Vick's Punishment?

The name, Michael Vick, evokes strong emotion. Until recently his name was associated with athletic excellence and the Atlanta Falcons. Today his name is synonymous with the so-called “sport” of dog fighting. One of the National Football Leagues’ most talented and exciting competitors is now a poster child for animal abuse. According to court documents, Vick not only fought dogs, but he brutally killed those animals that didn’t pass muster. If they didn’t perform to his barbaric standards, then he hung, electrocuted, or drowned them.
It has been interesting to watch this saga unfold in the media. The real venom spewed in Vick’s direction is not due to the fact that he gambled on the dog fights, nor because he lied to investigators, but because of how he abused those poor canines. There is a cacophony of voices shouting not only for his life-long banishment from the NFL, but for his long-term imprisonment.
According to ESPN, Vick has now been suspended from the National Football League indefinitely. The punishment is appropriate, but in the eyes of many, inadequate. Animal rights activists are demanding a conviction and the maximum sentence: a quarter of a million dollars and a 5-year imprisonment. Yet, for some, this is still not sufficient. The American Kennel Club has expressed concern that even this falls short of necessary justice. AKC chairman Ron Menaker observed, “While we are pleased to hear that the Vick case is being settled through the criminal justice system, we remain concerned that the punishment will be inadequate considering the heinous nature of the crimes.”
Heinous crime?! Don’t misunderstand me. Vick’s behavior is unacceptable. Killing dogs for sport and animal cruelty is reprehensible. He deserves some form of suitable punishment, but let’s get some perspective here. A preacher’s wife in Tennessee murders her husband by shooting him in the back and she’s back on the street in less than three months. American’s murder 1,000,000 innocent infants in the womb annually and we scarcely blink an eye. Why is it that so-called doctors(?) can jam sharp needles into the skulls of defenseless babies under the guise of partial-birth abortion and no penalty is enacted? Heinous crime, indeed.
I certainly do not condone Vick’s actions. But before we put him in prison and throw away the key, let’s get serious about the real moral and ethical issues that face us as a nation. If folks didn’t know better, you’d think we were more upset about a few dead dogs than precious human lives (Prov. 6:9-10).

8 thoughts on “Vick's Punishment?

  1. Mike, you’re preaching to the choir. Couldn’t agree more with your conclusions about Vick. It never ceases to amaze me how our institutions (entertainment, sports, government, religious) give in to the special interest groups rather than looking realistically at the situation.

  2. Yes, Mike, we do need to clarify our values a bit. When we see trees and animals as more important than people then we have lost our perspective.

  3. I agree that our nation is immoral and unethical concerning abortion and other matters. But comparing Vick’s situation to the preacher’s wife in Tennessee is comparing apples and oranges. The preacher at least was able to defend himself. Animals and children are innocent (unworthy of suffering) as well as DEFENSELESS, and they depend upon others to care for them. When adults abuse children or animals, I see it as the worst type of cruelty. It’s takes an especially cold heart to watch a defensely creature suffer, and it’s been proven that those who have no compassion for animals can easily hurt or kill humans. This is why it’s so important that we do not let a situation like Vick’s slip by and consider it just “a few dead dogs.”

  4. Well written article. I feel I must comment on this subject as you have brought forth a powerful indictment about American priorities. Actually, not priorities, but idolitaries.
    We have now raised the idol of animals to the level of money, pornography, power, homosexuality, right to choose, and a myriad of addictions. One can face more jail time for killing an animal than someone who kills a person (abortion, drunk driving, etc.)
    In the name of freedom and individual rights, we place on the alter of Self the sacrifice of personal responsiblity and basic moral character.
    Pray to God that the Silent Majority remain silent no longer. While they are still the majority.

  5. Amen! Amen! and Amen! again. It’s about time someone spoke about our cries against animal cruelty and silence when it comes to crimes against humanity. You said that!

  6. Dear Mike,
    I agree with most of what you wrote, however, bringing the recent shooting in with the Vick
    drama is unfortunate. We, most likely, do not know most of the inside story of the Winklers
    and apparently the judge & jury had a clearer insight onto all the various issues and ruled with
    understanding and compassion.
    Comparing the tragedy of the Winkler shooting with the Vick dog case does not, in my opinion,
    belong in this article.
    To make the comparison between helpless dogs being treated cruelly and the innocent unborn
    children being destroyed perhaps has some merit.
    I’ve read your article twice and felt compelled to convey my thoughts. By the way, I am neither
    pro-violence in the womb, home, workplace, or sports arenas to either man or beast.

  7. This man got what he deserved, and of course, that does not mean that we should not be pursuing justice for the crimes against humans, which are, of course, more serious. However, we Christians need to be careful about assumptions and generalizations. Having compassion for animals and humans is not mutually exclusive. In fact, people who do not care about animals often hurt and kill people. Consider the fact that many serial killers have started his/her evil path as an abuser of animals. There is cause for alarm. God gave us dominion over the animals, and I would think he would expect us to be good stewards of what he has entrusted to us. As a Christian, I am also extremely concerned about the lack of justice in murder cases, the millions of aborted babies, etc. I wouldn’t say I “don’t blink an eye” at these things…far from it. It is an incorrect assumption to believe that caring about animals is proof that one cares more about them than humans. Perhaps some people feel that way, but it correct to make this generalization.

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