The group ISAIAH is a multi-racial, state-wide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice in Minnesota, USA. I get their newsletter. There is always something interesting they are doing and fighting for. They are a great example of what a faith based activist organization looks like and of what I am convinced should exist in all our faith based communities – an arm of the church that fights exclusively for justice for the poor, down trodden, and should also include animals and the earth. What I read today gave me pause to think about how we can encourage one another as animal welfare advocates; how we can look to the good in all we are doing to raise awareness as to their plight in our world.
Humans use non-human animals for food, clothing, sport, vivisection, entertainment. Domesticated non-human animals are abused and neglected in peoples homes. Wild animals on earth, in the sky and the sea, are losing their battle to survive as humans destroy their habitat. Far too often today animals are without consideration as to their welfare and they lack legal protection. But there is a lot of good happening to combat these evils. As I read this short article in ISAIAH’s newsletter, I thought of all the organizations and Facebook pages and blogs that exist today that are doing good, that are fighting for justice. All of their voices together with ours as we share articles and petitions; as we fight for legal protections for non-human animals and the earth on all fronts; as we seek to educate those around us by our direct and indirect actions – ALL of this makes a huge difference. For more about prophetic resistance and what you can do to make a difference for animals, see these older posts:
Revolting Against Evil
Here is a quote from ISAIAH:
John 12:35-36ISAIAH, Prophetic Resistance E-News, October 26, 2019
Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Light is a beautiful thing. Light brings hope, joy and love. Light is often misunderstood.
In the same way that good is not the opposite of evil, light is not the opposite of darkness. Darkness is what happens in the absence of light. Evil happens in the absence of good. This is an important distinction. Purely oppositional forces have equal opportunity for victory. In the case of light and goodness, victory is already declared, when we have the courage to be the light and the good.
Jesus, in the text, reminds us that we have light and we are called to walk in dark places with it, not allowing darkness to overtake us. We have to take our Joy, Love, Justice and radical inclusion into the world. There are too many hurting. There are too many suffering. And we have light that brings relief. We are called to share and be the light, even when it’s uncomfortable, risky, or when we have opposition.
We have to make the hard choice of being the light in dark places. Go do good. Go do justice. Go be the light. God promises that you won’t be the light alone. We shine brightest together.
Let us remember all the good we are doing! When we don’t eat non-human animals, every meal is prophetic resistance! When we sign petitions; talk to a neighbor or friend or family member about animals and their plight; feed the homeless strays and work hard to do TNR; start an animal sanctuary; write blog posts or articles about animals, their sentience, God’s love for them, what the Bible really teaches us about them; when we do peaceful protests; write our Senators and Representatives; attend a Human Lobby Day at the State Capitol; write a letter to the editor; volunteer at an animal shelter or other animal welfare group and tell everyone about it; share a cute video of odd animal couples or other educational video about non-human animals – and so much more – we do good, we do justice, we are the light. We are not alone, we “shine brightest together”!
Lastly, another quote from this same article:
In Islam, you want to get the most “good deeds” in this life as possible in order to enter Heaven. Every “good deed” is an act of charity, it is meant to help others. These “good deeds” range from helping your mother take care of your siblings, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or talking to your representative about policies that will help your community live a better life. Note how Prophet Muhammad uses meeting your brother with a cheerful face as his example for a charitable “good deed.” It is so simple, all you have to do is smile. When you smile at your neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers on the street, you get “good deeds.” It is so important that we take time to smile at one another.
The current state of our nation, state and cities can feel like we are all up against a mountain. However, we should never forget to just smile at each other. Spreading joy is one of the most profound things we can do in these times. We must always do good for one another, in whatever ways we can. Especially when we are confronted with so much that is hateful, harmful and evil. Our goodness conquers in the end.Qu’ran Reflection – Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1970
“Every good deed is charity. Verily, it is a good deed to meet your brother with a cheerful face.”
ISAIAH, Prophetic Resistance E-News, October 26, 2019
Let us remember: “Darkness is what happens in the absence of light. Evil happens in the absence of good. This is an important distinction. Purely oppositional forces have equal opportunity for victory. In the case of light and goodness, victory is already declared, when we have the courage to be the light and the good.” (ISAIAH) And, “… we should never forget to just smile at each other. Spreading joy is one of the most profound things we can do in these times. We must always do good for one another, in whatever ways we can. Especially when we are confronted with so much that is hateful, harmful and evil. Our goodness conquers in the end.” (Qu’ran Reflection…)
Thank you for reading and following our blog! We hope you are blessed by our work and will share it with others. Stay tuned for an exciting series of posts coming up starting next week titled, “The Bible and Veganism: 14 Answers to 14 Objections” written by Marcello Newall. ~Kathy
My calling as a Child of the Creator is to take the Gospel, as it relates to the WHOLE creation, to the world; and to remind the Church of its Biblical responsibilities to animals.
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