Friday, March 27, 2009

Commonality among the Religions

Sorry for having to write my blog as a comment. does not like my MAC!


  1. The several religions, which we have examined on the surface in class have a common thread about the environment. Islam, Buddhism, and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all have scripture relating to killing animals for food. In all cases it is approved for the food of man, with the stipulation that all things be done sparingly and not wastefully. In the Qur’an, the Prophet is telling about livestock and the gardens, date palms, and pomegranates, and how they were all given by God. He declares that we should not be wasteful. The passage reads:
    “So when they [gardens] bear fruit, eat some of it, paying what is due on the day of harvest, but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people. He gave you livestock as beasts of burden and as food. So eat what God has provided you and do not follow in Satan’s footsteps: he is your sworn enemy.” (Qur’an 147) What this means to me is that Satan would want man to be wasteful so he can gain power over us. On the other hand, it is ordained of God to have balance and take the lives of animals sparingly for food.
    The Doctrine and Covenants has a similar scripture that we are all probably very familiar with: “Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;” (D&C89:12) Just like the Qur’an, our Latter-Day Saint scripture reveals that it is okay to take the lives of animals sparingly for food. We believe in having balance just as the Muslims do. To both religions, it would be a condemning thing to waste the lives of animal which we killed. I agree with these scriptures. Whenever anyone in our family harvests an animal on a hunt, we distribute the meat according to who needs it most. Then we keep it in a freezer for food storage, to be prepared in the winter and family dinners.
    I don’t even have to pull a scripture from the Buddhist texts to show how they treat the environment and the animals. The readings for class revealed that Buddhists greatly appreciate the lives of animals. I recall several stories in which the main characters of the story would talk to animals and befriend them. The deer hunter felt a great moral dilemma when he had to kill the deer because the bitter herbs of the cave would no longer sustain him. The hunter truly felt that he and his dog had committed many sins in killing animals, and shed tears for the animals. I think this a bit over the top, but it shows that Buddhism does not approve of killing animals wastefully. Personally, I feel that the Qur’an has better ideology, and that it relates more with our doctrine. But, in all the religions that we have analyzed, there is common ground in the sanctity of life and the glorious nature of God’s creations. Just as a conclusion I added this excerpt from the JST and wanted to see what you thought about it:
    “But the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat, shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat. And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.” (JST Genesis 9:10-11)

  2. Interesting point. Commonalties run throughout everything and it just goes to show that people will find exactly what they are looking for.

  3. I wish everyone had the understanding that their religion actually teaches. Of course it is ok to eat meat, however we do not need to eat meat for every meal and we certainly are not justified in killing for the pure fun of it. I wish many more people would actually practice what they say they believe.

  4. Just an interesting side note with regards to the Word of Wisdom's counsel on consuming meat (courtesy of Stephen Robinson in the religion department).
    D&C 89:13 reads today as follows: "And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine."
    BUT in the original version there was no comma between used and only.
    So should we interpret the W of W to mean that we should only eat meat in winter OR does it mean that we should not eat meat only in winter?
    This doesn't seem to be as clear as we like to think it is ...

  5. Without reading what the preceding verses or after I would assume that to mean that any life that is taken without purpose of sustainment, we will be accountable for that.

  6. Ha, I love Dr. Robinson! He is always bringing up interesting points.

  7. Well, that scripture made me feel guilty for all the gophers I've killed. It is interesting to see how all religions have incorporated a respect for animals into their teachings. I think all spiritual thinkers recognize that life, no matter what kind, is intricately connected to God and therefore sacred.

  8. As we study different religions in class i come to realize how many commonalities that there are between religions. It is interesting to read the papers that are given to us and try to understand a little about the complexities of other religions. Well written

  9. I think that we have all realized and/or gained a better appreciation for the animals and the earth that God has given us. I am hopeful that these things persist with us and are not simple a prick to the hear that is soon forgotten by a grumbling stomach or popular trend.