From Babylon to Denmark

March 28, 2014


Since the early nineteenth century, gentile governments in Europe have been concerned with the question of Jewish dietary practices. This interest has been rekindled by the immigration of large numbers of Muslims into Europe in recent decades, since Muslim dietary rules resemble Jewish ones. To many Jews and Muslims, this governmental interest is unwelcome and intrusive, since it is usually aimed at prohibiting practices that are central to their faiths. Christians have also viewed such restrictions with concern, since they can threaten the religious liberties of all believers.

Against this backdrop, the Danish government issued a set of regulations for animal slaughtering last month that will have the effect of prohibiting ritual Jewish or Muslim cattle butcher. The Danish Minister of Food and Agriculture who signed the ban, a 38 year old Social Democrat named Dan Jorgensen, explained the ban on Danish television by saying “animal rights come before religion” – or, according to another version, “animal rights precede religious rights.”

Denmark’s action seems to be part of a broader trend in Europe. If the Danish government and parliament let the decision stand, Denmark will join several other western European nations, including Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Switzerland and, most recently, Poland in prohibiting such ritual slaughter. Holland had attempted to ban Jewish ritual slaughter, but a compromise was negotiated in 2012.

Denmark’s Jewish community (which numbers a mere 6,000 persons) opposes the minister’s decision. So do large numbers of Denmark’s Muslims (who constitute, overall, between 3% to 4% of the nation’s population.)  Danish Halal, an umbrella group representing 53 Muslim organizations, plans to submit a petition with 20,000 signatures in opposition to the ban. The European Commissioner on Health, Tonio Borg, questioned the legality of the ban, saying that it “contradicts European law.” On the other hand, Jorgensen’s decision was acclaimed by the Animal Welfare Intergroup, of which he had been President.

International reaction to the Danish ban has been vigorous, and highly critical.  Leaders of Jewish and Muslim organizations have met with Danish Embassy personnel in Washington DC and other capitals. Danish exports to Muslim nations and tourism from those nations to Denmark are likely to suffer. [1] Former Reagan Administration official Elliot Abrams has said: “This assault on Judaism is, of course, part of a broader assault on religion, all religions, including Christianity, and the biblical understanding of life. The basic idea is that religion is primitive and ignorant and must be repressed. This is a militant form of secularism and while Muslims and Jews are today’s victims, there will be many more tomorrow.” [2]

Denmark has defended its decision primarily on the basis of animal welfare. Under the Jewish laws of kosher butchering (shehita or shechita), cattle (and fowl) must be slaughtered in a particular ritualized manner in order for their consumption to be permitted.  Kosher butchering requires that the slaughtering be done by a pious, qualified practitioner (shohet). The shohet must use a sharp, smooth knife to sever the trachea and esophagus of the animal and to cut its carotid arteries and jugular vein. Slaughtering is intended to be accomplished quickly.  After slaughtering the animal, the shohet must examine its carcass to verify that it is free of blemishes or flaws.  After that inspection, the shohet hangs the carcass upside down in order to drain off its blood. (Christians may recall from Acts 15:13 that Jewish dietary law forbids Jews to consume the blood of animals.  See also Deut. 12:23.)

The Danish government contends that slaughtering cattle without first stunning them into unconsciousness is inhumane. Kosher butchers may not stun the animal before cutting it. Rabbis have warned that stunning an animal first might cause bruises or muscle spasms that would make it hard to discover whether the animal had been free of blemishes. Moreover, stunning could cause the shohet to make a jagged cut, injuring the animal.  Accordingly, for the slaughtering to be valid, the animal must be conscious when being killed.  (The rules for Muslim or halal butchery also prohibit stunning the animal before slaughtering it.)

To evaluate the Danish controversy, it will be useful to grasp the significance of dietary rules to the Jewish people.  We can then examine the “animal welfare” justification that the Danish government gives.

The significance of dietary rules in Judaism

As Elliot Abrams has contended, the secularists who govern Denmark (and most of the rest of the western world) may well be actively hostile to the Biblical understanding of life. Alternatively, it may be that they are simply unable to appreciate the beliefs and values of their fellow citizens who do base their lives on Biblical teaching – much as tone-deaf people may fail to understand the love of music. In other words, secularist discrimination against religion may spring from either of two sources – either animosity to religion or indifference to it.  Whatever the explanation, it is essential to understand the significance of dietary rules in Jewish belief and practice.

