There’s so much wrong with this Tweet by Pastor Rick Warren:
Where do you start? Just to state the most obvious:
1. The suspect in the shooting in Colorado wasn’t behaving “like an animal” – only like one particular species of animal. The only animal that behaves like this is the human variety.
2. Whatever else we may be, humans are a species of animal. No way around that.
3. I’ve never met a teacher who says we’re no different from other animals. Clearly, we have some abilities that are quite different from other species. Unfortunately, one of them is the ability to wreak chaos and destruction on those other species – and on our own.
4. No responsible scientist would blame the killings in Colorado on religion. Why does Pastor Warren blame them on science?
5. Using a horrible situation like this to try to score points is unworthy of someone who professes to be leading a large congregation in matters of ethics, morals, and spirituality.
6. Empathy, which is part of the basis of all morality, involves being able to resonate with other living beings – to see what unites us, not what separates us.
7. Pastor Warren has no reason to feel threatened by the knowledge that our closest cousins are the other great apes. We learn a lot about ourselves by understanding them better. And we develop whatever spiritual nature we aspire to by understanding our animal nature. The two are not mutually exclusive.