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Urgent: WWJD? Help Halt Pastor’s Cruel Animal Act

Written by PETA | October 1, 2010

Say “Satan” and we immediately think of lunch, not lions. Oh, wait, that’s “seitan.” But Pastor Troy Gramling of the Flamingo Road Church recently used a big cat crammed in a tiny cage as a prop—and a weird metaphor for the devil—during a recent sermon.



During the past month, Gramling has also used a capuchin monkey to symbolize the financial “monkey on your back” and a 13-foot python as a metaphor for sinners. Wild animals don’t belong on stages—or Gramling’s shoulders (Hello?) One shudders to imagine what their lives are like off stage. They likely endure constant confinement and live in confusion and fear as a result of the sights, sounds, and smells of their unfamiliar and unnatural surroundings.

Gramling’s use of wild animals to (somehow) symbolize human frailty is cruel and dangerous—and it undermines the steadfast belief held by caring Christians that all living beings deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. Urge Flamingo Road Church to can its “Wild” sermon series and enact a policy prohibiting any and all future uses of exotic animals.

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • Peggy Batakis says:

    God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages. ~Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien Please set the animals free. Peace.

  • Natalie says:

    I wonder if the stuffed leopard and the animal skins he’s standing on are faux? Probably not….why do you need a traveling circus to speak the word of god? Like said above all animals are gods creatures and putting them in cages and stealing their skins as nothing more then a prop seems like blasphemy to me. Ditch the animals and your too coordinated flannel shirt, you make look like an everyday gent or even one of the “blue collar” guys but your not fooling anyone. Your exploiting these animals to attract and relate to a lower class demographic. Take your show on the road literally and leave the animals behind.

  • Lynn Porter says:

    Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7

    What if God treated us, over whom he has dominion, the way we treat animals over whom he has given us dominion. Maybe he does.

    Galations 6:7  Do not be deceived God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

    What goes around comes around.

  • Dawn Walters says:

    And you call yourself a man of God.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    As a former cast member of Robert Schullers “Glory of Christmas” pagent, I know how dangerous it can be to have exotic animals on stage next to inexperienced personnel. I played a shepard for 3 or 4 Christmas seasons, which meant I was on stage 90 percent of the time minding sheep. I have been threatened by rams, bitten by camels, who have also ripped my costume up on stage; kept sheep from falling off the stage, which would have been a good neck busting 10 foot drop for the poor creature, and kept the audience away from the staging area where the camels, sheep and other animals were kept. The audience wanted to take pictures of their children with the animals. Sheep don’t like stangers, but camels REALLY hate strangers (and anyone else, by the way). The owner of the camels told me that the traditional way to calm an angry camel was to give it your jacket to chew on. I told him the one I was wearing was part of my shepard costume and I didn’t think Rev. Schuller would appreciate my doing that.

  • angel spier says:

    this is disturbing. its people like this that make people like me hate god. show some common sense and return these animals to the wild.

  • Ingrid Cerqueni says:

    Basta basta basta!!!!

  • Chloe says:

    This is not holy in any way and a terrible use of symbolism and exmaple. I bet God is looking down on them with pure shame. This needs to stop because in the Bible and Tankah it says to treat both human and animals alike. Let’s keep it that way!

  • Joan says:

    For as intelligent as God made humans we certainly have lost the inner small voice who speeks to us when we want or do something that we know is wrong. What do we have to do to make this small voice become a roaring lion or alarm that will go off bsfore we do these things?

  • alina de la llave says:

    please stop this

  • Carmen Rico says:

    Have some compassion, stop cruelty and abuse against animals!!!

  • James says:

    Ignorance at it’s finest, or worst depending on one’s point of view.

  • barbara codispoti says:

    please stop using wild animals on display in cramped quarters during your sermons. remember they are God’s creatures.

  • nicole says:

    what a freak!!!