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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Churches and Schools Teach Loveless Doctrine. Go Vegan. By John Muir. Ed. Dr. Chapman Chen

"Thus godlike sympathy grows and thrives and spreads far beyond the teachings of churches and schools, where too often the mean, blinding, loveless doctrine is taught that animals have no rights that we are bound to respect, and were only made for man, to be petted, spoiled, slaughtered or enslaved." -- John Muir, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth.

John Muir (1838 –1914), also known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks", was a Scottish-born American theologian,  naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, botanist, zoologist, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States.

Muir believed that to discover truth, he must turn to what he believed were the most accurate sources. Muir had a strict, Scottish Presbyterian upbringing. In his book, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), he writes that during his childhood, his father made him read the Bible every day. Muir eventually memorized three-quarters of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament. Muir's father read Josephus's War of the Jews to understand the culture of first-century Judea, as it was written by an eyewitness, and illuminated the culture during the period of the New Testament.[57]: 43  But as Muir became attached to the American natural landscapes he explored, Williams notes that he began to see another "primary source for understanding God: the Book of Nature".

According to Denis Williams (2002), in nature, especially in the wilderness, Muir was able to study the plants and animals in an environment that he believed "came straight from the hand of God, uncorrupted by civilization and domestication". As John Tallmadge (1997) notes, Muir's belief in this "Book of Nature" compelled him to tell the story of "this creation in words any reader could understand". As a result, his writings were to become "prophecy, for [they] sought to change our angle of vision".


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