Jews have long held themselves as a people set apart, dedicated to God’s service and bound by His commands in ways that other peoples are not. One of the most prominent and visible ways in which the Jewish people have distinguished themselves from others has been through their dietary regulations. These regulations are ultimately founded on scriptural teachings (see Deut. 12:23-24; 14:3-21; Lev. 11; also Hos. 9:3; Ezek. 4:13-14; Isa. 52:11; Zech. 14:21), and have been fashioned over the centuries by rabbinic interpretation and legislation.  The underlying principle is summarized (admittedly, in an extreme form) in the apocryphal Book of Jubilees 22:16 (R.H. Charles trans.):

And do thou, my son Jacob, remember my words,

And observe the commandments of Abraham, thy father:

Separate thyself from the nations,
And eat not with them:

And do not according to their works,
And become not their associate;

For their works are unclean,
And all their ways are a pollution and an abomination and uncleanness.

Among the canonical books of the Bible, the Book of Daniel perhaps sheds the most light on the centrality of dietary rules to the Jewish faith. That work recounts how Daniel and his three companions, all of them young and faithful Jews, were educated to play leading roles in the service of Nebuchadnezzar, the Gentile King of Babylon.   Willing though they were to use their talents and training in the King’s service, they drew the line at partaking in “the royal rations of food and wine” (Dan. 1:13). Being tested on a diet of vegetables and water instead, they were found to be even healthier and fatter than when dining on Nebuchadnezzer’s food.

According to some interpreters, the Bible often takes Babylon to represent secular civilization.  Babylon both captures the best that such a civilization has to offer and also expresses its drive for world domination, for the elimination of any particularity and distinctiveness, including Israel’s. Daniel’s refusal to dine on the royal cuisine of Babylon thus represents the unwillingness of the Jewish people to succumb to the attractiveness and glamor of the universalizing secular world.  Daniel and his companions are willing to enjoy much of what that civilization offers.  But they decline to be wholly absorbed into it.  They will stand out – a people set apart for YHWH, owing allegiance to One higher than any earthly ruler. [3]

By conscientiously following their dietary rules, the Jewish people acknowledge God’s supremacy in their lives at every meal each day.  They enact the special calling of Israel to be a witness to the nations. They signify Israel’s refusal to be absorbed into secular culture, however great its allure. They reject the claim of the surrounding civilization, whether that of Babylon or that of the modern West, to offer a comprehensive vision of life, contrasted with the Biblical one.

Scientific perspectives on Jewish ritual rules

Secular Western governments since the Enlightenment and the emancipation of the Jews have recurrently found Jewish rituals troubling and disruptive – including Sabbath observance, the circumcision of infant males, and ritualized slaughter. These concerns are often stated, not as objections to Judaism, but in terms of purportedly “neutral” criteria. Thus, Sabbath observance has been questioned as incompatible with the obligations of citizenship; circumcision has been denounced in the name of the rights of the child; and kosher butchering has been assailed as the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. Denmark’s ban is but a recent expression of this recurring suspicion.

Throughout the nineteenth century and continuing well into the twentieth, German governments, both national and local, were preoccupied with what was called the Rituelfragen – the question of Jewish rituals. Among these issues, of course, was whether kosher butchering should be forbidden by law. Proponents of a ban frequently argued that ritual slaughtering inflicted gratuitous suffering on animals. In an 1878 article, one advocate of a ban argued:

The [shohet] comes with his knife the length of his arm and cuts the sword into and through the neck of the animal, that [knife] however goes right through his shaking bellow. . . . Such barbaric cruelty still takes place today . . . With this kind of animal cruelty, all others are kids’ play. [[4]]

In these debates, supporters of animal rights sometimes demanded that German Jews abandon their religious teachings concerning slaughter. The Tierschutz Verband des Deutschen Reiches, a humane society founded in 1881, attacked the practice of shehita, arguing that “even religious views are not unchangeable but must conform to the progressing standards of humanity and education.” [5]

Yet the scientific basis for such claims was, and remains, uncertain.

