On his blog today, Dr. Albert Mohler commented on a New York Times article featuring the late Leona Helmsley, a woman who made billions in New York real estate and was infamous for material excess. Ms. Helmsley made the headlines last year after her death when it became public knowledge that she left millions to be used for the care of her own dog. This time, she is making news as it seems she desired for her entire trust, somewhere between $5 and $8 billion be used towards the welfare of dogs in general.
I encourage you to read Dr. Mohler's response to this, as he makes many insightful comments from a Christian worldview. Of course, I cannot come close to responding as thoroughly as him, but I do have a few thoughts to share on this topic:
I think it is rather fitting that this is my very next post after that announcing our cat's death. And for those of you who did not gather this from my previous post - the cat was put down (which is a nice way of saying that we chose for her to be euthanized because she was sick). Although it was a very sad decision for Dave and me to have to make, and we love animals just as much as the next American, it was a rational decision in light of the fact that it was a cat.
Sometimes, Dave and I would jokingly tell Gloria that we have dominion over her. It was kind of like when your mom or dad would tell you to do something "because I said so." So, we would tell Gloria to do things (or rather, not do things - like jump on the table) "because we have dominion over you." This was always said in jest, but it was nontheless true. God gave humans dominion over animals (Gen. 1:28).
Even non-Christians who are unfamiliar with the creation account in Genesis recognize this to be true. And this is a small part of why it is so unfathomable to people, as demonstrated in the writing of this NY Times article, how Leona Helmsley can leave billions of dollars to care for dogs over against people.
Rather than simply gawk at how "crazy" it is to leave billions of dollars to dogs (which I have done my fair share of), we should be moved to sadness at how very wrong Ms. Helmsley's priorities were.