The BBC had a program on BBC4 tonight about big game hunting. The hunters had some crazy idea that the bible supported hunting for fun – that god had given us animals to do as we please with. It was little surprise to then hear comments about ‘evolution’ being incorrect.
The reality is of course very different (on both counts). It would not be true to say that hunting in itself is one of the most important issues for the Catholic church. However the call for respect and compassion for all life – great and small – in the gospels has lead to a long history of seeing the display of a hunters prowess as wrong. Hunting out of need (including deliberate culling), carried out appropriately and with due respect, can be fine. Hunting for fun is not. There are some details here.
For these hunters, I can only imagine that their hell will be full of others like themselves, hunting them endlessly. The great animals that were their pray, joining the array of creatures in heaven, along with the angels and the children of god.