In an excellent law review article, two Israeli legal scholars surveyed the scientific and medical evidence and found substantial evidence that kosher slaughtering is as humane as killing after stunning. [6] They also discussed the 2003 report of Italy’s National Commission on Bioethics, entitled Ritual Slaughter and Suffering, which had found that “there are no currently reliable means to determine which slaughtering methods result in what amounts of suffering by animals.”[7] In Physiological insights into Shechita, S.D. Rosen, after an extensive review of the experimental data, concluded that shehita “is a painless and effective method by which to stun and dispatch an animal in one rapid act. [8] Proponents of a ban have to ask themselves whether they are justified in repressing a core religious practice of two great world religions for the sake of such a dubious gain in animal welfare.

Furthermore, many other civilized nations, including European ones, permit ritualized slaughtering in accordance with Jewish and Islamic law, finding it to be a legitimate and humane alternative to killing that is preceded by stunning. Under an Act of Congress entitled the Humane Slaughter Act, it is considered humane to slaughter “in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument and handling in connection with such slaughtering.”[9] American animal rights activists, who can hardly be said to be lacking in energy, have not assailed shehita as their Danish counterparts have done.

Kosher slaughter is also legally permissible in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.  In Germany, the occupation of Islamic butchering has been held to be constitutionally protected. [10] Article 17 of the 1979 European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter permits State parties to grant exemptions from a general requirement to stun animals before slaughtering them when the slaughtering is done “in accordance with religious rituals.”   These exemptions attest to a widespread international view that kosher and halal slaughtering methods are humane. If they were not, why would so many Western nations permit them?

Denmark’s defenses

            Faced with such objections to its new policy, Denmark has offered essentially two defenses.

First, Denmark claims that a ban on ritual slaughter achieves a gain in animal welfare. Second, Denmark claims that for a decade beginning in 2004, it had permitted the registration of Jewish and Muslim butcheries, but had received no applications from them.  Consequently, Denmark claims, its new regulation has changed nothing.

There are several reasons to question these defenses. For one thing, we have just seen that the scientific basis for the claim that ritual slaughter is inhumane is debatable. For another thing, even if ritual slaughter could be shown to cause more suffering than slaughtering after stunning, that fact alone would not decide the issue. It would remain to ask whether the gain in animal welfare was sufficient to outweigh the cost to religious freedom.

Furthermore, even if Denmark could show that its policy brought about a measurable gain in animal welfare, any such gain would be, at best, a marginal one. It would consist in the difference between animal welfare under the new policy and animal welfare under a policy that permitted ritual slaughter. Whether that gain would be large or small would depend on the demand for ritual slaughtering in Denmark if it were to be permitted. There is no sure way of saying how significant the demand would be. In the past decade, according to the Danish government itself, there was zero demand, because Danish Jews and Muslims imported their religiously prescribed meats from abroad instead of slaughtering local cattle. In fact, assuming that Denmark has not changed the status quo through its ban, it has equally done nothing to improve the welfare of its animals.

Moreover, even if the Danish ban did promote the welfare of animals in that country, it would only do so at the expense of lowering the level of animal welfare elsewhere. If Danish Jews and Muslims could no longer eat kosher or halal meat of Danish origin, then, assuming that the costs were about the same, they would presumably substitute imported kosher or halal meat for the Danish variety. And that would simply mean that the incidence of the allegedly inhumane slaughter of cattle globally would remain unaffected by Denmark’s ban. Denmark would have improved the level of animal welfare in Denmark while lowering that level outside that country. How is that a rational policy? Are Danish cattle somehow more deserving of protection than, say, German cattle?

Denmark argues that although it is forbidding ritual slaughter within its borders, it is not violating the liberties of the two minority faiths in question, because their followers remain free to import their meats from elsewhere.  (In fact, it seems that Denmark could not ban the import of meat from any other EU Member State where the method of slaughter used was valid under the laws of that State.) It may well be that by allowing the import of ritually slaughtered meat, Denmark is satisfying its legal obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights not to deny the religious liberty of its citizens. Certainly, a European Court of Human Rights decision from 2000 could be interpreted to support that view. [11] But again one must press the question, What affirmative good is achieved by the ban? Without an identifiable gain in animal welfare, the Danish ban seems merely gratuitous – or rather, an insult to that nation’s Jews and Muslims.

