My Favorite Chimp

The Bible makes it perfectly clear that humans are different than animals.

Most importantly, only humans are created in God’s image and only humans are given “dominion” over animals (Genesis 1:26).

When God gave humanity the power to rule over the animals, it was to care for, tend to, and use them to their fullest potential, while doing so in a just manner.

In other words, we don’t have free reign to mistreat or abuse them.  Proverbs 12:10 says “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal…”

God has given us the right to use and manage animals, and He expects us to be caring and faithful stewards of His creation.

But following God’s plan is an “abomination” according to many animal rights groups, such as the Boston-based Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP).

Last month, the group filed suit with the New York State Supreme Court seeking “legal personhood” status for four chimpanzees living in the state.

One, a 26-year-old named Tommy, reportedly has a television in his cage and likes to watch cartoons.

It was the first step in the group’s nationwide campaign to grant legal rights to a variety of animals including whales, elephants, and dolphins.

The suit alleged that based on “law, science and history,” chimpanzees have rights of “habeas corpus,” a legal principle requiring persons under detention to be brought before a judge in an effort to gain release.

NhRP claims these animals possess complex cognitive abilities such as autonomy, self-determination, self-consciousness, awareness of the past and future, the ability to make choices and to display complex emotions.

In quickly rejecting the suit, one judge said animals don’t qualify for habeas corpus because they were not persons.

Another said he did not want to be the first “to make a leap of faith” equating chimpanzees with human beings.

Commenting on the case, a law professor at Pepperdine University in California knowingly or unknowingly took God’s view of the issue.

Richard Cupp was quoted as saying: “Animals are not persons, but that does not mean that abusing them is acceptable.

“Both humans and animals would be best served by placing a strong emphasis on human responsibility for humane treatment of animals rather than creating an artificial construct of animal personhood.”

The court’s rejection of the case came just days after NhRP co-sponsored a “Personhood Beyond the Human” conference at Yale University.

The stated purpose of the symposium was to “…focus on personhood for nonhuman animals…by analyzing them through the frameworks of neuroscience, behavioral science, philosophy, ethics and law.”

The keynote speaker was Peter Singer, the notorious supporter of infanticide, in addition to his efforts to treat humans as just another species of animals.  His day job is serving as the DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.

GRTL President Dan Becker, who attended the conference as an observer, said he was shocked to learn how openly anti-Christian the group was.

“I was wholly unprepared for the moral revulsion I felt as they described their overall agenda,” Becker said.  “The openly admitted that their goal is to “animalize” mankind as just another animal in the zoo we call earth.”

Becker said the group openly declares that Christianity is the single most pervasive problem they face.

Dan’s account of his time with Peter Singer is on the GRTL website.

“We’re in a war,” Becker said.  “It’s a war not just against what it means to be human, but an all-out assault on the very foundations of Christianity.

“We must acknowledge what we’re facing and continue to develop strategies to defend God’s will and protect the defenseless defenseless humans that is."



by Wayne DuBois
GTRL Media Relations Advisor