Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a favorite figure on the Religious Right, really out-did himself on WallBuilders Live with David Barton yesterday. The topic of conversation was the suggestion that animals should be referred to as “companions” instead of “pets.” Lapin claimed that the elevation of animals in our society has lead to horrible things, from Nazi Germany to (gasp!) women’s rights:
The Bible provides guidance on certain fundamental principles of life. One of them is that there is a major difference between people and animals. Now this is so important that it’s covered right up in the beginning of the first few chapters of Genesis, we established that.
Look, it’s not an accident that some of the most brutal and cruel, demonic tyrants of history loved animals. It’s not an accident. It’s not an accident that Adolf Hitler was almost never seen without his dog, who he was petting constantly. Loved his dog! Well, what we understand is that there is a potential, it’s not going to happen to everybody, but there is a potential within a large society that if we obliterate the distinction between people and animals it’s not that people will start treating animals better, they’ll start treating people worse…
The reality is that the lives of most women are not as good today as they were years ago, they’re just not good. Now “oh they’ve got opportunities,” yeah they do, like they can get shot up and tortured in Iraq, and guess what-I’ve traveled, you’ve traveled. I mean how often does my heart break when I see a woman on a business trip frantically trying to calm her children over the telephone and tell them they should go to be with the sitter and she’ll be home after they’re asleep. That’s the woman who’d like to be with her kids if she could, but no–we really are making life tougher on people and all of this is of course consistent with the idea of promoting rights for animals