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Church Uses Caged Lion as Symbol for Satan, please protest

September 17, 2010

From Big Cat Rescue

  • 1. Please visit HERE
  • 2. Input your zipcode at the top of page following ANIMAL ACTION ALERT/Enter Your Zipcode (or at the bottom of the page)
  • 3. Use the sample message provided, or feel free to modify
  • 4. Select FIVE recipients, but the two who MUST be selected include Tom Vilsak at the top and Florida Wildlife Commissioners near the bottom, after which is Troy Gramling (pastor)
  • 5. Input your details (name, address, etc.)
  • 6. Select a prefix (Mr., Ms., Miss, etc.)
  • 7. Send message (you must scroll to the bottom of the area where you input your information in order to see the green “send message” button)

Lately, Florida has been in the news as a hotbed for religious controversy. Now, Pastor Troy Gramling at Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Florida may be adding to it. Last week, he rolled out his series of Sunday sermons called “Wild.”

His sermon featured a chained, adult male, 500 pound lion on the pulpit in a small transport cage. For the length of the sermon, the lion paced, moving and rocking the cage back and forth, as the pastor quoted scripture and referred to the lion as a symbol for the devil himself. Next week’s sermon promises to feature pythons representing original sin.

(If you are unable to see/play the video directly below, please visit HERE to view, or view the version in the VodPod collection in the upper right, thank you.)

There were no barricades between the transport cage and the congregation. There was only a man sitting next to the cage, a man with some interesting views about wildlife. Jeremy Possman, of Predators Unlimited, supplied this lion for the “show.” He is an alligator wrestler who admits that business has pretty much dried up in that area. So, he has turned to photo ops and traveling exhibits with wild animals.

He was quoted in an AP story saying, “If you do get bit, a lot of times that just means more business, because they’re going to come back to see if it’s going to happen again.” Obviously, NOT a person most people would choose to be responsible for the safety of an entire church congregation, possibly trapped in a room with a dangerous carnivore.

Even though Florida accounts for only 6% of the national population, it accounts for 12% of the 602 reported incidents of killings, maulings and escapes since 1990. Other states, that have passed bans on breeding dangerous exotics, have seen these numbers drop dramatically, some to zero.

Isn’t it time the USDA and FWC stepped up to insure public safety and animal welfare by not allowing animals to be bred, carted around and displayed this way? There are not enough inspectors to guarantee that even minimal standards of care are being met or that the public is properly safeguarded. Right now, exhibits like this in Florida are perfectly legal, but should they be?

Confirm your zip code and click on GO! to sign a pre-written letter to the church, the USDA, the FWC, and the local media to let them know you do not want wild, exotic animals used this way.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2010 5:49 am

    There is a thin line on this issue that needs to be mentioned and considered. All wildlife is not dangerous, and removing all public interaction with it has already enlarged the barricade between today’s society and wildlife.

    This “lion show” is not the same as a wildlife rehabilitator or advocate taking a non-releasable raccoon to a public school, etc and speaking to the public about the benefits and interesting facts, etc, for example. But the agencies that sanction horrific blood sports using wild animals as live bait would PREFER the public not see the intelligent, personable, SENTIENT side of wildlife. It is bad for their business.

    So please be careful when speaking out against “exploitation” of wild animals and public interaction. It is not all bad and it can backfire on the animals if it goes too far. Obviously large carnivores are not what I speak of.

    I personally speak as someone who has witnessed the impact on the public with and without interaction of meeting a live animal. The particular animal(s) I speak of live a life of love and understanding, and would never be “used” if the animal was not ok with it. It can be done right, and the right to do that should not be taken away completely. It already has, and has resulted in ZERO sanctuary for non-releasable animals in some states.


  2. Susan Dzioba permalink
    September 18, 2010 10:57 am

    This is Ridiculous, they are God’s Creatures!


  3. Mary Blackchurch permalink
    September 18, 2010 11:22 am

    Susan, “God’s Creatures?” Please present which god you’re talking about. Thanks in advance.

    Katherine McGill,
    Did you bump your head this morning when you got up? Or are you just being deliberately obtuse? It can never be “done right” to tell people that any animal is “satan”. Big fail on your part.

    And whoever said that animals and people should learn to coexist in a human animal’s environment? If you want to learn what wild animals are all about, and you truly believe that it can all be rosey, by all means go live in Kenya and attempt to coax lions into your human world. Good luck with that! Quit thinking in selfish terms. Animals are NOT for your entertainment? Understand?

    Leave the fucking animals the FUCK ALONE!! It’s simple. Three words: Sigfriend and Roy.

    I am so tired of stupid people. You’re all contemptuous and beneath me.


  4. September 18, 2010 10:54 pm

    like every other silly symbol in the bible it goes both ways

    “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”

    “Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.”

    “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

    “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes in this motherfucking garden!” – GOD


  5. September 18, 2010 11:52 pm

    I thought all animals were God’s creatures. Sorry I didn’t waste anytime watching your video. But isn’t there a better way of getting your message out?


  6. September 19, 2010 6:02 am

    Mary, if you will curb your attitude and read again, my point had zero to do with “Satan”, or jungle animals in Kenya. Forgive me for being off topic in that regard, but since I deal with urban wildlife and public issues everyday I know from where I speak. If you are out there in any way also educating the public about the intrinsic value of the wildlife in their backyard and combating the false information fed to them everyday, by all means, share your personal experience. I suspect you are not. Coexisting with wildlife is not a “rosey” matter, it is a critical one and is FOR the sake of the animals.


  7. DonaldHesspahc permalink
    September 19, 2010 4:14 pm



  8. Chrissy permalink
    October 1, 2010 4:32 pm



  9. flor permalink
    November 22, 2010 9:38 am

    you are hilarious


  10. January 15, 2016 3:17 am

    golden days.



  1. Church Uses Caged Lion as Symbol for Satan « VeganThis

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