Southern Baptists & Palmetto Family Council Confront Cock Fighting

Yesterday, the Palmetto Family Council and the Southern Baptist Convention released a video addressing the terrible practice of cock fighting. According to the Humane Society of the United States,  "the blood sport is widespread in South Carolina because of the weakness of the state’s anti-cockfighting law and consists of roosters fighting to the death while spectators gamble on the outcomes."

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Clapham Group have partnered to explore the role the faith community plays in addressing modern animal issues. The Faith Outreach program at HSUS engages faith communities, leaders, and institutions with animal protection issues, on the premise that religious values call upon us to act in a kind and merciful way towards all creatures.

The Palmetto Family Council is tackling the issue of cock fighting head-on in a new video that features Dr. Oran Smith, the executive director of Palmetto Family, as well as Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics and religious liberty commission.Citing scripture and Biblical principles, Smith and Land expose the cruelty of cockfighting as well as the larger societal effects of the illegal blood sport.“Religious leaders had a founding role in the humane movement in the 19th century, and today in the 21st century, they remind us of our solemn responsibilities to other creatures,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Their voices can help guide the nation toward better decision-making and behavior when it comes to our treatment of animals.”“There is no question that the Palmetto State is now the “go-to” location for animal fighting on the Eastern Seaboard,” said Dr. Oran Smith, the executive director of Palmetto Family. “As a matter of state pride, we must strengthen our laws now.”“Christians should stand up and speak out against this barbaric practice which horrendously abuses God’s creatures” said Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist convention’s ethics and religious liberty commission.Though outlawed in all 50 states, cockfighting remains a misdemeanor in 11, including South Carolina, Alabama and others. Cockfighting can be a lucrative crime, with gambling winnings offsetting even the maximum misdemeanor fines. The HSUS and the Palmetto Family Council are pursuing legislation to make cockfighting a felony in all 50 states to ensure the penalty for breaking the law is stronger than the potential gain.

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