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May 30 2011

Dog getting communion

An Anglican church in Canada welcomed pets to attend their services and Donald Keith, a new parishioner, took his dog Trapper with him. Since he was a newcomer, the vicar singled Keith out and invited him up in person to receive what is known as Holy Communion where you receive and wafer (and sometimes some wine or other beverage) to symbolize the body and blood of Jesus. (Catholics are told that the wafer and the wine actually become transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, but I am not getting into that here.)

When Keith went up, Trapper naturally followed him and the interim vicar said a small prayer and gave communion to Trapper too.

I thought that this was a nice story about a spontaneous friendly gesture on the vicar’s part. When you are handing out what seems like treats to everyone and there is a dog waiting expectantly in line, it is hard to say no. Apparently almost every member of the congregation found the gesture to be heartwarming. But one person took umbrage and went straight to the archbishop and as a result Trapper has been banned from receiving communion. And of course, the Jesus lovers are incensed. Former Watergate felon and now crazy-for-Jesus evangelical Chuck Colson says that this is the result of the dangerous trend of thinking that humans are not special in the eyes of his god.

If I believed in heaven, my guess would be that Trapper is more worthy of going there than the parishioner who complained about him.

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