The Washington Post reported today that the Dayspring Church in Germantown, MD has a deer problem. Now normally that doesn’t seem very unusual in an area with deep agricultural roots where development continues apace and pushes more deer into residential areas. The difference here though is that the church which sits on 206 acres of relatively pristine land decided to hold a controlled hunt to thin the deer population. While this seems like a natural course of action it gets a bit complicated when you consider the church is very eco-friendly and even has an “earth minister” to oversee the land.
The church which is part of a community of other churches that belongs to the Church of the Saviour which was founded in 1947 by a former Baptist minister and chaplain to the 101st Airborne Division in WW II. It is known for its opposition to war and commitment to the environment. So the deer hunt presented a real conundrum for some church members who felt that hunting was violent. Maybe they are also members of PETA.
They took this action because of the damage the church sustained from the deer eating the vegetation on their property and the fact if they did nothing, there would be no vegetation left to salvage. The Montgomery County Natural Resources Division web site states that the deer population will double every two years without any action being taken as they have no natural predators.
Also in keeping with the church’s more pacifist nature they undertook a controlled hunt using a former D.C police office and three hunters and they killed a whopping nine deer. It probably should have been more if they really want to reduce the problem, but it wouldn’t have been very politically correct.
This case has been a good example of what happens when people are so politically correct can’t bring themselves to do things that make common sense. Maybe the church protestors can appoint a deer minister to look out for the deer and their voracious appetites.