by Linda Harvey 2/17/16
If you worry your daughter Melissa may be drawn to the notion of becoming “Mike” instead, there’s another storm brewing for concerned parents. How about the daughter who swears she’s a dolphin living in a human body?
The next special-interest group demanding “rights” may be humans who claim an animal identity.
I don’t mean those much-debated, unethical experiments in animal-human hybrids, but actual biological males or females who drift beyond obsessive fandom for Batman or Spiderman, werewolves and vampires.
We’re talking about people dressing as animals, even mutilating their bodies in the service of a “fins-fur-and-feathers” delusion.
A recent story making the rounds describes a girl in Norway who believes she’s a cat. She meows and hisses when dogs are near. Her fake ears and tail authenticate the total cat identity.
Will we soon hear screeching demands that school restrooms offer litter boxes so cat-girls can feel included and “safe”?
She is hardly alone. Among recent well-publicized animal pretenders are Leopard Man, Tom Leppard, whose spotted tattoos cover his body; Katzen the Tiger Lady (a performance artist); and Eric Sprague, the lizard man, who sports a split tongue.
And there’s the parrot man in England, with ears cut off to more closely resemble his pet parrot. He hopes soon to have his nose surgically altered into a beak.
One Pittsburgh man believes he’s a dog, a persistent delusion since childhood. He doesn’t worry about money since he lives on the trust fund left him by a parent. He is also a regular at “furry” conventions, gatherings growing in popularity for people who have animal identities, serious or fanciful.
“Furry” meetings in San Jose, Chicago and Pittsburgh attract thousands of attendees and feature X-rated workshops for adults, role-playing, gaming, story-telling, science fiction, and even sessions on activism – “Power and Privilege in an Anthropomorphic World.”
We are tempted to laugh this off as immature silliness, but history shows this fascination may develop into a more prevalent subculture.
When people don’t have the sense and protection of the Holy Spirit as a result of faith in Christ, phantasms abound in the spiritually unsettled soul. At the top of the list of idolatrous practices in human history is nature worship.
This current trend has a name: therianthropy. An insightful paper defines it as follows: “Therianthropes are individuals who identify as part human and part non-human animal in a biological, mental and metaphysical capacity.”
Non-Christian spirituality is frequently infused with animal worship. Egyptians believed cats and crocodiles were sacred. Native American Tlingit tribes of the Northwest created totem poles depicting animals associated with various superstitions, like the thunderbird, eagle, raven and bear. Modern Hinduism still reveres cattle.
And then there are the half-animal, half-human demigods. The Greeks had the minotaur and satyr. West Africans still revere the mermaid goddess, Mamiwata.
And shamanism, practiced in virtually every non-Western faith, routinely consorts with presumed animal spirits with the objective of absorbing the strength of the beast.
Christians and Jews do not engage in any of this.
Judeo-Christian faith forbids nature worship of any kind and intimate human/animal contact. Almighty God is always separate from His creation in Judeo-Christian doctrine. For a human to desire to descend to the level of an animal would be among the gravest of sinful impulses, since it would implicitly repudiate the blessing of having a soul with an eternal destiny.
The re-emergence of animal reverence as a dalliance of bored or misguided Western youth is yet one more symptom of the spiritual desert America is becoming.
Assuming the cat-girl, lizard-man and other animal identities are not simply attention-grabbing behaviors, such confusion leaps beyond the child with an imaginary friend.
In the individual listings at the website WitchVox are numerous sacred animal references and identities, demonstrating how occult practices and nature worship go hand-in-hand. One personal listing says:
“I have gone from being an eclectic Wiccan in my younger days, to a solitary general pagan. … But in all that time, only one thing within me has remained the same. And that is the wolf. … I am a therianthrope, spiritual at that.”
Another pagan, a married bisexual, describes his path: “I resonate extremely strongly with dragons and their mythologies. …” He is also very fond of gaming. And it’s no surprise that immoral sexual practices frequently accompany nature worship and animal obsession.
There’s an obvious biblical analysis, one that applies to gender confusion as well: demonic influence. Into a vacuum rushes all kinds of evil. The lives of too many teens and young adults are spiritual wastelands, ripe for dark deception.
Untold numbers of parents worry about children who seemed detached from real life while preoccupied with Web connections that validate often disturbing fantasies.
When those fantasies take the form of animal “spirits” – or demonic beings masquerading as such – this is beyond a passing hobby. It may be Satan’s latest laugh as Westerners turn over their young to the ungodly culture.
This is not to diminish, by comparison, the horrifying path of the family dealing with a loved one deceived into gender “change,” which can never actually happen. A girl who binds healthy breasts to deny her feminine anatomy, or the male who seeks castration, both display profound mental and spiritual disturbance.
The idea of transformation into another species is utterly contrary to Christian doctrine. For one thing, animals can’t engage in moral choices.
Your cat prowls for mice and doesn’t give it a second thought. Would a werewolf be excused from accountability? How convenient.
Jesus Himself affirms that humans were designed as male and female humans (Matthew 19). Tampering with human identity mocks Paul’s advice to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” as a demonstration of Christian worship (Romans 12:1).
Sadly, the great sin of unbelief can be expressed through denying one’s gender and even one’s humanity.
We must resist all the emerging artificial, distorted and inhuman “identities” spawned by pop culture, aided by the darkest forces of evil.
Linda Harvey is president of Mission America and hosts a talk show on Salem affiliate WRFD in Columbus, OH.