Sunday, November 26, 2006
PETA mistakenly targets church's nativity scene
Confused pastor tells animal rights group that no real animals were used
The pastor at Anchorage First Free Methodist Church was mystified. Why was the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals chastising him? No animals are harmed in the church's holiday nativity display. In fact, animals aren't used at all.
People, however, do dress the parts — Mary, Joseph, the wise men, etc. The volunteers stand shivering at a manger on the church lawn in a silent tribute to Christmas.
The Rev. Jason Armstrong was confused by an e-mail this week from PETA, which admonished him for subjecting animals "to cruel treatment and danger," by forcing them into roles in the church's annual manger scene.
Seems the confusion started with the church's choice of phrase. PETA flagged Free Methodist's display as a "living nativity," and indeed, that's how the church describes it on its Web site.
To PETA, that means animals.
Of course it does. You know why? Because when you're dogmatic, things only have the meaning you assign to them. You don't actually need to do any research, investigate the accusation, presume someone is innocent until proven guilty, nothin' like that. You just react by jumping on your soapbox and objecting to something that didn't happen.
Now, PETA making fools of themselves is nothing new. I don't know of another advocacy group that is so consistantly wrong in their protests. They're forever making these mistakes in order to keep themselves in the public eye! Honestly, can you think of another group that uses mistakes as a pulpit for their talking points?
"Those animals are subject to all sorts of terrible fates in some cases," (PETA's captive animals in entertainment specialist Jackie) Vergerio said. "Animals have been stolen and slaughtered, they've been raped, they've escaped from the nativity scenes and have been struck by cars and killed. Just really unfathomable things have happened to them."
Wow. Unfathomable things... like how that statement has a whole lot of nothing to do with what just didn't happen in this breaking non-news story? The real story, PETA, is that you fuck up again and again, and you repeatedly leverage your zealot followers' boneheaded mistakes into PR opportunities.