (Liberals) based on the words of one man (Mr. Freedman).

  12. avatar Abaccio says:

    Disregard life? Oh hooray, it’s THIS argument again.

    Animals. Are. Not. People.

    Animals do not have rights.

    /thread

  13. avatar Nerina says:

    Cricket, I agree with you that generalizations should be avoided. Knowing Dr. K. from this board, I’m sure he doesn’t literally mean that every single liberal is “nuts,” but the overall ideology of liberalism certainly can present as “nuts.” In this case, it’s hard to understand a man’s hypervigilance concerning goldfish when we have other “fish to fry” (oooh, sorry for the bad pun) when it comes to respecting and caring for life.

    I certainly wouldn’t want to see children or adults being deliberately cruel to any of God’s creatures. That’s just wrong. At the same time, I’m not going to lose any sleep over feeder fish being handed out at a carnival.

  14. avatar Dr. K says:

    I’m sure he doesn’t literally mean that every single liberal is “nuts”

    Anyone who values the life of a goldfish over that of a human, or even in the same ball park, could be considered insane.

  15. avatar fred says:

    Jesus did not cleanse the Temple because he objected to animals being sacrificed. He was an observant Jew who took part in Jewish Temple worship. What he objected to was the corruption in selling animals for sacrifice to poor Jews who were being taken advantage of by the sellers.

  16. avatar Cricket says:

    Where are humans coming into this? At what point is he saying “save the goldfish at the expense of man”? He’s not saying “abort the fetuses but make sure and save the goldfish”, he’s just asking why we feel the need to take lives into our hands when it is just as easy not to. Hand out other prizes. You’ve been to a carnival, I’m sure – what happened to teddy bears and candy?

  17. avatar Dr. K says:

    So nobody should own pets?

  18. avatar Cricket says:

    I’m saying don’t own pets that are not guaranteed a good home. Everything deserves a chance at life, as I’m sure many of you will agree.

  19. avatar Dr. K says:

    How does this letter writer know that these fish are not going to have a good home?

    And do you propose we run background checks on people to investigate their history with pets before they can buy a cat or a dog or whatever animal at the pet store?

  20. avatar Cricket says:

    Absolutely.

  21. avatar Dr. K says:

    And we return to the title of the post.

    I hardly think my failure in caring for a goldfish (which I did, but wasn’t lucky) should prevent me from owning future pets.

  22. avatar Cricket says:

    You think I’m nuts because I am against animal cruelty?

  23. avatar Dr. K says:

    Where is the evidence that these goldfish are being treated cruelly?

  24. avatar Anonymous says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the positions taken by Cricket. The distribution of goldfish at a carnival, as if they were mere trinkets, is clearly not commensurate with their status as living, sentient beings. There are countless other ways to provide wholesome entertainment at a public venue that do not subject our fellow creatures to harm. We ought to realize that we can live perfectly well without treating the rest of creation as a disposable plaything. This philosophy of life is neither “nuts” nor “insane.” Indeed, being conscious of our obligations toward nature is simply human decency.

  25. avatar Gen says:

    If my choices were to be devoured by other fish or to be given to a kid who happened to throw one object into another, I would gladly and willingly choose (as a “sentient being”) the less painful of the two options.

    Going off of this premise of being a sentient creature, we ought to consider what the Church says regarding moral decisions: You cannot willingly choose an evil (or an instance of pain, an instance of “non-good”) in favor of something which has the potential to be good. For example: if you are trapped in a cave, you don’t just say “I’m supposed to be in here – it’s nature – I will die the way nature intended, pelted by bat dung.” No, you’d do your best to get out. You may end up dying once you leave the cave, but that’s by no means a certainty. Just because a tiger may rip your body to fine shreds, that’s no reason to willingly, wholly, and naively choose to stay in the cave. The “good,” that is, “life outside the the cave,” must be pursued. It would be sinful to curl up and will yourself into death or seclusion.

    Also, we cannot presume that people (in this case, children) will act in an evil way. That enters into the realm of judging others, not their actions. Another word you could use is “prejudice.” If I were to look at an urban-dweller wearing his “bling” and think, “Oh dear God, he’s going to kill me,” I’m being extremely prejudicial. In like manner, when you imagine a child and say, “He can’t have respect for a small, living creature,” you’re being equally prejudicial. Of course the kid may end up killing the goldfish – maybe not maliciously, but still – it could end up dead. And, likewise, the urban-dweller may very well assault me. But to assume that they will do so, in either case, is to see a sinner first and a child of God second. We must do the exact opposite, and see the child of God first, above all else. The only things we are allowed to judge and discuss are actions, the outward gestures of inward thought.

    The basis of this rationale can be found in any of the writings of the Church Fathers, and in the Pope’s latest encyclical “Aquariophilie Amantes,” wherein he declares: “Vere dignum et justum patiatur pro suis filiis ludis. Si in cursus gaudio vincere piscis piscis Puer ambo per voluntatem Dei, exsultant.” The basic translation is thus: “It is truly right and just for children to engage in their games. If, in the course thereof, he (the child) is to win a fish, by the will of God, they both rejoice.”

  26. avatar Pat says:

    I did not realize that goldfish could provoke such anger. As to sparing the goldfish from becoming feeder fish does it not make sense that another batch of goldfish was bred so that the feeder fish did not go hungry. By the way, can someone point me to where the Christians are located on this site. Just kidding folks (lol).

  27. avatar benanderson says:

    “It is truly right and just for children to engage in their games. If, in the course thereof, he (the child) is to win a fish, by the will of God, they both rejoice.”

    :-) Gen, did you use google translate for that or are you that good?

    another batch of goldfish was bred so that the feeder fish did not go hungry.

    now you’re talking, Pat. Let’s talk about the need to control the breeding habits of goldfish. I, for one, am for comprehensive sex-ed for all goldfish. I beg our stone-age pope to not condemn the morality of goldfish contraception.

  28. avatar Christopher says:

    Must be nice to have nothing to do but debate gold fish abuse all day. I can’t wait till I can retire. See you all at the life mass tonight since you appear to have a lot of free time. :)

    Also, please put this event on your calendars, we will need some good thought provoking questions asked….

    http://www.naz.edu/news/october-2010/shannon-lecture-john-allen-jr.-speaks-oct.-21

  29. avatar Gen says:

    When your job(s) require the omnipresence of a computer and your smartphone keeps tickling your thigh with its incessant whining, you can’t really help but respond to others in real-time.That’s just my excuse, though.

  30. avatar Bernie says:

    Well, I’m feeling very remorseful. On a trip to China recently Pat and I were invited to a teacher’s house in a somewhat remote village for lunch. The main dish was gold fish which are called red fish over there. I don’t know if size enters into this debate but it was about 12 to 15 inches in length. (I figure I’m in real trouble over this.) The teacher’s wife went out to a pond right next to the house to scoop out the fish. Before bringing it in the house she grabbed hold of it with both hands and violently smacked its head on the concrete wall that surrounded the pond.

    Now if that weren’t weighing down my conscience enough it must be said that the fish did not taste very good. The crime had no redeeming value at all.

    (Liberals are nuts!)

  31. avatar Nerina says:

    Bernie,

    The scene you describe sounds like something out of a movie. I am reminded of the scene in “A Christmas Story” where the owner of a Chinese restaurant takes a cleaver to the neck of a duck he has prepared for an American family who finds themselves having Christmas dinner out.

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