The Anniston Star explores the ongoing question of whether or not our animal companions go to heaven:
Ask an animal lover if pets have souls, and the response is generally swift and certain.
“To say that only humans have souls is rather species-centric,” said Susan Sullivan of Anniston, who has two dogs, eight cats and a 19-year-old king snake named Stephen Kingsnake. “Some religions think animals are actually closer to God than humans are because of their simplicity. One can certainly learn and experience the basic tenants that loving, compassionate religions teach by caring for animals.”
The Bible is noncommittal on whether animals have souls, or whether they’ll be in heaven.
It’s in the spirit of Saint Francis that various churches, including Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston, host a “Blessing of the Animals” service on the Sunday before Saint Francis’ Feast Day of Oct. 4. Over the years as a priest, Grace pastor Lee Shafer has blessed everything from cats and dogs to snakes – even a hedgehog.
For Shafer, who’s had both cats and dogs, it all comes down to one thing. It’s all about love,” she said. “On every level and in every bit of scripture, it’s all about love.
Do our animal companions go to heaven? What do you think? Believe?