In fact, Denmark may have imposed its ban as a preemptive measure. Some years ago, parts of Denmark’s Muslim community began to seek governmental approval for creating a halal butchery of their own. The Danish Food and Agriculture Ministry became alarmed at the proposal, and opened a national debate on the subject.  That debate was closed down when the Ministry announced its decision last month to impose a ban. Denmark seems to have feared that its growing Muslim population would, for the first time, slaughter domestic cattle for its own consumption.

Even on that assumption, however, it is hard to see how Denmark could validly claim to be protecting animal welfare. Unless the substitution of domestic for imported halal meat substantially increased the demand for meat from Danish Muslims, how could there be an overall gain in animal welfare? Danish Muslims would simply eat more meat from domestic cattle while eating less imported meat. Again, unless there is some justification for preferring Danish cattle over (say) German cattle, the ban seems to be utterly irrational.

All else failing, Denmark might try to defend its ban by claiming that although it operated only within Danish territory, Denmark was setting an example for other countries to follow. Over time, therefore, the level of animal welfare in both Denmark and nations that followed its lead would rise. But it is pure speculation that other countries would be moved by Denmark’s example.  Denmark’s near neighbor Norway has banned kosher slaughter since 1929, and its other near neighbor Sweden has had a ban in place since 1936. It has taken Denmark roughly eight decades or more to follow the example of two nearby Scandinavian neighbors who are culturally and ethnically similar to it. Why should nations outside the Scandinavian world be likely to be influenced by Denmark’s example any time soon?

It follows that Denmark’s ban is purposeless and irrational. Unless, that is, the ban is intended to serve some other purpose than the one announced by the Danish government. That there might well be some other purpose is not hard to see. Danish Muslims are a large and growing demographic element in the Danish population.  Many of them are immigrants; others may be converts. Until recently, Denmark was, religiously and ethnically, very homogeneous. The country’s Muslims may therefore present an inviting target for opportunistic politicians.

Or it may simply be that “progressive” Danes like Minister Jorgensen simply see religion – all religion – as an outworn and obsolete relic of the past. Religious practices like kosher and halal butchering are simply vestiges of cruel and barbaric traditions. They can have no place in a nation as civilized and enlightened as Denmark.

Or Babylon.

[1] See http://www.arabnews.com/news/529981.
[2] See http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865597101/Danish-ban-on-ritual-animal-slaughter-unites-Jews-and-Muslims.html?pg=all#ygx0PgTZDevChxbA.99.
[3] See Andre Lacocque, The Book of Daniel 26-28 (1979).
[4] Quoted in Robin Judd, Contested Rituals: Circumcision, Kosher Butchering, and Jewish Political Life in Germany, 1843-1933 at 74 (2007).
[5] Quoted in Dorothee Brantz, Stunning Bodies: Animal Slaughter, Judaism, and the Meaning of Humanity in Imperial Germany, 35 Central European History 167, 175 (2002).
[6] See Pablo Lerner and Alfredo Mordechai Rabello, The Prohibition of Ritual Slaughtering (Kosher Shechita and Halal) and Freedom of Religion of Minorities, 22 Journal of Law and Religion 1, 44-8 (2006/7).
[7] Id. at 17.
[8] See http://www.jodendom-online.nl/gfx/artikelen/jodendom/Physiological_insights_into_Shechita__S.D.Rosen__Veterinary_Record_2004_01.pdf.
[9] 7 USC 1902(b).
[10] See Judgment of 16 January, 2002, 1 BvR 1783/99, English translation at http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/entscheidungen/rs20020115_1bvr178399en.html.
[11] See Case of Chaare Shalom Ve Tsedek v. France; also Carla M. Zoethout, Ritual Slaughter and the Freedom of Religion: Some Reflections on a Stunning Matter, 35 Human Rights Quarterly 651, 665 (2013).

Robert J. Delahunty

Robert Delahunty grew up in New York City. He was educated by the Jesuit order at Regis High School in Manhattan and graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University in 1968. He was awarded a Kellett Fellowship to study at Oxford University, from which he obtained a B.A. with First … Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24