“Surely, we should not love animals more than people” so states Karen Swallow Prior, Ph.D who is also a deacon at her local church. She is a Christian writing for the website: Christianity Today. Incidentally, she is on the faith advisory council of HSUS.
The statement surprised me. It was made in an article about cat hoarding. Prior also states that cat hoarders say that they love their cats but the love is really attachment and not true love. Cat hoarders are confusing love and attachment.
Karen Prior also makes the following surprising statement:
“To place one’s heart in the hidden treasures of material goods, illicit relationships, or animal companionship is to disorder our affections and, as a result, our lives….”
She places the love of animal companionship (and therefore the animal) in the same bracket as a love for material possessions. This is surely unchristian and incorrect.
“Placing one’s heart” in this context means “love”. She is stating that love for a companion animal is a disordered affection.
She also says that we need to love things of various kinds in “proper measure”, meaning at the right level, neither too much nor too little. Her opinion is that companion animals should not be the recipient of our true love. That kind of love should be reserved for people only.
This really does support my argument that Christianity continues to centered around people. It is still too heavily centered around people. You could argue that Christianity was created by people for people. Hence it sidelines everything else including, importantly our fellow creatures on the planet.
I hate to say this but she also states that, with respect to animals and in this instance cats, there is a fine line between “dominion” and “domination”. Nice buzz words but she brings back into the discussion the concept of dominion over animals referred to in the bible. She is saying cat hoarders should have dominion over their cats but not domination.
As far as I am concerned, neither is correct. Yes, cat hoarding is a form of mental illness and cat hoarders are blind to what they are doing. She is correct in one way. Cat hoarders end up being cruel to their cats under the guise of love. Cruelty of all kinds can come in the form of love. This often happens between people.
Lastly, in general, I love cats (and animals) more than people. I understand them better and feel an affinity with them that I don’t get with people. I don’t mind stating that and it is not distorted love. It is as true and pure as anything I have experienced for a person.