By James Crugnale
The show’s panel was responding to the Fish and Wildlife Service approval of a permit allowing the Northern Arapaho tribe in Wyoming to kill two bald eagles for a religious ceremony.
“Killing them is like shredding our constitution,” contended host Greg Gutfeld.
“Well, under the First Amendment we have the right to shred our constitution if we so desire,” Black observed. “You can shred the constitution and you can kill a bald eagle as long as they are not endangered, and they are not endangered.”
By James Crugnale
“I’m not okay with this,” Bolling opined. “It’s more than a bird and animal. This thing should not be shot. It’s a symbol of American freedom. People have died for that symbol. Protect that thing!”
“Just look at that animal,” Bolling gushed.
Co-host Dana Perino noted that other tribes have been able to kill other threatened species if it was part of their religious traditions and there was legal precedent.
If you think this is cruel or barbaric, note that we kill millions of animals for food and millions more for recreation (hunting and fishing). Two eagles is less than a drop in the bucket compared to that.
If you're against the killing of animals for any reason, then you can take the moral high ground on this issue. Otherwise, not.
The "eagle as American symbol" argument is especially ridiculous. It's a freakin' bird--exactly like the millions of chickens, ducks, and geese killed every year.
Killing eagles does no harm whatsoever to the symbol. Indeed, you could argue that the Indians' reverence for the eagle increases its symbolic stature.
Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey our national bird. Would Bolling have called for the protection of millions of turkeys every Thanksgiving?
As I said, ridiculous.
This is a typical case where conservatives oppose freedom of religion for anyone who isn't a God-fearing Bible thumper. As professional bigot Bryan Fischer said, they think the First Amendment protects only Christianity.
For a previous eagle controversy, see Eagle Rite = Satanic Sacrifice"? and Dismembered Eagles in Native Religion. For more on the Native reverence for eagles, see Eagles Released on Earth Day.