Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

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Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by Sakhaiva on Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:26 pm

A Canadian priest is in hot water with some for offering the Body of Christ to a German Shepherd named Trapper (BBC story found here: Doggie Style ) I must say that Trapper has just the sweetest eyes; however, apparently this has *outraged* some Christians around the globe.

Is salvation for humans alone?

Will our fellow creations, our critter friends, also share in the love of God?

I know many churches that bless animals on a regular basis; why not communion too?

What y'all think?

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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:32 am

Since I think communion is a silly ritual-in-the-abstract, I don't especially care to whom it's offered. Whatever.

The only form of the ritual that makes any sense to me is the renewal by some Christians of what's thought to be its original format--eating a meal in a manner that echoes Christ's at the Last Supper with others who share one's beliefs.

Tasteless wafers that stick horribly to the roof of your mouth (and the Roman Catholic ones are truly disgusting!) and sips of wine or little shotglasses of grape juice is a dumb imitation, sez me.
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:41 am

As for wondering if animals can experience salvation, I believe that they reincarnate as humans do and either may have been human in a past life, choosing to be an animal for some spiritual lesson to be learned by taking that form. The possibility remains that they may choose to be human at some future point.

So, considering them lesser beings or without souls is simply arrogance on our part.

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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by Davelaw on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:03 am

from the fundamentalist POV, either animals don't have human souls or they are innocents like small children either way they don't need a reaffirmation of the death and antonement of Jesus
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:53 am

See? This is why I refuse to discuss the idea of souls. Souls seems to be a concept created to say "This creature isn't as good as me."

Now it is possible when they say "Soul," what they actually mean is "Self-aware," but I am not entirely sure there is any proof that other animals aren't self aware.

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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by TPaine on Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:26 am

DotNotInOz wrote:Since I think communion is a silly ritual-in-the-abstract, I don't especially care to whom it's offered. Whatever.

The only form of the ritual that makes any sense to me is the renewal by some Christians of what's thought to be its original format--eating a meal in a manner that echoes Christ's at the Last Supper with others who share one's beliefs.

Tasteless wafers that stick horribly to the roof of your mouth (and the Roman Catholic ones are truly disgusting!) and sips of wine or little shotglasses of grape juice is a dumb imitation, sez me.
I agree, Dot. It makes no sense to me either. In fact, when it comes to those sects that believe in transubstantiation it seems to be almost cannibalistic.
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by AutumnalTone on Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:42 pm

Leaving aside a discussion of whether humans actually need to be "saved" from anything, I'll wonder why, exactly, a dog would need "salvation." What, conceivably, could a dog *do* to require penance of any sort?
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:43 pm

TPaine wrote:
I agree, Dot. It makes no sense to me either. In fact, when it comes to those sects that believe in transubstantiation it seems to be almost cannibalistic.

I remember one guy in my First Communion class getting in big trouble for asking why we had to EAT Jesus and drink blood (not as though anyone but the priest got the wine way back then.)

That's a question commonly asked by kids, or so said my mom who taught the FC class for a number of years.

When I started thinking about the concept years later, I realized it was just plain bizarre and offputting.
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by tmarie64 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:51 pm

I find it offensive that he would think a dog would need salvation. Animals are perfect, sinless, and don't need saving...except for stupid ass humans like this one.

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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:29 pm

Thanks for your comments guys Smile

DaveLaw, I am drawn to the idea that animals are 'innocents' - though I'm not sure why. I think it's my own sentimental nature; animals can have behavioral issues just the same as humans; case in point:

"Since the early 1990’s, for example, young male elephants in
Pilanesberg National Park and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in
South Africa have been raping and killing rhinoceroses; this abnormal
behavior, according to a 2001 study in the journal Pachyderm, has been
reported in ‘‘a number of reserves’’ in the region. In July of last
year, officials in Pilanesberg shot three young male elephants who were
responsible for the killings of 63 rhinos, as well as attacks on people
in safari vehicles. In Addo Elephant National Park, also in South
Africa, up to 90 percent of male elephant deaths are now attributable
to other male elephants, compared with a rate of 6 percent in more
stable elephant communities."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/08/magazine/08elephant.html?_r=1


