CASH Courier > 2004 Spring Issue

Selected Articles from our newsletter

The C.A.S.H. Courier

Hunting and Religion: Destroying the Innocence of Youth

Opinion by Frank L. and Mary T. Hoffman

Christian Bowhunters of America has been for far too long a ministry in many churches. Not only is their name an oxymoron, but their program undermines and destroys the God-given sensitivities of our youth, as does the so-called ministry of Special Youth Challenge Ministries.

More recently, The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance has expanded their killing philosophy to encourage Special Youth Challenge Ministries, Inc. to continue to train disabled individuals to hunt and kill animals. They are doing this to counter the efforts of truly compassionate organizations to have them stop their killing activities.

These organizations are using religious ministries as a front to try to justify their lust for killing.

Probably all of us are aware of the way children respond with joy when around animals, particularly young animals. This is the child-like innocence of which Jesus Christ spoke when He said, “Unless you become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Furthermore, both the Hebrew and New Testaments speak of people having to soften their hearts in order to enter the kingdom of God.

In order for people to kill other living beings, they must harden their hearts toward the ones they are about to kill. People have to train themselves not to care, and the more this occurs, the more the innocent child’s joy of life is turned into the joy of killing, which is then classified as a “sport.”

These killing organizations have become stumbling blocks to the fundamental teachings of the Judeo-Christian religions. Jesus said, “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks.” Furthermore, Jesus said that people who lead these little children astray would be better off if they hung a heavy millstone around their necks and were drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6-7)

The people, churches and organizations that support these so-called ministries have become a party to the destructive influence upon the innocence of our children. You don’t make a “boy into a man” by teaching him to kill. A true man will stand up and boldly say “No!” to killing. Without resorting to violence, true men are protective of their families and the weaker ones of our society.

It is absolutely unconscionable to burden disabled girls and boys with the worst disability of all, spiritual disability, which is the baggage that comes with killing for fun. True self-esteem does not come with destroying life and doing harm, but with nurturing life and doing good. The emotional and spiritual scars of children exposed to hunting and killing may not be as evident as other obvious disabilities, but they are far more destructive.

Those teaching killing skills to some of the most vulnerable members of our society are without excuse. At one time, the Holy Spirit must have informed their consciences (perhaps now seared) that their lust for killing is an abomination before God. It is obvious that the desire to “share the guilt” is the reason why they fight so hard to get others to participate in their ungodliness.

Frank and Mary Hoffman are the hosts of www.all-creatures.org , which hosts the CASH web site. Frank is a retired pastor and businessman, and Mary is a retired medical technologist (MT-ASCP), artist, and businesswoman.

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