Is “The Temple of the Dog” a true religion? Sure, we can say “anything someone worships IS a religion”, but is that technically considered as such? In the past, I wrote that the behavior I have observed on various internet forums and in real life may likely indicate a primitive religion. When one takes the position that an animal is superior to a human being, and does not provide hard scientific proof of the matter, that presents a clear example of deification. The legal and social leeway presented to dogs and dog owners indicates that many may consider the dog to be a sacred animal.
Opinions aside, if we are presented with a true religion that in turn presents some profound public policy issues and impacts, primarily issues related to separation of Church and State. What does it mean to the rest of us if our neighbors and community leaders truly consider a dog a sacred animal? That may depend on the “separation” codified in your jurisdiction, or if your jurisdiction has a state religion.
In the United States the general policy is separation of Church and State. That more or less means the following:
- We have no state religion.
- The state does not direct church policy.
- The church does not direct state policy.
- In parallel, citizens have a right to change religion or to not follow any religion.
- There is an implied freedom from religion.
An establishment and recognition of a formal “Temple of the Dog” might indicate that harboring a dog is indeed a core civil right, as practitioners generally have a right to their objects of worship: Holy texts, crucifixes, etc…
However, the above would also present the notion that we “non practitioners” have a core civil right to be free of such things. Would they be able to demand that others wear a crucifix? Fast on Saturdays? Bow towards Mecca 5 times a day? May I stand in my neighbor’s yard and read the Bible into a bullhorn at 3am? If my religion requires human sacrificial rites, may I kidnap and kill someone as part of that ceremony? This separation indicates that participation in a particular religion grants NO passes on bad behavior NOR does that participation empower someone to control the personal lives of others.
Now, there are several dog owners in my community that I believe deserve to be “sacrificed” but somehow I think that would just get me into a lot of trouble.
If a dog is indeed a religious symbol, that may also restrict doggy access to public places and government properties.
Separation of Church and state also indicates that, for the most part, the electorates do not want executives, bureaucrats, law enforcement, and legislators making policy decisions based on religious doctrine. Essentially, NO, we are not going to force everyone by law to go to church on Sunday. Rabbis are not allowed to go on shooting sprees at the mall strictly because of who they are and so forth. This is by no means a perfect mechanism, as the majority of people have some sort of spiritual beliefs and those are going to influence the actions and decisions of those same people. However, it’s generally understood that government agencies are by definition secular institutions.
A couple of months ago I wrote about the systemic corruption of our AC and law enforcement agencies and how that is a major contribution to the Animal Uncontrol problem. Essentially, our AC and law enforcement agencies have been taken over and thoroughly corrupted by animal rights and owners rights fanatics. These people put the interests of individual dogs ahead of human rights, health and safety. They have a strict “dogs first” policy. When the interests of an individual dog intersect with the human rights, health and safety, they do whatever they can to make sure the dog wins!
So, why have a “dogs first” policy? Well, if one considers a dog to be a sacred animal, then that is the only policy one CAN have! If a dog is barking all night or attacking someone, you CAN’T take action as the incident in question was by definition an Act of Dog! If you get mauled by a dog when fetching the mail, the state can’t intervene as that was, literally, Dog’s Will! You must Thank Dog that you were not killed! It is clear that you must be a horrible person who has sinned terribly to bring the Wrath of Dog down upon you!! You must repent, and Pray to Dog for forgiveness! If you will not repent, then Dog Damn you!
On a more serious note, the above presents an interesting policy situation as we very well may have executives, legislators, bureaucrats, and law enforcement (all paid by our taxes) making public health and safety decisions based primarily on religious doctrine. This clearly violates both the spirit and intent of Separation of Church and State. It is fundamentally no different than a Pagan Sheriff tolerating human sacrifice based on his/her religious beliefs. Such a “policy” is objectionable to any civilized person regardless of their belief structure.
Have a great weekend everyone and Dog Bless you all!