The problem with writing newspaper and magazine columns that end up floating around forever in cyberspace is that, sometime down the road, someone will come across something you wrote and take offense. Or maybe that’s the good thing about it. I get the two confused.A guy who is evidently a peta member came across one of my old columns recently, got his socks in a wad, and decided to By George set me straight. So he called me and let me know what a Horrible Person I am, because I said that Jesus wasn’t a vegetarian. I think he got so much spittle in his phone he’ll have to replace it.Actually, it’s kind of funny, how wrong people can be. But this is America, where anyone is entitled to an opinion. And if you think Jesus didn’t eat meat, your opinion is wrong. And I can prove it.This all started because peta has a section on their website that claims Jesus was a vegetarian. When I saw that I started emailing the peta people, asking them to explain. They wouldn’t, but they referred me back to their site, where they had a lot of ‘evidence’ they’d collected from people like rabbis and ‘religious scholars’ who claimed that when God said, in Genesis 9, that He was giving man the aminals to use for food, He didn’t intend for that to be permanent. The reasoning was vague, but that was the gist of it.So I wrote a column about how there’s no evidence to back up their claims, and how Jesus was a Jew who perfectly followed the Law of Moses all His life, and to do that He had to eat meat at some of the Jewish feasts, including the Passover. Which is all true, but peta never responded. One person wrote to tell me that Jesus didn’t eat any of the fish He miraculously provided for thousands of people on at least two occasions. That may be true, but since I didn’t bring it up, I didn’t find it particularly relevant.Anyway, the guy who called recently was livid. He said Jesus cared for all the creatures. He said Jesus was compassionate. He said Jesus could not have eaten meat, since He cared and was compassionate. At least I think that’s what he said. I had to hold the phone away from my head, to keep his vehemence from damaging my eardrums.So I tried to talk to the guy about the incident in Acts 10, where Peter was shown a vision from heaven, including animals that Jews were not allowed to eat, and he was told to kill and eat them. That didn’t work, either. The guy said that was just an example to let Peter know it was OK to offer the gospel to the Gentiles. Which is true. It was like one of those milk commercials, like God was saying, ‘Salvation – it’s not just for Jews anymore.’ But God was using something Peter would understand to illustrate His point, and Peter understood killing and eating.But the guy on the phone didn’t agree. He said that was just a vision, not actual killing and eating, so it didn’t count. So I decided to try one more time, before the FCC got wind of this guy’s language and cut our connection.I asked the guy if he had read I Timothy chapter 4 recently. He had not. So I pointed out that at the beginning of that chapter, Paul warned Timothy about peta. The guy didn’t like that, not one little bit. It was a good five minutes before he quieted down enough for me to go on.Paul didn’t mention peta specifically, but he did warn about people ‘speaking lies in hypocrisy,’ and ‘commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.’Well, that went over like a lead balloon, too. I guess people just don’t appreciate it when you prove to them their opinions are 100 percent wrong. The guy claimed I was trying to twist the bible around and make it say something it doesn’t. I’m still unclear on what he meant, but there you go.This column is not a religious platform, but when people try to use God to advance their attacks on hunting and fishing, they need to be corrected. It needs to be done calmly and nicely, but it needs to be done. And we all need to know exactly where to find the proof that will refute the false claims of the antis.The folks at peta don’t really believe Jesus was a vegetarian, or that God doesn’t want us to eat meat. They just lie about it, to try to control the rest of us. They are The Bad Guys, not because there’s anything wrong with vegetarianism - there isn’t. What’s wrong is spreading false information to force people into an erroneous conclusion.The truth (John 8:32) will set you free. But it won’t set you free from getting angry calls from people who don’t know the truth . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who believes that if God had not intended for us to eat the animals, He would not have made them out of meat. Write to him (Kendal, not God) at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org