HERE. We have all seen the many congregations on the more liberal end of the spectrum who offer the blessing of animals in the Church but, as yet, this remains the first communion of a pet. Jesus would have loved it, said some who thought it wonderful. I remain unconvinced. Our dogma has truly gone to the dogs.
How is it that Jesus would have loved Fido making his first communion but finds no scandal in never allowing the infant in the womb to be born to receive his or her first communion (after baptism)? Again, the point here is not what Jesus would have loved but how we interpret His love and what we find easy to love and hard to love. Pets are generally easy to love, it seems. Children are not. And so our age has seemingly gone the full circle from the dominical command to be fruitful and multiply to abort the baby but commune the pet.
This would not be so sad if it were simply an anomaly but the truth is that it is not some isolated event. It is the natural outgrown of those who value the lives of animals over those not yet born -- itself a reflection of the higher value place on the animal than on human life but more than this, making a value of the faith. To be sure, we all love our pets (three animals call home the abode whose mortgage payments we make). Why is it so hard to love the not yet born with the same unequivocal love and unfailing sense of protection?
I do not believe in the violent sort of witness that some do in the face of the abortion scandal (it sort of defeats the whole idea of pro-life in my book). But every now and then something happens to make you angry enough to take up a brick and give it a toss. For me it is the inconsistency of those who value the lives of their pets more than they value the lives of the unborn. The whole idea that a priest of Christ's Church would place a host on the wagging tongue of a four legged friend is abhorrent to the faith and yet the fact that so many find it cute or innocent drives me nuts. We have surely defined the fringes of Christian faith, doctrine, and morality when an animal's life is welcomed, protected, and respected but we believe that it is a personal choice on the part of the mother if she wants to continue or discontinue the pregnancy (notice how well I could avoid any terminology that actually admitted there was a life at stake...).
I am ambivalent about the blessing of pets. I am rabid over the scandal of an animal's life being more important than the life of the unborn. I am shocked that this is a liberal position. Surely Richard John Neuhaus had it right that pro-life should have been the liberal position but instead the right of the mother to make her own choice (without a conflict of values) became the liberal cause. It is a blight upon our nation but it is a sin in the churches and congregations where Fido has more standing than the life of the unborn.