Now aggression to people I can understand... at least in part. But raping and murdering rhinos? That's just crazy. In any case, of course I do not see this as 'animal sin' or anything like that. The article goes on to explain the situation very well:

"This fabric of elephant society, Bradshaw and her colleagues concluded,
had effectively been frayed by years of habitat loss and poaching,
along with systematic culling by government agencies to control
elephant numbers and translocations of herds to different habitats. The
number of older matriarchs and female caregivers (or ‘‘allomothers’’)
had drastically fallen, as had the number of elder bulls, who play a
significant role in keeping younger males in line. In parts of Zambia
and Tanzania, a number of the elephant groups studied contained no
adult females whatsoever. In Uganda, herds were often found to be
‘‘semipermanent aggregations,’’ as a paper written by Bradshaw
describes them, with many females between the ages of 15 and 25 having
no familial associations."


....................................

Communion is an interesting thing; wars have been waged and lives lost over this topic. Truthfully I think DOT hit the nail on the head; communion was never meant to be a ceremonial stale wafer with a thimble of wine.

It's about a healthy social network with structure, mutual love and respect; person to person, person to deity and.... perhaps even person to animal and animal to animal.
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by gillyflower on Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:47 pm

When I listened to the Historical Jesus classes, it was pointed out (I think) that Jesus was a radical who espoused communal dining with all kinds of people which was at odds with the Jewish culture of the time. I think that this translated into the breaking of bread and sharing of it and wine.

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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:00 am

Sakhaiva wrote:Communion is an interesting thing; wars have been waged and lives lost over this topic. Truthfully I think DOT hit the nail on the head; communion was never meant to be a ceremonial stale wafer with a thimble of wine.

It's about a healthy social network with structure, mutual love and respect; person to person, person to deity and.... perhaps even person to animal and animal to animal.

That's the aspect that's long made most sense to me. After all, food and drink are essential to survival, so what more meaningful sharing than gathering with likeminded people to celebrate life and relationship within whatever spiritual context they have as a group?

gillyflower wrote:When I listened to the Historical Jesus classes, it was pointed out (I think) that Jesus was a radical who espoused communal dining with all kinds of people which was at odds with the Jewish culture of the time. I think that this translated into the breaking of bread and sharing of it and wine.

It's pleasant to think that the presumed words of Jesus, "Do this in remembrance of me," might apply to eating together rather than to symbolic cannibalism, I think.

Maybe something was deliberately omitted from the original story...Perhaps Jesus referred to the bread becoming part of his body and the wine etc. after being eaten. That makes more sense to me and would echo the rituals various people have developed for expressing appreciation for lifegiving sustenance.

What think, guys?

Interesting questions you've posed, Sakhaiva. Thanks for tweaking my thinking on this.
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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:26 pm

That makes sense to me.

Even when I was a hardcore Baptist, I never understood the communion service. The only thing I liked about it was it allowed me to feel like 'part of the group' when I got my little thimble of Snapple. As I reached the end of my Christiandom, I passed up the wafer and Snapple as the plate came 'round. It was a very sacred thing to the family and parishioners, and (weirdly) it was the only thing they never encouraged or discouraged participation in. Which to me was scariest of all, as my family has a religious opinion on everything.

Sak's interpretation of what communion is makes sense to me. If that was the intent behind the action, then that would answer a lot of questions.

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Re: Is Communion Going to the Dogs?

Post by John T Mainer on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:13 pm

If a dog is receiving the body and blood of Christ he is not being a ritual cannibal; which makes is a lot less creepy than when people do it.

Of course, using the Bible for strict interpretation, the dog can't actually sin, so doesn't need redemption. What the little begger does on the rug is nasty, but not imperiling his soul so much as his butt when you get a hold of him Wink

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