I do not often push political action here in such a direct way. My preference is to educate Christians about general principles of animal welfare and biblical kindness and let your own consciences reach conclusions about specific matters.
However, there are times when I must point out important issues that have a serious time constraint, such as sneaky legislation that is drafted which may harm Christian principles of animal welfare (or government as a whole).
In the last elections, Republicans took control of both houses of Congress, along with the Presidency. Generally I am Republican in my political leanings, though the party is sadly wicked regarding animal issues, almost always siding with big business over any environmental or animal interests.
Conservatives, having won the Executive and Legislative branches, has gone giddy over the chance to “fix” everything. So even the most preposterous and extreme rejected bills from past years now have a chance of passing. Two congressmen from “farm states” are trying to get two very bad amendments into the yearly Farm Bill that will seriously jeopardize all animal welfare rules. Because the two bills to be inserted have very similar objectives, they are collectively dubbed “The States’ Rights Elimination Acts.” Iowa representative Steve King proposes HR 4879/3599 while James Sensenbrenner of Michigan pushes HR 2887.
This is an interesting reversal of the traditional Republican opposition to “federal overreach” and the support of “states rights.” Usually the GOP (Grand Ole Party) claims to hate the federal government telling states what to do. But now that the GOP runs the federal government, they want to get those liberal states in line with federal regulation!
The basic idea is that these Republicans do not want to allow liberal states, like California, to hamper Iowa sales by creating rules for animal welfare. If Iowan factory farms want to use hormones in dairy producted milk, California should have no power to stop them, goes the reasoning. So the new laws would forbid states from creating rules regarding agriculture or animals that conflict with other states. They claim to want “a level playing field,” which means every state accepts every other state will permit. Who knows what the ramifications of that are, in the larger sense, even beyond farming!
Now I recognize that some of you, and even I myself, think that states like California have gone bonkers, and they must somehow be reined in from their stupidity on many issues.
Here is the problem with the Feds-level-the-playing-field law idea.
It will only be good news to the Republicans as long as the Republicans own the government. When the other party retakes the houses, which is likely someday, then the Feds will use the same rule to add all kinds of radical animal rights stuff and force it on all states. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, goes the old saying.
Let’s say the two amendments get passed in the next Farm Bill. Republicans in the agriculture committee decide that animal welfare rules are all hogwash and they are all removed. Yay for big agribusiness! Kill a thousand hogs a minute, alive or not!
Next year if the Democrats retake the House, maybe the new decision is to make all states accept the California rules. Then the Republicans will be whining about Federal overreach again.
This is total hypocrisy. The farm state Republican puppets want to stand by hyper-capitalism, the making of money as a god without ethical constraints and without consideration of animal welfare. On the other extreme, the California-style Democrats will pretend to care about the animals when they really only care about votes and the APPEARANCE of compassion. They make up rules without regard to Christian values or biblical standards of truth. Truth is relative and ethics are constructs to get votes.
So is it better to be a greedy compassionless Republican or a power-hungry compassionless Democrat? Neither party operates with love or grace of Christian values. I am not saying that every member of each party shares those evils, but the institutions of the parties tend toward those evils.
In any case, whether my indictment resonates with you or not…
These two proposed Farm bill amendments may come up for a vote on Wednesday April 18. I already wrote to my Arizona congressman asking him to oppose the amendments.
Even if you agree with the idea of forcing liberal states to abandon their “silly” rules, that same act of force may soon come back to haunt your conservative states in the near future, if you take away the state’s right to decide for itself.
Call or email your congressman (or congresswoman) soon. To a liberal, it will not be hard to oppose, now. Unfortunately they may take up this idea when they take over! But if you are approaching a conservative, point out the danger of the boomerang effect of their planned bills if they lose power in the future.