- Steve Sorensen
#5, of 7 Theological Truths about Hunting
Theological Truth #5 – Pious people do not avoid life
Many people think people who are pious avoid the hard issues of life. They think a nun or other people serving in religious vocations want to stay far away from suffering. We have a common phrase for that -- "so heavenly minded to be no earthly good." Often, the truth is just the opposite – many people are so earthly minded they seldom do any heavenly good.
Usually people of piety are involved in the nitty-gritty of life. In fact, the history of Christianity is a story of countless saints who minister to the down and out. (When I use the word "saint," I'm not just referring to the Roman Catholic side. The Salvation Army shows that Protestant saints fill hungry bellies and clothe naked bodies too, in the name of Jesus, so that the message of Jesus can be visible.)
The truth is devout people do enter into suffering, willingly, voluntarily, like Jesus did. Sometimes, that's what drives them to God and to piety. Devout Christians are in every profession – some are policemen, some are soldiers, some are bakers and candlestick makers. Especially those in the professions that deal with broken humanity know firsthand that being pious does not mean shrinking from daily life, but being pious engages the devout person in life.
That was true of Sister John Paul. Before becoming a nun Sister JP had a 21-year career in the United States Navy as a trauma nurse and a Veterans Affairs psychologist. She understands what violence does, and knows the killing of a deer is in a different class. It's a predator-prey relationship. Predators kill prey every day and there is no moral difference between a coyote killing a fawn, and a hunter shooting a magnificent buck. In that respect pious people are no different from unpious people. Both are part of the predator-prey dynamic.
If you want wildIife to avoid suffering, you should support hunting, because the hunter almost always brings death with less suffering than the animal is likely to face if he succumbs to natural causes such as disease and predation. Wild animals seldom die peacefully in their sleep. Mother Nature is not a kind mother. Mother Nature has no heart. Mother Nature is not caring at all. Hunters are far more caring. Perhaps one could even say the hunter is the most merciful predator. Hunters want their prey to be killed quickly and humanely. Hunters never start eating their prey while it is still alive. Hunters, whether they're pious or not, are good for wildlife.