"St. Francis’s sermons to the animals must have really stuck, because our furry and feathered friends have at least one of those allegedly unique Christian virtues, according to Frans de Waal. His book, The Age of Empathy, describes “Bengal tigers that nurse piglets, bonopo apes that help wounded birds to fly, seals that rescue drowning dogs, [and] a rhesus monkey [that] will forego the opportunity for food if pulling the chain that delivers it will electrically shock a companion,” writes Andrew Stark in the Wall Street Journal. Humans’ far more complex moral sense is rooted in our self-awareness and the awareness of our place in a social order, but the evolution of that moral sense long predated Christianity."

- Heather Mac Donald at Secular Right

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