Rutler Redux

Over at Dom’s, George Rutler responds to my remarks on vegetarianism (a response to his response to a letter in First Things responding to someone else).

It is clear we are both capable of playing with words and providing a little bit of levity in the all-too-dreary-debates of the blogosphere.

But as I consider his initial quips and his reiteration of those same points, it seems that his witticisms studiously seek to avoid what Scripture plainly says.

One should never cite Genesis to promote strict vegetarianism, as it was written by meat-eaters inspired by God who created all the animals as a menu for Adam and Eve. Their “dominion” over every beast gave them authority to choose how they wanted to serve them up, it seems to me.

This of course ignores the fact that Genesis is quite explicit that Adam and Eve were told quite plainly: “I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food.” Period.

He says,

“…[T]he creation of seed-bearing plants and fruit trees … only means that we should eat vegetables and fruits just as the provision of animals means we should eat them.”

That’s a silly statement; “If you create it they must eat”? Rutler seems to believe that God designed death and destruction. “Once animals got going, there you had dinner.” Cute saying, but completely contrary to the Word of God, which gives explicit instructions on what man is to eat.

“We need not wait for Exodus to find carnivorous action permitted.” Again, completely contrary to the Word of God, which gives permission to eat meat only after the Flood. We are not told what Cain and Abel ate, only what they offered to God. Abel offered a lamb in obedience to God, who commanded the shedding of blood after the Fall, in prefigurement of the sacrifice of Christ. We are to offer what God demands, and what he has provided for this purpose, not offerings of our own devising, regardless of their beauty or the hard work that went into them.

Also in Genesis, Jacob made his father a lamb stew from what was evidently an old family recipe. It probably went back to Eden.

Another cute saying, but one that avoids the fact that there was no death in Eden. Death is a response to man’s Fall, not part of God’s design, and is something that shall be destroyed at the end of time.

What’s the basis for your philosophy? Wit and human wisdom, or reverence for revelation? I’ll go with the Word of God over the word of any man, any day.

2 thoughts on “Rutler Redux

  1. +J.M.J+

    Why this hostility toward vegetarians? Whatever happened to:

    “The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him…. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:3, 6-8)

    In Jesu et Maria,

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