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Kirby: WWJD with your mouth?

By Robert Kirby

| Tribune Columnist

First Published Jul 05 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Jul 05 2014 06:33 pm

The recent outcry about a Salt Lake City police officer shooting a dog has raised some important gospel questions for Christians.

Here’s the most important one: Is the officer going to hell for shooting the dog?

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OK, truthfully, I’m more interested in whether I will be there with him because I once shot some dogs (also deer, elk, turkey, a few cows, some grouse, a bunch of rats and gophers. And I’ve dynamited more carp than I can count).

This is not intended to be a rehash of self-defense, private property, incident timing, police procedure, gymnastics, kung fu, parallel dimensions, the U.S. Constitution, alien visitations or any of the other subjects the current tragic situation has spun people into.

Nope, it’s about Christian behavior. And if not Christian then some other faith or belief system based on considerate, respectful and even loving conduct toward others in the face of adversity, which I believe only leaves out the Ku Klux Klan and al-Qaida.

And since atheists and agnostics believe moral behavior isn’t solely the product of a belief in a god but rather a human obligation, this includes them as well.

Still, let’s focus on those who consider themselves even nominally Christian. Simple demographics would suggest that some if not most of the people sending insulting, threatening, and obscenity-laced emails and texts regarding the shooting of a dog really owe the intended targets of that vitriol a Christian apology.

I’m not suggesting that anger, activism and a call for change aren’t warranted in this matter. Only that it seems a bit hypocritical to set aside your ethics simply because you aren’t getting what you want when you want it.

"I’m a God-fearing woman but that officer’s children really need to be killed so he knows what it feels like."

"%#@! you @&%$ and #$*@! for @&$ that you $%(@!"

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Is this how Christ taught you to act in whatever church you attend (or once did)? Is it even practical on a non-religious level? Has someone insulting you ever changed your mind?

But let’s stick to Christians. I say this because Jesus killed animals. Yeah, he did. He once murdered a bunch of innocent pigs by forcing demonic possession on them.

Matthew 8:31 (KJV) "And [Jesus] said unto [the demons], Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters."

Really? What did those pigs ever do to Jesus? Were they even a threat? No. They were minding their own pig business when they were suddenly forced to become possessed by demons and stampeded into the sea. As far as I can see, the Lord drowned them for no reason at all.

Killing older pigs makes a certain amount of sense. They’re gross and potentially dangerous. But we need to concede that some of the murdered pigs were cute little piglets incapable of harming anyone.

How can you follow a guy who would do that to a creature like Winnie the Pooh’s friend Piglet?

I’m betting there was another verse that didn’t make it into Matthew.

Matthew 8:36-37 (RKV) "And lo did many threaten and bluster that innocent piglets had been drowned even unto death. And loud entreaties were made to Pilate for Jesus’ job and head. Yea, many did cry exceedingly, obscenely, and homicidally for this."

37: "And Jesus said unto them, Drop thou dead."

Religion. Ethics. Human decency. Self-respect. It all makes people so much better, doesn’t it?

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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