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PETA Offers Church “Go Vegan” Jesus Statue

PETA Offers Church “Go Vegan” Jesus Statue

People think Vegans have no sense of humor.

On June 14th, in a kind of poetic irony, lightning struck the 62-foot-tall statue of Jesus at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. The resulting fire destroyed the “King of Kings” statue, as well as damaged adjacent structures. The story caught the attention of PETA and they extended an offer to the church to build a new statue in its place — with a distinct twist, of course. The statue PETA proposes to build, with the money donated from a Christian member of the organization, would depict Jesus holding a lamb over his shoulder, with an inscription at the base of the statue reading “Blessed are the Merciful. Go Vegan.”

Of course the church outright rejected the proposal, saying that it wouldn’t accept a statue that promoted an “agenda” of any sort. Pastor Lawrence Bishop called the offer “amusing”.

It is often hard to tell when PETA is bluffing — when their actions are a publicity stunt or when they’re being serious. This particular offer is a bit hard to believe, and part of me wishes the church had called their bluff. Regardless of whether the offer from PETA was conceived seriously or in jest, I agree with Pastor Bishop. It’s an amusing situation for sure.

On a personal level, I am an atheist. But I was Christian when I went vegetarian and then vegan. At the time I felt that any action that reduced the suffering of any living creature — as well as improved the environment of the planet — was a very Christian action. I embraced veganism as one of the most Christian lifestyle choices I could make. I agree with the ideas expressed in PETA’s letter to the church — that Jesus would be horrified by the treatment of animals in modern agriculture. And PETA’s “Christianity and Vegetarianism” pamphlets truly helped me explain my dietary choices to members of my church when I was younger.

The more we learn about the cruelty inflicted on animals for food and the more we learn about the effects of animal agriculture on our environment, the more likely it is that congregations will have to adapt to a younger parishioner with more modern moral concerns. The more parishioners are concerned with social justice approaches to diet, climate change and global poverty, the more churches will have to begin to address dietary choices and lifestyles as important spiritual issues.

Maybe someday PETA will get their 50-foot-tall “Go Vegan” Jesus statue at a mainstream church. And if they do, I think I’ll stop by for a service one Sunday morning.

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152 comments

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2:41PM PDT on Aug 5, 2010

Actually, I find the offer a little offensive. Who is to say Jesus was a vegan?

8:40AM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

Jesus was a Jew who did not eat the traditional lamb at Passover (as told in accounts of the Last Supper). Many Jews of the time (and today) are vegetarian. Many early Christians who had known Jesus, such as St James the Just who is believed to be either the brother or cousin of Jesus, taught that vegetarianism was in line with Jesus' teachings. In fact there was a great debate going on at the time between Paul, who never met Jesus, and these vegetarian Jews/Christians.

To feed the hungry 5000 Jesus supposedly took a few already dead fish that were present and magically multiplied them into 5000. Some might call this the first time in history people ate faux meat. But some scholars point out that as with much of the editing of Bible stories fish weren't in the earlier versions of this story and didn't appear till a few centuries later.

2:54AM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

Jesus was a Jew not a vegan. He would have participated in the passover and fed the 5000 with fish. Where is the vegan in that?

1:40PM PDT on Jul 10, 2010

I voted leaning yes because they both have the sometimes mindless furor of the "true believer". I am vegetatian by choice, and as circumstances and money allow. But I will NOT make someone else "wrong" because they choose not to do what I do. Getting downright weary of the "I know what's good for me and I know what's good for you. so you better do what I say or I'll kill you" attitude. You don't know what's good for me and I certainly don't know what's good for you! So now I'll shut my mouth and learn how to listen....

3:53AM PDT on Jul 10, 2010

Calling veganism a religion is what people do when they can't come up with an intelligent defense for the abuse of animals.

10:51AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

The day I see PETA followers throwing buckets of red paint on some hell's angels for wearing their LEATHER vests, LEATHER boots, and LEATHER wallets chained to their LEATHER belts which they fasten while wearing their LEATHER gloves is the day I may reconsider my carnivore ways.

Seriously though why doesn't PETA go after the grocery stores that throw away a ungodly amount of meat because their prices are so high the meat goes bad? They don't care about throwing that meat away because it is "counted out" and is registered as a loss which helps their bottom line as much as sales do.

5:35AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

veganism IS a religion, at least for some vegans.
so of course it has a lot of similarity to xianity.

4:25AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

I have always wondered how Jesus ate that fish in front of his diciples when he was not in that city.. seems kind of fishy to me.. check it out... Jesus told many folks including Mary where he was going and yet some have him some place else eating fish.. and it is funny it is the last line.. as I have been told when some wanted to change the bibe the last line of any verse was the place to do so.

I always wanted an answer to that question. How could Jesus be two places at once..

But that said I am not vegan because of my religion but because I love animals, all of them. Some only really love the tasty ones..

4:59PM PDT on Jul 8, 2010

I am always amazed by the terrible things uninformed carnivores say about PETA, but I guess I shouldn't be. Anytime you try to make a positive difference in the world, you are going to draw the ire of the ignorant. After 30+ years as a vegetarian, I still find it amusing that meat eaters feel so threatened those of us who reject cruelty food.

4:15PM PDT on Jul 8, 2010

clara and Deborah, why such vehemence?..Peta using religion to convert people? convert them to what exactly? And they are far from pornographic... it is a simple statement.... "If I Had To Wear Fur, I Would Rather Go Naked." unless of course one lives in the mountains and must hunt for food and clothing... what is wrong with cloth. cotton, silk, wool, linen?.
Would you eat a dolphin( mammal), or a whale?
and Why or why not?

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