As noted yesterday, the story from the Hollywood Reporter revealed a rather significant problem with animal abuse in many Hollywood films.  This is quite surprising given the vocal moralizing that many actors, directors, and producers engage in whenever a microphone is put in front of them.  They do not shy away from being the first to cast a stone, claiming to be or thinking themselves to be without sin.  As it turns out, it was all just a front.  Also, as noted yesterday, people are higher in priority and importance than animals in a Judeo-Christian morality, but Scripture also places importance in being humane to these creatures as they were put under our authority and protection by God.  He will certainly hold us accountable not only to the harm we may have brought upon other people but also for any unnecessary harm to animals.  And I would venture to guess that God does not consider human entertainment a sufficient reason for bringing harm to these poor animals.

Moreover, not only do these actions in the story cross the line, but some of them crossed the line so far that they are shocking and make you wonder what kind of person could be so hard-hearted as to bring such suffering to any creature and not feel the slightest twinge of discomfort or guilt.  Seeing such shocking behavior, it is rather hard to understand how such an organization would get so cozy with Hollywood directors and producers allowing some pretty bad behavior to go without comment or without significant pressure for better standards.  Of course, this only goes to prove that there is human flaw everywhere throughout our society.  This is not to excuse the behavior, but often we fail to address our flaws when they come to light initially, and such flaws only go on to fester and grow bigger over time until they are so big that they become known more widely than we would prefer causing humiliation and disgrace.

What is perhaps more shocking than the failure of the AHA is the moral failing of many of the directors, producers, and even actors who were either the perpetrators of these acts or had to know that this was going on.  Unfortunately, many such people of wealth, power, and privilege begin to excuse their behavior at a certain point, reasoning that what they are doing is so important that they are allowed to break the rules or reasoning that  they are “special people,” so the normal rules do not apply to them.  This is what we call “elitism,” and although we find elitism rampant throughout our society and the world, it is an anti-American philosophy without moral merit.  No matter how much power, education, wealth, or fame a person has, he or she is still no greater in value nor morally better than anyone else.  Moreover, when people harbor elitist sensibilities in their life, believing that normal rules do not apply to them, they are headed for ever greater moral violations until they eventually undo themselves, possibly bringing down many people with them.  As proof of this, you only need a little bit of imagination and access to a newspaper to find out what happens to such people.  Eventually their sins bubble up to the surface and become common knowledge, at which time these same people find out that their behavior is not so excusable when they try to explain it to the public.  Their words ring hollow while they are still coming out of their mouths, pens, or computers, and the excuses sound flimsy to the public who read about the attempt to further excuse the inexcusable.  

Moreover, perhaps the flaws of these people would not become so great if they were humble people who did not judge others.  We might be more ready to excuse their behavior with a simple apology.  But, inevitably, when a microphone is placed in front of many actors, directors, or producers, they show their judgmental arrogance and are all too willing to wax extravagantly about the moral failings of everyone else in society.  Then, over time, when they turn out to be as flawed as everyone else or even more flawed, the public is not so forgiving, asking the inescapable question, “Who are they to cast stones at anyone since they are clearly not without sin?”  This is not to say that we should not follow our conscience and occasionally speak out against things that we believe are wrong, but we should always do so humbly and with love, knowing that “there but for the grace of God go I.”  So we should always remember whenever we speak truth, we should be humble and loving, not speaking harshly of the shortcomings of others because we, no matter who we are, have many flaws ourselves if we are honest enough to admit it.  

I pray that you will have the power to see yourself clearly, not more highly than you should and not more lowly than you should, but knowing your infinite worth in God’s eyes.

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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