Go to Pastor Steve Hickey’s Church at the Gate, and you’ll get 45-minute sermons. You’ll also get slideshows with images like this…
Pastor Hickey marked National Agriculture Week by offering a discourse on the “darkness” taking place in modern agriculture in confined animal feeding operations. Pastor Hickey presented the following six points to his parishioners:
- Compassion for animals is an indication of one’s character.
- God cares about cows and sows.
- Rule and dominion aren’t a license for cruelty.
- God’s command for animal husbandry is to meet their needs while they meet ours.
- The most saintly in the monastic movements were people who had a special affinities with animals.
- We can be ethically complicit with animal misery at our dinner table.
Pastor says in his sermon that the cruelty of confined animal feeding operations weighed on his mind during this Legislative session, when his Republican city slicker House colleague Rep. G. Mark Mickelson pushed a measure to make it easier for counties to approve CAFOs. (Rep. Rev. Hickey voted against that measure, House Bill 1201.) The giant chicken farm proposed for nearby Parker heightens his concern. Recognizing he’s treading on thin political ice, Pastor Hickey said he’s not suggesting that animals have souls, but “My chickens know my voice,” said Pastor Hickey from the pulpit. “my wife knows their personalities.” He’s not talking about animal rights but human responsibilities:
I know that we’re not talking about beasts that are the moral equivalent of you or I, but they are the moral equivalent of your dog, and there’s laws against your dog being treated… in a pen that is inadequate for his needs [Pastor Steve Hickey, sermon, Church at the Gate, 2015.03.22].
Pastor Hickey cites plenty of Scripture to justify his contention that raising animals in lifelong confinement and filth is ungodly. But in the clearest blasphemy against his political party and the corporate colonizers for which it stands, Pastor Hickey says, “Some things are more important than efficiency and money.” He compounds his Big Ag blasphemy by citing America’s pre-eminent farm philosopher Wendell Berry, who writes for The Atlantic last week that modern mechanized agriculture destroys natural and human ecology.
Pastor Hickey offers plenty of food for thought throughout his sermon. The full audio of his March 22, 2015, sermon is downloadable on his church website and listenable right here:
When we’ve lost our capacity to wince, we have lost something that’s very important in terms of who God made us to be [Hickey, 2015.03.22].